Month: July 2019

A crossparty userled campaign aims to boost dis

first_imgA cross-party, user-led campaign aims to boost disabled people’s participation in politics in Scotland, and could soon be doing the same across the UK.The One in Five campaign was only set up in February by Scottish disabled activist Jamie Szymkowiak, a member of the SNP.He was soon joined by disabled Labour activist Pam Duncan-Glancy, and within three weeks their new organisation had signed up all six of the political parties represented in the Scottish parliament.The grassroots campaign’s five-point charter asks political parties, local government and other organisations to make politics more inclusive and accessible to disabled people.Their aspiration is for the number of disabled people involved in Scottish politics to mirror the one-in-five working-age people in Scotland who self-identify as disabled people.The Scottish Conservative Party, the Scottish Greens, the Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Scottish Socialist Party have all signed up to the charter.Organisers of One in Five say they have yet to find another example of a campaign which has been backed by all of Scotland’s major political parties.Among other organisations to back the campaign is COSLA, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.The charter wants political parties to ensure that disabled activists can stand for election to posts such as secretary or chair of their local party on a job-share basis, and One in Five hopes this will eventually extend to publicly-elected posts such as councillors and MPs.Only last week, Disability News Service reported how disabled campaigners have called on Westminster to press for new laws that would allow parliamentary candidates to stand jointly for election as job-share MPs, after a judge threw out a legal case brought by two members of the Green party, one of whom was disabled.There are now hopes that SNP and Labour MPs will agree to bring the One in Five campaign to the Westminster parliament after the summer recess.Jamie Szymkowiak, One in Five’s founder, said the campaign had done “amazingly well” in a short period of time.He said: “We aspire to have political participation and representation that reflects our society.“I think it has just hit a nerve. A lot of the people I discuss this with do not understand why something like this has not been done before.”He said the element of the campaign that appeared to be most important to disabled people was the need for meetings to be held in accessible venues, and for information – such as party manifestos – to be made available in accessible formats.He added: “As a first step, if political parties and organisations ensure meetings and materials are accessible, including at local and national levels, our aspiration is achievable.“Scotland has witnessed a huge upsurge in political interest in recent years and I want to ensure disabled people are included in all areas of our democracy through a positive campaign, regardless of which political party you support.”This week, One in Five called on the Scottish government to set up its own version of the Access to Elected Office Fund (AEOF), which from 2012 to March 2015 offered grants to disabled people to pay for the additional impairment-related costs they faced in standing for election as a councillor or MP.AEOF covered prospective candidates seeking election to the UK parliament, and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales, but was otherwise restricted to elections in England. It is now lying dormant after its government funding ran out just before the general election.One in Five wants a Scottish version of the fund that would help disabled people trying to secure election to the Scottish parliament and Scottish councils.Picture: Cross-party MSPs at One In Five’s launch outside the Scottish parliament in April, and One in Five ambassadors Jamie Szymkowiak (front left, holding green sign), Pam Duncan-Glancy (front left, in wheelchair), Gordon Aikman (in wheelchair, next to Duncan-Glancy) and Nicola Ross (in blue tee-shirt, behind Duncan-Glancy and Aikman)last_img read more

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Disabled people are being subjected to dangerous v

first_imgDisabled people are being subjected to dangerous violations of health and safety laws after being forced to take part in government workfare programmes, according to new research published this week.The analysis of first-hand accounts of benefit claimants forced into unpaid work by the Department for Work and Pensions is one of 24 short essays collected in The Violence of Austerity*, a new book that details the “devastatingly violent consequences” of the government’s austerity policies.Academics, journalists and campaigners show in the book how austerity policies have led to destitution, eviction, power supplies being cut off, the seizure of possessions, homelessness, deportation and hunger.In one chapter, Jon Burnett and Professor David Whyte, one of the book’s editors, analyse more than 500 individual accounts written by benefit claimants who took part in workfare schemes between 2011 and 2015 and left descriptions of their experiences on the Boycott Workfare website.Whyte, who is professor of socio-legal studies at the University of Liverpool, and Burnett, who works at the Institute of Race Relations, found that 97 of those accounts raised concerns about health and safety issues.Many clearly involved illegal activity, with 36 of the 97 health and safety concerns taking place in retail stores or warehouses run by charities or social enterprises, and others in hospitals, recycling or waste disposal plants, and profit-making retailers.As part of their exploitation, welfare claimants were often forced to complete physical labour at an intense pace, and were discouraged from taking rest or lunch breaks, with some even refused access to food or water.All of them faced the threat of having their benefits sanctioned if they refused to follow orders.One wrote: “Hard labour on feet all day heavy lifting despite my medical conditions.“Out of eight that started, only three remain after working all day in the heavy rain and getting soaked and chilled to the bone.”Another claimant who challenged the unsafe working conditions was “sacked” and given a six-month benefit sanction.The authors analysed the accounts and found 64 “concrete allegations of breaches of health and safety law at 43 different workplaces”.Often this related to the failure to provide protective safety equipment, for example from chemicals and dust, or carrying out heavy lifting and manual handling tasks without proper risk or health assessments, sometimes despite health conditions that had been brought to the attention of the supervisor.One claimant described the “hard labour” he carried out from 9am to 5pm, and added: “I told them of my backpack pain and they just ignored it, they didn’t care.”Another said: “I can’t stand or walk for more than 10 minutes and have severe stomach illness that means when I eat I’m in agony half an hour until 4 hrs after. They may as well have sent me a death sentence.”Whyte and Burnett conclude: “The testimonies analysed in this chapter reveal how workfare, as a form of forced labour, effectively permits employers to breach health and safety laws with impunity.”It is not clear how many of the claimants whose comments they analysed were disabled people, but Whyte has told Disability News Service (DNS) that he believes “a large number have ongoing health problems and have disability issues”.A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: “Any specific allegations of unsafe working practices need to be reported to HSE through the proper channels** so we can look into them.“HSE does not hold any specific guidance relating to work by, or workplaces employing, benefit recipients who are required to work as a condition of their status as claimants.“Such persons or workplaces would be treated no differently to any other category. HSE would expect the approach to health and safety to be the same in all cases.”He added: “Any allegations of this sort are taken very seriously and would be considered on a case by case basis.”John Pring, editor of DNS, has also written an essay for the book, on the impact of welfare reforms on disabled people, and describes how the current and previous governments have refused to conduct basic research on the impact of their “reckless and ill-evidenced” policies.He says that for every policy “there is testimony from friends or family of the harm caused to individual disabled people who have been powerless to protect themselves, have had their freedom catastrophically affected, and have seen their dignity, health, choices and ability to control their own lives restricted in a way that can only be described as damaging and violent”.But he also describes how disabled people have fought back, through protests and campaigns, petitions, legal actions, their own high-quality research, and through Disabled People Against Cuts’ complaint to the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.Another of the essays is by the award-winning social affairs journalist and author Mary O’Hara, who writes about the links between austerity and a rise in mental distress and suicides.She describes how, after 2010, jobcentre workers began speaking out about “an increasingly punitive regime that was adding to the mental stress of both claimants and workers”, with one telling her: “It was very distressing to have customers literally without food, without heat, without resources – and these are unwell [and] disabled customers.”Other chapters also describe the violence imposed on disabled people by austerity policies, including David Ellis’s essay on The Violence of the Debtfare State, which tells how the UK has seen “the normalisation of pervasive debt as a means of replacing the living wage and sufficient welfare provisions”.He discusses the relationship between debt and mental health problems, and points out that estimates suggest that “half of British adults with problem debt also have mental health problems, including stress, anxiety, depression and even suicide attempts”.And in his second essay, Jon Burnett describes how “two forms of institutionally produced hatred – hatred targeted at migrants and hatred targeted at welfare claimants – have become closely interlinked by ‘austerity politics’”.He says this has “become apparent in a relentless barrage of headlines about migrant hordes, supposedly exploiting public services and undercutting wages, and the British benefit ‘cheats’ supposedly too idle to work and abusing the welfare state”.He points to a survey published by the Disability Hate Crime Network in 2015, which found that “scrounger rhetoric” was highlighted by “around one in six of 61 disabled people who described being verbally or physically assaulted in disability hate crimes”.Whyte and his co-editor Vickie Cooper, a lecturer in criminology at the Open University, conclude in their introduction to the book: “Where the state once acted as a buffer against social practices that put people at risk of harm and violence and provided essential protection for vulnerable groups, the contributions to this book show how the withdrawal of state support has the most devastating of consequences for vulnerable people.”They add: “The violence of austerity is not delivered by ‘street gangs’ or by the individuals that are typically the focus of public anxieties and tabloid moral panics.“The violence of austerity is delivered by smartly dressed people sitting behind desks.”*The Violence of Austerity is priced £16.99 and published by Pluto Press**http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/concerns.htmlast_img read more

