In the runup to the general election civil serva

first_imgIn the run-up to the general election, civil servants sketched out plans to charge claimants a fee if they tried to appeal to a tribunal after being found ineligible for benefits, Disability News Service (DNS) can reveal.The policy proposal was drawn up earlier this year, in case it could be used by the new government.An extract from a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) document, which emerged through a DNS freedom of information request, suggests Tory ministers have not abandoned the idea of charging for benefit appeals, despite the proposal causing controversy when a DWP document was leaked to the Guardian in February 2014, with benefits experts and campaigners labelling the idea a “disgrace”.The latest memo summarises the advantages and risks of introducing the policy, but civil servants insist it is not government policy.A DWP spokesman said the extract was “drafted by staff before the last election in case this issue was raised by a new government”.He said the issue “was not raised by the new government and does not represent government policy”, while the document has not been “shown to, sent to, or seen by ministers” since the new government was elected.But there will still be alarm among disabled campaigners and benefit claimants that such a policy was being discussed within the department just a few months ago, particularly with next week’s spending review set to reveal swingeing new spending cuts across government, including within DWP and the Ministry of Justice, which runs the tribunals service.Anita Bellows, a researcher with Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “Most people going to appeal have already gone through the hoops of mandatory reconsideration, and because of this the number of claimants appealing to tribunals has dropped considerably, and in some cases, such as with ESA appeals, almost disappeared.”She said: “Most if not all claimants going to appeal do so because they lost their benefits, whether through the work capability assessment, being found ineligible for personal independence payment, or being sanctioned.“The notion that people deprived of income could afford tribunal fees is ludicrous and if tribunal fees are introduced they are very likely to be successfully challenged in court.”The extract from the document emerged in response to a request by DNS for any written information relating to discussions about charging for benefit appeals.The heavily-redacted document revealed – under the title “feasibility” – that fees for taking cases to employment tribunals had already been introduced, so charging for social security appeals was “possible”.And it warned that such a policy would incur start-up and running costs, but “could contribute a proportion of the cost of running the tribunal system”.The three other sections of the response – under the headings “legal”, “handling” and “political issues” – were redacted by DWP under section 35 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which exempts departments from releasing information relating to the formulation of government policy.last_img read more

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Sign up to LabourLists morning email for everythi

first_imgSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Apparently striving to undermine trust in her word further still, Theresa May has decided not to request a long Article 50 extension from the EU but merely a short one. We don’t yet know the exact wording of her letter to Donald Tusk, but it is expected that she’ll be asking for a few months’ delay at most, allowing the UK to avoid European parliamentary elections – and, more importantly, allowing the Prime Minister to cling on to office just a little longer.“In the absence of a deal, seeking such a short and, critically, one-off extension would be downright reckless and completely at odds with the position this House adopted only last night, making a no-deal scenario far more rather than less likely.” Not the words of Jeremy Corbyn, or any backbencher – this is what de facto deputy PM David Lidington said last week.Keir Starmer has also summed up the situation well: May is “desperate to impose a binary choice between her deal and no deal – despite parliament clearly ruling out both of those options last week”. This is the PM, as usual, prioritising Tory party unity and her staying in post over making actual progress with Brexit.Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, is looking to compromise. Over many months, Labour consistently briefed that ‘Norway Plus’ or any model based on single market membership would be pointless and turn the UK into a vassal state. (The key point being freedom of movement – a serious bone of contention between the Labour leadership and the membership that has not been given much attention.) But, as explored in one of these emails a few weeks ago, it looks like the Common Market 2.0 plan developed by Stephen Kinnock and Lucy Powell along with Nick Boles and other Tories is gaining traction.Yesterday, the Labour leader met with the CM2.0 campaigners and had a discussion described as “very positive and constructive” (Powell) and “positive and detailed” (Labour spokesperson). This morning, Kinnock told a press conference that the group hopes “to secure the Labour whip for a backbench-driven” piece of legislation, while Powell estimated – based on talks with MPs across the House – that the arrangement could win a “sizeable parliamentary majority”.Conservative backbenchers who favour a no deal outcome are more positive today: they reckon asking for a short extension makes it easier to force the UK into leaving without an agreement. But it seems as if Corbyn is doing what May refuses to do, by opening up the party to alternatives from the Kyle/Wilson confirmatory ballot idea to Common Market 2.0. Critics might doubt the sincerity of claims that Labour is listening to all options, but only one of the main party leaders is making an effort to actually find a Commons majority amid the Brexit chaos. It may well be thanks to the Labour leader’s moves that ‘no deal’-ers are left sorely disappointed.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Labour /Lucy Powell /Stephen Kinnock /Brexit /Common Market 2.0 /Kyle Wilson /last_img read more

