A train operator will this summer start running ma

first_imgA train operator will this summer start running mainline rail services that wheelchair-users will not be able to access… with the apparent blessing of the government.It is believed to be the first time for many years that a scheduled mainline train service will run without any provision for passengers who use wheelchairs.And it comes just days after the Equality and Human Rights Commission was said to be considering legal action against the government over its failure to ensure an accessible rail service.That threat emerged after rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway issued “grossly insulting” guidance to station staff that said they should not attempt to place “persons of reduced mobility (PRM)” on a train “if there is a possibility of delaying the service”.Now train operator TransPennine Express (TPE) has decided to run services that will be out of bounds to wheelchair-users.TPE is part of the transport giant FirstGroup, which in January 2017 was found by the Supreme Court to have breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people under the Equality Act through its “first come, first served” policy on the use of wheelchair spaces on buses.From July, TPE is to introduce two extra trains, each with four carriages, all of which will be inaccessible to wheelchair-users.Leaked internal documents show that 12 of these services without wheelchair provision – six in each direction – will run every weekday between Liverpool and Scarborough via Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds and York, using old “Mark Three” coaches.The documents say there will be “no space on the train for wheelchairs” and that “the trains will run without wheelchair or cycle provision”.If a wheelchair-user wants to board a service that is using the old Mark Three coaches, they will be told to catch the next accessible train instead. If two consecutive trains are inaccessible, TPE will pay for a taxi to their destination.Six of the 17 hourly trains that run all the way from Liverpool on the west coast to Scarborough on the east coast – and the same number on the return journey – will be using Mark Three coaches, and so will be inaccessible to wheelchair-users.There will be a higher proportion of accessible services on other parts of the route, for example between Manchester and Leeds, and between Manchester and York.The content of the leaked documents has been confirmed by TPE, which admitted to Disability News Service (DNS) yesterday (Wednesday) that the arrangement was “not ideal”.It said that it had to introduce the inaccessible carriages because using the Mark Three coaches was part of its franchise agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Rail North (which represents local transport authorities across the north of England).A TPE spokeswoman said that it was “part of our franchise agreement to introduce these extra coaches into operation to provide additional capacity on the network ahead of the introduction of new trains”.She later confirmed that TPE had “made DfT aware that the vehicles that we are going to operate will not be accessible”.TPE admitted that because of the 12 inaccessible services, it will have to replace its disabled people’s protection policy – the policy currently states that wheelchairs “not exceeding 70cm wide and 120cm long with a combined weight of passenger and wheelchair of not more than 300kg can be carried on all our trains”.Although one of the four coaches on each service – a first-class carriage – was designed with a wheelchair space, it is too narrow for all but the smallest wheelchairs, and the coach has no accessible toilet, so TPE has decided that it cannot allow any wheelchair-users to board those services, while it also warns that they “may prove more difficult to access” for some other disabled customers.The company is using the Mark Three coaches to increase capacity in the short term, but disabled campaigners say this will be done at the expense of the rights of disabled passengers.Doug Paulley, a leading rail access campaigner, who was told about the leaked documents and alerted DNS, said: “I am shocked and amazed that a company is intending to run trains that don’t have wheelchair access.“I haven’t known such in the past 25 years; even in Connex South Eastern’s time there was access to a guard’s van.“To run trains that don’t have any access for wheelchair-users is utterly unacceptable and an insult to disabled people, whether as a temporary stop-gap or not.”A TransPennine Express spokeswoman said: “These trains are being used in passenger service on a limited and temporary basis to provide extra seats for customers and to support driver training ahead of the introduction of the first of our brand new Nova trains later this year.“The carriages have previously been used by other train companies and feature doors that need to be manually opened and closed.“The design and layout of these carriages means that unfortunately, in contrast to our current trains, they do not have adequate access for customers who use wheelchairs and may prove more difficult to access for some customers with reduced mobility or disabilities.“We know this isn’t ideal; however, these will be the only two trains in our entire fleet that are unable to offer high levels of access and they are planned to be used on a small number of services for a limited period of time.“Staff briefing is taking place and we will be providing additional information on our website, in leaflets at our stations and to all the assisted travel teams to enable customers to plan their journeys using our more accessible fleets.”She said TPE had “explored the options to make these trains accessible” but had decided this was not possible because “the doors to the saloon are too narrow” and “the accessible toilets are of the British Rail standard, and could not be accessed by many wheelchair users, again due to the proportions”.A Department for Transport (DfT) spokeswoman refused to answer a series of questions, including whether the government had known that the inaccessible coaches would be used, and if it had made their temporary use a condition of the franchise agreement.She also refused to say whether DfT believed the introduction of the trains was a breach of the Equality Act, and whether the move suggested that the Equality and Human Rights Commission was right to be considering legal action against the government over its failure to ensure an accessible rail service.But she said in a statement: “We expect all train companies to do everything possible to make travel easy for those with disabilities.“It is vital that all passengers, including disabled passengers, can turn up and go when using public transport, and train companies have a legal obligation to provide the same access to the disabled.”Picture: A TransPennine Express train. Picture by Alex Low, www.alexlow.uklast_img read more

Theresa May suffered the worst defeat of any gover

first_imgTheresa May suffered the worst defeat of any government in history last night. That’s no exaggeration. A majority of 230 MPs voted against her Brexit deal – bigger than anyone was expecting – with 248 Labour MPs, 118 Tories and all other parties opposed. Only three Labour MPs rebelled to vote for May’s deal – Ian Austin, Kevin Barron, John Mann – plus Frank Field, now sitting as an Independent, whereas 63% of Tory backbenchers voted against the government. After the meaningful vote, Jeremy Corbyn told MPs he had tabled a motion of no confidence in the government, which will be debated today and voted on at 7pm.What has actually changed? Although the Prime Minister indicated that she would reach across the Commons to hold cross-party talks with a “constructive spirit” when speaking at the despatch box, the reality is far less encouraging. Her spokesman made clear last night that she would not seek talks with Corbyn, but “senior parliamentarians” only, and this was confirmed by Andrea Leadsom on Today this morning. This stance could dissipate after the confidence vote tonight, though it does align with May’s extraordinarily stubborn approach and her persistence in prioritising the Conservative Party over the country.As expected then, May’s ‘Plan B’ will very closely resemble ‘Plan A’ – despite a staggering number of parliamentarians having just rejected that very deal. When it comes to the government, ‘nothing has changed’. And for Labour? The steps set out in its conference policy will be followed, though not in the way many party activists hope. John McDonnell says there’s a “febrile atmosphere” in Westminster and “anything could happen”, but the DUP and Tories will support the government today – which is laughable, of course. So once it is clear an election cannot be forced, will Corbyn back the People’s Vote campaign? Don’t bet on it.“Motions of confidence can happen more than once,” the leader’s spokesman said last night. Plus, a fresh referendum isn’t the only option on that notorious table. Asked what the other options were, the spokesman replied: “The first is the alternative plan that we have laid out and that we believe can command a majority across the Commons, even without a general election… All options on the table means there is no hierarchy but this is our policy.” See what I mean? There are situations in which Labour could win a confidence vote: if a deal including the backstop passes, or if MPs find themselves staring off the no-deal cliff edge. The leadership doesn’t want to jump the gun.The questions to ask now: How many MPs will go back on their votes and ultimately support May’s deal? If her Plan B fails, will May compromise on customs union membership? Or can she hold out for longer, and continue to threaten MPs with no deal/no Brexit? Will the Commons extend Article 50, and does this eventually mean another public vote? The answers are unknowable at this stage, but the next few sitting days in parliament promise to be exciting and decisive.Sienna @siennamarlaSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Theresa May /Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /Brexit / daily email / Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.last_img read more

