The House of Commons has voted to hold a series of

first_imgThe House of Commons has voted to hold a series of ‘indicative votes’ on Wednesday, when MPs will take control of parliamentary business and try to establish which Brexit option has the most support. Jeremy Corbyn chose not to move his amendment (d), which called on the government to “provide sufficient parliamentary time this week for this House to find a majority for a different approach”. It was a loose demand for indicative votes.But the Commons approved cross-party amendment (a), proposed by Oliver Letwin, which sets out a plan for holding ‘indicative votes’ on Wednesday. It passed by 27 votes, with 329 MPs in favour and 302 against.Labour whipped in favour of the change championed by a Tory backbencher, while the government opposed it. The result represents another significant defeat for Theresa May.Eight Labour MPs defied the whip to vote against the Letwin amendment, plus one abstained, while 30 Tories rebelled to vote in favour of it – including Steve Brine, Alistair Burt and Richard Harrington, who resigned from their ministerial posts to do so.MPs also narrowly defeated Margaret Beckett’s amendment, (f), which instructed the government – if the UK came within seven days of leaving the EU without a deal – to offer Commons votes on ‘no deal’ and whether to request a longer Article 50 extension.The Prime Minister confirmed earlier today that she would allow parliamentary time for indicative votes, but suggested she would not be bound by the results. It is unclear as yet whether the votes will be ‘free’, i.e. unwhipped.Responding to the results at the despatch box tonight, Corbyn paid tribute to Oliver Letwin and Hilary Benn. The Labour leader said: “Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the House for taking control. “The government’s approach has been an abject failure and this House must now find a solution. So I pay tribute to the Hon member for West Dorset, and the member for Leeds Central, and others, who have worked to achieve tonight’s result. “The government must take this process seriously. We do not know what the House will decide on Wednesday. But I know there are many members of this House who have been working for alternative solutions, and we must debate those to find a consensus. “And this House must also consider whether any deal should be put to the people for a confirmatory vote. Where this government has failed, this House must, and I believe will, succeed.”Vote resultsOliver Letwin’s amendment (a): Ayes 329 – Noes 302Margaret Beckett’s amendment (f): Ayes 311 – Noes 314The Brexit motion as amended: Ayes 327 – Noes 300Labour rebelsOliver Letwin’s amendment (a)AGAINST (8): Kevin Barron, Ronnie Campbell, Rosie Cooper, Caroline Flint, Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, John Mann, Graham StringerABSTAINED (1): Gareth SnellMargaret Beckett’s amendment (f)AGAINST (8): Kevin Barron, Ronnie Campbell, Rosie Cooper, Caroline Flint, Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, Gareth Snell, Graham StringerABSTAINED (5): Mike Hill, John Mann, Grahame Morris, Melanie Onn, Ruth SmeethTags:Brexit /Brexit amendments /Indicative votes /last_img read more