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Pepper Spray Prompts Evacuation in SF Mission

first_imgThe San Francisco Fire Department investigated suspected hazardous materials this morning at a Salvation Army building on Valencia Street between Cesar Chavez and 26th. Some 120 people were evacuated by the fire department from the 1500 Valencia Street building, which is a mixed-use residential and office space housing a rehabilitation center and donation intake.Helicopters circled overhead as the police cordoned off Valencia Street from Cesar Chavez to 26th. A group of 50 evacuees were held at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Guerrero while firefighters inside the building searched for the source of a chemical odor reported by Salvation Army staff.“We think it’s probably pepper spray. Someone opened a box and people got irritated,” said Division Chief Kirk Richardson, adding that crews ruled out any danger early on.”We’ve had our hazmat teams go inside, they haven’t found anything. They’ve ruled out any danger, we’re just waiting to find that box.”Laine Hendricks, a Salvation Army spokesperson, said staff on site reported the chemical emanated from a donated item. Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img “Someone must have discharged it,” Richardson said.One employee said “It was mace” when asked what had set off the odor, and another said an alarm was activated in the building shortly afterwards.“I just vacated my place when the alarm went off,” she said.Richardson said fire department personnel medically evaluated 14 people after the evacuation but that no one was transported or hospitalized.ABC7 reports firefighters initially responded to the call just after 10 a.m. this morning, and about two hours later the ordeal was over and people were being allowed back into the building.“We’re ventilating the building with fans, and everyone’s going to be allowed back in,” he continued. Large fans were brought in to do the job, and by 12:10 p.m. those evacuated were being returned and traffic had resumed.last_img read more

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SAINTS will be proudly sporting Bone Cancer Resear

first_imgSAINTS will be proudly sporting Bone Cancer Research Trust’s logo ahead of its final two games of the season.They will be wearing the charity’s t-shirts on Friday and next week in memory of Harrison Ledsham, who was a huge supporter of the club.The T-shirts will bear Harrison’s motto “Never Give Up” to inspire others and raise awareness about primary bone cancer in the run-up to the charity’s Awareness Week in October.Harrison was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2014 and died in May this year, aged just 12.His parents Karen and Paul, from Haydock, said it will be a proud moment to see the Saints players wear warm-up tops with Harrison’s name on them.“It’s vital to raise more awareness of primary bone cancer so a cure may one day be found to stop it taking precious children,” said Karen.“Harrison would have been delighted that his name would have been on the tops of his favourite team – he would see it as a good luck charm and hope they win for him.”Although primary bone cancer affects anyone at any age, osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma are more common in people aged 10-24. The main symptoms of swelling or bone pain can often be mistaken for sporting injuries or growing pains, leading to delays in diagnosis and treatment.Julie Harrington, BCRT Chief Executive, said: “Working with Saints and Harrison’s family is a fantastic opportunity to educate rugby players, fans and their families about healthy bones and to champion awareness of this disease, which affects 600 people in the UK and Ireland every year.”“Patients know their own bodies better than anyone. If you have any unexplained lumps or pain, don’t hesitate to discuss the possibility of primary bone cancer with your doctor – at least to rule it out.To find out more about the Bone Cancer Research Trust, visit www.bcrt.org.uklast_img read more

