Ministers have refused to say if they implemented

first_imgMinisters have refused to say if they implemented 10 measures – recommended by their own civil servants – that would have made it less likely that “vulnerable” benefit claimants would lose their lives.The 10 recommendations were taken from some of the 49 heavily-redacted, secret “peer reviews” that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) finally published this week after losing a 21-month legal battle with Disability News Service (DNS).Although key parts of the peer reviews are missing DNS has found 10 key recommendations for national action to improve the way the department treats vulnerable benefit claimants, many of whom will have mental health conditions or learning difficulties. Many of the 49 reviews relate to the process of applying for the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA)*, through the much-criticised work capability assessment (WCA) process.And many of the reviews – 40 of which refer to suicides – relate to the ongoing process to reassess long-term claimants of incapacity benefit (IB) through the WCA.The question of whether the recommendations were acted on could provide crucial evidence for calls – led by the Scottish-based grassroots group Black Triangle, and backed by many other disabled activists – for former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to face a criminal investigation for misconduct in public office following his refusal to address a coroner’s concerns about the safety of the WCA.They want to hold Duncan Smith and his former employment minister Chris Grayling to account for their failure to improve the safety of the WCA, even though they were warned that it risked causing further deaths.Last November, government-funded research concluded that the programme to reassess people claiming IB using the WCA could have caused 590 suicides in just three years.Any evidence that ministers ignored peer review recommendations for national action to improve the safety of vulnerable claimants will add weight to the calls for a criminal investigation.One of the 10 “vulnerability” recommendations in the peer reviews is for DWP to carry out a review of “the ESA process to aid identification of Vulnerable Customers”.Another calls for a review of “DWP’s ongoing Duty of Care in relation to the identification and support of claimants required to participate in the [incapacity benefit reassessment process], who as a result of a [REDACTED} may be vulnerable and have different support needs”.It also calls for this duty of care to be “brought to the attention of all colleagues including those from Atos who are involved in the [incapacity benefit reassessment process], and that their responsibilities for the identification and support of claimants with a [REDACTED] are written into role descriptors and included as specific process steps.”A third peer review calls for DWP to carry out “a re-launch to staff of the importance of identifying vulnerable claimants and taking their needs in to account throughout the whole process via updated bulletins, Comms discussions and any other practical means”.Another peer review recommends that “the guidance for handling vulnerable customers is reviewed and that staff are reminded of the correct process”.Each of the peer reviews that led to these recommendations had investigated the circumstances that led to the death of a benefit claimant.The peer reviews stretch from February 2012 to August 2014, and many of them appear to show that ministers, through their senior civil servants, were warned repeatedly that their policies and procedures were risking the lives of benefit claimants, and that action needed to be taken.But when approached this week about the recommendations, the DWP press office first tried to claim – wrongly – that the recommendations made in the 49 peer reviews related only to calls for action to improve procedures in the local area where the death occurred.When the press officer was challenged on this claim, she admitted that many of the recommendations included in the peer reviews – including the 10 highlighted by DNS – had been for national improvements.But she claimed that it was impossible to say whether the 10 recommendations were implemented, or ignored, by ministers.She said the department provided “extensive guidance to all staff to help them best support vulnerable claimants, and this has since been reviewed”.She added: “National recommendations were fed into the relevant ‘Customer Journey’.“These are considered by colleagues across the department along with other suggestions for change.“I’m sure you can appreciate, our ways of working have changed over the years as a result of our learnings from many sources – including peer reviews and independent reviews etc – and therefore it is not possible to link these changes to specific Peer Review recommendations.”*Freedom of information responses secured by journalist and campaigner Natalie Leal have revealed that, at the time of death, 22 of the 49 claimants were receiving ESA, as well as 18 of the 40 claimants who took their own lives, although DWP has not been able to say in many of the other cases which benefits the person was claiming.last_img read more

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The Liberal Democrats have pledged that they would

first_imgThe Liberal Democrats have pledged that they would incorporate the UN disability convention into UK law.Although the policy – which would give disabled people in the UK a wave of new rights in law – was not part of the Liberal Democrat election manifesto, Disability News Service (DNS) has been told that it would be part of any programme of government.The party’s disabled president, Baroness [Sal] Brinton, told DNS that the Liberal Democrats in government would give disabled people in the UK the right to take legal action to enforce all of the articles contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Labour has made a similar pledge.This would give disabled people legally-enforceable rights to independent living (article 19), to accessibility (article nine), to an adequate standard of living and social protection (article 28), and across many other areas.She said such a move could help cases such as a Deaf child she knew of who had previously had an expert, level six British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter at school and was now having to cope with a level one or two interpreter.Baroness Brinton (pictured, left, before the hustings) said: “That’s a breach of their rights. It’s like asking someone with GCSE French to translate at a police interview for somebody. It just will not do.”She was speaking after a disability hustings event in Westminster organised by the Disability Charities Consortium, the Disability Benefits Consortium and the Care and Support Alliance.She told the event that the UN convention “has to be the UK’s starting point”.She said the party regretted the government’s removal of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s disability commissioner – revealed by DNS last month – and its disability committee, and would want them reinstated.She also confirmed another DNS story, that a Liberal Democrat government would scrap all benefit sanctions, a position which outflanks Labour, which has only promised to scrap the current “punitive sanctions regime”.Baroness Brinton also criticised the Conservative decision to close the Access to Elected Office Fund, which helped disabled people with their extra costs in seeking election as councillors and MPs, and which has particularly hit Deaf people who use BSL interpreters.She said: “I have a close friend who has been unable to stand this time because he has not been able to get support from that fund.“We would reinstate that, because it is not good enough just talking about people with disabilities having employment opportunities if we don’t have people with disabilities in the House of Commons.“The House of Commons is not representative of the country as a whole.”She told the event: “A range of cuts have particularly hit disabled people the hardest and we would turn around those cuts and invest back in services for disabled people because as a party we believe in the individual’s right to perform the best they can in society and we feel the current cuts have taken that right away from people with disabilities.”She added: “One of the major problems we have in this country for those of us with disabilities is getting around, it’s finding housing, it’s being able to walk through our town centres easily, access shops, retail… the government has a very clear role in helping to reduce those barriers, by legislation if necessary.”But she said the government had chosen not to follow the recommendations of the House of Lords Equality Act 2010 and disability committee, of which she was a member, which had made a series of recommendations in this area.last_img read more