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Disability hate crime campaigners are to give evid

first_imgDisability hate crime campaigners are to give evidence to MPs next month as part of a new inquiry into the online abuse of disabled people.The Commons petitions committee has launched the investigation following a petition set up by former model Katie Price which was signed by more than 220,000 people.Price’s petition called on the government to create a new criminal offence covering online abuse, and to set up a register of offenders.She and her disabled son Harvey are to give evidence to the committee on 6 February about the disablist online abuse he has experienced.Anne Novis, a leading disability hate crime campaigner and adviser on disability to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Metropolitan police, will also be giving evidence to the committee, as chair of Inclusion London.Novis, also a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, plans to share details with MPs on the committee of Facebook sites that have been “set up to demean disabled people”, and of disablist attacks by some newspapers.She also plans to raise concerns about government rhetoric around its social security reforms, which she said has demeaned disabled people, “giving permission to others to do the same online and elsewhere”.She said that such rhetoric and abuse “must be challenged as totally unacceptable in today’s society”.But Novis (pictured, centre) said she was not in favour of a new “add on” criminal offence, as suggested by Price.Instead, she said, “we need fair and equal law on hate crime in all its forms, ensuring the law keeps up to date with communication methods, and recognition that verbal and written abuse and prejudice is unacceptable”.Novis has spoken repeatedly of the need for disabled people to have “equal access to justice” on hate crime and the “inadequacy” of current disability hate crime legislation.She said a register was “not necessary” because if abusers were charged appropriately – and disability hate crime law was strengthened – there would already be a public record of offenders, while it would be easy for abusers to use false names online.Stephen Brookes, a fellow coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, and a disability adviser to CPS and the Lancashire and West Yorkshire police forces, said he could support a “specific, clearly defined” new offence.But he said he could not see how a register would be operated and maintained.He said: “Online hate, where abusers mistakenly believe they are hidden behind a screen, can be particularly damaging.“Several of the posts on the Disability Hate Crime Network reflect the fact that many disabled victims of online and social media abuse feel helpless and unprotected.“One of our regular contacts received a Facebook post after reporting a hate crime which said, ‘You never tire of being the nastiest dirtiest GRASS. If you need a puncture in your wheelchair keep us in mind.’“But this was not enough to get Facebook to take the post down.”Brookes believes social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are not doing enough to protect people from online abuse.He said: “We are told that a key aim of the [government’s new] online hate crime hub is to build a stronger evidence base and better understanding of the scope, nature and scale of online hate, in order to tackle it, but this all takes time, and so many times the perpetrators use the indistinct line between what they say is legitimate freedom of expression, and behaviour that is in contradiction of the ill-defined terms and conditions of social media sites, to get away with their actions.“So there is a need to force companies to have a standard code of practice and not the current case-by-case approach, and this does need to lead to a better, clear and enforceable law.”Labour MP Helen Jones, chair of the petitions committee, said: “Katie Price’s petition, which has been signed by more than 220,000 people, has brought to parliament an issue that has not been widely discussed – how online abuse affects people with disabilities and their families.“The government and parliament are looking at how to tackle online abuse, and we’d like to ensure that the particular issues faced by disabled people are at the heart of those discussions.“We’ll be speaking to disabled people and other experts about what needs to change.“We’ve also invited Katie Price and her son Harvey to parliament to tell us about how online abuse has affected their family.” The committee will be probing issues such as the impact of online abuse on disabled people; who is responsible for protecting people from online abuse; how well the law protects disabled people from such abuse; and the availability of support for victims.It will also ask how to draw lines between legitimate freedom of expression, behaviour that contravenes the terms and conditions of social media sites, and abuse that should be against the law. In her petition, which closed last year, Price said that trolling was “a major problem” that affects people “from every walk of life” and includes “racism, homophobia, body shaming and a whole range of other hate speech”.She said she wanted to “help bring justice to everyone who has ever suffered at the hands of trolls” and “hammer home worldwide that bullying is unacceptable whether it’s face to face or in an online space”.As well as other disability organisations giving oral evidence, including Dimensions UK and Mencap, the committee wants to hear directly from disabled people about their experiences of online abuse.A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman refused to say if the government supported creating a new criminal offence covering online abuse, or setting up a register of offenders.But he said in a statement: “We welcome the committee’s investigation. What is unacceptable offline should be unacceptable online and we are seeking to address these issues through our Internet Safety Strategy.”Ministers have not ruled out introducing a regulatory framework, including a sanctions regime to ensure compliance, if technology companies do not act voluntarily to demonstrate their commitment to online safety.It has consulted on measures including: a new social media levy, so companies contribute to raising awareness and countering harm caused by the internet; a code of practice to tackle bullying and intimidating behaviour online; and annual transparency reports that would be used to check the progress of companies in tackling such issues.The consultation closed last month.last_img read more

