first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The company that runs the Motability car scheme and the charity that oversees its work are facing fresh criticism from disabled campaigners, following a watchdog’s report that criticises the company’s huge financial reserves and excessive profits and executive pay.The National Audit Office (NAO) report concludes that the Motability scheme has delivered “excellent service” and “remarkable satisfaction levels” (99 per cent in 2017-18) among its more than 600,000 customers.But it also says that the scheme has generated “substantial cash surpluses”, while Motability Operations – the company that runs the scheme – has failed to disclose more than £1.5 million in bonuses that were due to be paid to its chief executive, Mike Betts.It also reports that five Motability Operations executive directors received more than £15 million in bonuses between them in just seven years. In 2016-17, Betts himself received a total financial package of £1.7 million, including his salary and bonuses.NAO found that Motability Operations had £2.62 billion in its reserves in March 2018 and that it had made £2.19 billion in profits between 2007-08 and 2016-17, more than £1 billion higher than it had forecasted.And it says that underestimating the value of used cars meant that disabled customers have been charged £390 million more than was required in their lease agreements to cover the costs of depreciation.But NAO also warns that it is not clear if the Motability charity*, which oversees the work of Motability Operations, could absorb the scale of the extra donations it has received from the company – including an extra £400 million donation in September – as a result of its unplanned profits “in a way that can maximise its effectiveness”.Motability Operations had previously donated £345 million to the charity between 2010 and 2017.NAO’s recommendations include a series of reviews to be carried out by Motability, Motability Operations and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).The report also raises concerns about the diversity of Motability’s board of governors, and how long some of them have been in post, with four current governors who have each served for more than 16 years.There is also not a single black and minority ethnic governor, and just one woman among the charity’s 11 governors.Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said DPAC had started raising concerns about the bonuses paid to Betts several years ago, as well as about the level of reserves held in the charity’s Motability Tenth Anniversary Trust.In 2014, the charity introduced new rules which restricted the grants made from its Specialised Vehicle Fund (SVF) to disabled people with high support needs, which mean that only disabled people who spend more than 12 hours-a-week in education, work, volunteering or caring can qualify for grants that enable them to lease a drive-from-wheelchair vehicle.Burnip said: “There can be no reason, given the billions in [Motability Operations] reserves, for any disabled person to be refused a grant for a drive-from wheelchair or internal transfer vehicle.“It is blatant discrimination to restrict access to such vehicles which disabled people with the highest support needs require to enhance their independence.”Ian Jones, co-founder of the WOWcampaign but speaking personally as a Motability customer, said: “Motability Operations has collected and hoarded £2.62 billion (March 2018) of disabled people’s money, which was paid on the understanding it was to cover costs.“Motability Operations has paid its directors millions of pounds of money collected from disabled people in bonuses, for hitting performance targets described by the National Audit Office as ‘easily exceeded since 2008’.”He said that Motability Operations, which states that all its profits are reinvested into the scheme, had instead effectively paid “dividends” of £745 million to the charity over the last eight years, payments which “grossly exceed the charity’s annual running costs”.He said: “I am very worried that the above items may tend to bring the Motability charity into disrepute and call on the Charity Commission to immediately launch an investigation to reassure disabled people and the public at large that disabled people’s money is being spent responsibly and not misappropriated by ‘fat cats’ working for and controlling Motability Operations.”Graham Footer, chief executive of Disabled Motoring UK, said: “Many of our charity’s members are on the Motability scheme and have been for a number of years.“While the scheme provides an essential lifeline to these individuals, we believe that Motability could make better use of its surpluses to not only improve the scheme for its customers but alleviate many of the problems they face on a daily basis as disabled motorists.“We look forward to working with Motability in the future to fully implement the recommendations of the National Audit Office.” Lord Sterling, who co-founded the Motability scheme in 1977 and now chairs the charity, said it had accepted all NAO’s recommendations, including the need for a review of the level of reserves held by Motability Operations.But he said the suggestion that customers were charged more than was required to cover the leasing costs was “open to further debate” because its customers pay “45 per cent less than the market rate for their vehicles, in addition to the support, insurance and vehicle enhancements that we offer”.He said that “every penny, surplus to sustainability and to this excellent price and service, goes to help enhance the lives of our disabled customers and their families”.He added: “The scheme has cumulatively delivered five million vehicles, many heavily adapted, putting millions of disabled people and their families on ‘the road to freedom’.