Perez Lopez and the SF way of investigation

first_img Tags: police shooting Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% After two years, the District Attorney has decided not to press criminal charges against Officers Eric Reboli and Craig Tiffe, who shot Amilcar Perez-Lopez to death on the night of February 26, 2015.District Attorney George Gascón, who has yet to bring charges against any officer of the SFPD, released a 25 page summary of the investigative report laying out the rationale for his decision.To support his position, the DA also released a 3-D Animation which purports to be “an attempt to recreate the events that transpired on the evening of February 26, 2015.” Not quite accurate. Even the DA acknowledges that the Animation is a recreation of events from the point of view of Officers Reboli and Tiffe.The Animation was created, say its authors, “for the sole purpose of illustrating how the forensic evidence either supports or contradicts the statements of the events provided by the officers involved in the shooting.”center_img Remember, officers are legally entitled to use deadly force if they perceive that their life or that of another citizen’s is in danger. Perez Lopez was shot in the back, the autopsy shows. So the investigation must answer the basic question that has hung over the case from the beginning: If a man is shot in the back, how can he be threatening the life of the shooter?In answering it, both written and animated versions rely on the testimony of Charles J. Key, a former Baltimore police officer who now provides services as a Consultant, Use of Force and Ballistics Expert.According to Mr. Key, “A subject can turn one hundred eighty degrees more quickly than the fact that he/she has turned can be comprehended; thus, the shooter who has decided to fire may not recognize that the person has turned and, perhaps, no longer presents a threat and be able to stop shooting.”And further: “[Officer Reboli] would not have had time to note the specific position of Perez-Lopez’s body during that firing sequence.”The animated version suggests the Officer Reboli is firing at a ghost, but he hits a real person. He may have not known the specific position, yet he hits Perez Lopez five times with five shots.In the summary report, Key supports his argument by citing “studies relating to action versus reaction time and the mechanics of shooting accurately.”OK, say Perez Lopez quickly turned his back as Officer Reboli began to shoot. Was he still holding the knife? The testimony is mixed, although the DA believes he probably was.Why? In part because the second officer, Tiffe, says he saw Perez Lopez raise the knife after Reboli started shooting. Tiffe then shoots Perez Lopez in the back, not because he, Tiffe feels threatened, but because he thinks Perez Lopez might be going after the guy he had been chasing around (Abraham P., who Tiffe can’t see).So the problem of how Perez Lopez could be threatening the officers as he moves away from them is solved. Either one officer feels personally threatened and shoots Perez-Lopez in the back because his reaction time is too slow to account for the turn, or the other officer shoots Perez-Lopez in the back because he feels Abraham P., is threatened.This is the defense the officers make, and it is enough to convince the DA they didn’t break the law, and the latter is his only mandate.Throughout the summary, the DA notes contradictory evidence such as witnesses who heard the knife fall before the gunshots, but he is not persuaded by it.In his report, the DA is also not concerned about SFPD policy: if it was followed or if it needs to be changed.But it is difficult to watch the animation without being struck by exactly that question. Once on the scene, the officers escalate, rather than de-escalate the incident.According to his statement and the Animation, Officer Tiffe approaches Perez Lopez and tells him to get away from the car. When Perez Lopez doesn’t comply, Tiffe escalates.Rather than step back, defuse and analyze the scene, he decides to get physical with Perez Lopez and force compliance. He doesn’t act out of instinct or fear. According to the summary, Officer Tiffe  “decided to make physical contact with [Perez-Lopez].”This decision touches off a chain of events that quickly spirals out of control and ends with Perez-Lopez dead on the pavement with five bullets in his back.The SF Civil Grand Jury Investigates OIS InvestigationsSo after 777 days, the criminal investigation into the death of Amilcar Perez Lopez has come to an end.Maybe you are wondering WTF; what takes so long?And if you’ve read the SFPD Department General Order 8.11, which “outlines the rules and procedures to be followed in the conduct of all officer-involved and discharge investigations, “ you would expect these cases to wind up much sooner. The Order gives the Homicide Detail 45 days, and the Internal Affairs Division 60 days, to complete their investigations.These are not hard fast deadlines and routinely unenforced. The DA is under no timeAfter the December 2015 slaying of Mario Woods in Bayview, three reviews of the SFPD Use of Force policies and practices ensued.The first issue to be addressed was the timeliness and transparency in lethal Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) investigations. This review was carried out by San Francisco’s Civil Grand Jury.Established by the State, the Civil Grand Jury is a government oversight panel of volunteers who serve for one year. It scrutinizes the conduct of public business of county government, makes findings and recommendations which result from its studies.In June of 2016, the Civil Grand Jury issued a report entitled “Into the Open:opportunities for more timely and transparent investigations of fatal san francisco police department officer-involved shootings.”In its report, the Grand Jury concludes that not only did investigations of fatal police shootings take too long, but also that the citizens of San Francisco are not provided enough information to feel certain that the OIS investigation process works properly and that the results of such investigations are fair and just. And, once again, Gascón has made it clear that the public will not have access to the full report.Each OIS investigation involves the following agencies and units: SFPD Homicide Detail, SFPD Internal Affairs Division, the Medical Examiner, the Office of Citizen Complaints (now the Department of Police Accountability), and the District Attorney.Each OIS investigation is basically two-pronged: a criminal investigation to establish whether any laws have been broken, and secondly an administrative investigation to determine if the actions taken by the officers comport with SFPD policy.The SFPD General Orders are the policy foundation of the Department, often referred to as the “Bible” of the SFPD. Following General Order 8.11 (remember?) OIS investigations should be concluded in less than six months.That never happens.The criminal investigation, involving both the SFPD Homicide Detail and the DistrictAttorney’s office, can take up to two years and longer.The administrative investigation, mainly run by the Internal Affairs Division of the SFPD can take up to 30 months, but cannot be complete until the criminal investigation is complete.A review of investigations of OIS incidents that have occurred since January 2011 reveals thatno investigation has met the timeframes set forth in the SFPD General Orders. Even the average figured by Budget Analyst Harvey Rose, 445 days to close a case, has only been reached once during that time.“[A] two-to-three year investigation gives an appearance,” writes the Civil Grand Jury, “justified or not — of, at one end of the spectrum, foot-dragging or a lack of concern, and, at the other end of the spectrum, bungling or a coverup.”Though the Civil Grand Jury makes no analysis as to why investigations routinely take so long, it does offer a number of findings and recommendations, mostly bureaucratic in nature, such as streamlining communications, standardizing reports and giving a shout out to the Medical Examiner for drastically reducing the delays it was routinely causing.The Grand Jury also recommended better public communication by the investigators, providing regular updates on the investigation of individual cases.Among its findings, the Grand Jury found that the District Attorney’s office was the main bottleneck in criminal investigations.Timeliness is important to the process, but the Civil Grand Jury is most concerned with the issue of “transparency” – or who’s investigating whom?The lead agency in the investigations is the SFPD Homicide Detail. Taking the lead means in practice that officers from the Homicide Detail are the first to examine the evidence and importantly, the first to interview the shooters and other witnesses.Although the Grand Jury believes this system was set up with the best of intentions, it recognizes that the SFPD investigating itself may cause a public perception of bias in favor of the officers under investigation.Also feeding a negative perception is the unbroken record chalked up since 2000. Between 2000 and 2016, there were at least 97 officer-involved shootings, 42 of them fatal. No charges have been filed against officers in any of the shootings.The political relationship between the DA’s office and the SFPD doesn’t help either for greater transparency or timeliness.In the case of Perez-Lopez, DA Gascón blamed the police for failure to immediately inform and moving the body before DA investigators arrived on the scene.Mission Local earlier reported that Gascón said the delay in notification and movement of the body “played a role in making our work much more difficult and in delaying outcomes.”To address these problems, and above all transparency, the Civil Grand Jury proposes the City create a new multi-agency Oversight Task Force which would monitor an OIS investigation from beginning to end.The Civil Grand Jury also proposed the DA’s office get increased funding and resources for improved investigations. Recently the DA announced the formation of an Independent Investigations Bureau inside the DA’s office.The “independence” in its title seems to refer to its independence from the other pressures within the office. In addition to faster investigations, the DA believes the Bureau will supplant the SFPD Homicide Detail as lead agency in OIS investigations. This has yet to be agreed to by the SFPD. There is also some dispute as to how much funding the Bureau will receive and what its actual mandate will be.For more on the Civil Grand Jury report, go here.The DA Gets a Blue RibbonOK, the Civil Grand Jury came down on the DA.Not to be outdone when it comes to dinging the cops, the DA commissioned the Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement. Focused on the question of institutional and individual bias in the SFPD, the Panel spent little time on the question of OIS investigations in its July 2016 Report.The Panel did report, however, that “investigations conducted by the District Attorney’s Office suffer from a lack of independence . . .” meaning the DA was too dependent on the Police.As for delays, no surprise here, the Panel blames the Police.The Panel offers no specific recommendations to improve either the timeliness or the transparency of the investigation process.The Pre-Jeff Sessions Justice DepartmentFinally, the most extensive review of last year, and the one that carries the most weight, is the review jointly conducted by the SFPD and the U.S. Department of Justice.The fruit of that collaborative effort is “An Assessment of the San Francisco Police Department” (hereinafter “the Report”). It was issued in October 2016.As is the case throughout the Report, the section on OIS investigations relates in mind-numbing prose the procedures, protocols and policies of the five agencies involved.And then, with considerable less detail and considerably more ambiguity, the Report gets into how it goes down in practice.With appropriate bureaucratic gusto, the Report criticizes the SFPD’s record-keeping and file maintenance, then observes cryptically, and without context: “Finally it is unacceptable for officer-involved shootings to be open for years.”No time frame is provided by the Report for what would be “acceptable.” Instead the principal recommendation from this area is:“The SFPD must work with the City and County of San Francisco to develop a process that provides timely, transparent, and factual outcomes for officer involved shooting incidents.”The Report makes a number of other, mainly bureaucratic, recommendations such as the development of a checklist and a template for files.In some case, the bureaucratic language obscures a deeper issue. For example:“The SFPD needs to develop a protocol for proper development and handling of officer statements.”Sounds innocuous enough, although one has to ask why no such protocol exists. But the underlying issue is, as we have seen, intensely political: who leads the investigation? Who do you trust? Simple, clear protocols can be useful – if they’re followed.And then there’s this:“The SFPD needs to develop a policy for investigation standards and response for all officer use of force.”WHAT???? They don’t have a policy for investigation standards? Do we dare ask what standards they’ve been using? Any?The Report concludes:“Overall, the case files reviewed were not truly investigations. Instead, investigators documented a series of events, collected appropriate evidence, and took statements. Witnesses were not always interviewed in depth. There was not a sense of using factual support or the absence of facts to make an investigative summary. Inconsistencies in statements were often not pressed.”Final ThoughtsAll of this makes the details of this – and all reports – important. But, Gascón’s office has said those details will not be made public. So, no transparency and a lot of wondering – a situation that does neither the SFPD or the community a lot of good.Mark Rabine is a long-time collaborator of Mission Local who is married to the executive editor, Lydia Chávez. For the last couple of months he has been delving into the myriad reports on police violence and he will be writing more on policing the Mission. last_img read more