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The Saints took the lead with their first possessi

first_imgThe Saints took the lead with their first possession of the game. The Giants had got a fingertip to knock down a Jack Welsby pass on the third tackle but three plays later from the resultant scrum he was at it again.This time his pass found Matty Foster who burst through the gap taking it 20 metres to the full back before feeding, back from injury, the supporting Josh Simm who went the final 30 to the corner.The Giants took the lead on 10 minutes as they took advantage of a ball stealing penalty to score under the posts.However, normal service was resumed five minutes later as Chris Follin scored. The Giants missed touch from a debatable penalty and Callum Hazzard made them pay. He took an inside ball back to the ruck bursting through the lazy defenders to the full back before giving a one-handed round the man pass to Follin who strolled under the black dot.The Giants were no mugs though and on their next set they tested the Saints defensive metal. First Tom Nisbet got under the ball on the second tackle to save a try then on the fifth Follin did the same before the last tackle grubber was diffused as well.As the half went on the Saints superior fitness started to tell and it was Hazzard who took full advantage with a brace of well taken tries.On 25 minutes the Giants put the ball down on the Saints 40. From the scrum the ball was worked left but on the third tackle Welsby went back right passing to Hazzard who stepped inside two would be tacklers then the full back on his way to the posts.His second was a good old-fashioned charge to the posts after the full back had grounded Welsby’s last tackle bomb.The Saints lead was extended to 22 points, and the match effectively put to bed, early in the second period. Jack Welsby put a last tackle grubber through which was deflected back behind the Saints by a Giants foot. Elliott Jenkins reacted the quickest winning the race to regain possession and drove the ball in. From his play the ball Hazzard took the ball on before feeding Jorge Lewtas on the burst down the left for the score.The Giants had been berated at the break for being soft and they came out determined to rectify that fact. The Saints weren’t content to lie down, however, giving like for like but the game suffered a bit as a result turning into a bit of a slug fest.The Saints defensive capabilities were again called upon as poor ball security meant the Giants spent the majority of the final 30 minutes in the Saints half.It’s testament to the voracity of that defensive effort that the line was only broken twice in the final five minutes giving the score a slightly false look.Alex Eckley, Sam Royle, Foster and Follin all toiled hard. Josh Simm was a welcome returnee for his hard running and Welsby and Jenkins controlled the middle well enough. But the stand out player for this week for his elusive hard running and vision is Callum Hazzard.Match Summary:Saints U19s: Tries: Josh Simm (1), Chris Follin (14), Callum Hazzard (25 & 33), Jorge Lewtas (46). Goals: Callum Hazzard 4 from 5.Huddersfield Giants U19s: Tries: Tom Hugill (9), Tyllar Mellor (75), Jack Richardson (78). Goals: Oliver Russell 2 from 3.Half Time: 22-6 Full Time: 28-16Teams:Saints: 1. Tom Nisbet; 5. Sean Croston, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Josh Simm, 2. Luke Ward; 6. Jack Welsby, 7. Elliott Jenkins; 8. Alex Eckley, 9. Jake Wingfield, 10. Callum Hazzard, 11. Matty Foster, 12. Sam Royle, 13. Chris Follin. Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Joe Sharratt 16. Jorge Lewtas, 17. Chris Kellett.Huddersfield: 1. Louis Senior; 5. Dominic Young, 4. Jack Richardson, 3. Jacob Wardle, 2. Tyllar Mellor; 6. Oliver Russell, 7. Josh Pinder; 8. Jon Luke Kirby, 9. Jamie Greenwood, 18. Tom Hugill, 11. Lucas Hallas, 12. Sam Hewitt, 15. Ross Whitmore. Subs: 10. Ben Bamber, 16. Thomas Mayoh, 19. Connor Murphy, 20. Alfie Copley.last_img read more