Humanely Raised Turkeys Treated Cruelly Animal Rights Activists Say

first_img 0% Tags: food • thanksgiving • vegans • vegetarian Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% At the press conference, organizers said Whole Foods deceives shoppers by painting a false picture of the conditions at the Diestel farm, which they described as the poster child of the chain’s marketing campaign.The turkeys sold on the grocer’s shelves, activists alleged, are not exclusively raised at Diestel’s Sonora, Calif. farm, which is used for advertising purposes and has received a Step 5+ rating in Whole Food’s Animal Welfare System, a multi-tiered animal welfare rating program.Instead, DxE alleges that the meat comes from other Diestel locations that are not used in advertising, including a facility in Jamestown, Calif., which is rated at Step 3. The cost difference between a Step 5 and  a Step 3 rating  is roughly $2 per pound of turkey meat. “Whole Foods promotes images of an idyllic farm with green pastures, when in fact, birds are raised in crammed and filthy sheds,” said Fein. “This is a systemic effort by a large corporation to disguise violence in our food system with false advertising– we call that ‘humane washing.’”In a written response on the Diestel Ranch, Whole Foods stated that it sent “an expert team to evaluate the conditions of the Diestel farm” within hours of viewing the video footage. The team’s evaluation claims that conditions were not as they were portrayed, and the grocer questioned DxE’s motives.“We are vigorously defending ourselves on this one– this is a group whose mission is to end the consumption of animal products as well as the end of animal agriculture,” said Beth Krauss, a media spokesperson at Whole Foods, stating that the grocery store’s mission is to improve the system as it is. “Everything that they are saying is designed specifically to that end. I’ve personally been to the farm, and that’s not what’s there.”In its advertising, Whole Foods markets the Diestel facility as being humane, environmentally friendly, and free of chemicals, and the birds shown in its promotional video are plump and roaming the farm freely. But Hsiung said that his group’s investigation found the reality of the approximately 2 million turkeys living and dying on Diestel farms each year to be quite different.  Hsiung said he and his team spent some 40 hours investigating behind Diestel’s closed doors. “There were boxes and boxes of chemicals in the barn,  some of which were used in the feed of the birds,” he said.Undercover video footage shot by investigators shows hundreds of birds in crowded sheds, some with gaping injuries and infections, others laying dead on the floor.Feces an the smell of ammonia filled the barn, said Hsiung, and investigators had a hard time breathing. “There were growths on the birds’ necks the size of grapefruits. Some had infections in their throats that prevented them from eating,” he said. “The birds literally starved to death even though their throats were stuffed with food.”According to the group’s findings, the death rate of the birds at the farm was pegged at 7 percent per week, and this percentage does not apply to the turkeys that were slaughtered for sale.“There can be no question that, among all major companies in the supermarket sector, Whole Foods Market has been the leader on animal welfare,” said Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, in a written statement on September 18.  Pacelle said that the retailer took animal welfare “to a higher standard” by implementing the “5 Step” welfare rating program, which is administered by  an organization called the Global Animal Partnership.Fein called Whole Food’s welfare rating system “a sham.”“It has no real audit system, no real enforcement and no real integrity,” she said. DxE maintains that system’s third party auditors are handpicked by Whole Foods, and that a former executive director served as a Whole Foods’ Global Meat Coordinator prior to being hired by Global Animal Partnership. Indeed, Slate reports that a significant portion of Global Animal Partnership’s funding came from Whole Foods, according to tax documents.DxE’s investigation comes in the wake of other accusations against Whole Foods this year. Another video released early this year by the groups shows the mistreatment of hens at Petaluma Farms, which supplies eggs to Whole Foods. In September, PETA filed a lawsuit against the grocer, alleging that the “Step” system is flawed.“What we are asking of Whole Foods is stop the fraud. For the past ten years, its been marketing its product as being compassionate and friendly to animals,” said Hsiung. “We want them to live up to their own values.”  center_img Whole Foods shoppers can expect to see animal rights activists in stores across the country accusing the grocery chain of perpetuating animal cruelty and consumer fraud in the coming week, with protests expected to stretch far beyond Thanksgiving. This was the announcement made by Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, in front of Whole Foods’ 2001 Market St. location on November 23. The international, grassroots animal rights action network held a press conference on the steps of the popular eco-minded grocery store, which in recent advertisement campaigns has taken pride in ensuring that the meat it sells comes from animals that are treated humanely.“The standards that they claim to meet are not being met,” said Sapphire Fein, one of DxE’s lead investigators. The group alleges that a nine-month investigation by their activists revealed “horrendous conditions” at a Whole Foods turkey farm supplier, and they are now accusing the farm of violating animal cruelty law and the corporate chain of consumer fraud. “We wanted to see what the best, most ‘humane farm’ in the Whole Foods supply chain looked like– but what we found was a nightmare,” said Wayne Hsiung, former professor of law at North Western University, who led the team of investigators. The group promised a month of actions and “dramatic” protests nationwide against what they say is consumer fraud and systemic violence in the animal agriculture system, perpetuated by corporations such as Whole Foods. last_img read more

Mother of five facing eviction Property manager may be threatening my home

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter In court Monday, Shantel McClendon, a mother of five facing expulsion from Valencia Gardens by the John Stewart Company, testified that repeated eviction notices and lawsuits sent her way may be a hardball tactic to keep the father of three of her kids, Rasheed Loveless, away from the premises. “You said, ‘Maybe if he goes away, this all goes away,’” McClendon testified, referring to Valencia Gardens’ property management. Management has served McClendon with seven 14-day eviction notices and three eviction lawsuits since late 2017.The trial, which started Thursday, stems from The John Stewart Company’s allegation that Loveless was staying overnight at McClendon’s apartment for more than 14 days without being on the lease, a violation of the complex’s rules. Judge Richard Ulmer may make a decision Tuesday or later in the week whether McClendon can stay in her home. Or he may decide to send the case to a jury trial.The conversation McClendon testified about took place during a meeting regarding Loveless’s application last summer to become a live-in aide to help McClendon. Management advised Loveless to apply to be a live-in aide, but then denied his application citing publicly subsidized housing regulations that people cannot be aides to family members they have an obligation to financially support. Management said it did not know about this rule at the time it advised Loveless to apply. Email Addresscenter_img While no court has ordered Loveless to pay child support, Carlos Uribe, Valencia Gardens’ property manager, said that in California Loveless still has an obligation to support McClendon and their children, which would render him ineligible to be an aide. McClendon’s mother applied last week to be a live-in aide for her.The main entrance to Valencia Gardens at 15th and Valencia Streets. Photo by Eric Murphy.The other reason Uribe gave for denying Loveless’ application last September were pending criminal charges against Loveless, which Uribe said management only discovered as part of the live-in aide application process. “When he gave us authorization to run the criminal background check, that’s when we learned,” Uribe testified Monday.Loveless later pleaded no contest to a drug charge for which he is currently serving a two-year sentence in state prison. Uribe said the first he heard of Loveless’ incarceration was McClendon’s testimony last Thursday.The day after management denied Loveless’s live-in aide application, it filed a lawsuit to evict McClendon, which was later dismissed. The current case is the third eviction lawsuit The John Stewart Company has filed against McClendon since last February. It alleges Loveless engaged in illegal gambling and other unidentified criminal activity on the premises, which Uribe said he heard about through a report from his security staff that San Francisco police were looking for Loveless at the unit.As Mission Local previously reported, several neighbors said they had not noticed criminal or disruptive activity at the apartment. “It’s pretty much just kids playing outside there,” said Teakeysha Brittany, who lives across the street, last Friday.McClendon’s trial will continue Tuesday. last_img read more