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Tags Peterborough Alastair Campbell Weekly Su

first_imgTags:Peterborough /Alastair Campbell /Weekly Survey /European Convention /Labour leadership elections / Welcome to our latest LabourList survey.Share your thoughts about voting Labour, Alastair Campbell’s expulsion, the upcoming Peterborough by-election, a Brexit ballot of members and more.Answer the questions below or click here to open the survey in a new window.This survey will close at 6pm on Monday 3rd June, and we’ll be releasing the results soon after that.last_img

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Without Permission Early am in the Mission

first_imgI arrived on Valencia Street at 6:30 a.m. and took a stroll, soaking in the lovely loneliness of a street usually bustling with energy.A homeless man was reading the Calendar section of the SF Weekly with interest. I wondered what he thought as he envisioned the various events he’s unlikely to attend.A guy sitting on a bench nearby was drinking a large can of beer wrapped in a small paper bag. He asked me if I lived in the city.“Not anymore,” I said. “Too expensive. But I like it when it’s quiet like this.” “Quiet is good. I work on 16th and Mission and I see some crazy stuff.” He was a guy in about his late forties with black hair pulled back in a ponytail. Because he’d been drinking before his shift as a he didn’t want me to include his name or where he worked.“Why do you think I’m drinking this so early in the morning?” He held up his 25 oz. can.“Well tell me a story.”“Decorum prevents me from telling a lady the kind of stories that go on at 16th and Mission. But I will say this: they spit on the sidewalk, they litter. It’s disrespectful. They couldn’t possibly love this city the way I do. If they did, they wouldn’t spit on its streets.”He believes that every city in California has “dumped their crazies into our city. We’re tolerant so we get punished.”I told him I’d come visit him one day to watch what goes on at his job.As he wrote his number he said, “Yeah, give me a call. But careful; my wife is crazy. She won’t like a woman calling me.”I promised to use a pseudonym like Dave.“Oh, please don’t. She’ll figure that out quick. Just say exactly why you’re calling.”I vowed to see him soon, then walked into E&M Discount Center on the corner of 15th and Valencia.There were no customers at E&M, but the inventory told the story of the two Missions these days. The items offered were a mix of old school liquor store goods like a cheap bottle of Orange Soda and new trendy food like a can of Synergy Kombucha for nearly five bucks.On the top shelf were Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms, and below were Chia Seeds by Bob’s Red Mill. Cans of Spam and Van Camp’s Pork and Beans were next to Paul Newman’s Own salad dressing.I made my way to the Pop Tart section to examine a package of Mrs. Freshley’s crème filled cakes. They looked like they’d survive a nuclear holocaust. The owner asked me what I was doing.“Oh, just…looking around.” Since he’d been talking on the phone, I’d forgotten him and he caught me off guard.“Why are you writing stuff in that paper?” he asked, eyeing my notebook with suspicion.I buried the notebook in my bag and said, “I’m writing a story for a online news site called Mission Local. The things you stock here are interesting. They tell the story of how the Mission is changing.”His body relaxed. “They’re remodeling the whole city,” he said. “Tearing everything down and rebuilding.”“Is that good or bad?”“Good!” he said. “Newer is better.”“How long have you had this place?”“Eleven years. Got it from my uncle.”“He gave it to you?”“Gave it to me?” He laughed. “I don’t have those kinds of uncles.”A middle-aged man came in and grabbed a bottle of beer from the shelf. He must have been a regular because the storeowner teased him. “Get out!”“It’s too early in the morning to be picking on me,” was the customer’s response. They laughed, chatted and completed the transaction. A few others came and went and the owner knew most of them.Outside, someone had left a copy of the New York Times. I stood in front of Four Barrel Coffee reading it. Now that I consume my news digitally, it was a luxury to hold.I looked up to see two young European men. One had a huge camera around his neck with an even huger lens attached to it. The benches they sat on faced Valencia Street. Nameless white Google buses roared by. Buses stamped with Genentech raced down the street too, competing with bikes and the increasing rush hour traffic. The two young men sat in a cloud of exhaust, teeth chattering in the gray morning fog. Someone forgot to tell them there are chilly places in California.The sun broke through in a sudden blast. Realizing I hadn’t brought my sunglasses, I headed over to Community Thrift to pick up a pair. I stood in back of a woman buying flowered ceramic plates. The worker was wrapping them with newspaper. I thought about how good it felt to read a physical copy of the Times earlier. And of the homeless guy reading his calendar section. I headed down Valencia Street happy that there’s still a free weekly paper and a thrift store for cheap plates and sunglasses. They haven’t torn everything down.EarlierWithout Permission at 16th St: past, present and a cat on her hat 0%center_img Tags: valencia street Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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SAINTS have announced that Paul Wellens and James

first_imgSAINTS have announced that Paul Wellens and James Graham will captain the club in the 2011 season.The duo will work in tandem throughout Super League XVI, utilising their experience to skipper the side before Saints move into their new stadium in 2012. Royce Simmons opted for dual captaincy as the role of leader both on and off the field has changed in the modern game.“I know I am going against the tradition of what we’ve had over the past few years and I know that both James and Paul would have liked to been captain on their own, but it is a great honour for me to be in a position to name them both,” Simmons said. “They both typify what St Helens is all about and are passionate about the club.“I have sat down over the last few weeks and thought about the role of captain in the modern game and it has changed a lot. There are a lot of promotional and media commitments as well as what happens on the field.“My choice of captain on game day will come after discussions with both of them and we will split their off field commitments too.“There might be a time when we are playing a big aggressive pack and will want to send our skipper out to meet them. Or, we could be playing a team that shifts the ball wide and we need direction from the back.“Either way, we have direction from the back and in the pack and that has to be good for the club. The role will be easier than what people think.”Paul Wellens said: “When I started out playing I wanted to play for St Helens but never dreamt I would captain the club. After a few years at Saints it was something I wanted to do and I have waited a long time to get that opportunity. I have played under some great captains and I am very privileged to lead out this great side.”James Graham added: “I totally agree with Paul. This is the team I supported as a lad and when you consider the history of the club and the people that have gone before it makes it even more special. I have played with a number of great captains and I know we have big boots to fill.”last_img read more

