A former Liberal Democrat minister has welcomed th

first_imgA former Liberal Democrat minister has welcomed the UN’s decision to carry out an unprecedented inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of disabled people’s human rights in the UK.Disability News Service (DNS) first revealed the existence of the inquiry last August and it was finally confirmed officially by Justin Tomlinson, the minister for disabled people, earlier this month.Now Norman Lamb, who served as care minister for nearly three years under the coalition and is now one of his party’s eight remaining MPs, has told DNS that he welcomes the decision of the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) to launch the high-level inquiry.Speaking after his party’s annual conference in Bournemouth, he said: “It’s a good thing to examine whether the rights of people are being in effect violated.“This whole area does not get sufficient attention and the best way of putting a spotlight onto what is happening is by inquiries of this sort, highlighting what is going on.”The inquiry was triggered by the grassroots campaigning organisation Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), which had grown increasingly concerned by the disproportionate impact of the coalition’s cuts on disabled people.Over the last two-and-a-half years, DPAC has been submitting evidence to CRPD about “vicious and punitive attacks on disabled people’s independent living as well as the cuts which have seen so many placed in inhuman circumstances and has led to unnecessary deaths”.Among the areas where DPAC says the UK government has breached the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are through its decision to close the Independent Living Fund, the damage caused by the work capability assessment, the impact of benefit sanctions, the introduction of the bedroom tax, and cuts to social care.Lamb delivered a widely-praised speech to his party’s annual conference in Bournemouth this week on the need for more resources for social care (and the NHS) and for equality for those with mental health conditions.He told DNS that it was “hard to judge” whether the UN would have been investigating even graver violations of the disability convention if his party had not been in the coalition, but he said: “I absolutely know that the situation would have been much, much worse had it not been for us in there, and particularly in the area of welfare.“I think everyone can see, if you look at the situation now [since May’s general election]… what the Tories are like without us. That indicates the battles that we fought throughout the coalition.“It is pretty difficult with 57 MPs and we didn’t get any credit for it at the general election, but I think that many of the steps taken [by the Conservatives] since then demonstrate why our role was so important.“I am very, very clear that we hold our heads absolutely high for the actions we took both in ameliorating what would otherwise have happened, but also in doing some very positive things ourselves.”last_img read more

Sign up to LabourLists morning email for everythi

first_imgSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Jennie Formby released the figures on Labour’s antisemitism-related disciplinary cases ahead of the weekly parliamentary party meeting last night. We now know that, between April 2018 and January 2019, the party received 673 antisemitism complaints about members. Of those, 307 were suspended or notified of an investigation. Of those, 12 were expelled and six sanctioned. Although Labour’s general secretary advised such statistics were confidential when they were requested last week, and that decision has now been reversed, MPs who complained then have not been reassured. In fact, a group of backbenchers have written to Jeremy Corbyn complaining that the leadership has largely ignored the PLP motion by only publishing a fraction of the information demanded. Those MPs have called for the matter be added to today’s shadow cabinet meeting agenda.Labour’s row over antisemitism is ongoing, then. And in other breaking news, Brexit is gridlocked. Theresa May will make a statement to the Commons this afternoon telling MPs to “hold their nerve”, as she tries to spin running down the clock as an act of bravery. Her trips to Brussels and Dublin were fruitless, and most of Westminster reckons she won’t get anything more from the EU than a symbolic “facesaver” at the last minute. With this week bringing us nothing more than another amendable neutral motion, and nothing big next week despite the stunt of cancelling recess, the next meaningful vote on May’s deal could come just days before we leave in March. The question is whether parliament can do anything to force her hand sooner, and whether it even wants to take control of the timetable after choosing not to do so in the last round of Brexit amendment votes.Over the last few months, it has often been said that May’s deal is dead. But its survival is not inconceivable if MPs are faced with ‘no deal’ as the only alternative. Workers’ rights are the sticking point for Labour MPs prepared to consider voting for the deal, and the Prime Minister has set out ideas to offer them reassurances – although trade unions are unimpressed with the proposals. Speaking of which, it’s HeartUnions week, so you might notice more trade union-focussed pieces on LabourList. John Lehal has shared his thoughts the GMB-Hermes deal, Rosa Crawford writes today about why the TUC wants MPs to defeat the Tory immigration bill, and Shelly Asquith’s latest round-up of industrial disputes offers an essential update on trade union news.Sienna @siennamarlaSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Labour /Trade Unions /Antisemitism /Brexit /HeartUnions week /last_img read more