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You ROCK and Special Olympics NHC will ROLL with extra funds

first_img So what about all those rocks that Mike has collected from people saying “Thank You”?“People kept bringing us rocks,” he said. “Before you knew it, we had a lot and I said, what are we going to do with all these rocks? So (I) came up with the idea to put them up for sale and donate all the proceeds to Special Olympics of New Hanover County.”Mike found a way to turn the rocks that have been given to him into a way to pay it forward. You can help in two ways. Donate a painted rock for the auction or come to the auction and buy one that has been donated. All proceeds go to Special Olympics of NHC.Related Article: Knights of Columbus to host benefit golf tournamentWhat: Painted Rock sale to benefit Special Olympics NHCWhen: December 22nd, 2017 11am-5pmWhere: Mikes Mulch and Stone, 6512 Carolina Beach Rd.(Donate painted rocks ahead of event during normal business hours) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –It’s an inspiring community mission to spread positivity in some of the least expected places and no doubt about it, the whole idea ROCKS!Now there’s a way for you to be a part of it while also helping the Special Olympics of New Hanover County.Mike Tarter of Mikes Mulch and Stone has given discounts to folks in need of rocks to paint and put out in the community. In return, they would give him one they designed.  Leaving painted rocks around the community to put a smile on someone’s face started a while back in the Cape Fear and is growing in popularity.  Facebook groups including 910 Rocks, Wilmington Rocks, Kindness Rocks, and Shallahrocks have played a massive role in making the project a success.Some of the painted rocks up for auction to benefit Special Olympics NHC- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Wilmington man indicted on numerous child pornography charges

first_imgGavel (Photo: MGN Online) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man has been indicted in federal court on several pornography charges.Ricardo Jerome Bennett, Sr., 47, is charged with 10 counts of Receipt of Child Pornography and one count of Possession of Child Pornography.- Advertisement – The indictment alleges that, beginning at a time unknown and ending on December 19, 2014, Bennett received at least 10 images containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.The indictment also alleges that on December 19, 2014, he was found to be in possession of digital media containing images and videos involving minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.If convicted, Bennett would face a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to a lifetime of supervised release following any time in prison.Related Article: NC man allegedly beat puppy to death with shovelThe case is being investigated by the FBI.last_img read more

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One killed in Brunswick County crash

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A 72-year-old man is dead after an early morning crash in Brunswick County Monday.According to Sgt. King with the State Highway Patrol, a trooper responded to a crash on Gilbert Road just before 7 a.m.- Advertisement – After investigating, officials said a GMC Sierra pickup truck was heading east when the driver missed a curve and ran off the road to the right. The truck hit a ditch and flipped over. The driver was trapped inside and died at the scene. He was identified as George Washington Bellamy of Bolivia. No one else was in the truck at the time of the crash.Highway Patrol said no impairment is suspected; however, speed was a factor and Bellamy was not wearing his seatbelt.last_img read more

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Topsail baseball coach fired in wake of ineligible player investigation

first_img Rimer’s firing is the second personnel move since it was discovered the Topsail baseball team used an ineligible player, which cost them a chance to compete for a state championship. Topsail high’s athletic director stepped down in May.An investigation into the school is continuing in Hampstead, Pender County Schools still have not made a final announcement regarding their findings. HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — Pender County Schools will not renew Topsail High School baseball coach Aaron Rimer’s contract for the 2018-2019 school year amid an investigation into the school’s administration.The decision came down last week in a letter sent to Coach Rimer. In the letter, the school board informed him that his contract was not going to be renewed and that his request for a discretionary hearing was denied.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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First responders get in place for Hurricane Florence

first_img Chief Ralph Evangelous says they have a plan in place and and he urges any residents left to get out in the next few hours.“We need to take this seriously. This is not a typical hurricane that we’ve all ridden out before,” said Evangelous. “The only reason I’m here is because I’ve got to be here. And if not, I’d be gone with my family too. So please, if you can get out, get out. Minimally, go to a shelter. If you’re in a shelter, get out.”Evangelous says they will do everything in their power to help residents, but he urges them to take no chances. Hurricane Florence as seen from the ISS on Monday morning. (Photo: Ricky Arnold / ISS) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington first responders are geared up and ready for Hurricane Florence.Wilmington Police are planning to be in place for at least seven days straight. They plan to have officers stationed at different buildings and spots throughout the city for the duration of the hurricane.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Topsail Beach plans a new dredging project