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SAINTS welcome back Tony Puletua Sia Soliola Jam

first_imgSAINTS welcome back Tony Puletua, Sia Soliola, Jamie Foster and James Roby into their 19-man squad for the Qualifying Playoff match at Wigan Warriors.The quartet return for Sunday’s game with Gary Wheeler the only player omitted from the team that beat Quins last weekend.He has a quad pull whilst teammate Leon Pryce is also sidelined with the same injury.Chris Flannery and Kyle Eastmond are also unavailable.Therefore, the squad is:1. Paul Wellens, 3. Michael Shenton, 4. Sia Soliola, 5. Francis Meli, 9. James Roby, 10. James Graham, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin, 14. Scott Moore, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Paul Clough, 18. Matty Ashurst, 19. Andrew Dixon, 20. Jonny Lomax, 22. Jamie Foster, 24. Tom Armstrong, 25. Lee Gaskell, 28. Tom Makinson, 29. Scott Hale.Michael Maguire, Wigan Head Coach, will choose from:1. Sam Tomkins, 2. Darrell Goulding, 4. George Carmont, 5. Pat Richards, 6. Paul Deacon, 7. Thomas Leuluai, 9. Michael McIlorum, 10. Andy Coley, 11. Harrison Hansen, 12. Joel Tomkins, 13. Sean O’Loughlin, 14. Paul Prescott, 15. Jeff Lima, 16. Ryan Hoffman, 17. Brett Finch, 21. Lee Mossop, 22. Liam Farrell, 25. Josh Charnley, 35. Ben Cross.The match kicks off at 2.45pm and the referee is Phil Bentham.If you can’t make the match it will be covered extensively in the Match Centre as well as on Saints’ Official Twitter and Facebook sites.Stats:Last Ten Meetings:St Helens 12, Wigan 18 (CCSF, 6/8/11)(at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)St Helens 10, Wigan 32 (SLR18, 17/6/11)Wigan 28, St Helens 24 (SLR11, 22/4/11)St Helens 16, Wigan 16 (SLR1, 12/2/11)(at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)St Helens 10, Wigan 22 (SLGF, 2/10/10)(at Old Trafford, Manchester)Wigan 24, St Helens 26 (SLR18, 20/6/10)St Helens 10, Wigan 18 (SLR9, 2/4/10)St Helens 14, Wigan 10 (SLQSF, 3/10/09)St Helens 10, Wigan 6 (SLR23, 31/7/09)St Helens 18, Wigan 38 (SLR13, 2/5/09)(at Murrayfield, Edinburgh)Previous Play-Off Meetings:St Helens 10, Wigan 22 (SLGF, 2/10/10)(at Old Trafford, Manchester)St Helens 14, Wigan 10 (SLQSF, 3/10/09)Wigan 18, St Helens 12 (SLEPO, 25/9/04)Wigan 40, St Helens 24 (SLESF, 3/10/03)St Helens 24, Wigan 8 (SLFE, 11/10/02)Wigan 44, St Helens 10 (SLFE, 6/10/01)St Helens 29, Wigan 16 (SLGF, 14/10/00)(at Old Trafford, Manchester)Wigan 16, St Helens 54 (SLQSF, 29/9/00)Super League Summary:Wigan won 27 (includes win in 2010 Grand Final & wins in 2001, 2003 and 2004 play-offs)St Helens won 24 (includes win in 2000 Grand Final & wins in 2000, 2002 and 2009 play-offs)4 drawsWigan highest score: 65-12 (A, 1997) (also widest margin)St Helens highest score: 57-16 (MM, 2008) (also widest margin)last_img read more

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MARK Flanagan says Saints need to play skilfully i

first_imgMARK Flanagan says Saints need to play skilfully if they want to progress to the Semi Finals of the Challenge Cup.The former Wiganer will line up against his old teammates on Saturday at the DW Stadium.“We’ve been on a good run,” he said. “We’ve put some good wins together recently and played well against Wakefield. We started well but there were parts of our performance we would be happy to work on. There’s room for improvement for sure.“We’ll need to show that this weekend. Games against Wigan are big enough, I know that, as I played for Wigan against Saints too. They are great games and I have no doubt the atmosphere will be superb. Then, you throw in a Challenge Cup too.“From 1 to 17 they have a great squad of players but we have to worry about ourselves and do what we do. That means completing sets, tackling well and playing good rugby on their line. Saints are known for throwing the ball around and we need to play skilfully. We also need to contain Tomkins, O’Loughlin and Hock.”Flanagan played for Wigan before he signed for Wests Tigers two years ago. He’s appeared in three derbies… and although he hasn’t won one yet… he knows the passion and rivalry.“I spent a few years under Shaun Wane when he coached Wigan’s under 20s. He is a good coach and a lot of the players got on well with him.“It is good to have people from your hometown in charge and we see that here with Rushie and Kez – they are passionate about Saints and want nothing but the best for them.“I’ve never played a derby at Wigan and I am looking forward to it. It will be a tough game for us, they are a good side who are playing well. I have no doubt their fans will make it a tough afternoon for us.“But there is no reason why we can’t win. We have a good squad of players and if we perform then we will have a great chance of being in the next round.”last_img read more

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FULL details of the exciting new league structure

first_imgFULL details of the exciting new league structure that will come into operation in 2015 for Rugby League’s professional and semi-professional competitions have been outlined.From next season the First Utility Super League and Kingstone Press Championship will both feature 12 clubs, whilst Kingstone Press Championship One will be renamed as Kingstone Press League 1 and comprise 14 clubs.Super League and Championship clubs will each play 23 matches in the regular season – home and away against the other clubs in their respective competitions plus Magic Weekend or Summer Bash.At the end of the regular season, Super League and the Championship will split into the Super 8s, three groups of eight clubs based on league positions called Super League, The Qualifiers and Championship Shield.Super League features the top eight Super League clubs; The Qualifiers comprises Super League clubs nine to 12 plus the top four Championship clubs; and the Championship Shield features Championship clubs five to 12.The Super 8s will be played on a seven match mini-league basis, and will largely determine the make-up of Super League and the Championship the following season.In Super League, all eight clubs are guaranteed top flight status for the following year whilst the top four will contest a play-off series – 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd, with the winner going through to the title-deciding Grand Final.In The Qualifiers, the top three clubs after seven matches will play in Super League the following season with the final place determined by the Million Pound Game, a play-off between the clubs finishing 4th and 5th. The loser of the match will join the three remaining clubs from The Qualifiers and six Championship Shield clubs in the Championship the following season.In the Championship Shield, the top four clubs with contest a play-off series with the winners contesting the Championship Shield final. The bottom two teams in the Championship Shield will be relegated to League 1.The 14 League 1 clubs will each play 22 games – 11 home and 11 away, playing each other once and nine teams twice with fixtures scheduled on a geographical basis. At the end of the regular season 1st will face 2nd with the winner promoted to the Championship as champions. The loser of that match will join the teams that finished 3rd, 4th and 5th in a play-off to determine the second promotion spot.The 14 League 1 clubs will also be joined by the 2014 National Conference League Grand Final winners and the 2014 RFL Conference Challenge Cup winners in a new knockout competition played at the start of the season.To allow for the changes to the league structure, the top eight Super League clubs will join the Challenge Cup at the sixth round stage, with League 1 clubs entering at Round 3, Championship clubs at Round 4 and the bottom four Super League clubs at Round 5.last_img read more