The squad travels Down Under this morning19 Kye

first_imgThe squad travels Down Under this morning.19. Kye Siyani – Prop Forward from Blackbrook RoyalsHe is sponsored by Lawrenson Associates and Expressions of Beauty.Previous Number 19s: 2004 – Andrew Stott (Thatto Heath Crusaders) 2006 – Steven Lucas (Chorley Panthers) 2009 – Tommy Makinson (Hindley & Wigan St Judes) 2011 – Mike Scott (Bold Miners) 2013 – James Nicholl (Blackbrook) 2015 – Jorge Lewtas (Thatto Heath Crusaders)20. Kelvin Taylor – Winger from Oldham St Anne’sHe is sponsored by Wallbank Fencing and Short Construction Ltd.Previous Number 20s: 2004 – James Walker (Blackbrook) 2006 – Shaun Magennis (Blackbrook) 2009 – Jordan O’Neill (Leigh East) 2011 – Nathan Skupski (Thatto Heath & Portico Vine) 2013 – Danny Richardson (Halton Farnworth Hornets) 2015 – Levy Nzoungou (Toulouse)21. Jack Welsby – Stand Off from Blackbrook RoyalsHe is sponsored by S Tinsley & C Fowler and Newbridge Learning Community.Previous Number 21s: 2004 – Sean Weed (Blackpool Scorpions) 2006 – Joe Molyneux (Orrell St James) 2009 – David Pike (Thatto Heath & Blackbrook) 2011 – Dominic Speakman (Halton Farnworth Hornets) 2013 – Joe Ryan (Rylands & Bold Miners) 2015 – Jordan Olmez (Thatto Heath Crusaders)22. Jake Wingfield – Loose Forward from Blackbrook RoyalsHe is sponsored by Slate Roofing and North West Roofing.Previous Number 22s: 2006 – Rob Murphy (Blackbrook) 2009 – Adam Tatlock (Pilkington Recs) 2011 – Adam Swift (Blackbrook) 2013 – Adam Saunders (Thatto Heath Crusaders) 2015 – Kieran O’Mara (Orrell St James)Other Previous Numbers:26: 2006 – Barry Walsh (Thatto Heath Crusaders) 2009 – Stephen Yates (Blackbrook) 2011 – Chris Webster (Blackbrook) 2013 – Bobby Williams (Blackbrook)27: 2006 – Martin Waring (Pilkington Recs) 2009 – Joe Greenwood (Saddleworth Rangers) 2011 – Greg Wilde (Golborn Parkside) 2013 – Chris Worrall (Leigh Miners)28: 2006 – Mike Welsby (Pilkington Recs) 2011 – Matthew Wood (Rylands)29: 2006 – Gary Wheeler (Blackbrook) 2011 – Danny Yates (Waterhead)30: 2006 – Andy Yates (Thatto Heath Crusaders)last_img read more

Grandmother pleads for help in emotional 911 call

first_img Aeisha Milton, 29, is charged with four counts of attempted first degree murder. The Pender County Sheriff’s Office says the children range in age from 10 months to 3 years.The grandmother tells 911 Milton was in a car accident yesterday (Tuesday) and came into the house crying, telling the kids “y’all as good as dead.”The grandmother tells the operator Milton put the kids in the bathtub.Related Article: 2 arrested in buffet brawl over crab legs“I went into the bathroom and saw all of them, they … God.”The grandmother says she is locked in the bedroom with the children and they’re still in their wet clothes.“You still have them with you, right?” the operator asks.“Yes, they not going nowhere. I’ll die first. I swear to God I’ll die first,” the grandmother replied.The grandmother then says her daughter is outside the door and she has her locked out. She also explains that her daughter is four to five months pregnant. As the children cry in the background, the operator tells the woman to go ahead and calm them down.“Ok baby, it’s ok. It’s ok,” the woman is heard telling the children.In the call, the operator asks whether Milton has a history of anything of this nature, to which the grandmother replies, “she’s off a little bit.”After about ten minutes, a deputy arrives at the home.The children were taken to Pender Memorial Hospital and were released.Velma Smalls, Milton’s sister said things did not happen that way.“She always took care of her kids,” Smalls said.Smalls said her sister and their mother had an argument before that call to 911.“She chased my momma with the bottle, the broken bottle, but she never tried to kill her kids. She never tried to drown them,” Smalls said.Smalls and another sister said their mother overreacted and dramatized what happened.“She does stuff like that. When she feel that the world is crashing in on her she dramatize stuff,” Smalls said.Milton is scheduled to make her first court appearance Friday morning. PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — In an emotional call that was at times hard to understand, a grandmother pleads for help after her daughter allegedly tried to drown her grandchildren.“My daughter just took her four kids and tried to put them in the bathtub and drown them. I had to stop her,” the grandmother tells 911.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Mark Schwahn fired from The Royals after sexual harassment accusations

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 WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The creator and show-runner of One Tree Hill has been fired from his current show after more than forty women have accused him of sexual harassment.Variety reports that Mark Schwahn was fired from  E!’s “The Royals” Thursday.- Advertisement – Lionsgate TV, which produces the show, said in a statement that Schwahn “will not be coming back.”Many women started accusing Schwahn of sexual harassment after a former writer for One Tree Hill tweeted out details of Schwahn’s harassment. Her claims were then supported in a letter by 18 women who had worked on the show.last_img read more