“I am very glad that Sir Amyas Morse, the comptroller and auditor general at the National Audit Office, has personally commended the excellence of our service and quality of our management.“That praise, of course, is due to the wonderful dedication of all those employed at both Motability and Motability Operations.”Motability declined to comment on or answer any further concerns or questions this week, including what impact the NAO report might have on how much disabled customers pay for their Motability vehicles and the service they receive, although it said there were exceptions to the SVF rules.A spokeswoman said the charity would not be issuing further comments ahead of a new inquiry to be held by MPs in the new year.Motability Operations welcomed the NAO report and said it was “proud that it has acknowledged the impressive performance of the company, and the excellent service it offers to 625,000 disabled people and their families”.In response to the report, it said it would improve its reporting of executive pay and bonuses and review its approach to forecasting.It will also develop, with the charity, a 10-year plan for how profits are re-invested or donated and will work with the charity to support an independent review of reserves.Motability Operations also announced that Betts would step down as chief executive by May 2020.The Commons work and pensions and Treasury committees will be holding a fresh inquiry into the Motability scheme in the new year.Frank Field, the Labour MP who chairs the work and pensions committee, said – in a letter to work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd – that the NAO report made for “grim reading”.He said the “value of the scheme cannot be allowed to blind us to serious concerns about its governance – not least the unjustifiably high levels of executive pay and the colossal financial reserves built up by Motability Operations”.A DWP spokeswoman said: “We asked the NAO to investigate and are grateful for the valuable insight provided, which strengthens our concerns regarding Motability Operation’s financial model.“We agree with the NAO’s finding that the Motability scheme provides an excellent service.“To ensure that the scheme is focused on delivering better value for money we are committed to working with the charity and key stakeholders so that current and future arrangements result in improved outcomes for disabled people.” *The Motability charity is a Disability News Service subscriberlast_img read more

first_imgPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezCustomer takes photos of her food. Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. Chavez 0% Tags: Tartine Bakery Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img What can you say? Tartine Manufactory opened this morning in the Heath Ceramics building at 595 Alabama St. on the corner of 18th Street, and it is beautiful. There’s plenty of space to sit and enjoy a whole new menu-full of new baked, cooked and made goodies. The many staff members guided each customer through the new ordering procedure and everyone — customers, staff and the wondrous baker Chad Robertson, looked happy. Here are some photos from its first day on Alabama Street.Chad Robertson, left, on Day 1. Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. Chavezlast_img read more

first_img→ December 2016, Lee goes against the wishes of the Police Officers Association and appoints an outsider, Bill Scott, from the LAPD as the new chief. So far in his tenure, Scott has worked on police reform to increase community engagement, adding foot patrols in the Mission as well as in other districts. On Guerrero Sunday morning. Several doorsteps had the same book. This photo is from October 2011. Now, Lee gets credit for attracting more tech jobs than Silicon Valley.→ November 8, 2011.  Lee won election to serve a full term as the first Asian American Mayor of San Francisco. John Avalos, his opponent, ended up polling strongest in the Mission District, but there was some love for Lee on 24th Street.Ed Lee on 24th Street →June 25, 2016.  Lee and others are booed off the stage at the Trans March event in Dolores Park where marchers are protesting the level of security and police presence.Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Scott Weiner booed off stage. Photo by Lola M. Chavez → November, 2011 Homeless parents from the Mission visit City Hall to ask for services. Homeless parents gather to share their concerns outside of City Hall before demanding to schedule a meeting with Mayor Ed Lee. Photo by Ryan Loughlin. → January 30, 2013 – Mayor Ed Lee and former police chief Greg Suhr visit the Mission to reassure merchants that they have the city under control for the upcoming Super Bowl. → May 20, 2016. After police shoot and kill a woman in the Bayview, Lee asks for Police Chief Suhr’s resignation. → August 2014 – Evict Ed Lee on a sidewalk.  In the Mission, Lee was often viewed as the mayor who owed his election to tech. And, tech in the Mission is often associated with residents being pushed out of their apartments to make room for those able to pay higher rents. Evict Ed Lee stencils began to appear in the Mission and elsewhere. