A note from the editor For nine years Disability

first_imgA note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support its work and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember 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… Cross-party MPs have raised a series of concerns with work and pensions secretary Esther McVey about the government’s treatment of disabled people on out-of-work benefits.Members of the Commons work and pensions select committee were questioning McVey (pictured) more than a year after her government introduced cuts of nearly £30 a week to payments to new claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG).Ministers were ridiculed when they first announced the cuts and argued they would “incentivise” those in the WRAG to find work.Claimants placed in the WRAG have all been found able to carry out some work-related activity but have been found not fit for work.The minister for disabled people, Penny Mordaunt [now the international development secretary], later promised to find a way to cut the living costs of people in the WRAG and “mitigate the £30”.But by the time the cuts were introduced, in April 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appeared to suggest that Mordaunt’s only success on living costs had been to ensure that new WRAG claimants would be told by their jobcentre work coaches how to secure the cheapest BT telephone tariff.Yesterday (Wednesday), SNP’s Chris Stephens asked McVey what work had been done to look at the additional costs faced by WRAG claimants.But she did not appear to have an answer and claimed instead that the cuts had been aimed at sick and disabled people who could “definitely do some work” and had allowed her department to invest more funds into supporting them into jobs.Stephens said the committee had received “a lot of witness evidence” that the cuts were “increasing stress and poverty for people in the WRAG” and had provided a “disincentive to get to work”.He said: “There’s a very real concern that people are moving into hardship if they are on ESA in the WRAG.”McVey said DWP was “testing and ensuring people aren’t going into hardship” but that its “focus” was to get those in the WRAG into work.She claimed that the proportion of families that included a disabled person and were living in absolute poverty had fallen since 2010.She said it was “not easy and we are learning as we go, we are learning from what we do. We are very focused on getting those people into work”.Tory MP Heidi Allen raised concerns about disabled people who claim the new universal credit and face the possibility of strict benefit conditions – such as being forced to carry out hours of job searches every week – as they wait for a work capability assessment.James Wolfe, DWP’s director of disability employment and support, said work coaches had “discretion” to make changes to conditionality for disabled people in this position.But asked by Allen if the work coaches making these important decisions about whether a claimant was well enough to meet these conditions were “health care experts”, he said instead that they were “skilled in knowing what someone can do and what the best steps are for them to get back into the labour market”.He added: “We are looking very closely at the whole health journey in universal credit.”He said there were not yet large numbers of people with health conditions coming onto universal credit so DWP was still “testing and learning, very carefully deciding who we might want to apply some conditionality to and then looking at what happens before those large numbers start coming through”.Asked by Allen what options DWP was looking at to ensure that not everyone was treated the same, he said: “The instructions our people have is very much to be cautious about this at the moment.“This is something that is going to evolve over a period of time as we start to get the numbers through. We are looking at it very closely.”But Allen said the committee was hearing of too many cases in which “discretion is not being fairly applied”, and she said: “I just worry. We have to get it right.”A previous session of the committee in May had heard from one disabled claimant of universal credit who told MPs how he had been sanctioned by DWP after missing a work-related meeting in a week in which he had been hospitalised twice because of multiple seizures.McVey claimed DWP was “monitoring closely” how different areas, job centres and work coaches use this discretion.Labour’s Neil Coyle told McVey, and Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people: “In order to get more disabled people into work, there has to be trust with the department and with jobcentres in particular.”He told them that disabled people had seen DWP cut support for half a million claimants of disability living allowance in the move to the new personal independence payment.And he said that half a million disabled people were set to lose out financially in the move to universal credit, and that there had been a cut in the number of disability employment advisers, problems with Access to Work, and increased pressure through benefit sanctions and inaccurate disability benefit assessments.He asked what efforts ministers had made to assess the cumulative impact of all these cuts on disabled people’s ability and readiness for work.Wolfe did not answer this question, but said the proportion of disabled people in work was increasing, and the proportion of disabled people in absolute poverty had fallen.He added: “What I don’t accept is the sort of caricature of the department as being somehow the enemy of disabled people.”Coyle replied: “I can only go on my surgery [for constituents] and the feedback we have had here. It’s about trust.“The question is what assessment has been made of that impact of the changes on disabled people’s preparedness for work.”Wolfe suggested again that the cuts had led to an increase in the number of disabled people in work, telling Coyle: “The outcome is there in the disability employment statistics.”McVey said an extra £9 billion in real terms had been spent on supporting disabled people and those with health conditions with benefits [since 2010] and that the number of disabled people in work had increased by 600,000 [between 2013 and 2017].last_img read more