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WHY do we do it Are we too nice What you may

first_imgWHY do we do it? Are we too nice? What you may ask am I talking about? It seems that whichever side we play against we have to give them a sizeable lead before we switch on and start playing ourselves?In almost a mirror image of last night’s Reserves game the U19’s handed their hosts a 16 point start in the first quarter. And again it was down to poor ball security and tackling, writes Graham Henthorne.But had Elliott Jenkins’ inside pass to Kev Brown been slightly higher the full back would have evened up the scores in the first ten minutes and all could have been different.As it was the pass was too low, Brown dropped it, the chance was lost and the home side went down the other end and increased their lead.The second quarter was a much more even affair with the Saints defence cancelling out the Hull attack and restricting their yardage.The trouble is that with a ball control of 30% you’ve little chance of doing anything constructive and to be truthful it was a testament to their defensive quality that they were still behind by the same score at the break.The second half started better with the Saints actually holding onto the ball and putting the home side under pressure.Brown could and maybe should have opened their account 10 minutes in as he cut back off his left foot only to knock on over the line under the ministrations of three defenders. Had he dove low straight away he may have evaded their cover.The match turned on an incident just before the hour mark which resulted in Saints scrum half Jenkin’s being stretchered from the fieldHe had just made an arcing 40 metre break through the middle of the Hull line when, in looking for his support, he started to slip but was then hit with the full force of the full back’s shoulder in a shoulder charge. The game was held up for 25 minutes whilst he was taken care of and on resumption the full back was rightly sent off.As is so often the case when a serious injury has occurred the Saints were galvanised and with Josh Eaves operating in Jenkin’s position continued the set which finished with Eaves jinking over on the last.Callum Hazzard showed his versatility banging over the goal with aplomb.The Saints continued to press and were rewarded with 10 to go. A very good five tackles had seen them go 50 metres and when, on the last, Eaves put in a viciously bouncing grubber from left to right to the posts, Matty Lees was on hand to grasp the ball as it fell over the line. Hazzard’s second meant a four point margin with time enough to go.The home side were still a threat, however, and it took a great try saving tackle from Nash 30 metres out when he not only stopped the man by hanging on to his shorts for grim death, but in the process of divesting him of said shorts he forced the knock on.The game should have been won from the scrum as the Saints drove down field but an error from Matty Lees cost field position and time ran out for the Saints in the end.This was a young side which travelled to Hull and for large parts of the game were the better team but the start killed them.The usual suspects of Lees, Eaves and Jorge Lewtas gave their all but Callum Hazzard showed a little of what has been missing with his enforced lay off.Unfortunately there will have to be yet another half back pairing found for Friday night’s curtain raiser when the team will be hoping to play for the full 80 and maybe score first for a change.Match Summary: City of Hull:Tries: Tom Jubb (6), Tom Burke (15), Josh Atkinson (21).Goals: Owen Harrison 2 from 3.Saints:Tries: Josh Eaves (59), Matty Lees (71).Goals: Callum Hazzard 2 from 2.Half Time: 16-0Full Time: 16-12Teams:City of Hull:1. Lochlan Fitzgerald; 2. Sam Brown, 3. Cameron Scott, 4. Kieran Buchanon, 5. Josh Atkinson; 7. Harry Hutchinson, 6. Harrison Morrow; 8. Jack Brown, 9. Tom Jubb, 10. Osh Jarvis, 11. Max Riseham, 12. Owen Harrison, **. Zeus Silk (C). Subs: 14. Jack Bartlett, **. Tom Burke, 16. Rob Branton, 18. Jordan Webster.Saints:1. Kevin Brown; 2. Tom Nisbett, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Sean Croston, 5. Luke Ward; 6. Elliott Jenkins, 7. Ryan Horne; 8. Matty Lees, 9. Josh Eaves, 19. Alex Eckley, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Mike Weldon (C), 13. Callum Hazzard. Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Ben Sims, 16. Evan Bullen, 17. Jorge Lewtas.last_img read more