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TITLE sponsor First Utility has revealed the nomin

first_imgTITLE sponsor First Utility has revealed the nominations for the Official First Utility Super League Player of the Month competition for July, which lets fans vote for the league’s most outstanding players.Saints’ youngster Adam Quinlan makes the final shortlist after impressing in just his first month of action.His debut was one to remember as the Australian full-back bagged a hat-trick as Saints narrowly beat the Giants 35-34.Another try and an assist during the Champions’ demolition job of Hull KR meant that Quinlan now has four tries in just three games, marking a dream start to life in the First Utility Super LeagueIf you feel that Adam deserves to be the First Utility Super League Player of the Month for July – vote here!Each fan who votes will go into a prize draw with one lucky supporter getting the chance to present the First Utility Super League Player of the Month trophy to the winning player.The two players with the most votes will then be considered by a judging panel consisting of representatives from First Utility & League Weekly, where an overall winner will be revealed.The July First Utility Super League Player of the Month shortlist is as follows:Adam Quinlan (St Helens)Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos)John Bateman (Wigan Warriors) Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants)Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves)Fans have until 2pm on Thursday July 30 to register their votes for the July First Utility Super League Player of the Month award.last_img read more

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The players wear this fantastic item all the time

first_imgThe players wear this fantastic item all the time and it is a smart and casual way of showing your love of the Saints.It’s available in three colourways too, which co-ordinate with other items in the 2018 Trainingwear range.To find out more, call into the Saints Superstore or click here.last_img

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FIRST ON WWAY Heartbroken mother shares story of newborns death to warn

first_img “This is our way of remembering him the best we can,” Gavrilis said.On November 26, Gavrilis says she and her partner, Carmine Martino, were watching TV in their living room. Their 8-week-old baby, Lucas, was snuggled on Carmine’s chest.“We were watching a football game and he was on one couch and I was on the other. I fell asleep they were both awake and when I woke up I looked for Lucas,” Gavrilis said.Related Article: Sunday early voting offered for first time in Brunswick, PenderThe next thing Gavrilis knew, she woke up around midnight. Both she and Carmine had fallen asleep.She immediately began looking for their baby and woke up Carmine. That’s when they realized Lucas was laying between Carmine’s arm and the couch, not breathing.The next few moments were a blur of a frantic 911 call and CPR.Their baby was gone.“I guess you don’t realize that you’re going to fall asleep. You know you’re sleepy, but you say to yourself I will keep myself up, I will stay awake. I’m holding the baby and then it just happens just like that, “Gavrilis said.“It’s just a natural and comfortable thing and obviously you don’t plan on sleeping, you don’t plan on falling asleep. You don’t plan on getting tired. It’s just a natural comfortable way to sit with your child,” Lucas’s father Carmine Martino said.Gavrilis says the point of sharing her story isn’t to place blame on a horrible accident, but to spread the message far and wide, to let other parents know that it can happen to them.It’s a message that is getting out there. Two days after Gavrilis posted her story on Facebook, it has been shared nearly 37,000 times.Gavrilis hopes to eventually work with parents of newborns to make sure they realize how important it is to not fall asleep with a baby in your arms.“I just want everyone to hug their babies and their kids as close as they can because this Christmas is going to be horrible,” Gavrilis said. “I mean the loss of a child especially around the holidays now not having him here, knowing his stocking isn’t going to be filled. It’s heartbreaking and it shouldn’t happen to anyone else if it can be prevented.” 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 CALABASH, NC (WWAY) — It was a typical night of watching Sunday night football.A night that changed the lives of Haley Gavrilis and her boyfriend forever. Now she’s reliving it, to hopefully save others from the pain she is feeling right now.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Neighbor describes moments when mom kids escape burning home

first_img “She didn’t really say too much,” Wright said. “She just said that he tried to set her on fire. The kids said the same thing. I was like, are you serious? They’re good people. I mean I don’t have a problem out of them. The kids go to school and she’d be at home waiting on them to get off the bus and everything.”The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says Nicholas Alexander Wallace, 25, poured gas on a woman and on items inside a home in the 300 block of Dulah Road.Investigators say Wallace then lit a match and threw it on the woman, igniting her and the room she was in. Two children who were also inside the home ran to a Wright’s house for help.Related Article: Police investigating triple shooting in LumbertonEMS took the woman to the hospital, where she was treated and released.Wallace is charged with three counts of attempted first degree murder and arson.He is currently being held at Columbus County Detention Center without bond.The neighbors tell WWAY that the victims have since vacated the home which appears to be a total loss. 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 TABOR CITY, NC (WWAY) — A woman and two kids escaped a burning home Sunday that Columbus County Sheriff deputies say was intentionally set. The victims ran to a neighbor’s house for help and now she is talking about those scary moments.Deborah Wright was that neighbor and spoke with WWAY this afternoon. She said she was shocked to hear what the woman says actually happened.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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New Hanover County man accused of shooting killing neighbors dog