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros. → December 2011 – Lee honors the Mission High Bears for their first San Francisco Academic Athletic Association championship in 57 years.He named Dec. 12 “Mission High School Football AAA Championship Day.”Incidentally, the Mission Bears made history again this year by taking a state championship, and they went to watch a Warriors game with Mayor Lee.→ March, 2011 – Lee speaks at the annual Cesar Chavez Day breakfast in the Mission.Mayor Ed Lee spoke on what would have been Mr. Chávez’ 84th birthday. 0% The legacy of Ed Lee.  → May 5,  2016.  Lee  doesn’t make a second visit the hunger strikers…but telephones them.  Calls for Suhr’s resignation are increasing, but the mayor continues to stand by him.  → May 2, 2016 – Lee visits the hunger strikers at Mission Station who are demanding the resignation of Police Chief Greg Suhr. Lee arrived unannounced and entered through the back door.Maria Cristina Gutierrez speaking with the mayor inside the Mission District police station. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros. → July 2016 Lee meets with Mission nonprofit leaders who asked him for $7 million to reach funding parity for Latinos in the city. “I don’t sit on money. I have to work in concert with the Board” Lee told them. “This is not my spending playground.” He promised, however, to keep the dialogue going. → October 9, 2015  At an election forum, Mayor Ed Lee gets slammed by opponents. He went on to win the election with 51 percent of the vote. During Mayor Ed Lee’s tenure as mayor, housing, police and homelessness were overriding issues in the Mission. For many Mission voters, he was not always on the right side of those issues and in the 2011 election, they favored his opponent John Avalos. Nevertheless, Lee occasionally courted the Mission and he had his supporters here. Perhaps the biggest decision affecting the Mission came in December 2016 when Lee chose to ignore the wishes of the Police Officers Association, the union for the SFPD, and select Bill Scott, from the LAPD, as police chief. Here are some photos from his visits to the Mission.→ October, 2011 Lee, although not favored here, did some campaigning in the MissionDozens of Marshall Elementary Schools and Mayor Ed Lee walk to school as a part of international Walk to School Day. → In January 2015 Lee helped spearhead the first Navigation Center at 1950 Mission Street. At the beginning of this year he announced a center for the homeless with a different focus – mental health and drug abuse – Hummingbird Place at SF General Hospital→ August, 2015 – The sweeps of homeless on Division Street in advance of the Super Bowl in 2015  have been largely blamed for increasing the number of homeless encampments in the Mission. Lee tried to counter the encampments by opening two Navigation Centers here and the mayor planned a third one to open sometime next year. Tags: ed lee Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

first_imgROYCE Simmons thought Saints got caught up in the emotion of the occasion last night but did the right things in the second half.His side scored seven tries to overturn a 10-0 deficit to win 38-10.“For a month now or more everyone has been talking about this opening and how it is special, the crowd will be massive and all that. Although I think the players turned up with the right attitude and wanted to do their best out there, I think they wanted to do it more as individuals.“We had blokes coming out of the line to make big hits and missing people and making individual plays and when you do that your ball control suffers and that’s what happened. Our ball completion was 50 per cent in the first half and they were in the high 80s.“At half time talked about believing in each other a bit more. Our training session on Thursday was fantastic and I said let’s get back to that. We went back out there we got some of those things right. Our kicking game in London was poor but today we got repeat sets and hit the ground with the ball. Our kick return was good in the second half too.“We know we have to fix a few things up though. We bombed a few tries with poor selection. We’d hit the lead runner instead of going out the back. But our second half was a massive improvement on the first.”Andrew Dixon took his try tally to three in two games and Simmons paid tribute to the forward.“We spoke with Dicko at the end of last season and asked him to bring more to his game. He was a good steady first grader but wasn’t winning any Man of the Match awards, his defence wasn’t bruising and he wasn’t scoring enough.“He’s now running better lines and angles and bringing grunt to his defence. Last week his attack was good but he was disappointed with how he defended. Well tonight he got both right.“He is a tremendous young man and is getting the rewards for training hard.”last_img read more

first_img00:00 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 LELAND, NC (WWAY) — It’s a popular trend that is taking over.It’s fun for adults who like to paint, and soon there will be a grand opening of a Wine & Design location in Leland.- Advertisement – Studio owner Gia Long sat down with WWAY to discuss the popularity of Wine & Design and upcoming events happening in Leland.Take a listen.For more information about Wine & Design, click here.last_img read more