Sign up to LabourLists morning email for everythi

first_imgSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Is one side finally going to call it quits on the cross-party Brexit talks? That’s what both main parties are demanding of their respective leaders, more loudly now than ever with European elections taking place next week. The backbench 1922 committee chair and 13 former cabinet ministers have written a letter to the Prime Minister, telling her to end talks and reject Labour’s customs union solution.Jeremy Corbyn received a similar message from his own parliamentary party at the latest PLP meeting last night, where Labour MPs shared their strong concerns about losing Remainer votes due to the current Brexit policy (and Leaver John Mann warned the leader again that he would never get into No10 if he didn’t “get Brexit right”).The latest YouGov poll on European election voting intention shows The Brexit Party way ahead on 34%. No surprise given its clear message. Then it’s Labour on 16%, Lib Dems 15%, Greens 11% – and many MPs are hearing from Remain-backing Labour switchers on the doorstep. London MPs in particular are publicly expressing their worries, including Ruth Cadbury who has written a piece for LabourList directed at members who are planning to vote for a ‘Remain’ party in protest. Although members are not allowed to support parties standing against Labour, obviously, many are openly telling canvassing activists and MPs that they will be doing just that next week.“We know we are under attack. The only way is to strengthen our message in an understandable, simpler way. I get that,” Corbyn told the PLP meeting. But ultimately, the leadership expects the current ‘facing both ways’ Brexit position to be damaging in the Euro elections. As long as Labour gets the second highest share of votes on May 23rd, the top of the party isn’t too worried, and still believes that abandoning a big chunk of Labour’s electoral constituency by making a clear stand on Brexit would be a disaster.As Ian Warren of Centre for Towns points out, Labour’s working class base has been “slowly replaced with younger, liberal metropolitans with little tribal loyalty to the party”. The party is making the most progress in cities and university towns (see Canterbury and Kensington in 2017; Trafford in the recent local elections), but this is unstable ground. We are now relying on the tendency of those electors to consider first-past-the-post in a general election and engage in tactical voting.All of the concerns outlined above are reflected in the results of our latest survey. Over three quarters of the nearly 4,000 respondents think Labour’s Brexit policy had been electorally damaging. More than half are “disappointed” by the recent local election results. Most notably, perhaps, over a third say they are planning to vote for a party other than Labour next week. And, just as in every other popularity poll conducted since we rebooted our surveys, results show Keir Starmer is the most popular shadow cabinet member among LabourList readers. Read the results in full here.So will this huge, sustained pressure lead to any major change in direction on Brexit? I wouldn’t bet on it.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Jeremy Corbyn /Keir Starmer /Ian Warren /ruth cadbury /last_img read more