A Missionite Helps Hoist 75Foot Resist Banner in DC

first_imgMission activist, youth worker and muralist Nancy Pili Hernandez is one of seven protesters who were arrested on Wednesday after climbing a 270-foot crane in the nation’s capital as an act of peaceful defiance against the country’s new Administration.“We are hoping that people are looking up today and seeing that the resistance is strong although the opposition in front of us seems to be adamant about dividing the people of this country,” Pili Hernandez said in a video of the action.  Strapped in harnesses and bound together by ropes, the “string of activists” spent some 14 hours dangling against a clear blue sky with a view of the White House, where President Donald Trump issued executive orders to restart two controversial pipeline projects and to stall environmental policy. The protesters are associated with the environmental group Greenpeace and made national headlines after unfurling a 75-foot banner above a construction site that in bold, handwritten letters read “Resist” – a message for President Trump that they hoped would resonate in communities across the country. 0% Photo taken from Greenpeace USA Facebook page.Police arrested Pili Hernandez and six others who participated in the action on Wednesday evening after they descended the crane, and served them with charges of Second Degree Burglary, Unlawful Entry, and Destruction of Property.  The DC Police department issued a statement in which it deemed the group’s actions “extremely dangerous and unlawful.”As of January 26, Pili Hernandez could not be reached for comment, but in an 11-minute Facebook livestream on Wednesday, the San Francisco native could be seen atop the crane in the heart of Washington D.C., with the Washington Monument in the backdrop. Despite gusty winds and the imminent threat of arrest, Pili Hernandez smiled as she shared a message of nonviolent resistance with some 770,000 Facebook users who viewed the video, and others who watched from the streets below: “So we are going to spend some time in jail but it’s definitely worth it,” she said, adding that  “non-violent, civil disobedience is a tactic that has worked to mobilize people, teach people, to change things in a way that does not create wars, violence or destroy our spirits.”Pili Hernandez said in the video that the Administration has erased climate change as an issue, adding that “the default position of this administration is to bury their heads in the sand and act in denial during the largest crisis that humanity has ever faced, then our default position must be fearless resistance.” Other actions that President Trump has taken in his first week of office include orders to roll back Obamacare, direct agencies to step up deportation proceedings of undocumented immigrants, and construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Pili Hernandez said she intended for the action to inspire unity, instill hope and encourage peaceful opposition in communities impacted by the president’s orders and their supporters.“If our effort in conquering our fears has inspired you at all I hope that everybody can find ways to resist in our own lives, to work together to stop the pipelines from being built, to protect the water, to protect the land, to protect a woman’s right to choose, to protect gay marriage, to protect our brothers and sisters who are threatened with deportation,” she said. center_img Tags: advocacy • mission • protests Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

FANCY watching our First Utility Super League fixt

first_imgFANCY watching our First Utility Super League fixture at Warrington and our Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Semi Final with Leeds in style?Then bid on these great packages – and raise money for three great charities!Over the course of seven days, Ben Dawbarn, Rob Foden, Paul Dixon and Ross Clark are going to be climbing the highest four mountains in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.They will then fly over to climb the highest mountain in Europe – Mont Blanc – before heading back to London to take part in the Prudential 100 mile bike ride.They are doing this monstrous challenge for three charities very close to their hearts – gain, St.Roccos Hospice and Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity.Ecoshred are offering four seats in a box on the halfway line for our game at Warrington on July 16 with a full hospitality package at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.Then on July 31 – at our Semi Final with Leeds – their box will be available on the halfway line with a full drinks and buffet package for eight people and also included is a Fitbit surge for one guest donated by Reward Health.For the first package – our game at Warrington – you can get involved, and raise funds, by texting silent bids to 07737 637 760 or through inboxing the Ecoshred Facebook page.Bidding closes on Tuesday July 14.For the second package, you can again text bids to 07737 637 760 or through the Ecoshred Facebook page.This one won’t be a silent auction and you can keep progress on the bids at the Ecoshred Facebook page.The Challenge’s Just Giving site is here.last_img read more

MOVEMBER have teamed up with England Rugby League

first_imgMOVEMBER have teamed up with England Rugby League to build some Mo’s amongst the wall of white!Sign up for ‪#‎Movember 2015 and join the official England Rugby League Movember fundraising team, captained by Jon Wilkin, “The Mo’s of St. George” at https://uk.movember.com/team/1938985The team page also details a discount code to get £5 off tickets at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk/internationallast_img

OUR Official Travel Partner and sponsor of the Spo

first_imgOUR Official Travel Partner and sponsor of the Sponsors’ Lounge at Langtree Park, Hatton’s Travel, are offering day great trips this year that all fans can take advantage of.Check out the brochure below to find out more!You can find out more information and book on these trips by contacting them on 01744 811818 or by logging on to www.hattonstravel.co.uklast_img

Our Betfred Super League season gets underway with

first_imgOur Betfred Super League season gets underway with a mouth-watering clash against our fiercest rivals on Thursday January 31 (7.45pm) at the Totally Wicked Stadium.It’s not often the two biggest clubs in the game face-off so early in the campaign and this one is guaranteed not to be missed with so much at stake.Saints beat the Warriors twice last season and will want to get their season off to the best possible start against the 2018 Champions.New star signings Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama and Joseph Paulo are also set to feature alongside the World’s Best Prop Luke Thompson and Golden Boot Winner – and World’s Best Winger – Tommy Makinson.Tickets can be bought by calling into the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, telephoning 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