first_img X-rays of Gibson (Photo: Billy Withdraw-Consent Fulcher) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County man is charged with cruelty to animals after a dog was found shot to death.The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested Alex Christian Hollinger, 24, on Saturday.Alex Hollinger made his first court appearance Monday. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY)- Advertisement – William Fulcher says when his neighbor moved in, he introduced himself and his dogs. He says his neighbor started complaining about one dog’s barking.The Sheriff’s Office said an Animal Service Unit investigator went to a home located on Horn Road at the request of the owner of a dog who had passed away.The ASU investigator began her investigation which led to Hollinger, the next door neighbor. Hollinger was interviewed and charged with four counts of felony cruelty to animals.Related Article: Wilmington hit-and-run suspect turns self in“If it was a human being, he wouldn’t even be out on bail, He’s out on bail right,” Fulcher said. “Now and he took a life. A life that’s precious to us.”Fulcher said their dog Gibson was like a third child.“He wasn’t just a dog to me,” said Caleb Hyatt, one of Fulcher’s sons. “He was my child. he was my son.” 1 of 3 Fulcher says his new neighbor, Alex Hollinger, had complained about Gibson’s barking. The family bought a bark collar to keep him from barking all day.“I was like, ‘Hey man. How are things going? How’s his barking?’ Fulcher said. “And he’s like, it’s much better, man. I really appreciate that.’ and I was like, ‘Cool.’”Fulcher says that was the last time he heard from his neighbor.Last week, Fulcher and his fiance raced home after his son called, thinking Gibson had cut himself and was bleeding.They took the dog to the vet and discovered the truth.“When they did the x-rays, that’s when we realized he had not cut himself at all,” Fulcher’s fiance said. “He had been shot.”Vets found four bullet fragments inside Gibson. Hollinger was arrested and charged with four counts of felony cruelty to animals.“It hurts when you’re holding something you love as it’s dying, and it looks you in the eye one last time and you can’t bring it back,” Hyatt said.Fulcher says Hollinger admitted to shooting the dog. Investigators found blood spattered throughout the yard and a break in the fence separating the two yards.Fulcher and his family just want justice.“We’re not going to see him at the foot of our bed ever again,” Fulcher said. “I want the public to demand that that law be enforced. I want him to go to jail for a felony.”Hollinger posted bail. During his court appearance Monday, his bond did not change.He has agreed to turn in all his firearms for the remainder of the investigation. He is also ordered to have no contact with Fulcher and his family. Gibson (Photo: Billy Withdraw-Consent Fulcher) X-rays of Gibson (Photo: Billy Withdraw-Consent Fulcher)last_img read more

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Mothers are the future of society– Bishop Grech

first_img SharePrint A mother’s life is one of continuous expectation, always waiting on the needs of her children. Bishop Mario Grech said that one fails to find sufficient words to describe what a mother is: her love, her comforting arms, her understanding ear. To a mother, her children are her world, not because the children are perfect but because they are her children, cherished from the first indications of life in the womb and then throughout her life. A mother’s place in our lives, said Bishop Grech becomes all too evident when one calls out to her and gets no reply.A debt that cannot be paid“We are heavily indebted to our mother. She is the one who welcomes a new life in her womb when we are conceived, and from that moment her life becomes one continuous act of expectation: first she waits for us to be born, and then she is always at the door, waiting for us to come home” said Bishop Grech. For children, he added, their mother’s face and arms constitutes the universe. Everything is included in her face, in her look which encompasses what is happening in the world around them, while her ministering arms see to it that the children do not fall into a pit of dispair.A remedy for selfishness in a profoundly masculine societyBishop Grech said that a mother’s presence is the remedy for individualistic and selfish drives. “Where mothers are absent, society loses its heart and becomes cold; when we tamper with the gift of maternity, society becomes wicked, and cold calculation and speculation take the place of a welcoming attitude to life, replacing love, mercy and compassion. A mother knows how to light up the flame of hope in a heart engulfed in darkness; mothers are the future of society” said Bishop Grech. Quoting a lay Orthodox theologian about a society which does not value maternity, Bishop Grech said that “contemporary society is profoundly masculine and the female charism is of no importance to it, it is a society without God, because He cannot be born in it without her presence.”Mary, the nurse of the spiritually woundedTurning his gase to the Virgin Mary, Bishop Grech drew parallels with human mothers. Mary, said Bishop Grech, loves her children because they are her children, not because they are perfect. “Mary loves us all, but she has a special fondness for those who are spiritually tired or who have gone astray. Hers are the arms which embrace us lovingly and which warm us when we feel cold. Just as she helped Christ carry the cross, so today she intervenes to help us bear life’s heavy crosses” said Bishop Grech. If, as Pope Francis has said, the Church is like “a field hospital in battle”, so Mary is like that nurse who does not stop tending whoever is morally and spiritually wounded. In her face we see the reflection of what our face should look like: a peaceful and serene face, reflecting one’s interior life, commented the Bishop of Gozo.Bishop Grech called on the faithful to experience the love of Mary in this Marian Year, particularly when, in moments of crisis, all faith in God is lost and spiritual challenges seem to be too great. “A society and a Church which are spiritual orphans will get ever closer to the tomb, not only because God’s absence is too heavy to bear, but also because there is a real risk, once the parents are no more, that brethren will no longer remain brethren and the harmony within an ecclesial community will be dissolved” warned Bishop Grech.WhatsApp <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>last_img read more

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US warns merchant ships of possible Iranian attacks

first_img <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 fast combat support ship USNS Arctic pulls alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to conduct a replenishment-at-sea in the Mediterranean Sea, May 8, 2019. Michael Singley/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERSThe fast combat support ship USNS Arctic pulls alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to conduct a replenishment-at-sea in the Mediterranean Sea, May 8, 2019. Michael Singley/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS Iran could target U.S. commercial ships including oil tankers, the U.S. Maritime Administration said on Friday, as a senior Iranian cleric said a U.S. Navy fleet could be “destroyed with one missile.”In the latest tense exchange between Tehran and Washington, Iran’s hardline Revolutionary Guards separately said Iran would not negotiate with the United States, a stance that seemed partly aimed at discouraging Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his moderate allies from taking up a U.S. offer of talks.U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran’s leaders talk with him about giving up their nuclear programme and said he could not rule out a military confrontation.Trump made the offer as he increased economic and military pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month while beefing up the U.S. Navy and Air Force presence in the Gulf. Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved a new deployment of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, a U.S. official told Reuters on Friday.The U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, deployed as a warning to Iran, passed through Egypt’s Suez Canal on Thursday and American B-52 bombers have also arrived at a U.S. base in Qatar, U.S. Central Command said.Iran has dismissed both moves – which the United States said it took after U.S. intelligence signalled possible preparations by Tehran to attack U.S. forces or interests – as “psychological warfare” designed to intimidate it.In an advisory posted on Thursday, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) said that since early May there had been an increased possibility of Iran or its regional proxies taking action against U.S. and partner interests.These included, MARAD said, oil production infrastructure, after Tehran threatened to close the vital Strait of Hormuz chokepoint through which about a fifth of oil consumed globally passes.“Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf,” MARAD said.“Reporting indicates heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against U.S. forces and interests.”HEATED RHETORICMillions of barrels of oil pass daily through the various bottlenecks from Middle East oil producers to global markets.U.S.-Iranian tensions have risen since Trump withdrew a year ago from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and major powers and began ratcheting up sanctions to throttle Tehran’s economy.Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, told Reuters on Thursday its forces were on a heightened state of readiness, although the U.S. military was not seeking or preparing for war with Iran.MARAD said U.S.-flagged ships were encouraged to contact the Fifth Fleet at least two days before sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. The fleet’s job is to protect commercial shipping in the area.Washington further tightened sanctions on Iran this month – eliminating waivers that had allowed some countries to buy its oil – with a goal of reducing Tehran’s crude exports to zero.Iran responded by relaxing some curbs on its nuclear programme concerning material stockpiles but continues to comply with commitments to restrict its uranium enrichment activity.Rhetoric has grown heated on both sides.The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted hardliner Ayatollah Tabatabai-Nejad in the city of Isfahan as saying: “Their billion(-dollar) fleet can be destroyed with one missile.“If they attempt any move, they will … (face) dozens of missiles because at that time (government) officials won’t be in charge to act cautiously, but instead things will be in the hands of our beloved leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” he said.‘SANCTIONS HAVE NO EFFECT!’Separately, Yadollah Javani, the elite Revolutionary Guards’ deputy head for political affairs, said: “No talks will be held with the Americans, and the Americans will not dare take military action against us.”“Our nation … sees America as unreliable,” he said, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, echoing a stance Iran has taken since the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear programme in return for relief from economic sanctions.Thousands of Iranians took part in state-sponsored marches on Friday to support the government’s decision to reduce limits on its nuclear programme. Iran has threatened to go further if other parties to the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – fail to shield it from U.S. sanctions.State TV showed protesters marching after Friday prayers in Tehran and said similar marches had been held across Iran.“America should know, sanctions have no effect!” chanted the protesters.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