SAINTS online community is growing every day and

first_imgSAINTS’ online community is growing every day and there’s never been a better time to get in on the action.Throughout the season Saints’ Official Facebook and Official Twitter sites will be your one stop shop for everything happening at the club.Alongside a newly revamped Official Site – to be revealed in time for the beginning of Super League XVI – Saints Official Facebook will feature news and views from around the club, special offers, the chance to comment on Saintly matters, match score updates and a whole host of other features.Saints1890 – our Official Twitter page – will feature snippets from the Saints and exclusive news as we progress through the campaign.Saints Media Manager, Mike Appleton, said: “Social networking is the biggest thing to happen in media and communication for many years and we want Saints to be at the forefront.“Both sites allow interaction with our loyal supporters and the opportunity to offer all fans exclusive news as well as competitions and offers throughout the year.“Join us now and Share Our Vision.”last_img read more

NATHAN Brown is expecting Saints to continue their

first_imgNATHAN Brown is expecting Saints to continue their improvement when they take on Widnes Vikings this Friday.His side sit two points clear at the top of the Super League table – but must take the spoils if they want to remain at the summit.“We want to play well this Friday and in the next few weeks so we can head into the playoffs with confidence,” he said. “If we don’t play well over the next few weeks then we won’t go in with confidence.“Last week we were better than the week before and this week I’d like to think we can be better once again.“London competed hard but our class showed in the end. We had a flat period but we recovered from it and finished strong.“Widnes have shown how well they can play and in Kevin Brown and Rhys Hanbury they have creative players who can score points.”Saints will welcome back Luke Walsh for the clash, but will miss his half-back partner Lance Hohaia.“We’ll be missing Lance for the next eight to ten weeks,” Brown continued. “He has damaged the muscle on the bottom of his foot. It’s a shame as he has had a good year for us. The upside is we have Gary Wheeler who is a good young player who will get an opportunity.“I really feel for Lance, he has copped some stick, but he’s had a consistent year and I think the fans have recognised that. Injures are part of the game so we will have to just get on with it.“Walshy will be back this week which means Jon Wilkin can go into the back row. We just hope that Gary can maintain some field time – that is the key for him. He has a good skillset and we are confident he will do well for us.”Tickets for Friday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