Developments in Development Slow Build

first_imgIn one example SocketSite pointed out recently, and Mission Local has noted previously, one kind of affordable housing in particular takes for ever. A land grant is when a developer gifts the city some amount of land deemed roughly worth the amount that developer would have to pay if they are not building their required affordable housing on-site. The developers of Vida on Mission Street did this with a site at 1296 Shotwell Street in 2012, and we’re looking at completion sometime in maybe 2019 or 2020. Speaking of Vida and things taking a while: Three commercial spaces in the building’s ground floor are still completely vacant more than a year after completion, but someone is interested in moving in. A private elementary school in the Portola,  Alta Vista, has plans to convert one of the spaces into six or seven classrooms for its middle school. In something of a surprise move that to me means there must be more going on than meets the eye, short-term rental giant Airbnb said this weekend that they’re going to start investigating San Francisco hosts on their site that have more than one listing and removing them (since local law stipulates that hosts may only put their own primary residence up as a short-term rental). A few days later, the city released a report indicating that the majority of short-term rentals in San Francisco flout local law.  That news also comes on the tail of a series of Airbnb headlines over recent months, including that the company is going to start collecting feedback about hosts from their non-Airbnb neighbors, and that a small town in California is going to ban Airbnb rentals entirely (all 25 of them). Vancouver’s city council is also going to be taking a close look at the effect of short-term rentals on the long-term residential rental market in that city this week and will consider stricter laws, even though the city already prohibits short-term rentals by those who don’t have a bed-and-breakfast license. And just to add on to things that are popular but unaffordable, here’s what’s going on in the food world:Nostra Spaghetteria, formerly the upscale italian Plin, is struggling. It is apparently simultaneously up for sale and trying to fundraise for a friend with cancer. Chicks & Love is coming to the long-vacant Rainbow Cafe adjacent to Rainbow Grocery. The couple, one of whom works at Rainbow Grocery, makes a variety of pizzas, including vegan and gluten-free options. Judging by a notice in the window, Valencia will experience no net loss of Thai food with the departure of Castro-based Thai House 530, because its replacement is something called Bangkok Bistro. Mystery (somewhat) solved at 16th and Valencia: The big empty space is set to become the Foodhall Market. Based on Planning permits for a food prep area, I assume it will be more or less your standard corner deli, albeit with a cleaner, chic-er interior where you can, according to their slogan, “Eat. Drink. Discover.” Except we can’t discover what exactly their deal is until they open, apparently, because there is no way to reach them and their social media is as blank as the freshly painted facade.The former Lexington Club has now emerged from renovation. UrbanDaddy assures us “you’ll spend a lot of time here.” But judging by the classier-than-thou zebra upholstery, floral wallpaper and the overabundance of vermouth being served there, I rather doubt it. Sorry folks: Prices are up citywide from last year despite all the bubble talk – though down overall since the peak. Median rent for a one-bedroom in the Mission is $3,300 a month. South Beach claimed the “most expensive” prize, with a median one-bedroom rent of $3,920. The Economist called San Francisco’s housing prices the most inflated in the world. Maybe that explains why we have people paying $400 a month to live in a box (which firefighters have now deemed unsafe) or offers to rent a shipping container in the Bayview for $600 a month. Even tech workers are fleeing the sky-high rents, and even the Chronicle is saying we might not be able to build our way out of this one, and we might have already built enough at the high end.  So how’s that affordable housing production coming? One might say, glacially.The city recently released its annual housing balance report, which tracks how much affordable housing is being built and lost. The city’s projected housing balance, meaning the amount of new housing that’s going to get built that is affordable, is expected to be about 15 percent – far short of the 30 percent goal the voters set when they passed the proposition that prompted this report. Also troubling is that some parts of the city not only fall short of the overall goal but actually have negative housing balance numbers, meaning they have lost affordable housing and not built any to replace it. Fernando Martí and Peter Cohen of the affordable housing development world explain more about how problematic this is in the Examiner. 0%center_img Tags: Affordable Housing • Developments in Development Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