first_imgTOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY)– Dunes are one of the best ways to save our beaches but, Hurricane Florence took a lot of sand from Topsail Beach’s first line of protection. The town is planning a new project that will bring sand back.The town is looking into dredging Topsail Creek which provides a connection between the Intercoastal Waterway and the Inlet. This will bring quality sand material to put back on the beach. The town has started bids to dredging companies and hopes to open the bids by Friday. The project will begin by mid-February and take about 30 to 45 days to complete.- Advertisement – “Since the Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t have plans to dredge that, in order to get good safe navigation through those areas, the towns going to come through and dredge those areas,” said Town Manager Michael Rose.He says the town’s beach nourishment program has maintained the sand at the beach but, he hopes this new project will provide more sand.last_img read more

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Pender County hires new elections director

first_img Williams was born in Burgaw, has family ties to Pender County and served four years in the U.S. Navy.She brings many years of experience to the Pender County Director of Elections office, Woodruff said.Williams has served in several election capacities in Duplin County, including an assistant, precinct judge and chief judge overseeing all county precincts. She also served as an election specialist, deputy director and director of board of elections.Related Article: Courthouse, auditorium in Pender County still closed after hurricane“Mrs. Williams is responsible to ensure every eligible voter in Pender County gets to exercise their right to participate in our local, state and federal elections,” Woodruff added. Photo: Tammy Proctor PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pender County has announced the hiring of a new election director to lead the Pender County Director of Elections office.In a statement released today, Pender County Manager Randell Woodruff said Susan Williams started in her new role with the county on June 17.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Cisco Emerging markets remain key priority

first_imgAdvertisement “Cisco believes firmly that cloud computing will play a key role in helping people to do that. It will help them better manage the way in which they use their opex and capex,” said Meads.“Cloud Computing helps them to gain competitive advantage, to deploy apps more quickly, more readily and more efficiently,” said Meads.Transforming education – Advertisement – Meads discussed applicable ways that the South African government could use cloud computing to advance the current education system.“I would propose to the South Africa Minister of Education that the simplest and quickest way to transform the education system for the children of South Africa using technology and using cloud technology is by building the right architecture – you can deliver the same level of education, the same content, the same access to experts and teachers through the cloud. That’s pretty transformational,” said Meads.Cisco’s 5 key prioritiesAccording to Meads, Cisco has re-aligned it resources and partners around 5 core priorities:1. Leadership2. Collaboration3. Video4. Data Centre, Virtualisation and Cloud5. Architecture“Some of the key areas of opportunities that we’re looking at are the emerging markets. Emerging markets have been a fantastic growth engine for Cisco for the last 6 years,” said Meads.Meads said Cisco has grown over the past 26 years but it has reached a point in time where it needs to put its foot on the ball and really simplify the way it does business with its customers and partners.“To do that we need to adopt new business models and that is very relevant to the cloud conversation. The network is driving the future of the core Internet and the cloud.”“We’re extremely well positioned to lead this change. We’re the leading networking company in the world, we need to refocus on that strength and lead the change for the next generation of the Internet,” concludes Meads.Source :itnewsafricalast_img read more

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Effective reliable bed sensor substitutes conventional patient monitoring technology