HERE is your 2016 Home and Away KitIn partnership

first_imgHERE is your 2016 Home and Away Kit!In partnership with O’Neills Sportswear, Saints are delighted to reveal their Home and Away kits for the 2016 First Utility Super League season.The 2016 home kit features the famous Red Vee on a white shirt.Finding inspiration from the Mal Meninga era, the shirt features the largest Red Vee for some time to give it a Retro look, whilst using modern ‘Koolite’ Fabric and a refined Rugby Cut to bring our fans a shirt they can wear with comfort and pride.Merchandising Manager Steve Law said: “Our fans responded really positively to the 2015 shirts, our first with O’Neills, and sales were fantastic in both Home and Away versions.“They told us they liked the fuller Vee, the increased white areas in the shirt and the generous fit.“We also received feedback that they loved the combination of Blue and Black on the Away and sales of the Ladies and Girls Pink Version Jerseys exceeded all our expectations.“We are delighted to offer them once more as part of our 2016 Replica Range. Pop into the Saints Superstore to find out more!”The 2016 Away shirt incorporates two of the most fashionable colours in sports’ apparel next year, Cyan and Fluorescent Orange, and combines them in a great looking shirt, full of detail and vibrancy.Once more Saints fans will stand out from the rest when we visit other Super League grounds.The Away shirt is great to wear to the match of course but will also look great when worn with jeans or with shorts in the summer months ahead.We have used the Away colour Cyan as a key colour in the co-ordinated Players’ Trainingwear range – and stock of this will be hitting the store this week.We have also produced a range with traditional Red and White trims to make sure Saints fans of all ages have a range to suit their preferences.We are delighted with the range and believe that you the fans will be as eager to wear it as the players are!Availability:Home shirts are available to purchase now in the Saints Superstore, whilst the Away shirt is available to pre-order now with delivery expected the first week of December 2015 in good time for Xmas.Shorts and socks will be in ASAP, giving those fans who want it, a chance to grab the full kit.Shirt Personalisation:Shirt Personalisation is available in store, however as the squad list is yet to be finalised we strongly recommend waiting for confirmation before personalising your shirt with Player Names and Numbers.The squad list is due to be confirmed within the next couple of weeks.Prices – Home and Away Versions:Authentic Players’ Shirt – £70 (xSmall – 3XL)Adult Shirt – £48 (xSmall – 7XL)Ladies Shirt – £48 (Sizes 8 To 18)Kids Shirt – £35 (Ages 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 10-11, 13)Toddlers Shirt – £30 (Ages 0-6mths, 6-12mths)Toddlers Kit – £40 (Ages 1-2, 3-4)To buy pop into the Saints Superstore at Langtree Park, call 01744 455 052 or log on here.And, as revealed at the 2016 Member-only exclusive launch event at Langtree Park, Members can get 10% off their purchase of either shirt in November! (T&Cs apply).last_img read more

THE U19s came away from Headingley with a fantasti

first_imgTHE U19s came away from Headingley with a fantastic 35-6 win over their Yorkshire counterparts on Friday evening, writes Graham Henthorne.From the start the Saints were switched on and should have broken their duck after only three minutes as Regan Grace burst out of a three man tackle down the middle. Normally you would start to get your pen out but the flyer went just a smidgeon too close to the full back who just managed to clip his heels and the chance was lost.But with a little more luck the Saints could have scored three tries in the opening 12 minutes. Ben Morris, Lewis Furlong and Aaron Smith were all held up over the line as the Saints piled on the pressure. However, each time poor handling let the hosts off the hook.The game developed into a bit of an arm wrestle with each side making ground only to relinquish possession cheaply.The deadlock was finally broken on 25 minutes as the Rhinos capitalised on a couple of back to back penalties and sets with a try down the right channel.Undaunted the Saints forwards, led by Mr Perpetual Motion Matty Lees, started to win the battle up the middle. It was his carries, accompanied by the equally impressive Jordan Olmez, that set up the position for Danny Richardson to show and go to score in the right corner. A cracking touchline conversion brought the scores level.The Rhinos seemed to be feeling the pressure somewhat as twice they instigated a 26 man push and shoveathon on the Saints line. Crucially the Saints weren’t fazed giving as good as they got and with the penalty from the second started the final set of the half on halfway. On the last a shrewd piece of play from Richardson saw him edge the Saints ahead with a well taken drop goal.The dressing room was positive place at the break with everyone knowing that an improvement on the 55% completion rate would bring home the bacon.As the second period started the Saints put their plan into perfect action with three tries in a fifteen minute spell which broke the back of the home sides’ resistance.All of them came on the back of drives down the middle from the dynamic duo of Olmez and Lees with a cameo performance of power running from Jonah Cunningham to boot.Lees was the first to cross the whitewash with a deserved try bursting onto a short pass close to the line.The second and third were great examples of power running from Captain Liam Cooper the last following a majestic 40/10 from Richardson.The Rhinos bolstered their middle defence as the Saints rotated their front row and the scores dried up for a period but they couldn’t hold out forever as the relentless battering finally tolled.From a scrum on halfway the play broke right. Aaron Smith darted blind from the play the ball and Cooper’s miss pass put winger David Eccleston away. He took it to the fullback before feeding the supporting Matty Costello on the inside and he streaked away from the cover to the sticks.The increasingly desperate Rhinos again knocked on in their own 10 metre area and two tackles later Smith put the icing on a very juicy cake darting over from close in.Over 30 points at Headingley and nilling the opposition in the second half. It doesn’t get much better than that!This was a great team performance and as such it’s always difficult to pick anyone out but in this case it’s relatively easy. Jordan Olmez along with Jonah Cunningham off the bench both provided significant grunt up the middle to support a magnificent 60 minute spell from Matty Lees. Put the metres they all provided in the bank for Danny Richardson to play with and you allow the half back to produce the kind of display he produced this evening. Two majestic 40/20’s and an all-round kicking game which kept the home side backpedalling gave the Saints their best win over Leeds for many years.Match Summary:Leeds Rhinos U19s:Tries: Joe Sanderson (25).Goals: Joe Sanderson.Saints U19s:Tries: Danny Richardson (33), Matty Lees (42), Liam Cooper (49 & 53), Matty Costello (71), Aaron Smith (77).Goals: Danny Richardson 5.Drop Goals: Danny Richardson (40).Half Time: 7-6Full Time: 35-6Teams:Leeds:1. Jack Walker; 2. Harry Boyes, 3. Tommy Brierley, 4. Jack Norfolk, 5. Nathan Waring; 6. Joe Sanderson, 7. Jack Wray; 8. Mikolaj Oledzki, 9. Ben Brady, 10. J. Jordan-Roberts, 11. Nathan Barker, 12. Spencer Darley, 13. Cameron Smith. Subs: 14. Harvey Whiteley, 15. Dyson Nicholson, 16. Harvey Hallas, 17. Ben Longton.Saints:1. Matty Costello; 2. David Eccleston, 4. Lewis Furlong, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Levy Nzoungou, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Matty Lees, 11. Liam Cooper (C), 12. Ben Morris, 13. Mike Weldon. Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Jordan Olmez, 16. Jorge Lewtas, 17. Josh Eaves.last_img read more