FORMER Great Britain coach Brian Noble believes En

first_imgFORMER Great Britain coach Brian Noble believes England have all the tools to be successful at Rugby League World Cup 2013.Noble, who is now in charge at Salford, and who has won a Super League Grand Final with Bradford, coached the Lions to wins over Australia and New Zealand on more than one occasion.And he believes St George’s current crop is more than capable of matching their rivals.“I absolutely think that England have to be up there as one of the favourites,” said Noble.“While New Zealand will be strong and bring some great athletes to the fore, and we know the strength of Australia, I’m really optimistic about what England might throw into the mix.“Bu it’s not just one thing alone that will make the difference.“2008, for example, was a great learning curve for a lot of the players and I’m sure for Steve [McNamara] as well. Five years on they are a whole lot stronger as a group.“We have then got players in the NRL and our best players over here are playing really well, but I think the biggest thing is the competition for places.”And, having faced Australia as a player and a coach, Noble has a few ideas about how to stifle the Kangaroos, who enter into this autumn’s tournament as many people’s favourites to lift the trophy at Old Trafford on November 30.“I don’t care about the World Cup when you play Australia. All I care about is beating them, and that should be the mentality for the opening game,” he said.“It’s showtime. We’ve been getting ready for this for a while and I’m excited about what England can throw at Australia.“My expectancies are that they will beat them, we will have a good show, and a great World Cup.“You have to know where their threats are,” Noble added, “what Smith’s triggers are from kicking the ball out of dummy-half, when Slater is going to chime in the line and when Thurston is going to drop his shoulder and take you on.“You can throw Greg Inglis into that as well. You don’t know what he’s going to do to you from centre or full-back or wherever he plays.“You’re in for a tough day at the office, and what you face is a concentration challenge. “I’m confident that Steve will prepare them team well in those respects, but when it comes down to that element of concentration every second counts.”England face Australia at the Millennium Stadium on October 26, as part of a spectacular double header of matches which also includes Wales against Italy, and the unmissable RLWC2013 Opening Ceremony.The hosts’ campaign continues with a clash against Ireland at the John Smith’s Stadium on November 2 and a showdown with Fiji at the KC Stadium on November 9.Tickets are now on sale for RLWC2013, with 55% of tickets priced £20 or less.To make sure you will BE THERE buy now at www.rlwc2013.com/tickets or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.last_img read more

The fullback scored in the loss against Wigan but

first_imgThe full-back scored in the loss against Wigan but insists there is more to come.“It was a good experience and an unbelievable game to play in but we are disappointed we couldn’t get the win,” he said. “There are three games remaining and we have made it tough for ourselves.“It’s hard when you have to rely on other teams to do things but all we can do now is control what we can control.“We have a short turnaround and will head to Wakefield.”Barba says he felt physically fine after his first game in close to 12 months and is ready for the challenge of a shorter turnaround.“I have been working hard over the last few weeks and took my first step in this game,” he continued. “I’m hoping to build now, be better for the game on Friday and take it into our game with Wakefield.“It is a shorter turnaround but a lot of work goes on with our trainers and coaching staff so we are right and ready to do.“It is easy for us as players as we are looked after at Saints.”Saints are back in action on Thursday when they travel to Wakefield (8pm).Tickets are on sale from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

St Mary Catholic School celebrates spring with Mardi Gras parade fundraiser

first_img Development Director JoAnn Daley said for the past few weeks, everyone has been busy making masks and decorations.“[The kids] love it. They really look forward to it every year. It’s a great educational opportunity too, to teach them something new… and also add in the Catholic faith since it’s the beginning of Lent the next day” Daley said.Fr. Bob explained, the tradition was started by a campus director, Clifton Lively. When Lively passed away, the school wanted to keep the Mardi Gras celebration going in his honor.Related Article: Hurricane Florence’s winds and rain begin lashing CarolinasThough the parade is just for the students and their families, there are other community events happening at St. Mary Catholic School.Registration is now open for their 6th Annual St. Mary Golf Classic. It is on Saturday, March 17 at Compass Pointe Golf Club in Leland. Early registration is $90 per player and closes March 2. Regular registration price is $100. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Click here to register or learn more.There will also be a Cruise Ship Gala in May. Details on that will be released at a later date.For more information on St. Mary Catholic School, click here or find them on Facebook. WILMINGTON, NV (WWAY) — The St. Mary Catholic School has an annual tradition to celebrate Mardi Gras, and this year is no exception.Each year, the school comes together to put on a parade. The middle school band plays music and the faculty and staff throw beads for kids to catch.- Advertisement – last_img read more