first_img The driver, who was in either a black SUV or pickup truck, left the scene.Friday, Elliott told WWAY he will have another surgery on Monday.Elliott hosted “Explore with George” on WWAY from 2011 through 2014.Related Article: WPD: Hit and run suspect turns himself inWilmington Police are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information about the hit-and-run.His family has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses. Former WWAY personality George Elliott back in the hospital following hit-and-run in May. (Photo: GoFundMe) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Former WWAY personality George Elliott is back in the hospital because complications from his injuries will require another surgery.On May 11, Elliott, 59, was riding his three-wheel cycle on South College Road when a driver hit him in front of the CVS.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Thousands of miles traveled but still more to go. America’s Run for the Fallen is making it’s way through North Carolina.Today they ran along Highway 17 while shouting the names of many fallen heroes. For Patricia Stave, the trip from Arkansas was worth the few seconds to remember her son.- Advertisement – “Just when I saw the runners coming through and I could just tell that they did care and they put a lot of effort into this. It made my heart feel good,” Stave said.America’s Run for the Fallen was set up by the organization, Honor and Remember. The run started on April 7th and is set to end on August 5th. For now, they ended the day in Bolivia.“For the last 108 days, we have been calling out those names from California through. This is our eighteenth state now with North Carolina,” Honor and Remember founder George Lutz said.Lutz also said yelling out these names is just one of the ways to recognize those who made the ultimate sacrifice.“To recognize individually, those men and women who gave their lives is very powerful. To speak a name out loud, it’s one thing to hold it inside our hearts, but to speak it out loud takes on a whole different expression and emotion,” Lutz said.For runners like Christopher Dawson, the run could be difficult. But when he sees one of the families, that pain he feels becomes nothing.“Their family member. Their son, daughter, husband, wife. It makes no difference where in the country they’re being honored. They’re willing to make the distance, the sacrifices to be here, for the sacrifices that one had made,” Dawson said.There is still a way to go until they reach Arlington National Cemetery but they encourage anyone to come out during their journey. They also encourage those who want to, to come out and help make the run and call out the names of the fallen heroes. If you want to watch them live as they travel up to Arlington National Cemetery, click here.last_img read more

first_img 1 of 3 CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — Highway Patrol says a motorcyclist died Tuesday morning after crashing into a garbage truck in New Hanover County.According to Highway Patrol, a Pink Trash truck was picking up trash traveling west along Sidbury Road, and then was making a right turn onto Island Creek Road. A motorcycle, also traveling on west, was reportedly speeding when it approached the trash truck. It was unable to stop, and struck the garbage truck. Fatal crash on Oct. 30, 2018 involving a trash truck and a motorcycle in Wilmington. (Photo: Monique Robinson/WWAY) Fatal crash on Oct. 30, 2018 involving a trash truck and a motorcycle in Wilmington. (Photo: Monique Robinson/WWAY) – Advertisement – The motorcycle then began to overturn and came to rest in a nearby yard, troopers say.The driver of the motorcycle, 25-year-old Andrew Hartwell, died at the scene. Troopers say Hartwell was wearing a helmet.Troopers say no impairment is suspected, but high speed was a factor in the collision.Related Article: Split decision by planning board prolongs debate on potential Castle Hayne sand mineNo charges have been filed. Fatal crash on Oct. 30, 2018 involving a trash truck and a motorcycle in Wilmington. (Photo: Monique Robinson/WWAY)last_img read more

first_imgRaise the Ruff for Paws Place (photo: Paws Place) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Saturday you can play the tables and win some prizes to raise money for Paws Place Dog Rescue.Paws Place is hosting a casino night to raise money for the no-kill shelter.- Advertisement – Paws Place is a non-profit dog rescue dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of dogs.The event is Saturday March 9 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Coastline Conference Center at 501 Nutt St. in Wilmington.Admission to this night in Vegas includes $5,000 in fun money, a cash bar, and hors d’oeurves, fabulous prize, raffles, and silent auctions.Related Article: 6 dogs adopted during ‘mega’ event diagnosed with parvoHere’s more information on how to get tickets.last_img

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Leland Police Department needs your help identifying two people who reportedly dined and dashed over the weekend.Surveillance images captured the suspected duo at the Joyce Irish Pub in Brunswick Forest Saturday.- Advertisement – Leland PD says the bill was nearly $175.If you know any information, please contact Detective J. Kazee of the Leland Police Department at (910) 371-0274.last_img