MATTY Costello and Rob Fairclough are set to featu

first_imgMATTY Costello and Rob Fairclough are set to feature for England Academy when they take on Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium this Saturday.The Saints duo are part of the squad that are in the second week of their Australian Tour and the game will be their first warm-up ahead of the forthcoming Tests against Australian Schoolboys.Coach Andy Kelly said “Penrith are a great club and have some world-class facilities available to them. They’re development system is something that a lot of clubs look at and strive to replicate.“After two weeks of being in the gym, on the training field and talking about our game, the boys are ready to get out there and perform.“I’m giving all 24 players a run out in this game as this will be their final opportunity to show me and the coaching staff how much they want to be in that final 17 for the first Test against Australia next week.”England Academy – Australia Tour 2016 schedule:Saturday July 23 – England Academy v Penrith Panthers (2.30pm AEST, Pepper Stadium)Sunday July 31 – England Academy v Australia High Schools (2.00pm AEST, Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe, QLD)Saturday August 6 – England Academy v Australia High Schools (1.15pm AEST, Southern Cross Group Stadium)last_img read more

CFPUA signs contract partnering with UNCW to test water quality

first_img The agreement goes into effect this week on September 1st.The utility will pay UNCW nearly $65 thousand dollars for the research and pay in monthly installments of around $5,400.In addition to the new agreement, the CFPUA announced it will also begin a new test.Related Article: UNCW hosting several events to welcome studentsFor several weeks, CFPUA has been pilot testing the effectiveness of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) technology in removing compounds such as GenX from the water. Beginning this week, CFPUA will begin testing an additional technology known as Ion Exchange (IX).IX is a water treatment process that applies the use of spherical particles, known as ion exchange resin. As water flows through the tank containing the resin, chemical compounds are attracted to the resin and are removed from the water.As is the case with GAC technology, the IX resin would work until “breakthrough” is reached, at which point the old materials must be disposed of and new materials must be brought in. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has signed a contract with the University of North Carolina Wilmington to begin identifying the other per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances in the Cape Fear River, and to test the efficiency of the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant in removing them from the water.The project is expected to last 12 months, and all subsequent findings will be made available to the general public and agencies such as NCDEQ, NCDHHS and NCEPA.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Man accused of using phone to peep on girl while on vacation

first_img The SBI says it happened during the week of July 11 to 16.Lott was vacationing in Brunswick County with a friend and her daughter. It’s alleged Lott used a cell phone under a bathroom door to get images of the girl.Lott is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.Related Article: WPD: Warrants secured for man who scammed residents Michael Lott (Photo: Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man from Madison County is accused of secretly peeping on a girl while on vacation in Brunswick County.Michael Paul Lott, 38, turned himself in to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office on Monday. He was then transferred to the Brunswick County Detention Center.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Hank Williams Jr to perform at NC Azalea Festival

first_img According to a news release, “It’s About Time” is Hank’s 37th album in his five-decade career. He continues to add accolades to an extremely impressive resume, which includes ACM Entertainer of the Year, CMA Entertainer of the Year and BMI Icon in addition to winning a Grammy and being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. As a touring artist, Hank was a pioneer in bringing arena rock production values to country music, and he remains one of the most consistent ticket sellers in music, period, as generation after generation gets turned on to one of the most dynamic live performers ever to take the stage.Tickets go on sale Saturday, January 19 at 10:00 a.m. The early bird rate is $45.Starting February 1, tickets will increase to $55.Related Article: Luke Perry, heartthrob on ‘90210,’ dies at 52 after strokeTickets will be $65 the day of show.This year the North Carolina Azalea Festival is offering a 3-show Main Stage Concert package combo pass. The Flower Pack combo pass includes one ticket to each Main Stage Concert. Thursday and Saturday night’s shows have not been announced yet.The combo pack will cost $100 through January. Starting February 1, the pass increases to $120.  There are a limited number of Flower Pack combo passes available for sale. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The 2019 North Carolina Azalea Festival announces the first performing artist for the Main Stage Concert Series as Hank Williams, Jr. with opening act Frank Foster.They will be performing on Friday, April 5 at 7:00 pm.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Local leader pushes to raise penalty for pharmacy breakins