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We knew it was always going to be a tough game

first_img“We knew it was always going to be a tough game,” he said. “No matter how much homework you do Cas are still a dangerous side to face. The boys needed to continuously make the right decisions in defence and they did that, and we came away with the win.“Our attitude in defence has been great the whole time I have been here. The difference is Cas ask the most questions and you have to be on it for 80 minutes. We did that.“I think we are getting better each week and we need to. It was a great win but we are still chasing the teams above us. We will continue that on but I am happy with the performance tonight.”Holbrook also praised the workrate of two try man of the match James Roby.“He isn’t just tough, he creates things, is fit and is a great guy who loves playing rugby league,” he continued. “You can see that in his play – they are the type of players you need when you have a tough assignment like tonight. You rely on them and he was fantastic.”Danny Richardson left the field in the first half with concussion but should be available for next week’s game against Hull.last_img read more

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Club First Team Match SAINTS TV

first_imgThere is also some early squad news involving James Roby and Lachlan Coote in the interview below….Saints head into Saturday’s Semi-Final at the University of Bolton Stadium knowing a win over Championship side Halifax will mean a first Wembley appearance for 11 years.And at a joint media event at Saturday’s venue, Holbrook believes this is the start of an exciting run of fixtures and believes it will be a proud moment if we can get the victory.“It is coming at a great time of the year. We have put ourselves in a really good position in the Super League table and now there is six games to go and now we get a little bit of added excitement of throwing in a Challenge Cup semi knowing that if we are good enough to win we get to Wembley in another three weeks time.“We have done all the hard yards to date and we have got the exciting games in front and I want us to really look forward to this. The club hasn’t been to Wembley for 11 years and given the great history of our club in the Challenge Cup and the fact our fans haven’t had the chance to go to Wembley for a long time [it means] everything is at stake on Saturday and we know that so it will be a real proud moment if we can get the win against Halifax and get there.”Saints lost out last time we were in Bolton after Catalans Dragons progressed to the Challenge Cup final and Holbrook believes Saturday’s clash is a great chance to put last year’s defeat behind us once and for all.“Everyone knows this time last year we got beat in the Semi Final and whenever you lose something or don’t do something great, you want to have another crack at it and we have had to wait 12 months and it’s exciting it is finally rolling around again, he continued.“After the Quarter Final win you have got to wait 8 or 9 weeks before the Semi which is hard, but the boys have handled it well and it has finally rolled around and we are looking forward to it.”Holbrook is well aware of Halifax’s dangers, but admits it is more important Saints concentrate on ourselves.“We have been looking at them really closely and I will [continue to] over the next couple of days. We have got to be well prepared for them and know their threats. But at the end of the day, it’s about us. We have got to come here Saturday, knowing what is at stake and we know we want to get to Wembley and that is all the motivation we need. We have got to play well on Saturday and we will all be doing our best.”On the injury front, Holbrook admits his senior players, including captain James Roby, will likely return. The only player unlikely to feature is full back Lachlan Coote who is still recovering from a knee injury he picked up in the win over Wigan.“We are looking all good. Obviously it was a tough game, physically as we expected in London. Cootie [Lachlan Coote] is unlikely to play, but everyone else should be OK.“I have a couple of ideas [to fill in at full back if Coote doesn’t play]. Jonny Lomax is equally as good at full back or stand off and young Jack Welsby is an exciting young player and Matty Costello has played heaps at full back so we have got a few options to consider there and we will work that out over the next couple of days.“It will be great to have Robes back. Obviously we wanted him to play against Wigan, but he didn’t get through training great and he was still a bit sore last week so to get him 100% for our biggest game of the season here on Saturday is the main thing and he should be right to go.”Tickets for our Coral Challenge Cup Semi Final against Halifax on Saturday (KO 4:30pm) at the University of Bolton Stadium and are still on sale online here.  We are also now offering ‘What If’ forms for 2019 Members who have an exclusive opportunity to pre-book their tickets for the Coral Challenge Cup Final IF we beat Halifax.last_img read more

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153 ducks seized from New Hanover County home

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County woman faces several animal cruelty charges after law enforcement seized 153 ducks and 3 cats from her property.Lt. Jerry Brewer says it took a while for investigators to get a search warrant for Cynthia Huber’s property on Watermill Way because she would not cooperate.- Advertisement – Brewer says they got the search warrant and checked on the ducks on December 20, which were kept on Huber’s fenced-in property.The ducks were either disabled or injured. Brewer says a lot of them came from the Northchase area.Brewer says they called in a bird rescue group to help seize the ducks.Related Article: Castle Hayne dog boarding facility suddenly shut downHuber also faces a federal charge from a Wildlife Resources Officer, because one duck was illegal to have.The three cats were taken to New Hanover County Animal Control.Huber is charged with 9 counts of cruelty to animals, dog/cat/ferret/vaccination requirement, and misuse of 911.Brewer says this is not the first time they have removed animals from Huber’s home.Brewer says the health department is also involved because of the amount of animal waste in the small pond on the property.last_img read more

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Pender County Schools to also close May 16 for teacher rally