Four arrested in large fentanyl bust in New Hanover County

first_img Detectives identified a home on McRae Street in Wilmington that they say multiple gang members were using as a gathering place. A drug transaction was made at the home which resulted in the Gang Task Force being issued a search warrant.On January 26, at approximately 12:30 p.m., detectives executed the search warrant and found two firearms, a Tec-9 and a .357 Revolver. They also found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, 75 bags of heroin packaged for sale, seven grams of raw heroin, and an extensive amount of Fentanyl, more than 1100 grams or 2.4 pounds. The search also uncovered all the items needed for weighing, stamping and packaging heroin.Marlon Raequan Miller was arrested and charged with multiple counts of Possession with the intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Heroin. He received a $150,000 secure bond.Related Article: Emails: Purdue executive cast blame on opioid victimsSharmaine L. Ballard, Tommy Sellers (validated gang member) and Tyreek Quanya Robinson (validated gang member) were arrested and charged with Trafficking Opium/Heroin, Conspire Traffic Opium/Heroin, Possession with intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver, Possession with intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Marijuana and Maintaining a Vehicle/Dwelling/Place for a Controlled Substance. They received no bond for these charges. Top Left to Bottom Right: Tommy Sellers, Marlon Miller, Tyreek Robinson, and Sharmaine Ballard (Photo: NHSO) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Detectives with the New Hanover County Gang Task Force began a drug investigation earlier this month involving members, associates and affiliates of the 720 Gang set. Now, four people are behind bars after deputies say they were found with more than 1100 grams of Fentanyl.During the investigation, multiple drug transactions were made with Marlon Raequan Miller, who deputies say is also a validated gang member.- Advertisement – last_img read more

fake signatures Magisterial inquiry underway – Delia

first_img SharePrint PNPN Leader of the Opposition and Partit Nazzjonalista leader, Adrian Delia said that a magisterial inquiry looking into the alleged case of his fake signatures has been initiated.Adrian Delia said this during a political activity in Mellieħa on Sunday. He also added that one does not have to be fraud when saying the truth and that nobody will intimidate him.He also explained that he will continue the crusade for democracy, truth and the People, as the government is taking things to limits that the country had not seen in years.The PN leader also said that he has been repeating for months that the Attorney General’s position is no longer credible as he is also a prosecutor, the government’s lawyer and Chairman of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU). He further states that following pressure from the Partit Nazzjonalista, the Venice Commission and the European Commission, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici and the government had no other alternative but to say that chances needed to be made.Delia does not want allegations investigated – PLIn a reaction to Dr Delia’s speech earlier today, the Labour Party has said that Delia was a much worse version of the former leader of PN, Simon Busuttil. They state also, that the PN leader is not willing to investigate the claims of money laundering made against him.These allegations are being made by MPs within his own party, PL adds. They conclude saying that the Nationalist Party lacks credibility.WhatsApp <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

Daphne Murder Report shows that Minister made fake declarations – Metsola

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> PN Candidate for the European Parliament Elections Roberta Metsola stated that the European Council report which was published today said that the Minister for Internal Affairs made “fake declarations” regarding the progress of the ongoing investigation about the murder of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.Metsola said that 19 months after the murder, the aggressors are still not convicted, even though Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the process to finalise the case is coming to an end.According to Metsola, “the European Council Report noted multiple questions regarding the investigation, including the promotion given to the Magistrate who was originally meant to lead the inquiry; and the lack of questioning done to Minister Chris Cardona”.Read: Daphne Murder: “Masterminds still enjoy impunity and power”Borg Knight said that that the report shows that an investigation regarding the Panama Papers should be issued.“We do not want to have to rely on European institutions due to lack of action from the Maltese Government”, declared Mifsud Bonnici. He added that the way the report describes Malta’s situation of being disrespectful to the law continues to hurt Malta’s reputation.A report filled with inaccuracies – PLPartit Laburista responded by stating that Partit Nazzjonalista is using a report filled with inaccuracies. PL also said that it is curious how this draft was published during elections week.WhatsApplast_img read more

Could UK govt be sued for denying EU nationals a vote

first_imgNGOs and campaign groups supporting UK and EU citizens who were denied a vote in the vote on Thursday, are raising money to make a bid to sue the government.Campaigners like the3million group, are consulting with key barristers Anneli Howard and Dinah Rose to explore options which they say will raise serious questions about discrimination, ‘and clearly rule that it was unlawful.’Howard explained that there are a number of breaches of EU treaties, key in this case being Article 20 which stipulates that EU citizens in the UK and vice versa have, ‘the right to vote … under the same conditions as nationals of that state [of residence].’Should the campaign manage to obtain the £100,000 (€113456) needed, they can carry out legal proceedings on their behalf, ‘to seek compensation for unequal treatment, emotional distress and out-of-pocket expenses.’Turned awayThe news of the legal bid comes only two days after EU nationals were turned away from UK polling stations. Overseas, UK nationals complained that their voting papers had not turned up in time or simply didn’t appear in time to vote.In turn, the government has faced calls to investigate these incidents in which saw EU nationals having their names struck off the electoral register by local councils. Those affected said they were facing censorship and especially given that this would be the only vote they could actually participate in.The Labour MP David Lammy referred to the move has been an insult to injury given the changes which EU nationals will face in the wake of Brexit’s changes.https://twitter.com/DavidLammy/status/1131505897539342336Forms and clerical errorsA large number of complaints were received by the campaign group the3million with the main issue being that EU citizens were required to fill in what was called a UC1 or EC6 form which stated that the voter would be casting their vote in the UK and not their country of origin. Part of the blame for this situation is leveled at the late decision for the UK to participate in the elections given Brexit.While there were reports that these nationals were being told that they should vote back home, the crux of the problem seems to stem from the local councils themselves.It is reported that councils had failed to tell EU citizen voters that they would need to complete a second form or that these were not supplied on time or the completed forms were not registered by the council in good time.Among the 1,000 cases of complaints reported by the Guardian, there were also a number of UK nationals living in countries like New Zealand and Canada.A right deniedJohn Halford of the the3million group explained that there must be accountability and consequences attached to Thursday.‘The right to vote is the foundation for all citizenship rights … Last Thursday saw a large-scale, systematic, openly discriminatory denial of that right. The case we plan to bring will show that this is not something the law will tolerate and that there must be accountability and consequences.’The head of the Electoral Commission Bos Posner acknowledged that the electoral processes had fallen short but blamed the situation on how the government had decided to participate in the elections too late, given that the belief was that the UK would be leaving the EU before the elections.While admitting problems with electoral law, he did add that last year the commission had proposed the idea of overseas voters actually being allowed to vote at embassies.‘We have argued for some time that the failure of governments and parliament to properly maintain and update electoral law, and to address the pressures on local authorities, has built up significant risks for well-run elections… It is time that these warnings are properly heard and acted upon.’WhatsApp <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> SharePrintlast_img read more