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Samsung Galaxy Note 101 makes a good effort but iPad is still

first_imgAdvertisement The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is the latest such device to get the “How does it compare with the iPad?” treatment.Well, the technology behind the S Pen stylus is really cool, supporting things like pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. This will no doubt benefit figure artists and even those who want a bit more precision when putting one person’s head on another’s body in Photoshop Touch. Ahhh, wackiness.Beyond that, however, this is a pretty par-for-the-course Samsung tablet, with the requisite IR blaster and expandable memory slot in tow. If you hated the TouchWiz UI before, you’ll continue to hate it here. – Advertisement – I’m not speaking pejoratively here. Samsung makes good tablets. The Note 10.1 just isn’t up there with the Asus Transformer Infinitys, Nexus 7s, and iPads of the world.The iPad in particular still kills with its high-res screen, huge app support, and Apple’s still-unmatched ecosystem. If you’re looking to buy a new tablet, you’ll want to look there first. If you’re still looking, the Transformer Infinity should be next on your list. Then the Nexus 7 (or the Nexus 7 first, if you have a limited budget), and then the Note 10.1.Here’s a handy spec list comparing the Note 10.1’s most important specs with the iPad’s and Nexus 7’s. Though specs don’t ever tell the whole story, they can still be a fun and interesting way to compare similar products. Source: CNetlast_img read more

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How Samsungs crisis culture stifles creativity

first_imgAdvertisement We go behind the scenes at Samsung’s Ultrabook factory on sale 13 SeptemberBut, in the wake of last month’s damaging US patent ruling, which Samsung has said it will appeal the Korean group was fined more than $1 billion after a jury found it had copied key features of Apple’s iPhone  the group’s top-down command structure and decision-making process are blamed for stifling creativity.What’s been good for getting things done quickly, such as making bold decisions on big investments in chips and display screens, may not now best suit a company that needs to shift from being a “fast follower” quick to match others’ products  to an innovator.Within Samsung, where some designers feel overlooked and undermined, there are calls for a change of tack.The “constant crisis” has worked well, helping Samsung overtake Japanese technology brands Sony, Sharp and Panasonic in chips, TVs and displays, end Nokia’s decade-long supremacy in handsets and overtake Apple in smartphones. – Advertisement – But that has come with a big reputational hit – that Samsung makes knock-off products.”Crisis of design””It’s a crisis of design,” JK Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile division told staff in February 2010 as Samsung worked on its first Galaxy phone in a panicky response to the iPhone’s smash-hit debut, according to an internal memo filed to a US court as part of Apple’s lawsuit.“Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that Samsung is dozing off.’”All this time, we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like ‘folder’, ‘bar’, ‘slide,’ yet when our UX (user experience) is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth.“The sense of crisis and urgency to catch Apple drove Samsung designers and engineers to opt for a concept that best matched the look and feel of the iPhone, according to one Samsung designer, who isn’t authorised to talk to the media and didn’t want to be identified.”Designers have lots of unique and creative ideas, but these have to be loved by the top decision-makers.The problem was, because they were so fascinated by the Apple design, these ideas weren’t really satisfactory to please the top level,” said the designer.”I think elsewhere top managers respect their chief designer’s decision, but at Samsung, they overrule designers and have the final say about what design we go with. That limits our capability.To be better than a good fast follower, Samsung needs a more horizontal culture and to empower designers.” A Samsung executive, who didn’t want to be named, countered that the group had started out with little innovation – it struggled even to make simple black and white TVs – but now drives new ideas internally through incentives and bonuses, with Lee himself very interested in new technology and design.Top-down managementOne recent example of that top-heavy command structure came less than a fortnight before the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone in May, when vice chairman Choi Gee-sung ordered half a million blue phone cases to be thrown away as the design, with thin, silver stripes, was unsatisfactory, according to a person familiar with the matter.After a number of tweaks, Choi approved the final design on a Sunday just 10 days before launch, triggering an initial supply bottleneck and delaying shipments of some two million units, according to some analysts.Designers have lots of unique and creative ideas, but these have to be loved by the top decision-makersSimilarly, when Choi visited Samsung’s US telecoms operation a year ago, internal documents filed to the court during the US patent battle with Apple showed managers there were worried about a lack of initiatives to impress him.“Overall plan is OK, but we are lacking a WOW idea to share with GS (Choi). Generally, lacking confidence in our plan to ‘beat Apple’.”The react-fast philosophy is a far cry from how Apple worked. Christopher Stringer, a 17-year Apple design veteran, told the US court that around 16 “maniacal” individuals from all over the world used to brainstorm around a kitchen table to come up with the company’s mobile products.By contrast, Samsung’s design sanctum looks much like any other Samsung department, a Dilbert sprawl of desks and cubicles with framed aphorisms from the founding family on the walls: “Be with Customers”, “Create Products that Contribute to Humanity” and “Challenge the World, Create the Future.”“It’s pretty much a top-down, hierarchical culture that doesn’t do any good in inspiring creativity,” the designer added. “I don’t think it’s a unique Samsung problem, but one that plagues South Korean society as a whole. Samsung is making efforts to change it, but it’s still very much top-down.”“Probably what we need now is the creative environment that Silicon Valley boasts.”Samsung menLiving up to its reputation for moving swiftly and nimbly in an increasingly competitive market, Samsung’s mobile product life cycle is getting shorter – it introduces a new product around every six months.In a surprise last Wednesday, Samsung unveiled a smartphone using Microsoft’s latest mobile software, rushing the announcement just days before the highly anticipated launch of Nokia’s version.“Regardless of any hindrance, Samsung will continue to provide outstanding, innovating and unique products that stand out in the industry,” Samsung’s mobile chief Shin said at Europe’s biggest electronics show in Berlin.Shin has also praised the company’s “diligent and exemplary” elite workforce, the so-called “Samsung men” trained in the 1990s with a textbook called “New Samsung Management” that summarised chairman Lee’s remarks and his sense of crisis.Lee, who took over as chairman from his father and group founder in 1987, stepped down in 2008 after he was convicted of embezzlement and tax evasion, but returned within two years following a presidential pardon. He marked his return with his familiar refrain.“We’re in a real crisis. Top global companies are reeling and [I’m] not sure what will happen to Samsung. Most products and businesses that represent Samsung today will be gone in 10 years time. We should start again. There’s no time to waste.”That summer, Samsung saw its telecoms profit halved as Apple captured consumers’ hearts and wallets. But it swiftly rebounded with its Galaxy line-up and has posted record profits each year since. Annual profit this year is likely to top $22 billion, up 45% from 2010.But the crisis culture is wearing thin for some. “It does keep people agile and alert, but people joke that once you work more than five years at Samsung you’ve probably heard it more than enough and think it more of a repetitive cycle,” said a Samsung chip developer, who wasn’t authorised to talk publicly about the company. “You just get used to these things.”Even 70-year-old billionaire Lee may be mellowing. Briefed after the bruising Apple defeat, Lee said only: “Deal with it well,” according to a person familiar with the matter.Source: PC PROlast_img read more