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pender County Schools is the third school district in our area to announce they will close on May 16.Pender County Schools says teachers have submitted 174 absence requests for Wednesday.- Advertisement – PCS says this information was presented to the Board of Education for consideration of calendar adjustment. A majority directed Pender County Schools to close. This day now becomes an workday for staff.Brunswick County Schools and New Hanover County Schools have already announced they will close on Wednesday.Thousands of educators across the state will convene in Raleigh to attend a rally at the General Assembly to address teacher pay, among other education issues.last_img

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Pet Pals Meet Gracie

first_img Shelter staff describes her as a lily. She is peaceful, gentle and laid back. Gracie would like to live in a quiet and calm house. She is already spayed and up to date on her shots.To meet Gracie, head to New Hanover County Animal Services. County residents can adopt for $70. Adoption hours are Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to Noon. To see more pets available for adoption, click here. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — If you’re looking to open your heart and home to a four-legged friend, check out this week’s Pet Pal!Meet Gracie. She is a 12-year-old domestic shorthair gray tabby cat. Her former owner died and now Gracie is looking for a new, loving home.- Advertisement – last_img

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Debono eyes Stellinis Parliamentary seat – Delia

first_imgJean Pierre Debono is eyeing the Parliamentary seat vacated Tuesday by David Stellini. The Leader of the Partit Nazzjonalista Adrian Delia said that Debono already expressed his wish to be co-opted to Parliament instead of the former Gozitan MP.While being interviewed on the TVM discussion programme Dissett, Delia said that he welcomed the enthusiasm of Debono. Delia added that he told Debono that if he is co-opted to Parliament he has to resign from his post as Chief Political Advisor as it is not in the interest of the PN that an MP holds that position.Debono was elected to Parliament for the first time in the general elections of 2017. However he resigned his seat so that Delia could be co-opted to Parliament as Leader of the Opposition.Read: Kevin Cutajar or Jean Pierre Debono ?According to Stellini’s resignation letter he quit his seat as politics is no longer benefitting the country.Read: Stellini’s resignation letter; “Politics is no longer benefiting the country”WhatsApp 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>last_img read more

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Orange partners Renault for LTE research in car industry

first_imgAdvertisement Orange has partnered with car manufacturer Renault to research the opportunities presented by long term evolution (LTE) technologies in the automotive industry, with a view to developing “hyper-connected” vehicles.The companies said the partnership aimed to create a testing opportunity for new LTE-based technologies applicable to real life, such as applications of technology including virtual offices, cloud gaming and video conferencing.According to the partners, the vehicles of “tomorrow” will be “hyper-connected”, and will allow motorists to access their digital activities – both personal and professional – whenever they want, when driving circumstances permit, prompting the need for further in-depth research into the possibilities. – Advertisement – Orange is providing 4G connectivity at the Renault testing centre as part of the partnership.“We are delighted to provide Renault with the unrivalled performance of our 4G network and thereby contribute to the development of new Web-mobility uses and services for vehicles of the future,” said Nathalie Leboucher, head of the smart cities programme at Orange.“Connected cars with communications services make travelling more efficient, and this is a major development priority in Orange’s strategy.”Renault has already embarked on the development of smart cars, with the Renault R-Link providing drivers with an integrated and connected touchscreen tablet, prompting the company to look forward to further research and progress in the area.“This partnership is an example of an effective working relationship between two very different worlds. We were able to benefit ahead of time from a high-speed LTE network and from Orange’s expertise, with an opportunity to take advantage of the network for our prototype of the connected vehicle of the future,” said Remi Bastien, head of engineering innovation at Renault.last_img read more

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China Lifts Ban On Facebook For 3 Days

first_imgAdvertisement China is hosting an Internet conference this week in Wuzhen, a sleepy town located about halfway between Shanghai and Hangzhou, the headquarters of e-commerce juggernaut AlibabaWuzhen is sometimes called a “Venice of the East” for its network of canals, but during the conference the city carries another distinction: It’s the only place in China where users can freely access Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.The Internet is closely controlled in China. Most Western social media platforms are banned, and Beijing has invested heavily in a firewall that restricts access to thousands of websites it deems controversial. – Advertisement – But Chinese officials have reportedly punched a hole in the “Great Firewall” for the inaugural World Internet Conference, allowing more than 1,000 attendees to access parts of the Internet that are off limits to 1.3 billion Chinese.The concession underlines the dilemma facing non-Chinese tech firms as they try to reconcile the country’s enormous potential with its heavy-handed approach to censorship and market access.Executives from tech firms including Facebook, Cisco and Qualcomm, for example, are at the conference. But Facebook is banned inside China, Qualcomm was recently investigated as part of an antitrust probe, and Cisco has been caught in the fallout of the Snowden spy scandal.When questioned by reporters about about their companies’ position in China, the executives were not forthcoming.Made by China in AmericaAt the conference, Chinese officials presented a vision for the Internet that Western users would find unfamiliar. They emphasized the rule of law, and urged website operators to adhere to regulations.Ren Xianliang, a top official at the Cyberspace Administration of China, stressed that citizens should use the Internet to “spread positive energy.”The conference drew the ire of Amnesty International, which said China’s Internet model is one of “extreme control and suppression.”“China appears eager to promote its own domestic Internet rules as a model for global regulation,” said William Nee, a researcher at the human rights group.”This should send a chill down the spine of anyone that values online freedom.”Yet China is unlikely to change course. For Beijing, it’s a matter of national security, and that means large swaths of the Internet — especially social media platforms — will remain out of reach for most Chinese.“I have never used such websites, so I have no information about their accessibility in China, but I assume some may not be accessible,” China’s top Internet regulator Lu Wei said in advance of the conference. “I can choose who will be a guest in my home.” Credits CNNlast_img read more