Windows RT Tablets to Come with Outlook

first_imgAdvertisement Microsoft announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be coming to Windows RT, along with the Windows 8.1 update. Sales of Windows RT tablets like the Surface RT have been underwhelming thus far, but Outlook will change that.When the Windows 8.1 update comes to the Windows Store later this year, Outlook RT will join Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote as a free app on Windows RT systems. That is huge news in general, but it’s particularly intriguing for business users.The Surface RT (and Windows RT tablets in general) is a decent tablet, but it’s not a great device for business computing. It has distinct advantages over its Surface Pro sibling–it’s thinner, lighter, cooler, quieter, and has significantly better battery life–but it can’t join a Windows network domain. – Advertisement – With the Windows 8.1 update, it still won’t be able to join a network domain, but the IT and BYOD management features in Windows 8.1 make it much more business friendly. The addition of Outlook is the real game changer, though. The default Mail client in Windows 8.1 is no match for Outlook, and business users need consistency between the tools they use on their primary PC, and the apps available on the Windows RT tablet.Smaller Windows tablets are expected to launch later this year. The small size, combined with the features of Windows 8.1 (and the inclusion of Outlook) will make Windows RT tablets very powerful business tools.Earlier this year, Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang told an audience of financial analysts, “If Outlook were to show up on RT, my life would be complete,” adding, “I am one Outlook away from computing nirvana. Outlook god, please…”Why does the CEO of nVidia care? nVidia has a vested interest in the success of Windows RT because it makes ARM processors that are used in some Windows RT tablets. Success for Windows RT means more demand for nVidia processors.Office is a powerful carrot that Microsoft hopes will lure customers over to Windows tablets–be they Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro models. The addition of Outlook is a significant advantage for Windows RT tablets, but even if Windows RT doubles…or even triples its market share, there will still be a massive audience of iOS and Android tablet users left in the cold.According to an alleged internal roadmap document leaked a couple months ago, Outlook RT was not supposed to be ready until late 2014. That roadmap also suggested that Office for iOS and Android might also become available around the same time.It’s possible the leaked roadmap was simply wrong. Assuming it was legitimate; the accelerated availability of Outlook RT suggests a spark of hope that Office for iOS and Android will also be available earlier than anticipated.If Microsoft is working on iOS or Android versions of the Office apps, it’s still being coy about it. The official response was, “We have a great Office experience on Windows 8 tablets.  For iPad and Android tablets, people can use Office Web Apps.”Credit: PCWlast_img read more

African Union pledges support to Rwanda Internet Exchange Point

first_imgAdvertisement The African Union has pledged to support the Rwanda Internet Exchange Point to enable it become one of the regional internet exchange points for Eastern Africa.The support was offered through the Infrastructure and Energy Department, which has collaborated with the Rwanda Ministry of Youth and Information and Communications Technology of Rwanda.Through the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project, the African Union Commission has so far extended capacity building support to facilitate the establishment of internet exchange points in 30 Member States. – Advertisement – The African Union Commission, has sofar helped support twelve Member States set up their internet exchange points, and these are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Congo Republic, Gabon, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles and Swaziland.“The African Internet Exchange System and the One Africa Network projects will contribute to lowering of communication costs in Africa,” said Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT. Dr Elham Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy said that Africa is currently paying overseas carriers to exchange intra- continental traffic which is both costly as well as an inefficient way of handling exchange of intra-continental Internet traffic.last_img read more

Interview Tech incubation spaces are just one piece of the ecosystem –

first_imgOutbox founder, Richard Zulu. Image credit: Lions Africa Advertisement Richard Zulu the founder of Outbox Hub is a tech specialist with 6 years of experience building and managing the developer and startup ecosystem, and counts a Google student Ambassadorship among his accolades.Outbox, founded in 2012 provides co-working space, mentorship and training programs for start-up ventures and tech enthusiasts. Through Outbox’s partnership network, they help new start-ups to raise money for their ventures and to access markets.Four years later, Outbox has already housed 13 resident start-ups that have raised over $1,000,000 and created 80 jobs. It has also channeled over 7,000 participants through in-house workshops. – Advertisement – I caught up with Richard Zulu to talk about his journey with the tech incubation space, Outbox and the tech innovation ecosystem of Uganda at large.Outbox founder, Richard Zulu. Image credit: Lions AfricaWhat are some of the most successful projects, notable apps and inventions that have come out of your space in the past 4 years?We have had tremendous success with supporting a number of entrepreneurs’ access resources to build their businesses. For example Ensibuuko, a cloud based management information system for Savings Cooperatives (SACCOS) has been a great beneficiary of our business development efforts. This enabled them access seed funding through partnerships we cultivated. Ensibuuko currently employs up-to 10 individuals, supports more than 100 SACCOS and has raised up-to $500,000 in equity seed funding. Matatu, a classic game that has been translated into a dynamic mobile game app is another successful initiative that has benefited from our co-working services, subsidies to their business development efforts to drive user adoption. Matatu now has over 200,000 downloads on Google play store, with an average player spending up-to 27 mins within the game.A successful project we implemented is the Women Passion Program that sought to upskill women and girls with leadership, web programming, human centered design and lean startup methodology skills. We were able to train up-to 80 girls of which four of them got into full-time employment as a result of our program. This was a program supported by Google for Entrepreneurs and Wetech.Residents of Outbox at a training session. Photo Credit: Outbox (Medium)What significant lessons have you learnt about the Tech ecosystem of Uganda in comparison to Kenya’s and rest of Sub Saharan Africa?Our tech ecosystem is at an infant stage with very huge potential. Some of the lessons learnt are the following:Huge untapped potential that needs upskillingWe have a number of youth that are interested in technology, without the necessary skillset to partake of the opportunities before them. On the flip side, there is a very large demand for skilled software developers, with very few or no individuals to take these opportunities up. My learnings is that we have to take collectively take an effort of exposing these individuals to the required opportunities for them to upskill. There is no shortage of jobs in our field, there is only a shortage of skilled individuals to scoop them up. This is a general problem in many parts of the African continent.Lack of civil society lobbying associations will fail the ecosystemWe are still trying to figure out how to best utilize our associations to build lobbying capabilities in order to drive favorable policy for small businesses and entrepreneurs. However, there is very limited deliberate effort to realize that capacity collectively as an ecosystem. As such, if we do not move fast enough, we shall witness a top-down approach to regulation that could end up not being favorable. In other ecosystems, the power of lobbying within civil society is rather more developed and as such, the result is better regulation.Ownership drives ecosystemIn the Ugandan ecosystem, I have learnt that we have not come yet come to the realization that the individual is the basic unit of society. This is where each one of us looks at what role we can play to drive the direction of our own ecosystem. As such, we have very limited private sector efforts to influence policy or support entrepreneurship. This is relative to our neighbors in Kenya and a small number of African countries that believe they can drive their ecosystems, thus leading to multiple private initiatives for ecosystem support.How impactful has Outbox and other Tech Incubation spaces been in the development of the ecosystem in Uganda?Tech hubs or incubation spaces are just one piece of the ecosystem. These elements have greatly contributed to aggregating the resources needed by small businesses to succeed. This ranges from social capital, access to funding opportunities, learning resources and business development services. As such, this has catalyzed the ecosystem by drawing attention to how we can enable our small businesses succeed.One of the main problems for digital startup is funding. How has Outbox Hub moved to solve this?We focus on making the businesses we support become investment ready. This means that they exhibit the qualities that would enable an individual take a risk with them. We thereafter support with business development and fundraising through our partner networks.What predictions can you make about the innovation ecosystem of Uganda in the coming 5 years? And what may influence these?Within the next five years, I believe in the following:Government will get interested in tech entrepreneurshipWe shall see some money being used to support tech entrepreneurs and small businesses at scale. This will be influenced by Government interests in promoting STEM and creating jobs within the ecosystem. However, this interest will be limited to offering money than to building a supporting ecosystem.Civil society will self-organise to lobby I foresee that our associations will take deliberate efforts to self organize to lobby for a better regulatory environment for small businesses and entrepreneurs. This will largely be driven by the top-down approach usually taken by policy makers. We shall want to have a voice.Increase in players in general entrepreneurshipWe shall see more players joining that support system of entrepreneurs, with a broad focus on all entrepreneurs. Tech will be one of the fields they associate with.Increased taxesI believe that taxes will continue to rise on basic components like infrastructure, mobile financial services, usage of data, etc. This will largely be influenced by the inability of lobby groups within the tech ecosystem to self-organise, thus letting policy makers push for taxes that are not favorable for small businesses and entrepreneurs.Should higher education in Africa change to foster innovation? What is your recommendation?Higher education institutions are very uniquely placed to blend academia with industry. As such, my recommendation is that each higher education institute strives to build small business and entrepreneur development centers that look to blend industry with academia. These centers are a blue print on how industry works and as such, their culture, processes and approach should be different from traditional academia. More to that, technology transfer centers that enable university research get to industry are very critical and a great asset to many universities.Comment on innovations born in Uganda servicing the world.This is the new norm, building businesses that can scale. In our context, this is not happening yet. As such, it is an area we should aim to improve.What is the biggest danger in promoting innovation when basic standards, and infrastructures, are not in place?This is a very big danger. We need to build an ecosystem and not just focus on innovations. The two move hand in hand. Without an ecosystem, a thriving environment for small businesses and entrepreneurs, we are wasting our time. We cannot attract talent, have individuals start out easily, contract with Government etc. As such, the biggest danger is that without the environment to support innovations, we are building a bridge to nowhere.Do you think the government is/ has done enough to support tech innovations? What would you do differently if you were Minister for ICT? No, the Government is not doing enough to promote innovations or even build a supportive ecosystem. However, most importantly is to note that we are not doing enough ourselves. The Government should just be here to regulate and create a supporting environment.  We as private sector drive economic activity and as such should coalesce with Govt to lobby for that supporting environment. We are the problem!Nonetheless, if I were a Minister for ICT, I would do the following to create a supporting environment for tech entrepreneurship:Support business development centers for small businesses and entrepreneursFirst thing I would do is use the ICT Innovation fund to support and equip various small business and entrepreneur development centers. These include tech hubs, incubation centers, Universities, and research institutes. The purpose would be to build their capacities so that they can offer low cost services to small businesses and entrepreneurs to enable them grow and become more successful. The services such centers offer ranges from legal support, certification support for standardization, contract writing, financing, etc.Push for set-asides on Government contractingI would push for a policy that requires Government to set aside a given % of all contracting to go to local small businesses and entrepreneurs. This would provide opportunities of revenue for our small businesses while building capacity at the same time.Co-fund small businesses and entrepreneurs together with private investmentsTo encourage private investment into small businesses and entrepreneurs, I would match some private investments with government funding so as to de-risk the investment. This of-course I would drive through the small business and entrepreneur development centers we support and not through Government run entities.What has been the role and/or impact of regulators like UCC and NITA-U and professional bodies like ICT Association of Uganda towards tech innovations and entrepreneurship?In my opinion and from my experience, the regulators and associations are looking to learn from Civil society and our expertise on how to best build an ecosystem. As such, they have only been able to support as much as we have enabled them. For example, UCC runs an annual incubation fund that supports entrepreneurship development centers and entrepreneurs affiliated to them with funding.[related-posts]last_img read more