WaterStep brings clean water to communities in North Carolina

first_imgATKINSON, NC (Press Release) — The plea came from a six-year-old and her mother in a North Carolina McDonald’s over breakfast: Hurricane Florence had inundated their small town and contaminated rural water supplies. Many needed safe water to drink.That chance meeting with a WaterStep disaster response team in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence led founder Mark Hogg to divert to the small, hard-hit town of Atkinson, N.C., where they set up water chlorinators and bleach makers to provide safe water to local residents.- Advertisement – “God knew that we needed help,” said Mayor Kenneth Smith, who is also a Baptist minister and has been visiting rural areas outside town in need of drinking water. “Because of the folks from Kentucky, we’re able to fill the need that’s out here.”Since Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in Wrightsville Beach, N.C. on Sept . 14, record flooding has hit in the Carolinas, impacting homes and businesses and comprising water supplies including in rural areas where residents rely on wells. While flooding is receding in Atkinson, the fallout is still being felt, Smith said.WaterStep, which typically responds in developing countries such as Haiti or Philippines, left Louisville Sept. 23rd with a truck packed with ten disaster relief kits, able to purify water and generate chlorine and bleach. WaterStep first set up two water purification systems in Sneads Ferry, about 45 miles north of Wilmington, making contaminated water safe for drinking and bathing.Related Article: Film documents Wrightsville Beach lifeguards’ tryout processThe systems will stay with a community organization in Sneads Ferry for future use in the event of another disaster.WaterStep was then headed to aid rural towns suffering from numerous water issues when they had their chance meeting with a young woman at McDonald’s.“Our town was an island for about a week, and were finally able to get out, so I was buying my daughter some pancakes. She just struck up and conversation,” Rebecca Guthke said of her daughter, Victoria.The pair told them the area, near the swollen Cape Fear and Black rivers, had been cut off by floodwaters and that wells in surrounding areas were contaminated. Coast Guard helicopters had earlier visited to evacuate some and bring help.With roads now passable, the team set up as a disaster response center, setting up a large purification system in a nearby cafeteria located close to the town hall.Water purification training was provided throughout the day, and chlorine generators and bleachmakers were given out including to emergency management officials. WaterStep also set up a bleach station at the church’s disaster response center for cleaning.“We left lots of equipment with the church, firefighters and leaders of the community. We set up a 500 gallon tank full of safe water with a distribution manifold system at the town hall,” WaterStep’s Lynn Smith said. “All this was able to happen because a six-year-old old little girl said “hi” to a stranger at McDonald’s.”last_img read more

WPD investigates Saturday evening stabbing

first_img Police say they were responding to a Shotspotter alert in that area when they found the victim of the stabbing. EMS responded and took the victim to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.WPD says no other information is available at this time.If you have any information, contact Wilmington Police at (910) 343-3600 or use Text-a-Tip. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are investigating a stabbing that left one man with non-life threatening injuries.Police say the stabbing happened around 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Prince Mini Mart at 3002 Princess Place Dr.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Man suspected of ties with mafia to be extradited to Italy

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> On Thursday, the Court ordered a man to be extradited to Italy to face accusations related to organised crime.On Easter Sunday, the Malta Police arrested Antonio Ricci after the Italian authorities issued a European arrest warrant in connection to ‘Ndrangheta’s money laundering operations. Rici had been living in Malta for the past 10 years.The Court presided by Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech decided that Ricci had to be extradited. The decision was taken following the prerequisites and procedures needed in such cases. Ricci’s defence attorneys Arthur Azzopardi and Stephen Tonna Lowell argued that a European investigative order needed to e issued instead of the European arrest warrant.Ricci who has the chance to appeal the Court’s decision is being kept into custody until he is extradited.Even though the Court had ordered the barring from circulating the accused’ name, various local media outlets decided to publish the name due to the man’s strong organised crime ties.WhatsApplast_img read more