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Barack Obamas Facebook campaign gets more support

first_imgAdvertisement US President Barack Obama has enjoyed a surge in Facebook “likes”, thanks to a co-ordinated social media campaign. His page received more than one million “likes” in a single day – compared with about 30,000 per day in earlier weeks.His team paid for “Sponsored Stories” to appear in some users’ Facebook news feeds – regardless of whether they wanted to receive them.It comes at a time when both President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney are stepping up their efforts on social media. – Advertisement – The opponents each have a presence on a host of digital communities, including streaming music service Spotify, image-sharing network Pinterest and the Facebook-owned picture network Instagram – where Mr Romney has been busy posting pictures of himself at home with his family.But users were quick to voice their annoyance as President Obama campaign advertisements and messages appeared within Facebook news feeds.“Why is Barack Obama on my Facebook newsfeed?” wrote a young female user from Illinois.“I’m getting really sick of those Obama ads sponsored on my Facebook page,” wrote another.One user, in a message directed at President Obama’s Twitter account, demanded: “Quit trying to promote yourself on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I never ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ you.”Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), said that this kind of campaigning was part of a transition period – which Facebook users may take some time to get used to.“Before there were physical spaces where people discussed politics – the public sphere has been reconfigured,” she said.The growth comes as President Obama and Mr Romney look to ramp up their use of digital and social media ahead of November’s vote.In 2008, President Obama’s campaign was praised for its innovative use of social media to engage young, often first-time, voters.This time around, the efforts have been stepped up a notch. Both candidates have invested in getting good placement on both Facebook and Twitter – with campaign teams placing ads that appear whenever a certain word, such as “debate”, is searched for by a user.President Obama took to answering questions on popular link listings site Reddit – a move that went down well with the site’s clientele but was dismissed as a quick-win publicity stunt by his detractors.The president has even had his team place adverts within video games. The top-selling American Football title – EA’s Madden NFL 13 – had images advertising President Obama’s website, voteforchange.com.Other EA titles – including the classic Tetris – were also used to promote President Obama’s campaign.Mr Romney’s campaign team told American broadcaster NPR they too had used video games for advertising.Both campaigns would have hoped that swamping the digital world with their “message” was a surefire election hit. However, research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania suggested a different picture.Of 1,503 internet-using American adults surveyed by the university’s school of communications, 86% said they did not want to receive political messages tailored for them, and 70% said seeing ads from a candidate they already supported would in fact decrease their chance of voting for them.“The findings represent a national statement of concern,” said Prof Joseph Turow, lead researcher on the study.“We have a major attitudinal tug of war – the public’s emphatic and broad rejection of tailored political ads pulling against political campaigns’ growing adoption of tailored political advertising without disclosing when they are using individuals’ information and how. Source: BBClast_img read more

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Report Apple working on an iWatch

first_imgAdvertisement Having conquered the desktops, music libraries and phones of millions, Apple reportedly wants to adorn one more spot in the life of the gadget-obsessed — their wrists.The company is developing a smart watch that would run on the same iOS operating system that powers iPhones, iPads and some iPods, according to a report in The New York Times.The watches would include a curved glass screen, according to the Times report, citing “people familiar with the company’s explorations.” – Advertisement – Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.Last year, Corning, which makes the Gorilla Glass used for iPads and iPhones, unveiled a thinner, more touch-sensitive version of their product that could make it easier to produce a watch with curves.And, yes, assuming it includes chat-feature Facetime, Dick Tracy fans could actually live out those decades-old dreams of having a video-enabled Two-Way Wrist Radio.What other features might such a watch have? Observers have speculated about monitoring of the wearer’s vital signs or turn-by-turn directions, spoken by Siri, Apple’s “voice assistant.”Of course, such reports are no sure thing. Over the years, Apple has reportedly poked around into products ranging from cars to cameras without any commercially available product ever coming from it. An Apple TV has been in the rumor stages for years now, and while many observers still expect one to surface eventually, there have been no signs yet.If the plans are indeed sincere, Apple may be taking a cue from the interest the market already has shown in such a product.Pebble, a watch that uses Bluetooth technology to link up with the user’s smartphone, racked up a record $10.2 million on Kickstarter last year.TikTok and LunaTik, two styles of a wrist-strap gadget that turns an iPod Nano into a smart watch, raked in another $942,000.At least one analyst told the Times that the move makes sense, although it might be a while before an “iWatch” hits the shelves.“Over the long term, wearable computing is inevitable for Apple; devices are diversifying, and the human body is a rich canvas for the computer,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester Research analyst who specializes in mobile technology.“But I’m not sure how close we are to a new piece of Apple hardware that is worn on the body.”Credit: CNNlast_img read more

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