first_img Storm causes wind damage in Burgaw on May 12, 2019.(Photo: Wayne Culler) The report shows a closed lumber yard building sustained damage in which the tin doors were blown in and the winds tore off tin roofing. Also, several rafters of this old facility were broke near the intersection of Wallace and Dudley streets. Crews say just west of this building at the North Carolina Department of Transportation Facility Four aluminum culverts were lifted and moved several yards onto the side of Wallace Road near North Smith Street. Storm causes wind damage in Burgaw on May 12, 2019.(Photo: Wayne Culler) Storm causes wind damage in Burgaw on May 12, 2019.(Photo: Wayne Culler) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Strong storms rolled through parts of Pender County Sunday. After several reports of damage, the National Weather Service sent a crew out to surveyed it Wednesday morning determining it wasn’t caused by a tornado.NWS says a microburst was to blame for wind damage in and around Burgaw. A microburst produces strong, straight-line winds.- Advertisement – Storm causes wind damage in Burgaw on May 12, 2019.(Photo: Wayne Culler) 1 of 5 Storm causes wind damage in Burgaw on May 12, 2019.(Photo: Wayne Culler) Storm causes wind damage in Burgaw on May 12, 2019.(Photo: Wayne Culler) On the other side of the closed lumber yard, a power pole on North Dudley Street was damaged and leaning towards the east.NWS says there was widespread snapped tree limbs. The largest branches were seen on the grounds of the Pender County Courthouse. Also, a large pine tree was uprooted near the intersection of McCullen and Fremont streets.Related Article: FEMA trailers and benefit concert to provide relief for flood victimsThe overall damage reflected maximum winds of 75 mph mainly along and near Wallace road with widespread 60 mph winds across much of Burgaw.Also, several people reported seeing 3/4″ hail during the storm.The National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Pender County several minutes before the microburst moved through the area.last_img read more

first_img The almost week-long trip across the Carolinas began in Windsor and includes stops in Wilmington, Goldsboro, Marion, Lancaster and Greenville. Back in 2012, the Carolina Brotherhood was created to support families who lost loved ones in the line of duty.Wilmington Deputy Fire Chief J.S. Mason says he made it a point to stop at Empie Park Fire Station for the Capt. Eric Lacewell Memorial dedication.A mix of tears, laughs and love at the dedication as family, friends and community members remembered Lacewell. He is one of the eight firefighters who have died in the line of duty in Wilmington.Related Article: Keep your money local, shop at Made in NC 2019Lacewell has been recognized as one of the most successful firefighters in Wilmington. A monumental boots and hat statue now stands at the Empie Park station in remembrance of him.His wife Sheila Lacewell was presented a flag and badge on behalf of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for her husband’s sacrifice.“My husband wanted to be a firefighter for the longest time,” his wife said. “When this opportunity came up for him to join the Wilmington firefighters, he went and applied for the job then came home like ‘Babe, I made it.’”Lacewell served his community as President of the Wilmington chapter of Professional Black Firefighters and was head of United Way in Wilmington. He died in November 2014 following complications after a fall in 2011. Empie Park station unveiled their statue dedicated to Eric Lacewell, Tuesday evening. (Photo: Monique Robinson/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than 60 men and women arrived at the Wilmington’s Fire Department Station 2 Tuesday afternoon in honor of the fallen firefighters across the Carolinas.Over the next six days, the Carolina Brotherhood will ride more than 600 miles in remembrance of and solidarity for first responders we’ve lost over the years.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img WFD responded to a multiple family residential structure fire at 1003 Nautilus Drive around 7 p.m. Chief Tom Robinson says the crews found smoke coming from the laundry room and the fire was contained to the laundry room. But, Vincent reports some residents were displaced overnight because power was cut off to the building. She did not verify the number of displaced residents.The National Fire Protection Association reports each year 14,000 fires start in laundry rooms and last night’s fire at the “Pines of Wilmington” adds to the list.Investigators have not confirmed if it was related to excessive lint, but Captain Derek Mickler with the Wilmington Fire Department says you need to clean out your dryer lint often.Related Article: Wilmington Fire Dept. celebrates 2018 Recruit Class Graduation“When you look at lint itself, it’s actually very combustible,” Mickler said. “It’s actually utilized sometimes to even start fires out at a cookout or even a fireplace because it’s just so highly combustible. So, when you add that with a plastic accordion type vent that you may get at a hardware store, you need to actually look to get an aluminum rigged vent.”Mickler says crews have responded to multiple fires in the City that have roots in laundry rooms, but he says it’s a nationwide problem. He says, out of the 14,000 laundry related fires each year across the nation, there are about 30 deaths, 400 injuries and $200 million in property damage.Mickler says yearly maintenance is also just as important.“They need to make sure annually that they clean out the vent pipe that goes from the back of the dryer out to the exhaust area of the house as well,” Mickler said.Last July, a fatal fire occurred in this apartment complex. Wilmington Fire Department reports 58-year-old Eulandra Williams was on fire when they arrived and died at the scene. They report the cause of the fire was smoking materials. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Fire Department reports the “Pines of Wilmington” fire Thursday night started in the laundry room and left $25,000 in damage.Wilmington Fire Department Spokeswoman Natosha Vincent tells WWAY the fire was caused by either an electrical or mechanical failure of stackable washer dryer unit.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_imgIl-maġġoranza tal-Amerikani huma kontra abort fi stadju tard tat-tqalaIl-maġġoranza tal-Amerikani huma kontra abort fi stadju tard tat-tqala The chairman of the US bishops’ pro-life committee called on Congress to pass a measure that would stop “the barbaric practice of late-term abortion.”He urged Congress to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was the focus of a hearing April 9 by the Senate Judiciary Committee.“This bill draws the public’s attention to the shameful reality that the United States is one of only seven nations worldwide that allows the barbaric practice of late-term abortion, when a child likely feels pain and might even live outside the womb with appropriate medical assistance,” said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, who is chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.Ban on late-term abortions“Such abortion procedures after the middle point of pregnancy also pose serious physical dangers to women,” he said in a statement. “With the vast majority of Americans strongly supporting a ban on late-term abortions, it is time for Congress to pass this bill.”He added, “I also pray that consideration of this bill moves our country closer to recognizing all unborn babies as legal persons worthy of our love and respect.”The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would generally extend legal protection to unborn babies beginning at 22 weeks of pregnancy. According to National Right to Life and congressional findings, by that point — and even earlier — an unborn child has the capacity “to experience great pain during an abortion.”WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint WhatsAppcenter_img Pope Francis leads the Holy Mass at the Macedonia square in Skopje, North Macedonia May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ognen TeofilovskiPope Francis leads the Holy Mass at the Macedonia square in Skopje, North Macedonia May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski Pope Francis on Tuesday implicitly blessed efforts by North Macedonia and other Balkan countries to join the European Union, saying Skopje could look to its most famous daughter, Mother Teresa, as a stimulus to build a common destiny.After two days in Bulgaria, Francis arrived in the North Macedonian capital for a 10-hour stop, becoming the highest profile international figure to visit since the country changed its name from Macedonia in January.The decision ended a decades-old dispute with neighbouring Greece, whose northernmost province is also called Macedonia, and opened the way for North Macedonia, a former Yugoslav republic, to join the European Union and NATO.Addressing authorities in Skopje’s presidential palace, Francis praised what he called the newly named country’s “crucible of cultures and ethnic and religious identities” that could serve as an example to others.“These particular features are also highly significant for increased integration with the nations of Europe. It is my hope that this integration will develop in a way that is beneficial for the entire region of the Western Balkans, with unfailing respect for diversity and for fundamental rights,” Francis said.Six Western Balkan states – Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia – are in various stages of accession process to join the bloc.But in his speech, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov complained bitterly about delays.“You come at a time when Macedonian society is deeply divided, and the Macedonian (nation) is heavily wounded by broken promises, unfulfilled expectations and faltering trust in the international community,” Ivanov said.He said “decades of blockades on our European path” had led to diminished spiritual and political morale.Skopje has aspired to NATO and EU membership since the end of a 2001 uprising by the country’s ethnic Albanian minority, but was blocked by Greece, which held that the name Macedonia implied a territorial claim on its own northern province.Yet even after cutting the name change deal with Greece, North Macedonia has not yet received the date for starting EU accession talks, though it is expected to become NATO’s 30th member state next year.Nearly every event on the pope’s programme in Skopje revolved around the late Mother Teresa, who was born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu to ethnic Albanian parents in 1910 when the country was still part of the Ottoman Empire.Francis praised Mother Teresa for working to unify people and urged Ivanov to take her example.“I encourage you to persevere with confidence along the path you have taken in order to make your country a beacon of peace, acceptance and fruitful integration between cultures, religions and peoples,” Francis said.Mother Teresa was known as the “saint of the gutters” for her work among the poor in India. She died in 1997 and was officially made a saint by Pope Francis in 2016.last_img read more