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Nigeria Microsoft Is Looking For The Next CloudPreneur

first_imgAdvertisement CloudPreneur, a new initiative aimed at engaging 1,000 entrepreneurs in the cloud space has been launched by Microsoft. The initiative, which is in partnership with Mara Mentor and Fate Foundation, begins on 19 March 2015 with online registration of prospective applicants on a platform that will shut down after the 1000th qualified application is received.Unveiling the initiative to the media in Lagos, Wemimo Adeniyi, Director – Small, Midmarket Solutions & Partners at Microsoft Nigeria, said while 1,000 entrepreneurs will begin the journey, only the top 20 will get mentorship and seed capital.“The CloudPreneurs initiative will identify and develop startups. It will also empower youths that are creative and passionate about technology. It will help to reduce unemployment among Nigerian youths,” she said. – Advertisement – She said it is in line with the company’s 4Afrika initiative’s plan to create 100,000 jobs in Africa, adding it will also raise the level of awareness and education on cloud services in Nigeria.Fate Foundation is the partner that will select and interview the applicants and its director, Habiba Balogun said the initiative has the capability of alleviating poverty and creating wealth.She said at the end of the registration, selection and pitching stages, the participants would have gotten well trained in marketing, skills development and several other areas as specified in their training modules.The initiative will be leveraging on Mara Mentor’s platform, a strategic decision which Olamide Amosu, the platform’s Head of Marketing said is aimed at offering those that are not selected an opportunity to be able to find mentors on the Mara Mentor platform.“We will be connecting participants to mentors. We are offering mentoring opportunities, and a medium for interaction. We are going all the way with the participants,” she said.1 – 3-year old early-stage startups are encouraged to apply, the ideal applicants should know about the SME landscape, be creative and passionate about using technology to tackle Nigeria’s problems and must be ready to partner with Microsoft.Credits: ItWebAfricalast_img read more

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Google Will Shut Down Songza App Songzacom To Fold Into Google Play

first_imgAs of January 31, 2016, Songza will become Google Play Music, and you will no longer be able to access Songza.com or the Songza mobile apps. Tech Sport Advertisement The music wars are afoot, Google is consolidating its weaponry.Beginning today, Songza users will be notified that the Songza website and mobile apps are being fully folded into Google Play Music as of January 31, 2016. Google bought Songza back in July of 2014 for an undisclosed sum and has continued to integrate pieces of the technology into Google Play.With so many Songza features already integrated into Google Play Music, offering two incredibly similar products in different places doesn’t make much sense. – Advertisement – That said, Songza users will be given the chance to migrate their accounts to Google Play Music, which will keep track of their favorited songs and playlists.For reference, Songza is a music platform that launched back in 2007 that brought the music to the user, and not the other way around. Using information like date, time, and past listening history, Songza offered up expertly curated playlists based on predictions about the user’s mood and/or activity at the time.[related-posts]Beyond Songza Concierge (described above), users could also hunt for playlists by genre, mood, or artists.Google has been building Songza into Google Play Music for a while now. Most notably, Google introduced free Radio on Google Play in the U.S., entirely ad-free. Alongside the announcement of Songza’s sunsetting future, Google is also announcing free Google Play Music Radio in Canada.Google Play Music has been ramping up lately to compete with the likes of Pandora, Spotify, and of course, Apple Music. In September the company hinted at a family music plan — letting six family members stream music for $14.99 a month — which Google says is launching “very soon.”Plus, Google Play Music is also compatible with newly launched YouTube Red, giving subscribers to either service access to the other.Though the Songza brand and products are shutting down, all four Songza founders are still working on the Google Play Music team.Here’s the email being sent out to Songza users:In a nutshell, we built Songza to make life better by playing you music tailored to every moment of every day.In July 2014, Songza was acquired by Google (#Conscious Coupling), and in them we found a company who shares our excitement for IRL sound tracking. Over the past year and a half, we’ve worked hard to bring all of the features that you love from Songza to Google Play Music, including the Concierge and our massive library of hand-curated playlists — from Walking On Sunshine to Hillbilly Bodybuilding, no moment shall go un-sound tracked.Thanks to Google Play Music (and our kick-ass team, which continues to grow faster than a Twista verse), we’ve been able to bring what you love about Songza to a new audience of music fans in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Ireland, Brazil, Japan, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and Austria (*wipes brow*) — with even more countries coming soon.It’s now time for us to focus on building a single, cohesive product. So as of January 31, 2016, Songza will become Google Play Music, and you will no longer be able to access Songza.com or the Songza mobile apps. HEY! There’s no crying! Are you crying? There’s no crying in music streaming! Moving to Google Play Music is free, and your favorite playlists can come with you! Pinky swear. Soon, when you visit Songza, you’ll be greeted with a prompt that will let you bring all of your Songza listening history and favorite playlists over to Google Play Music — so please make sure to do that! Using all of Songza’s features in Google Play Music is 100% free and doesn’t require a credit card, you just need to accept our new Terms of Service and Google’s Privacy Policy (if you haven’t already).Thank you SO much for being a part of the Songza community over all of these years. We’re really proud of the work that we’ve done on Google Play Music and we truly hope you’ll join us there.[Tech Crunch]last_img read more