first_imgAdvertisement EarlySense, a device placed under mattresses in an Israeli hospital is helping to ensure that patients’ vital signs are monitored accurately, but unobtrusively. The bed sensor is proving to be an effective and more reliable alternative to conventional patient monitoring technology.Anat Margel, a nurse at the Dorot Geriatric Hospital, says EarlySense has been a lifesaver.“Two and a half years ago, before we started working with the system, we unfortunately had two incidents of patients that were found dead in their beds. Ever since we’ve been using the system and we monitor the patients, we identify the difficult condition of those patients. We had at least three of four incidents of ventricular fibrillation that the crew literally saved patients’ lives.”EarlySense’s CEO, Avner Halperin says the sensor is an effective and safer alternative to conventional monitors which require the attachment of wires to a patient’s skin.  It’s based on a sensor, which is placed under the mattress of a bed and monitors the patient continuously without ever touching his body, heart, respiration and motion. It gives alerts when the earliest warning signs of deterioration are present which makes the nurses and doctors much more effective in intervening early and keeping them out of trouble. – Advertisement – Halperin also says EarlySense is much less prone than conventional systems to send out false alarms, which over time can desensitise carers to the possibility of a real emergency. Connected to a bedside computer, the device monitors breathing, heart rate and heavy body movement.“These three signals go through the mattress, are collected by this passive plaque which is like a passive antenna, digitized and then algorithms that we developed over ten years make that into very accurate vital signs that then are analysed and based on that, when something begins to go wrong, an alert is indicated to the nurse and physicians.”EarlySense costs around $7,000 U.S. dollars and is used in about two dozen hospitals in America. A sensor for home use is also being developed and Halperin says he’s confident that these devices will significantly reduce patient emergencies, and save lives.Source: Reuterslast_img read more

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WhatsApp postpones plans to launch voice calling services to Q1 2015

first_imgAdvertisement In Febuary, WhatsApp announced they would be adding voice calling services to their popular messaging app in the second quarter of 2014, but that time period came and went with no such addition.WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum has come out and said that they are targeting a first quarter 2015 date to add voice features.He revealed this in a presentation at the Code/Mobile conference this week. – Advertisement – [related-posts]He admitted that the development team has a number of technical hurdles to overcome before launching voice features. One of them is that the app itself doesn’t have access to the microphones on some smartphones.WhatsApp was recently acquired by Facebook, but Koum said this week that he doesn’t think WhatsApp will compete with Facebook Messenger, which also has free voice call features via WiFi.While Facebook is designed to work on both mobile products and desktops, WhatsApp is designed to work just on mobile devices, so any voice messages will go to a user’s contact list.Via Android Centrallast_img read more

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STAR PREVIEW Royal Ascot Opening Day

first_imgWelcome to Royal Ascot 2015Or (with the help of Google translate)For Japanese readers…ロイヤルアスコット2015へようこそFor Spanish readers…Bienvenido a Royal Ascot 2015For French readers…Bienvenue à Royal Ascot 2015For Russian readers…Добро пожаловать в Royal Ascot 2015For Czech readers…Vítejte na Royal Ascot 2015Yes, it’s truly now an international meeting. For years Ascot have promoted their flagship meeting overseas and dangled the considerable prize money and prestige angles and are now rewarded with a fantastic mix of the world’s top equine stars.Five days of fantastic racing start with three Group 1’s on Tuesday on ground described by Ascot’s clerk of the course Chris Stickels on Channel 4’s Morning Line as good, good to firm in places.The international feel to this week’s racing hits you from the very first race – the superb Queen Anne Stakes over a mile in which it’s an odds-on chance that it will go to either the Hong Kong superstar Able Friend (pictured) or the French trained Solow. Able Friend is the world’s top miler and has been reported as working well but this is Berkshire and not Sha Tin so it’s impossible to say for sure how he will cope with the occasion. Solow slammed The Grey Gatsby by over four lengths in the Dubai Turf at Meydan but this is the fastest ground he has encountered today.Richard Hannon has a good record in the curtain raiser (won it last year with Toronado) and has a solid pair in Night Of Thunder and Toormore. They often race together and Night Of Thunder proved a neck superior when they last met in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.It’s a tough starter but Able Friend for me.19 sprinters got to post for the King’s Stand Stakes at 3.40 and the Eddie Lynam trained Sole Power will go into the record books if he can win the race for a third successive year. He met plenty of trouble in running last year before going on to win impressively (takes some doing in an ultra competitive 5f race) which makes you wonder what he would have done if he’d got the rub of the green? His comeback run at the Curragh is probably worth disregarding in the context of this race given it was over six furlongs and on good to yielding ground. The minimum trip has always been his optimum.Rather than trying to oppose him, my angle is to find an each-way bet in the race and I like Mecca’s Angel on this basis. Trained in County Durham by Michael Dods this is a sprinter who is in the very peak of form. She is seemingly still improving and after Group 3 wins at Newbury and Longchamp (where she broke the course record) deserves to take her chance at the top table.Dods is likely to take a late view on the ground as she is untested on anything faster than good. He told the Northern Echo: “Even at this stage, if we feel things have gone too firm, she won’t run. You’d like to think that the first day of the meeting would see the ground at its softest. I’m sure they won’t want to be watering all week, so if there’s any doubt, you’d think they’d err on the side of caution for the first day and then let nature take its course after that. It’s obviously a big step up, but I think that’s the level we have to aim at with her now. She’ll be taking on the best sprinters in Europe, but she’s earned the right to be competing at that level and we’ll just have to see how she goes. We understand it’s a big challenge, but she’s handled every challenge she’s faced so far and there’s no reason to think this will be any different.”So it’s Mecca’s Angel (EW) as my main bet on day one. On a day when the best international superstars strut their stuff on the main stage it might just be the girl from County Durham that impresses most. The female Billy Elliot if you like.The final Group 1 of the day is the St James’s Palace Stakes and sees many peoples idea of the banker of the week in Gleneagles who looks set to follow up on his dual Guineas successes at Newmarket and the Curragh.I agree with the view on the Morning Line that he looks too short but equally hard to oppose. With Consort and Make Believe still very much still full of potential – layers of the favourite will cling to this duo for hope but if you rely on the formbook there can only be one winner.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK MECCA’S ANGEL (3.40 Royal Ascot) for 4 points ew at around 13/2 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 65.04 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