first_imgWhatsApp FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich, Switzerland October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannFILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich, Switzerland October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann UBS has put on leave a senior economist whose comments about pigs in China caused an outcry and prompted one Chinese firm to suspend all business with Switzerland’s largest bank.UBS apologised on Thursday for any misunderstanding caused by Paul Donovan’s comments, which it said were about inflation and a rise in Chinese consumer prices due to higher pork prices.“We confirm that we have asked Paul to take a leave of absence as we review this matter, to evaluate whether further steps need to be taken,” a UBS spokesman said on Friday.Donovan’s comments, perceived by some as a racist slur, had further ramifications when Haitong International Securities, the Hong Kong unit of Chinese brokerage Haitong Securities Co, said it has suspended all collaboration with UBS.No other Chinese brokerages and financial institutions have cut ties with UBS, but some in the Chinese financial community have rejected an apology from UBS.“There is not a clear timetable on when to resume the collaboration, which is subject to the management’s decision,” Haitong International said in an email sent to Reuters.Donovan, global chief economist of UBS’s wealth management business since 2016, said on Wednesday that consumer prices in China had risen mainly due to sickness among pigs.“Does this matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig. It matters if you like eating pork in China,” Donovan said in comments some interpreted as referring to people, not livestock.African swine fever, a disease deadly to pigs, is ravaging herds across Asia. China has reported more than 120 outbreaks since it was first detected in the country in August.Donovan did not respond to requests for comment.The Securities Association of China, a self-regulatory body for the industry, said that its members should not quote Donovan’s research or invite him to events.The association also urged UBS to strengthen compliance and take measures to eliminate any negative impact from the remarks.‘FULLY COMMITTED’The stakes are high for foreign companies like UBS looking to expand their presence in China as the world’s second-largest economy further opens up its financial sector.In December last year, UBS became the first foreign bank in China to get official approval to acquire a controlling stake in its local securities joint venture.The Swiss bank has said it was enhancing its “internal processes” to avoid any recurrence of such an incident and remains “fully committed to investing in China”.Lin Yong, chief executive of Haitong International, announced the decision to freeze ties with UBS on his personal WeChat account, a Haitong employee told Reuters.It was also revealed in an email circulated among Haitong International staff, a second Haitong employee said.The Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong (HKCSA), whose 124 member firms include offshore subsidiaries of Chinese brokerages and fund houses, said it was not aware if any other members were cutting ties with UBS.Haitong International’s Lin is the president of the HKCSA, which demanded on Thursday that UBS dismiss Donovan and issue a formal apology from the board, while calling on companies and individuals to think carefully about doing business with UBS.“Regrettably, this information (UBS’s apology) is not only insincere, but also arrogant, again hurting the feelings of Chinese people,” it said in an open letter to the UBS board.Lin did not respond to requests for comment, while UBS declined to comment on Haitong International’s decision and referred to Thursday’s apology. <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img SharePrintlast_img read more

first_img SharePrint A planned German highway toll for cars discriminates against foreign drivers and breaches European Union law, the EU’s highest court said on Tuesday.The European Court of Justice backed a challenge from Austria, which charged the economic burden of the toll fell solely on drivers from EU countries other than Germany.The ruling means Germany cannot introduce the toll, which was due to take effect in October 2020. It had passed a law in 2015 establishing the charge for passenger cars that used the country’s highways.Those with cars registered in Germany would have been charged an annual fee of up to 130 euros (£116), but they would have been given a corresponding reduction in motor vehicle tax.Drivers living elsewhere would also have needed passes to drive on German highways, again up to a maximum of 130 euros a year. That worried Austrian drivers, because the fastest east-west route across mountainous Austria involves a shortcut through Germany called the “German corner”.Austria has a similar annual toll of its own – but without the tax break for local drivers – which can irritate Germans who flock to Austria on holiday or cross it on their way to Italy.Austria, backed by the Netherlands, complained that the tax relief for German residents effectively meant only foreign drivers were truly paying the charge.The court agreed on Tuesday, saying the planned system constituted indirect discrimination on grounds of nationality.“I believe that this ruling of the ECJ really is a good day for the European Union … and that it is also a sign, a clear signal in favour of fairness,” Austrian Transport Minister Andreas Reichhardt told a news conference.Germany, supported by Denmark, had argued the charge was in line with EU transport policy and the principle that users and polluters should pay the cost of the highway network.The court disagreed. It said drivers in Germany did not have the opportunity to pay for less than the full year even if they rarely drove on highways.