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STAR PREVIEW Chelsea v Roma

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was a Champions League goal frenzy on Tuesday night with 31 goals across the eight games including a magnificent seven from Liverpool against Maribor (record away win in Champions League), a win for Man City and a brilliant draw for Spurs at the Bernabéu Stadium.Will that scoring trend will continue tonight? There are another eight games – look out for the early kick off with Qarabag v Atletico Madrid underway at 5pm.Later on there’s domestic interest with Benfica v Man U, Bayern Munich v Celtic (good luck with that project Celtic) and Chelsea v Roma at Stamford Bridge.Chelsea v RomaUEFA Champions League Group Stage19:45 BT Sport 3 / BT Sport 4K UHDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Nov 2008 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Roma 3-1 ChelseaOct 2008 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Chelsea 1-0 RomaOct 1965 FAIRS CUP Roma 0-0 ChelseaSep 1965 FAIRS CUP Chelsea 4-1 RomaAs you can see there’s not much recent form between the two sides and they both currently sit in fifth spot in their domestic leagues.The problem with backing Chelsea at odds-on is that they come into this on the back of two defeats – most recently on Saturday with the shock of the season so far seeing Crystal Palace beat them 2-1 at Selhurst Park. Given they were Palace’s first goals of the season – they certainly picked their moment to get off the mark.Chelsea are set to welcome back striker Alvaro Morata who missed the Crystal Palace match but Victor Moses will miss out after picking up a hamstring injury in the same game.Chelsea’s Champions League form has been strong, two wins from two and topping Group C by two points from Roma.Roma don’t tend to take much away from their trips to England. They have won only one of their 15 away games – losing nine and drawing five.I’m not totally convinced about either team though so will stick with the DRAW at around 3/1 with Star Sports. I’ll also have a couple of points on 0-0 at around 14/1 too just in case it doesn’t quite live up to expectations – both sides come into this on the back of weekend losses.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK DRAW 6 points at 3/1 with Star SportsBACK 0-0 correct score 2 points at 14/1 with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: LOSS 13.97 pointsBET NOW WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

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Light Blight Art Project Breathes Life Into Empty Buildings

first_img Show Discussion Windows in more than 150 abandoned buildings in three upstate New York cities have been fitted with light-emitting diodes that steadily brighten and fade, giving the effect of slow breathing. The two-month public art project provides something pretty for gritty neighborhoods in Albany, Schenectady and Troy and shines a light—figuratively and literally—on the problems posed by the vacant brownstones and clapboard homes.“Remind people that these buildings exist, because so often we just get so accustomed to the darkness we just walk right on by,” says architect Barbara Nelson, who created the “Breathing Lights” project with artist Adam Frelin.Behind each glowing window is a wooden frame with plastic stretched across the exterior face to diffuse the light. LED strips inside brighten and dim at about seven times a minute for four hours a night. Power comes from golf cart batteries.Frelin and Nelson won a $1 million public arts grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to get the project started. The phasing of the lights in and out like breaths is intended as a metaphor about the lives of buildings and alludes to the life now absent from the empty spaces.“To someone who doesn’t know my history, they will walk by and see an abandoned building,” says project neighborhood liaison Jerry Ford, who once lived in a Troy home that was later abandoned. “I look at it and I see where I used to live. I remember Christmas. I remember my son being brought home to that building. I remember mowing the grass. It’s memories to me.”There are some 2,500 vacant buildings in the three cities. Frelin says filling every empty building is not a realistic goal, but the project certainly has started some conversations since the lights first blinked on last month.People told Frelin they initially thought the buildings were ready to explode, or were haunted. In Schenectady, locals found that the glowing homes lightened the block in more ways than one.“There were squatters in some of the houses, actually,” says KeyLynn Belrose-Westfall.In Troy, Jason Franklin wonders if the money spent on making two homes breathe on his family’s street could have been put to better use.“They need to put the money into the houses to get them fixed,” he says. “You’ve got these people … they’re sleeping on the streets.”Nelson says $1 million would be enough money to rescue only four houses and besides, the grant was specifically for arts projects. She recalls a Facebook post comparing the project to giving lipstick to a bum so people will pay attention. Nelson replies that’s not all wrong: If more people pay attention, maybe they will do something about it.Workshops are being held for people interested in buying a vacant building though February, but the lights will begin blinking out for good at the end of the month. Share this article Light Blight: Art Project Breathes Life Into Empty Buildings By The Associated Press November 18, 2016 Updated: November 18, 2016 TROY, N.Y.—Empty homes on blighted blocks here pulse with a ghostly glow every night. Share Windows in vacant houses are illuminated with LED lights in Albany, N.Y., on Nov. 14th 2016. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) US  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   last_img read more