La Bouche coming to the Wilson Center in February

first_img La Bouche has sold more than 12 million records worldwide. Some of their hits include “Be My Lover”, “Fallin’ in Love”, and “Sweet Dreams.”The duo is made up of front man Lane McCray, Jr. and Sophie Cairo.Members can buy tickets starting Thursday at 2:00 p.m. online at capefearstage.com. Related Article: Former CFCC president named as Bladen Community College presidentTickets go on sale to the public on Friday beginning at 10:00 a.m. online and at 2:00 p.m. at Ticket Central. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Time to pull out your plaid and choker necklaces, the 90s makes its return in February with the arrival of La Bouche.La Bouche, a big part of the the dance music scene in the 1990s, is making the only US stop of their world tour in Wilmington at the CFCC Wilson Center on Valentine’s Day.- Advertisement – last_img read more

ERA will be investigating vandalised rocks in Slugs Bay Mellieha

first_img 1 of 3 Newsbook.com.mt contacted the police to see if a report of vandalism had been made but the spokesperson said that no reports had been received.  They added that in such cases these reports are normally forwarded to other authorities.The ERA spokesperson explained that investigations will start next week and that they will be working with the police to find the person(s) responsible and also to seek compensation for such damages.WhatsApp SharePrint Facebook / John Zammit Facebook/John ZammitFacebook/John Zammit The Environmental Resources Authority say they will be investigating the cause of what appeared to be black oil-stained rocks in Slugs Bay Mellieha.ERA’s spokeswoman told Newsbook.com.mt that the authority had been made aware of the incident and explained that enforcement officers will be investigating the cause and trying to find the perpetrator.Their responses come after Newsbook.com.mt contacted ERA after images were posted on social media showing black stained rocks in Slugs Bay, Mellieha. The suspicion is that the black stain is the result of spilt engine oil.center_img Facebook / John Zammit Facebook/John Zammit <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

FIFA Banned Beats Headphones At The World Cup To Please Sponsor Sony

first_imgAdvertisement Dr Dre and Jimmy IovineSoccer world governing body FIFA, has banned the bulky Beats headphones, requiring players have to take them off when they are in World Cup stadiums for official matches and media events.This is because of a licensing agreement with electronics maker Sony Corp.The colorful high-end headphones created by rapper Dr Dre have become a ubiquitous soccer accessory. Neymar wore them as he stepped off the bus at the Castelao stadium of Fortaleza for Brazil’s last training season on the eve of their match with Mexico on Tuesday. – Advertisement – Suarez had them wrapped around his neck as he joked with his Uruguay team mates during a break at a recent practice.Acquired by Apple for $3 billion, Beats Electronics is known for “guerrilla marketing” tactics to bypass licensing barriers.During the 2012 Olympics in London, for instance, the company sent thousands of free headphones to high profile athletes including the U.S. basketball team and the entire British delegation, outsmarting official sponsor Panasonic.Officials at Beats were not available for comment on their strategy at the Olympics and this World Cup.A 5-minute film featuring Neymar, Suarez, Germany’s Mario Goetze, Netherlands’ Robin van Persie, Mexico’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and other players wearing Beats headphones released days before the World Cup has been seen by 10.6 million people on YouTube.Its name? “The Game Before the Game”.Sony this month issued all players participating in the World Cup with a free set of its own headphones they can take to the games.But so far few players have been spotted with them wrapped around their necks.Source: BIlast_img read more

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to be Launched Today

first_imgAdvertisement South Korean smartphone makers, Samsung Corp., will be launching their latest phablet flagship Note-series, the “Samsung Note 7” today at an event scheduled in New York at 11:00 am EDT (6:00 pm East African Time). Samsung Mobile Chief, DJ Koh confirmed that the Note 7 will have an upgraded software and significantly improved note features.Samsung named it’s new flagship Galaxy Note 7 instead of Galaxy Note 6, because;The Galaxy Note 7 will  complement the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and unify the companies product portfolio.The Galaxy Note 7 will also minimize confusion about the latest mobile technology from the company, and provide full alignment with Galaxy S smartphones.Putting it’s naming aside, they’re reports showing leaked images of the Galaxy Note 7 appear hours before its official launch. – Advertisement – “The leaked images, which were first spotted by Mobipicker, give us a clear look at the front and back of the smartphone. The Gold color variant sports a dual-edge display, with the iris scanner sitting on the top bezel. There is also the S Pen slot at the bottom, while the power and the volume buttons are housed on the right and left respectively,” Gadgets 360 reports.We shall keep you posted as soon as the device is launched, however, you can still follow the live stream at samsung webiste if you have no invite.last_img read more