first_img Right now, it is considered a felony if someone breaks into a pharmacy.Under the new bill, the seriousness of the crime would be greater. Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician counts pills (Photo: Bobby Jones / USAF) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A proposed bill supported by Representative Carson Smith aims to crack down on pharmacy break-ins.House Bill 212 would increase the punishment for breaking and entering a pharmacy.- Advertisement – last_img

Reward increased for info leading to homicide suspects arrest

first_imgMichael Mitchell (Photo: U.S. Attorney’s Office) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Crime Stoppers has increased the reward to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a homicide suspect.19-year-old Michael Mitchell is wanted in connection with the death of 27-year-old Willie Sellers Jr., who was shot and killed the night of April 5 in the 1000 block of Emory Street in Wilmington.- Advertisement – Police say Mitchell is a validated gang member and could be anywhere in the southeastern US.Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact Wilmington Police Department at (910) 343-3609. To remain anonymous tipsters should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-531-9845 or use Text-a-Tip.last_img read more

Ħal Far murder bullet went through his body

first_img SharePrint A man who survived a shooting at Ħal Far in April 2019, took to the witness stand on Thursday in the case against AFM members Lorin Scicluna and Francesco Fenech. The two soldiers stand accused of the murder of Lassana Cisse Souleyman on the same night that the witness, Mohammed Jallow, was shot at.During his testimony, Jallow told the Court that he is still finding physical difficulties. He also explained that he received a through shot in the buttocks. Also giving their testimony today, where a GO plc representative and a Transport Malta spokesperson.The case has been deferred to the 19th of August 2019. Prosecution is being led by Inspector Keith Arnaud. Nadia Attard is legal counsel from the Attorney General’s office. Arthur Azzopardi is legally representing parte civile. Franco Debono, Kris Busietta and Julian Farrugia are representing Lorin Scicluna, whilst Gianella De Marco and Stephen Tonna Lowell are legal counsel for Francesco Fenech.For a detailed report of the Court hearings in Maltese click here.Read also:Ħal Far murder: Witness says his friend described Malta as non-racistĦal Far murder: Update: Fenech’s cousin amongst witnesses“A blot on the maltese conscience” – President Vella on Ħal Far murderĦal Far murder: enough evidence for bill of indictmentĦal Far murder; Music still played as he lay dead in the streetĦal Far drive-by murder: Two soldiers accused with murder still not suspendedUpdated: Ħal Far drive-by murder: suspects remanded in custody; NGOs say racism is rife…Updated (5): Ħal Far murder: 2 arrested; weapon seized; Reactions pour in <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img WhatsApplast_img read more

Bing gets smarter with Encyclopaedia Britannica

first_imgAdvertisement BBC News says it is also seen as a response to Google’s “Knowledge Graph” that consolidates search information about specific subjects.Microsoft said that when information from Britannica was relevant to a search, Bing users would see a small box summarising salient facts about a topic or subject.According to Tech Crunch, the search engine’s answer feature tries to provide users with a snippet of useful information related to their questions and keywords without having to visit a Web page. – Advertisement – Results from Encyclopaedia Britannica will now feature a thumbnail and some useful facts about the topic (as well as links to Wikipedia, Britannica, Freebase and – for those who don’t like to read – Qwiki).By Nadine Arendselast_img read more

Little Monsters Lady Gagas social network now opens to the public

first_imgAdvertisement We took a quick look around the site and here’s what we saw…There’s a simple sign-up process, just fill in a few basic details, take a quick tour and away you go. Little Monsters feels a lot like Pinterest when you first sign in and this is the Media section, where you’ll see everything other little monsters have been posting, you can click on things to zoom in, write comments and then rate them, because the better content then moves up to the top of the screen. – Advertisement – The Discuss tab is basically like a forum, allowing you to respond to different topics and post your own. There’s a real sense of community throughout the whole platform, allowing you to rate and police all kinds of content and discussions that are taking place.The Open Chat feature over to the right hand side is like your very own dynamic chat panel, allowing you to flick between rooms and get to know other monsters.The News and Events tabs are full of Lady Gaga focused content right now, but we imagine that monsters can fill these sections up with other things that interest them over time too.Just like Facebook you can receive messages, view recent notifications and the Monsters tab shows you who you’re following, who’s following you and suggests other monsters to connect with.We’ve only just dipped our toes into the crazy Little Monsters pool, but so far we like what we see and wonder whether other artists and celebs will follow suit and create their own online destinations or whether Gaga’s the only one with the dedicated fanbase to really pull it off? We think the latter.It certainly helps that she’s so outspoken and spreads her ethos of being strong, kind and original with users as soon as they sign up. Here are the inspirational words we got from the lady herself after becoming a member, also known as The Monster Code:Be brave. Dare to create and share your art with the world.Be kind. Encourage and support your fellow monsters. We don’t want to put anyone down, be it other Little Monsters or other artists.Be tolerant. Never make anyone feel unwelcome or judged; treat everyone with respect, love and acceptance.Be original. Please only upload content you’ve created or have permission to post.Be a contributor. Post good content and good discussion will follow. Don’t ask for likes. Up-vote great comments, and down-vote those that take away from to the discussion (there is no room for negativity within safe. Protect your privacy, and respect the privacy of others.Be respectful. Keep things appropriate for everyone, including all of the young little monsters out there. Please no nudity or explicit content. If you repeatedly post content that offends the community, we may have to limit your access.… be yourself.Whatever you think of Lady Gaga’s music, you can’t deny she speaks up about a lot of important and often controversial topics and has really pushed the boundaries when it comes to fashion, tech, human rights, current affairs and the unique way she really connects with her adoring fans.Visit: littlemonsters.comlast_img read more