first_img[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.Sunday 14 May HORSE RACING3.45 PlumptonToo Many Diamonds 7/4 > 5/44.00 LudlowNoche De Reyes 4/1 > 5/24.15 PlumptonMiss Crick 6/1 > 3/14.55 CurraghIrishcorrespondent 5/4 > 4/5LIVE FOOTBALLPremier League14:15 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HD5/1 West Ham 8/13 Liverpool 3/1 DRAWNational League Play-Off Final15:00 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport 4K UHD21/10 Forest Green Rovers 11/8 Tranmere Rovers 9/4 DRAWPremier League16:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HD8/11 Tottenham Hotspur 9/2 Man Utd 11/4 DRAWLeague Two Play-Off Semi-Final 1st Leg18:30 Sky Sports Red Button7/4 Carlisle United 7/4 Exeter City 12/5 DRAWLeague Two Play-Off Semi-Final 1st Leg18:30 Sky Sports 2 / Sky Sports 2 HD6/4 Blackpool 2/1 Luton Town 12/5 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

ASCOT SATURDAY Simon Notts Tales From The Ring

first_imgASCOT SATURDAY: Simon Nott is back on course covering the highs and lows from the Star Sports pitch at Ascot on Saturday. It was a red hot afternoon in Berkshire, how hot was the action in the ring though?12:45 Bet With Ascot Heritage HandicapIt was hardly surprising that our trip to Ascot had a different feel to it than our last at Royal Meeting. Andrew and Lofty didn’t expect big bets from rails agents with phones pressed to their ears, and didn’t get any, but did hope to field at least a grand in the opener but just failed. To be fair to the punters it was an 11/2 the field 20-runner Handicap, so a tough one to kick off.I was chatting to Geoff Banks before the first who pointed out that he’s continuing his ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ policy he augmented at the Royal Meeting. Despite the excellent offer he was slightly perplexed how few punters actually understand what it means.My old boss Jack Lynn used to say ‘don’t educate the punters’, of course he was of his time! Any punters who read brand ambassador Adam Kirby’s blog prior to racing would have been educated and noted he considered Spring Loaded unlucky in the Wokingham. His winning at 7/1 today wouldn’t have been good for many layers but Lofty had read the blog and kept the winner nice and green in the book.1:20 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes (Group 2)Adam Kirby’s intended mount in the second race Arod was a non-runner which left a dead eight runners. One punter, an accountant surely, darted in for £550 -£200 each way the jolly Beat The Bank. Quite how he felt when it won at that price is anyone’s guess, probably wished he hadn’t been quite so cautious. The golden rule of gambling is be consistent so if that’s how he always bets, fair enough.‘Don’t educate the punters!’ – sorry Jack.Still the SP did best Bet With Ascot but it’s early days in that comparison.1:50 Kelly Group Novice Auction StakesIt’s not known if the 13/8 favourite for the third was named in fond memory of a much-missed and often still talked of bookmaker by the name of (Michael) Mendoza but it still good people of a certain age waxing lyrical about him again today. I’m pretty sure the namesake would have been happy to see the jolly get beaten into third behind 5/1 winner Nuremberg . The winner was a decent result in a race where business from the sunbathers had picked up.2:25 Trant Engineering Fillies’ HandicapThe next wasn’t a bad betting heat, the bottle each-way punter proved his consistency by having the same each way bet on Escape The City at 5/2. Sadly for him his consistency didn’t extend to backing another winner. This time his bet was unplaced being the other joint-favourite Beshaayir.3:05 Playboy Club London HandicapThe fifth race saw a real drop in interest, the punters appeared to have retired to the lawns, parched as they were, lawns that is. Extra Elusive, the name of the favourite, not referring to the punters, was a steady jolly for most of the betting. Business picked up towards the off but wouldn’t have accounted for the massive move for Frankie Dettori’s mount Elwazir backed from 5/2 into 11/8 at the off. Whoever ‘they’ were behind the punt ‘they’ knew, the gamble was landed despite hanging from the centre of the course to the rail. Luckily there wasn’t much damage done on our pitch and no word from the office either.3:35 Woodford Reserve HandicapThe penultimate was another steady but very modest-staking race. Brand Ambassador Adam Kirby’s mount Cross Counter was the one the punters wanted to be on. The early 2/1 was trimmed into 13/8 at the off and the only loser in the book.Turning for home commentator Ian Bartlett gleefully informed us that Cross Counter was still last and being niggled, giving the ring hope of getting the gelding beaten and a day’s wages in the bag. It was not to be though, his equally enthusiastic observation that the jolly had picked up, ultimately going on to win quite comfortably, rang in the layer’s ears as they reached into hods for readies to pay queues of successful punters.4:10 GL Events UK HandicapThe concluding handicap saw Frankie Dettori’s mount Prevent popular with the punters but went off at 4/1 after being steady at 7/2 for most of the race. The were no lumps but public money ensured the book had just one loser, the jolly. It was a close run thing but brand ambassador Adam Kirby winning on 10/1 shot Perfect Hustler completing a treble from the bogie ensured a modest winning day on the pitch. That’s the lot for us but Adam is off down the A303 to Salisbury for two mounts. Read all about them here. Simon Nott is author of:Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILSlast_img read more