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Police Saves Christmas for Family Who Had Their Presents Stolen

first_img  QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan Police Saves Christmas for Family Who Had Their Presents Stolen By Janita Kan December 25, 2017 Updated: December 25, 2017 Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this articlecenter_img A mother was devastated when the Christmas gifts she had bought for her three sons were stolen out of her truck just two days before the big day.Brittney Curry, from North Texas, had just completed her Christmas shopping using a Christmas bonus check. Unfortunately, when she left her truck in a parking lot for a few hours, a Grinch came and stole the bikes, games, shoes, and clothes she had just bought from her truck.“There was no way we were going to be able to rebuy any of those gifts,” Curry told Fox News. “I was devastated.”“Who steals that kind of stuff? What kind of heart do you have?” she added.After breaking the disappointing news to her sons, Curry then contacted police, who told her a group of teens was seen near her truck that day, reported the news station.When she called the police to follow up next day, however, police surprised the mother and her boys, saying they had three bags of gifts from toys donated to the department for young crime victims. Fort Worth Police prepare gifts for young crime victims. (Fort Worth Police Department/Facebook)“It’s nice to be able to have something just good happen,” Officer Bradley Klingberg told Fox News.“Any time you can go and make a real difference in someone’s life, it feels really good,” Klingberg added.Curry was extremely grateful for the officers’ act of kindness, who turned a “horrific Christmas” into a different kind of Christmas they will never forget.“This Christmas will always be remembered. It will always be a story,” she told the news station. Fort Worth Police prepare gifts for young crime victims. (Fort Worth Police Department/Facebook) Brittany Curry’s sons choose their gifts. (Fort Worth Police Department/Facebook) Brittany Curry’s sons choose their gifts. (Fort Worth Police Department/Facebook)From NTD.tv Melania Trump’s First Year as First Lady US News Show Discussionlast_img read more

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Stepmom of Missing 5YearOld Kansas Boy Charged With Child Endangerment

first_imgA stock photo shows police tape (Scott Olson/Getty Images) Hernandez’s stepmother, Emily Glass, was jailed last week for two counts of child endangerment. KWCH-TV reported Monday that she was officially charged with one count of endangering a child, appearing before a Sedgwick County District Court judge on Monday afternoon. According to a complaint, Glass endangered a 1-year-old and allowed the child “to be placed in a situation in which the child’s life, body or health may be endangered” on Feb. 16. Glass may be the last person to have seen Lucas before he went missing on Feb. 17, according to police.She wasn’t charged with the other count of child endangerment because the case involving Lucas’s disappearance is part of an investigation, a Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson told KWCH.  QualityAuto 720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Share this article Police are still looking for a missing 5-year-old Kansas boy, nine days after he disappeared.Police in Wichita and the FBI are involved in the search for Lucas Hernandez. According to The Associated Press in a report on Monday, now local citizens are involved in the search for the boy. Show Discussion Stepmother of Lucas Hernandez charged with child endangerment: https://t.co/SorllOGWf5 #KAKEnews pic.twitter.com/BWnD6AXWv3— KAKE News (@KAKEnews) February 26, 2018 No updates to report at this time on missing Lucas Hernandez. Investigation is ongoing. If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Lucas or this case please call 911 immediately. pic.twitter.com/mY73Xv76N9— Wichita Police (@WichitaPolice) February 18, 2018 Sharecenter_img Lucas’s great aunt, Sally Rasmussen, wasn’t surprised by Glass’s arrest. She released photos to KAKE-TV that apparently showed bruises on the child’s body. She filed a report with Kansas Department for Children and Families and included the photos.“I’m sorry that they did and that really pisses me off. Only because it seems like it’s about something else and it’s not happening now,” Hernandez said. “Now, if you want to bring that up later that’s fine. That’s a whole separate issue. I think it’s taking away from what’s happening and I don’t appreciate it. Not from my family, not from strangers.” US News  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Stepmom of Missing 5-Year-Old Kansas Boy Charged With Child Endangerment By Jack Phillips February 26, 2018 Updated: February 26, 2018 Recommended Video:How Doctors in China Turn into Murderers The father of the boy, Johnathan Hernandez, told KAKE that he thinks his son is still alive.“Lucas is the sweetest, softest-hearted, kindest little kid I ever met,” he said. “I’m so proud to be able to be his father. I miss him very much. I love him very much and I just want him to come home.” Wichita Police are following up on leads regarding #LucasHernandez in the area of the Great Plains Nature Center and Chisholm Creek Park. Dozens of police officers are here; people are asked to stay out of this area. @KAKEnews pic.twitter.com/K2o5huZ4pP— KAKE Bryan Ramsdale (@BryanRamsdale) February 19, 2018last_img read more

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Funeral Services Set for 6YearOld Who Disappeared at Park

first_img GASTONIA, N.C.—Funeral services have been set for a 6-year-old North Carolina boy who went missing at a park and was found dead after an extensive search.According to an obituary , a visitation for Maddox Ritch will be held Thursday at a funeral home in Huntersville, followed by a funeral service the next day. The burial will be private.The boy’s father has said Maddox ran off as he and a friend walked at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia Sept. 22. Ian Ritch has said he couldn’t catch up with his son, who was autistic, because he has neuropathy in his feet due to diabetes.Maddox’s body was found in a creek slightly more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) east of the park after days of searching. An investigation is ongoing. Share Show Discussion QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   center_img Funeral Services Set for 6-Year-Old Who Disappeared at Park By The Associated Press September 30, 2018 Updated: September 30, 2018 Share this article US News last_img read more