Ericssons Device and App Verification service to help vendors guarantee quality of

first_imgAdvertisement In order to ensure that consumers are guaranteed of quality user-experience whenever they purchase a new handset or device in the increasingly competitive global market, Ericsson has introduced its Device and Application Verification service help vendors test the quality of their offerings before launch into market.Prior to this, only smartphones have been tested by Ericsson in this manner. With the introduction of the Device and Application Verification service, it is now possible to verify the quality of applications and machine-to-machine (M2M) devices as well.The approach ­taken at Ericsson’s Experience Labs (which are equipped with the most innovative technology) all over the world helps vendors make devices more network-friendly and enables operators to make networks more device-friendly. It also reduces lead times and verification costs. – Advertisement – By connecting to an operator’s live network, Ericsson’s Experience labs help vendors verify device and application performance to meet the operator’s validation and acceptance tests. Ericsson’s automated verification tools help to accelerate the process to ensure that devices comply with regulatory, international and specific network requirements.Paolo Colella, Head of Consulting & Systems Integration at Ericsson, says: “With this new service, device and application vendors have a lot to gain, especially when it comes to providing users with a high-quality experience of seamless, hassle-free services. Ensuring readiness before launching new devices and apps can also help build customer and brand loyalty, and attract new users.”It’s not only terminals and smartphones that can be tested through the Device and Application Verification service, but also M2M products and customer-premises equipment. Any type of device or application can also be verified automatically, and certain key performance indicators (KPIs) may be monitored – for example, signaling load, data load and battery consumption.Device and Application Verification is an integral part of Ericsson’s vision for the Networked Society in which the number of connected devices will increase, providing new services for people in all walks of life. It will become increasingly important for both vendors and operators to stay competitive and deliver high-quality services and a positive network experience.The launch of the service comes a few months after the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) ordered Kenya’s four mobile phone service providers to switch off counterfeit devices from their networks through a process that began on September 30, 2012.At the beginning of 2012, the number of counterfeit handsets connected to the networks was estimated to be about 2.5 million with Safaricom reportedly having the lion’s share on its network with 1.5 million handsets. At the end of the operation, Safaricom blacklisted and blocked 680,000 phones from its network, Telkom Orange locked out 75,000 phones while Airtel blocked 740,000 phones. YuMobile switched off another 45,000 phones.last_img read more

ICANNs usernames and encrypted passwords stolen

first_imgAdvertisement The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has fallen victim to an outside attack.The non-profit corporation admitted on Thursday that within the past week, usernames, email addresses, and encrypted passwords for profile accounts on its public website were obtained by an “unauthorised person”.The leaked information includes user preferences, public biographies, interests, newsletters, and subscriptions. – Advertisement – “The encrypted passwords appear to have been obtained as a result of unauthorised access to an external service provider,” ICANN said.The good news is that there is no evidence to suggest that any profile accounts, or internal ICANN systems have been accessed without authorisation, nor that any operational information, financial data, or Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) systems were involved.As a precaution ICANN is requiring that all users reset their passwords.“We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause.”ICANN fell victim to a phishing attack less than a year ago, which resulted in the attackers gaining administrative access to some of ICANN’s systems, including its Centralised Zone Data Service (CZDS).[Via]last_img read more

Amazons Alexa updated with a new feature

first_imgAmazon Alexa. Courtesy Photo Advertisement Through Alexa, it’s now possible to shop for millions of products with just your voice, even if it isn’t something you’ve purchased in the past.Amazon said that Alexa, the digital voice assistant residing inside the company’s Echo smart speaker and Fire TV, can now be used to order tens of millions of items — from sunscreen to batteries to chocolate — by simply asking.To order through Alexa, ask the virtual assistant for a product and Alexa will suggest something that ships with Prime and then spits out the order total. Simply say “yes” to buy it. Products purchased using Alexa qualify for free returns. – Advertisement – Alexa previously was limited to reordering items someone had already purchased or recommending company-selected printers or laptops through a service called Amazon’s Choice. All the items now available for purchase must be eligible for Prime, Amazon’s membership service that includes unlimited two-day shipping. New items are being added daily to the list.Items ineligible for purchase through Alexa include apparel, shoes, jewelry, watches, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Prime Pantry, Amazon Prime Now and add-on items.While the Echo has turned into an unexpected hit for the connected home, Amazon will have to work harder to stay ahead of coming competition. Google plans to release its Google Home smart speaker later this year and Apple is rumored to be working on a competing device, too.last_img read more