Linguist Journey To Amazon Jungle To Save Culture Lives

first_imgShareTipsheet CONTACT: David Kaplan PHONE: (713)831-4791E-MAIL: dkaplan@rice.edu LINGUIST JOURNEYS TO AMAZON JUNGLE TO SAVE CULTURE,LIVESHe’s part Indiana Jones, part Margaret Mead, parttroubadour.Spike Gildea ventures deep into the Amazon jungle, where, afterhanging up pots and pans, fishhooks and shotgun shells, he’ll play his guitarand wait for the Brazilian jungle tribesmen to come out of the jungle. It’s likean old-time traveling medicine show.Gildea is offering trade goods for stories. The Rice Universitylinguist is documenting the living languages of indigenous people whose ways oflife are threatened by encroaching Western civilization. He also warns them ofthe threat of AIDS which has recently entered their population.The enthusiastic and fast-talking Gildea is an associateprofessor of linguistics at Rice University. He travels to the Brazilian junglewith a team of graduate students annually. The team faces a variety of hazards,including snakes, large insects, parasites and fierce diseases. The tribesmenare known for being aggressive and are reputed to have beencannibals.VOLUNTEER PILOT RESCUES PEOPLE IN MEDICALNEEDWhen she was 4-years-old, Jamie Hanks was the victim of a freaktelevision explosion that burned most of her body. Since then the Anderson,South Carolina resident has been receiving treatment at a burn center inGalveston, Texas.The drive to the hospital would take all day, and traveling bycommercial airline is out of the question for the financially strapped Hanks.But thanks to people like Jim Rahe, she can get there in little time.Rahe is a volunteer pilot with AirLifeLine, a national,non-profit charitable organization of pilots who donate their time, skill,aircraft and fuel to fly medical missions. Rahe, a director of career planning at Rice University’sbusiness school, is on AirLifeLine’s national board. The calm and articulateRahe admits that the volunteer work can be rough sometimes: When for example,he’ll get an emergency call at 2 in the morning, and knows he must hop in hisBeechcraft Baron immediately, because a patient is in need of an organtransplant. But he notes that “it sure feels good at 8 a.m. when the mission iscomplete and the transplant is under way.”Rahe’s frequent co-pilot is David Ikenberry, a Rice associateprofessor of administrative science in the business school.STUDENTS LEARN TO FLY BUSINESS CLASS WITH PAPERAIRPLANESMany start-up airlines have flown then folded, but RiceUniversity business school students learn to fold then fly.Once a year they compete in the “Airplane Game” which requiresteams of first-year graduate students to build and sell their own paperairplanes and deal with bureaucracy and regulation&emdash;just like in thereal world. The game is part of the school’s two-day orientation. The Airplane Game is complicated and devious. The first-yearstudents work in teams. The teams cannot sell planes to “Big Name Airline” (afew second-year students sitting behind a desk) until they pass a governmentinspection and flight test. They have the option of hiring a “Big NameConsultant” or a “No Name Consultant.”This year a new game will be unveiled at the business schoolorientation: A scavenger hunt in which all participants travel in rentedlimousines.### FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Rice U study Public schools lagging in family and community engagement

first_imgShare28David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduRice U. study: Public schools lagging in family and community engagementHOUSTON – (Nov. 29, 2017) – Although schools’ family and community engagement is the top driver of overall satisfaction among parents, public schools nationwide get poor marks for it, according to a new study by scholars at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business.Credit: Shutterstock.com/Rice UniversityThe inaugural 2017 Collaborative for Customer-Based Execution and Strategy (C-CUBES) Benchmark K-12 School Study was based on a nationally representative online survey of 7,259 parents conducted during October through November. The goal of the ongoing study is to provide an evidence-based approach to incorporate the stakeholder input in strategic planning and execution for public schools. The margin of error was plus or minus 1 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.Parents who participated in the survey rated overall satisfaction with their child’s school along with critical drivers of overall satisfaction. Using statistical analysis, the research team determined that parents’ satisfaction with “family and community engagement” was the biggest driver of overall satisfaction with the school.Based on an assessment of overall satisfaction, only 43 percent of parents in public schools were “very satisfied,” 61 percent of the parents in private school were “very satisfied” and 56 percent of the parents in charter schools were “very satisfied.” At public and charter schools, family and community engagement emerged as the largest driver of overall satisfaction. In contrast, family and community engagement was the third-most important determinant of overall satisfaction at private schools, just after teachers and safety.Satisfaction with family and community engagement showed similar disparities. At public schools only 34 percent of the parents were “very satisfied,” while 50 percent at private schools were “very satisfied” parents and 47 percent at charter schools were “very satisfied.” Satisfaction was similarly low among parents whose child is qualified for free-and-reduced lunch (39 percent). The results did not find any evidence of racial differences. The proportion of parents who said they were “very satisfied” was similar among African-American (41 percent), Asian (34 percent), Caucasian (36 percent) and Hispanic (39 percent) parents.“The yawning gap in the satisfaction shows a clear area of strategic improvement for public schools to become competitive with private and charter schools,” said study leader Vikas Mittal, the J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing at Rice. “Our study provides a concrete road map that schools can implement to satisfy parents’ need for further engagement. This road map includes involving parents in school activities, developing avenues for parents to give input in school policies, improved communication and clearly explaining to parents how their child is graded and assessed.”Additional members of the research team include Jihye Jung at Rice and Shrihari Sridhar and Yixing Chen at Texas A&M University.For more information about and insights from Jones School faculty research, visit the school’s Rice Business Wisdom website, http://ricebusinesswisdom.com.-30-Follow the Jones Graduate School of Business via Twitter @Rice_Biz.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Finding The 6 Most Affordable Houston MBA Programs