“I expect that Germany will respect this ECJ ruling and that discrimination against foreign drivers will be abandoned,” Reichhardt said, adding that he would await a public reaction by his German counterpart before discussing the issue.German ticket operator CTS Eventim and Austrian road systems specialist Kapsch TrafficCom were awarded a 2 billion-euro contract in December to operate the toll.German already has a road toll for trucks. WhatsAppcenter_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_img SharePrint Mattia Perin was expected to join Portuguese side Benfica following the return of Gianluigi Buffon to Juventus but the former Genoa goalkeeper’s move to Portugal has been halted after he failed a medical test.Benfica were willing to pay around €15 million for the 26-year-old shot-stopper who suffered a shoulder injury which required surgery in April.Nonetheless, the door for Perin’s transfer to the Lisbon club has been left ajar. In fact, a statement published on the club’s website read:“There is an agreement between the clubs and the player’s agent for Mattia Perin’s recuperation to be carried out at Juventus and, once that stage is concluded, the player’s transfer shall be finalized as previously agreed between all parties.”WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement The MPRI identified Singapore, Canada, the United States, Kenya and South Korea as the most prepared markets. The Index indicates that while it’s early stages for mobile payments adoption, all nations globally – either highly scaled and integrated ones like the United Kingdom or compact and technology-driven ones like Singapore – are making progress towards reaching an inflection point where mobile devices account for an appreciable share of the payments mix.  “Kenyan consumers’ very high levels of familiarity with and frequent usage of mobile payments make this nation the top score on the survey’s Consumer Readiness component,” says Charlton Goredema, Vice President: Market Manager, MasterCard Worldwide, East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands commented, “Consumer Readiness scores are driven in large part by how frequently mobile payments are currently in use, and Kenyans’ positive response to a secure, convenient, cashless method of payment has positioned them among the world’s most technologically advanced nations in this index.” – Advertisement – The Index positioned markets’ readiness for global payments on a scale of 0 to 100, with the global average settling at 33.2. “The Kenyan market scored 40.4 on this scale, well above the average, and a little more than one point behind the United States of America, which came in at 41.5, and ahead of Nigeria and South Africa, the other two African markets surveyed” says Goredema.In addition, findings of the MPRI reveal that partnerships among the key players in the mobile payments ecosystem are essential to accelerate the commercialization of mobile payments. Cooperation and collaboration among financial institutions, telcos, governments, technology providers and others can foster an environment that enables a market to reach critical mass.Other key findings include, nine of the 10 markets with the highest consumer scores are in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Of the three mobile payment types, more consumers had engaged in m-commerce in 71 percent of the countries surveyed and in developing economies, consumers are typically drawn to mobile payments for access to the larger economy, both national and global, as well as to a regulated and secure economic infrastructure. Consumers in the developed world are drawn to the convenience of mobile phone payments.“Technology infrastructure, a responsive regulatory environment and a robust economy are table stakes for the advancement of mobile payments,” said Goredema. “The necessary conditions are consumer readiness and industry integration. As no one entity can develop and promote mobile payments by itself, key players in the ecosystem must work together to collectively advance the cause of mobile payments.”last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement “Our people are our main source of competitive advantage,” explains David Ssegawa, Chief Human Resources Officer at Airtel Africa. “We are committed in investing and providing our employees with opportunities to learn and grow within the organization. This latest initiative is in line with our commitment to nurture local talent and develop the capabilities of the workforce.  We firmly believe that this initiative will bring in benefits of ‘flexibility and convenience’ which will allow the employees to have access to their chosen courses anytime, anywhere.He further added, “In addition to the practical benefits it offers, the program will also build a culture of learning and community amongst Airtel employees by facilitating and sharing knowledge and expertise between peers. In the long run, I am confident this will increase both the capabilities and the productivity of our employees.”Airtel has invested in a comprehensive suite of 500 courses from the Learning Resources Management Group touching on a range of subjects including – Accounting, IT, HR, Customer Service, Leadership and Management skills, amongst others.last_img read more