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STARTERS ORDERS Saturday

first_imgWhat’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Saturday 5 SeptemberRACING2.05 StratfordTriple Eight 13/2 > 4/12.55 KemptonZonderland 3/1 > 15/85.55 ThirskBrando 11/4 > 15/86.30 WolverhamptonAbove N Beyond 4/1 > 2/1FOOTBALLUEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier17:00 ITV / ITV HD125/1 San Marino 1/150 England 33/1 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation)last_img read more

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BENS BLOG Taschen at Sloane Square

first_img[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ave you been to the Taschen shop in Sloane Square? WEB SITE It’s my favourite bookshop in London. Okay, it’s not really a normal bookshop. But the books themselves, and also the Staff; have real flair. Both are high quality and take pride.Everything now, has to be KFC-style; base-level, aimed at the lowest-common-denominator, with enormous institutions, simply in the middle, nicking a couple of pence per deal. It’s rare for a business to be serving-up such premium goods (and surviving). I wish them the best of luck. This is a SPECIAL shop, Blog, and their coffee-table-books make for superb gifts. Anyway; they have a sale on, for the next couple of days…SO CHECK IT OUT..!In other news:“Corporate Raider” took myself and Star Sports MD, Gaul Wood, out for dinner on Tuesday night.The New Mayflower, 68 – 70 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, W1D 6LY. WEB SITE Buzzy and authentic. Real China Town. Eels in Black-Bean sauce (NAP). Roast Duck (NB). A really varied menu. Excellent food. Cheeky waiters. 8.5Over and out, B xlast_img read more

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£25 FREE BET JoWilfried Tsonga v Rafael Nadal

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Successful voting systems must be accurate usable accessible and secure