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Looter Shot Killed in Panama City After Hurricane Michael Officials

first_imgQualityAuto 360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Share this article US News Looter Shot, Killed in Panama City After Hurricane Michael: Officials Top video shows devastation in Mexico Beach, FloridaBy Jack Phillips October 14, 2018 Updated: October 14, 2018 Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   An alleged looter was shot dead by police in hurricane-hit Panama City, Florida, according to reports.WEAR-TV reported that the man was shot and killed near the Tidewater Estates and Dune Creek after Hurricane Michael slammed the Florida Panhandle, reducing entire towns and communities to rubble.A witness told WEAR-TV that the man was allegedly trying to steal a law enforcement vehicle.“He yelled at me a little bit and said, ‘Oh, I’m looting.’ And he opened the door to the police officer’s SUV with the lights going. Got in it, shut the door,” Landon Swett, the witness, told the station.The officer was in the passenger side of the vehicle, Swett said, adding that he heard a shot. He ran inside a home with his family when the incident unfolded.Damaged and destroyed buildings aerial Damaged and destroyed buildings in an aerial photograph, taken during a post-Hurricane Michael flight by a Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter over Mexico Beach, Fla., on Oct. 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 1st Class Colin Hunt/Handout/Reuters) A representative with the Florida Highway Patrol said Florida State Fire Marshals were involved in the shooting. WEAR-TV reported that state officials are now investigating the matter.“I know PCPD, local law enforcement and outside agencies are trying to come in and minimize the impact of that,” David Collier, a battalion chief for the Panama City Fire Department, was quoted by the MyPanhandle website as saying.He added: “I know the county has in place a curfew. Everybody needs to be off the roads as much as possible from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.”He said there have been isolated cases of looting across Hurricane Michael-hit areas in Florida.Some locals, however, have said that as supplies get scarce, people will do what it takes to survive. “This hit so hard and so fast that the different aspect of human nature is going to come out and people are going to do anything to survive,” Christopher Donahue told WEAR-TV.Dollar Store Looting VideoA clip posted by YouTube account Live Storms Media in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael shows people grabbing items from a Family Dollar store.“About 40 people are seen looting, ransacking, and cleaning out a destroyed Family Dollar in Panama City after Hurricane Michael,” the channel wrote. The Family Dollar store missing the majority of its roof and several of its walls. The front of the building was nearly gone.The footage shows people driving directly to the store and loading items into their vehicles. At the end of the video, a man can be heard, “I gotta go get me some laundry detergent.”CNN reported that for Bay County, where Panama City is located, a curfew was put in place after the hurricane. Gulf, Franklin, and Washington counties are also under a mandatory curfew.Police told WEAR-TV that people who violate the curfew could face a ticket and fine.Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle last week, making landfall near Mexico Beach with 155 mph winds. The storm did extensive damage to the area, including to Tyndall Air Force Base.Video footage taken from Mexico Beach shows neighborhoods of flattened buildings and trees.  Rewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Show Discussionlast_img read more

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first_img Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Watch: Hurricane Florence Storm Surge Flows Like River Between Houses in Avon By Jack Phillips September 13, 2018 Updated: September 13, 2018 Storm surge from Hurricane Florence was captured on video flowing like a river between homes in Avon, North Carolina, on Sept. 13.The Virginian Pilot newspaper reported that NC 12 was closed, cutting off Hatteras in North Carolina, at around 1 p.m. ET. Waters from Florence made the road impassable.“Everybody’s worried about the roads,” local man Chip Stevens said. “This is the first time I have left for a storm. I was not going to leave until they said it was going to stall.”  Rewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video “This is going to be an ocean overwash event,” noted Bobby Outten, the Dare County manager.The NHC said in its 2 p.m. ET update that Florence is a Category 2 storm, but it noted that the storm is quite large in diameter. Meanwhile, the storm is forecast to move sluggishly over the Carolinas before turning northwest.“However, intense rainbands are expected to develop over the Atlantic waters and keep moving along the coast and inland, likely producing strong wind gusts through Saturday (Sept. 15) night,” said the NHC in a discussion of the storm. “Aircraft and satellite wind data show that Florence remains a large hurricane. Life-threatening storm surge, heavy rainfall, and damaging wind will cover a large area regardless of exactly where the center of Florence moves.” Storm surge and hurricane warnings were issued for most of the North and South Carolina coastline.  Rewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: “Don’t relax, don’t get complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today the threat becomes a reality,” according to The Associated Press.“It truly is really about the whole size of this storm,” National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told AP. “The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact—and we have that.”North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called on local residents to remain alert despite changing forecasts. “Don’t relax, don’t get complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today the threat becomes a reality,” he said, AP reported.  Rewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia have all declared states of emergency over the storm.Around 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches and some 4.9 million in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, AP noted.The Associated Press contributed to this report Show Discussioncenter_img US News QualityAuto 360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Share this articlelast_img read more

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