first_img There are various investments a prospective MBA needs make when deciding to pursue an advanced degree, especially investments of time and money. When it comes to cash, some top-tier business schools ask for more than $60,000 in tuition, which automatically put them out of the question for lots of folks. Luckily, there are affordable MBA options out there in each metro, including Houston, Texas.There’s no shortage of people, places and business in Houston. In fact, according to the Houston Chronicle, “The Magnolia City” claims the most Fortune 500 companies in the state of Texas. MBA students have access to a huge city ripe with new business opportunities. Not only is there a ton of opportunity in the Houston metro, but the area’s top business schools also fit all budgets, guaranteeing that prospective MBAs get a top education no matter the size of their wallet or loans.Here’s five affordable full-time MBA programs in Houston, Texas, ranked from most expensive to least. We ranked each school based on the annual in-state cost of full-time MBA programs. Rice University – Jones Graduate School of Business: $53,000 per yearThe Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business is located on a 295-acre campus in Central Houston, Texas, close to the Houston Museum District and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. The school offers three MBA programs: a full-time MBA, MBA for Executives and MBA for Professionals. The Rice MBA Program is accredited by AACSB International.Rice’s full-time MBA is the most expensive MBA on our list, but still costs less than Ivy league schools like Harvard Business School and The Wharton School. The school’s full-time MBA program lasts for 22 months and features courses in finance, accounting, data analysis and marketing that build a solid foundation of fundamental business principles. Students must complete 60 credits in order to graduate. First year students take foundational classes. In the second year of the program, students take elective courses to focus their curriculum on a concentration for their MBA degree.Looking to save some money at Rice? Scholarships are available to those applying to the Rice MBA full-time program. There’s only a limited number of scholarships available for students, which are awarded on the basis of academic merit. All admitted MBA full-time students are considered for merit-based scholarships, which can range from 10-to-100 percent of tuition. Good news is around 82 percent of the most recent incoming class of full-time MBA students at Rice received some merit-based or name scholarship.Mays Business School – Texas A&M University: $34,513 per yearTexas A&M first offered a general MBA degree in 1951 and has been AACSB accredited since 1972. The Mays Business School is located on A&M’s west campus, just under 2 hours outside of Houston. Mays also has a facility located in Houston, dubbed the CITYCENTRE facility, which opened in 2012. The CITYCENTRE campus encompasses 30,000 square feet of space located on the first and second floors of the CITYCENTRE THREE building and is home to A&M’s Executive MBA ProgramMays’ full-time program requires 49 credit hours over the 16-month curriculum. The first year is divided into three 10-week terms and one five-week term, which allows students to have completed 50 percent more coursework before their summer internship than most two-year MBA programs. Students do not take classes over the summer.The first year of the Texas A&M full-time MBA program costs $47,998 for in state residents and includes tuition, room and board, books and supplies and other travel and miscellaneous expenses. The estimated cost for the second year of the program is $21,028 for in state students. Mays accepts federal loans, personal loans, veteran’s education benefits and federal financial aid.Cameron School of Business – University of St. Thomas: $20,934 per yearThe Cameron School of Business is part of the University of St. Thomas, which is the only Catholic university in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Founded by Basilian Fathers in 1947, these holy folks continue to ensure that the university provides a Catholic liberal arts education to its students. The Cameron School of Business was founded in 1979, and focuses on ethically-oriented business education that will provide the school’s graduates with the skills necessary to serve as leaders of faith in a global economy.Students enrolled in the full-time MBA program at Cameron are required to complete 36 academic hours: Twenty-seven hours of core courses and nine hours of elective courses. Classes are held six days a week and students can complete the program in as little as two years.We calculated the average yearly cost by looking at credit hours: The cost of the full-time (and part-time) MBA program at Cameron is $1,118 per credit hour during the summer semester. Those enrolled in the fall and spring must pay $1,163 per credit hour. Students taking nine or fewer credit hours per semester are required to pay a $47 activity fee. Those students taking nine or more hours are required to pay $82. Students must also pay a $100 new graduate student fee and an $80 technology fee. Students are required to pay all fees every fall and spring semester.C.T. Bauer College of Business – University of Houston: $19,750 per yearLocated on the 667-acre campus of University of Houston in Southeast Houston, the C.T. Bauer College of Business offers three MBA programs, a full-time MBA, a Professional or Flexible MBA program and an Executive MBA program. All of the MBA programs offered at Bauer are American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited.Bauer has one full-time intake every fall, with students organized in a cohort structure. Students must complete 21 core credit hours and 27 elective credit hours over the course of 22 months. Students spend the first year of the program building a business knowledge foundation. During the second year, students are able to customize their education to their career goals through electives and elective certificate programs.Tuition costs for the full-time program at Bauer are estimated at around $40,000 for Texas residents, though the school offers more than 100 merit-based scholarships to well-qualified full-time MBA students, including the Bauer Excellence Scholarship.University of Houston – Downtown: $18,000 – $21,000 per yearFounded in 1974 when the University of Houston acquired the assets of South Texas Junior College, the University of Houston-Downtown comprises five buildings on 24 acres near the Buffalo and White Oak bayous on the north end of downtown Houston. UHD’s College of Business was founded in 1991, and in January 2012, UHD College of Business enrolled its first class of MBA students. The UHD School of Business received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in 1994.UHD’s full-time MBA program can be completed in one year. Depending on the concentration that a student chooses,34 to 38 semester hours must be completed to graduate. Each semester consists of two eight-week terms.Tuition costs $532 per credit hour for in-state students, so total costs vary depending on the concentration a student chooses. Students concentrating on finance, human resource management, leadership management, or business development/sales management will pay $21,840 in tuition fees. Concentrations in supply chain management, international business or accounting cost $23,940. An MBA with a general management concentration costs $18,088.Jesse H. Jones School of Business: $7,825 per yearFounded in 1955, Jesse H. Jones School of Business is part of Texas Southern University, one of the country’s largest Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The business school was founded in response to a growing interest in business among students in the city of Houston. Today, the school offers a full/part-time and Executive MBA program options.The traditional program consists of 36 hours of coursework, completed over a two-year period. In total, the cost for the MBA program at Jones is $15,650 for in-state residents. However, scholarships funded through both the university and private donors are available for qualifying students. Finding The 6 Most Affordable Houston MBA Programs About the AuthorMax PulciniMax Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.View more posts by Max Pulcini Last Updated Jun 12, 2017 by Max PulciniFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail center_img RelatedThe Best MBA Return on Investment in the Houston MetroOne of the top things an MBA looks for when choosing a business school is the return on investment. Return on investment, or ROI, is one of the most common profitability ratios, and an easy way to determine if an MBA is “worth” your time and money. We took a look…August 31, 2017In “Featured Home”Part-Time MBA Battle: Houston v. DallasAmong the bustling metros of the Lone Star State, Dallas and Houston are the biggest. Locals from the Houston and Dallas metros are die-hard about their towns, and their business schools take their MBA programs seriously. 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