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis Return to article. Long Description“Improving Voting Systems’ User-Friendliness, Reliability and Security” will appear in Behavioral Science and Policy and summarizes voting systems in the United States used throughout the past decade and outlines lessons about how to improve them. In the paper, author Mike Byrne, a professor of psychology and computer science at Rice, summarizes previous voting research that supports his argument that the following four factors are critical to the success of voting systems.AccuracyIn his previous research on voting accuracy, Byrne found that voting machines fail to capture voter intent up to 4 percent of the time. He found a 1-2 percent error rate for paper ballots, a 1.5 percent error rate for direct recording electronic – DRE – machines and a 3-4 percent error rate for punch cards and lever machines. He said this is clear evidence that this issue must be addressed. Voting error rates were measured by comparing each voter’s intent with the actual vote that was cast.“The most critical measure of a voting system’s usability is the system’s ability to accurately capture voter intent,” Byrne said. “In several elections throughout history – including the 2016 presidential election – a few percentage points made all the difference. And there have been situations – such as the 2000 presidential election – where individuals thought they were casting a vote for their desired candidate, when it fact a confusing ballot made it harder to cast the right vote.”Byrne noted that studies from other voting researchers revealed even more troubling findings about voting accuracy, which he said further underscores the importance of voting accuracy.“The scariest thing about these numbers is that we know from other research that the DRE we measured is almost certainly better than most of the ones out there in real polling places,” he said.Usability and accessibilityElectronic voting systems have become widespread in recent years, Byrne said. While they offer many features that improve usability and accessibility, such as faster voting, push-button voting and visual and audio aids, research showed that they did not improve the voting error rate.Approximately a half-dozen previous studies of DREs revealed an average voter error rate of 1.5 percent; this indicates that they were no better than paper ballots, which have an error rate of 1-2 percent. Byrne noted that other studies not referenced in his paper have revealed even higher rates of voting errors.Byrne said that although participants were up to 30 percent more satisfied with DREs than they were with traditional systems, the DRE system did not generate lower error rates.“This research made it clear that there is more work to be done to both improve voting usability and accessibility while preventing errors,” he said.Security Security must also be considered early in the design of voting systems, but Byrne said it is important to take great care not to compromise the other important factors (usability, accessibility and accuracy) for this. Byrne said that although this is a difficult balance, getting it right is critical.“Security is a complex problem on its own, particularly now that it involves computers; computer security is a whole branch of computer science,” Byrne said. “We wanted to look at the human side of that problem.”In the paper, Byrne references a specific study of voters’ ability to help thwart tampering. In the study, the researchers tested whether or not voters detected malfunctioning or maliciously altered voting machine software. The purpose was to detect whether voters would notice the altered votes on the review screen. Two-thirds of voters in the study failed to notice such changes.“Security is obviously critical — we don’t want hackers or ballot-box stuffers deciding election outcomes,” Byrne said. “But if what’s actually on the ballots doesn’t accurately reflect the will of the voters, it doesn’t matter how secure the system is; the election outcome can still be wrong.”Byrne said that much of the research on voting began following the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which was passed to improve voter access and voting systems. While well-intentioned, Byrne said, it inadvertently led to the purchase of systems that may have actually increased the vote error rate. He said that research on voting systems has been conducted throughout the past decade and has demonstrated that many systems are less usable and secure than they should be.Byrne said behavioral scientists are best equipped to design voting systems because the factors that contribute to human error tend not to be well-understood by software engineers, and behavioral scientists have the necessary expertise in conducting usability tests. He noted that two collaborative efforts to build better voting machines are currently underway — the Los Angeles County California Voting Systems Assessment Project and the Travis County STAR-Vote project.“These two jurisdictions have different constraints in terms of election law, demographics and resources,” Byrne said. “However, both have brought election and voting system experts together to share their expertise, and the systems they are building share some major design features. Both will have a DRE user interface similar to the Center for Civic Design’s Anywhere Ballot to support usability and accessibility, and both will produce a paper record to ensure the system is secure and auditable. Both projects are also committed to usability testing.”More details on the specifics of each of the studies referenced in the paper (including study participant information and experiment details) are available on Page 10 of the study. The paper is available online at https://behavioralpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/v3i1-web-Byrne.pdf.-30-For more information, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related Materials:Mike Byrne website: http://chil.rice.edu/byrnePaper link: https://behavioralpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/v3i1-web-Byrne.pdfPhoto link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2013/10/1007_VOTING-b.jpgPhoto credit: ShutterstockLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005 People votingelectioncenter_img ShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.eduSuccessful voting systems must be accurate, usable, accessible and secureHOUSTON – (Aug. 15, 2017) – Voting systems must be accurate, usable, accessible and secure to be successful, according to a new paper from a voting behavior expert at Rice University.last_img read more

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