Ntuha Launches in Western Uganda as SafeBoda Hits 10K Milestone

first_imgOne of the riders ‘Edwin’ seen registering as a Ntuha rider during the startup’s launch in Mbarara in April 2019. File Photo Advertisement Ntuha, a new hailing service in Uganda has launched its operations in Mbarara, Western region of Uganda to leverage the hailing business where likes of SafeBoda, UberBoda, Blot (formerly Taxify), don’t reach.The three giants in the hailing business; SafeBoda, UberBoda, and Blot are known to have its operations in major urban centers. They mostly are in Kampala — the capital of Uganda, and then Entebbe.When asked, on when they are expanding beyond urban centers, the hailing firms don’t comment on the matter. – Advertisement – Ntuha, thought of taking advantage of this. Taking on the role of giving hailing services from special hire taxis, moto-taxis and truck hires. Starting with Mbarara with plans of expanding to Gulu, Mbale, Arua, Fort Portal, and Jinja.Uganda’s tech industry is growing gradually. Developers, innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, among others are coming up with solutions that can better their communities. Their solutions could be funded by Venture Companies, Private Companies, NGOs, the Government — or individual funding. Whatever works best for them, is what they take.For the sake of Ntuha, it happens to be individual funding. Ntuha a local word to mean crested crane is managed by a group of 10 — comprised of developers, entrepreneurs, ICT experts, among others.Starting off as a solely food delivery service in 2018, they saw an opportunity of expanding to the hailing business — launching the Ntuha App in April this year. The startup has already registered and working with over 34 moto-taxis and about 5 special hire taxis. The growing startup reports not to have truck hires yet.Ntuha offering both delivery and hailing services. Pictured a lady stands between the companies banners at an expo in Mbarara.Just like any other hailing service, the app remains the same. Available for Android for now — it records 100+ downloads on Playstore. The Founder; Philemon Ayebare says, “so far the reception is good with over one hundred downloads in less than two months.”The user downloads the app, on opening it to book/order for a ride — they choose what they opt for; Moto-Taxi or Special Hire Taxis. The app estimates the price of the trip, and the consumer is good to book his/her ride.All the riders upon registering go through a training before they are fully considered a Ntuha rider. Ayebare says training is key priority as they want to ensure a good user experience for its customers.After the intensive training, the riders, receive, two helmets (for the rider and passenger) and a reflector jacket for the rider.As it’s a requirement to have a smartphone, the smartphone penetrations in Mbarara is low/minimal. Ntuha has partnered with a local smartphone dealer to provide smartphones to its riders that don’t own one.Through an installment plan, riders pay 50% of the price of the phone, and the balance is paid slowly in a period of a month.Mbarara has a growing population that is estimated to be nearly half a million. And on a daily basis user moto-taxis and special hire taxis as a mode of transportation. Thus, Ayebare saw this as an advantage to them.The Mayor at Mbarara; Mr. Kakyebezi Robert pictured speaking at the launch of Ntuha in Mbarara in April 2019. File PhotoNtuha is offering a 50% discount on all its rides.SafeBoda Reaches 10,000 RidersSafeBoda over the weekend shared its excitement as they hit 10,000 riders. Moses Musinguzi took to micro-blogging website; Twitter and shared a photo of him holding the first helmet with the 10,000 rider.In his tweet, he wrote, “Thanks for travelling with us to this milestone. We are finally 10,000.”Thanks for travelling with us to this milestone 🙏We are finally 10000 💪💪— Moses Musinguzi 🇺🇬↔️🇰🇪 (@MosesNambaEmu) May 31, 2019 SafeBoda has to-date managed to stay on top in the moto-hailing business. Being the sole pioneer, they have leveraged the market off like of UberBoda, Blot, Dial Jack, among others.Their milestone comes at a time to company redesigned their application.SafeBoda has its operations in Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria.last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Lithuania v England

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hat’s more than enough, thank you, of the Euro 2016 Qualifiers.Thank goodness the domestic action returns this weekend as quite frankly I’ve had more than enough of these qualifiers which have gone on longer than Downton Abbey last night and that’s saying something.It’s fine when there’s something at stake but the new format just means there’s also a lot of meaningless games too.A case in point being England who have won all nine of their qualifying matches and face Lithuania tonight at 7.45pm.Perhaps I’m over harsh on England and it seems odd to say this about a team in such, apparent, good form but I’m not convinced. The disaster of Brazil still lingers large and whilst the results against (generally) much weaker teams is impressive on the table front – I’m not seeing enough in their play to either get excited about or convince me that when the going gets tough, the tough WILL indeed get going.I’m happy to be proved wrong but on current evidence it’s quite right that Germany, France, Spain and Belgium are all ahead of England in the outright market with Star Sports.No surprise to see Hodgson opt for a little experimentation tonight and Phil Jagielka will captain the side for the first time in the new shape team that has seen Joe Hart, regular captain Wayne Rooney, Gary Cahill, Michael Carrick and James Milner all left at home.Jack Butland, Phil Jones and Jonjo Shelvey will start for England in the match at the LFF Stadium in Vilnius.Hodgson said: “We have a very interesting team for Phil to lead out. We are ready for the task and will do our level best to win. We respect Lithuania. They did very well to get a draw against Slovenia. We will face a very well-organised team.”Respect is being polite as England should surely fancy their chances of making it the perfect 10 against the Lithuania side which they beat 4-0 in the reverse fixture at Wembley in March.The hosts still have a minuscule hope of qualifying which at leasts gives the match a modicum of interest from a punting perspective.They would need to not only win but rely on Slovenia failing to get a point off lowly San Marino. Good luck with that project.Levels you devils appeals about England winning at HT and FT. If it doesn’t, just watch Downton Abbey on catch-up.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK ENGLAND to be winning at HT/FT for 12 points at around evens with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 149.90 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more