The brother of a disabled asylumseeker who was br

first_imgThe brother of a disabled asylum-seeker who was brutally murdered by a racist neighbour has joined disabled activists in criticising a “safeguarding review” for failing to expose the “catalogue of injustice” he faced in the years leading to his death.They spoke out during a series of events in Bristol that were held to honour the memory of Kamil Ahmad, and another disabled refugee, Bijan Ebrahimi, who were both murdered by racist neighbours in the city.The memorial included the unveiling at Bristol’s City Hall of a copy of a mural that Ahmad helped create, which will be hung in the building’s foyer, followed by a march through the streets of the city to a nearby venue where campaigners discussed the barriers faced by disabled asylum-seekers and how to fight for change to the systems and agencies blamed for the two murders.Days before the memorial events, the safeguarding review, commissioned by Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board, had concluded that the murder of Kamil Ahmad in July 2016 by Jeffrey Barry “could have been avoided”.The two men had been living in separate flats in the same supported accommodation, but Ahmad had repeatedly told staff and police in the months and years leading to his death that Barry had been threatening and assaulting him and that he did not feel safe.Barry was finally sectioned following growing concerns about his behaviour, which included writing notes threatening to kill a number of people, including Ahmad.But he was released from hospital the following month on the orders of a mental health tribunal. Neither Ahmad nor the police were told of his release.Hours later, Barry attacked Ahmad and stabbed him to death in his own room.Bristol social services – which Ahmad had also told about his fears for his safety – had been about to evict him and leave him destitute on the streets, and only announced that this decision had been reversed the day after he was murdered.Barry was convicted of murder last year and will serve at least 23 years of a life sentence.Kamil Ahmad’s brother, Kamaran Ahmad Ali, who attended the memorial events, told Disability News Service that he was “not happy” with the review, and that both the police and health services had failed to admit their mistakes.He said he wanted what had “happened to me not to happen to anyone else. I can’t get my brother’s life, but we can get that”.But he said he welcomed the memorial events and believed that bringing disabled activists and disabled asylum-seekers together was “a very good thing”.He had earlier said at the unveiling of the picture that his brother’s murder by a “brutal and racist person” was “inhuman” and that “the silence and negligence of the organisations that were responsible for protecting him makes this suffering even harder to bear”.He said: “None of those organisations and institutions managed to protect Kamil’s life from this racist person, otherwise Kamil would have been with us now.“Our request is that those who were in charge of Kamil and people like him should reassess their practice and try to improve their services in order to prevent more lives to be lost.”Three of the main organisers of the memorial events – Rebecca Yeo, a disabled academic and friend of Kamil’s; Ellen Clifford, from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance; and Mike Steel From Bristol DPAC – said the review had failed to expose repeated injustices.In a joint statement, they said they were pleased the review had recognised that Kamil had been subjected to “systemic racism” and had been failed by many agencies in the city.But they added: “There could have been deeper investigation into potentially racist attitudes towards Kamil as an asylum-seeker by services that should have been providing support”.And they pointed out that decisions by Bristol City Council that led to a disabled man with high support needs being assessed as ineligible for support were “barely referred to, let alone questioned” in the review.They also said the review had failed to expose the police’s failure to protect Kamil, who had repeatedly asked for action to be taken in response to Barry’s violence and racist threats.And they were highly critical of the review’s repeated references to Kamil and other disabled people as “vulnerable”.They said: “All humans are vulnerable. People become more vulnerable if barriers are faced getting their rights met.“Kamil was failed by multiple agencies. He died because insufficient action was taken to prevent someone intent on killing him.“That is not a sign of Kamil’s ‘vulnerability’ but of agency failure.”They also said the review appeared to show that “as a service-user and as a refused asylum-seeker, Kamil’s rights to live free from abuse, harassment and fear were denied”.They added: “The repeated communication failures between the NHS, voluntary and private sector services which also contributed to Kamil’s murder are simply not a matter of ‘learning lessons’ or ‘designing new pathways’.“We believe these are a direct consequence of drastic funding cuts, unaccountable commissioning and the impact of service fragmentation on front-line staff.”Bijan Ebrahimi, a disabled refugee who was also brutally murdered by a racist neighbour in Bristol, had also made repeated pleas for the police and other agencies to protect him before his death in 2013.As a tribute to Ebrahimi at the unveiling at City Hall, the city’s first poet laureate, Miles Chambers, read the poem he wrote about the murder.The poem included the lines: “Faith in the police respected British rules and authority/Bijan thought they’d take care of me.”And: “Wake me up, shake me, give my cheek a pinch/Was I dreaming? Was this 1950s Mississippi/Did we just witness a lynch?”Ebrahimi’s two sisters had attended the unveiling and had asked Chambers to read his poem at the event.Alex Raikes, strategic director for the Bristol charity Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI), told the unveiling event that both Kamil Ahmad and Bijan Ebrahimi were supposed to be in housing “where they could be safe”.She said that both men had been disabled, and much of their impairments were “hidden, much exacerbated and made worse by the systems they were fighting here in the UK”.She said they had both “believed in authorities and systems and both thought authorities and systems were there for them”, but both had lost their lives to racist murders.Raikes said both Kamil and Bijan had used the system but “were failed because they were not listened to.“The system didn’t listen to them, and worse still it didn’t take them seriously and didn’t really believe in the racism they were suffering.”Marvin Rees, the mayor of Bristol – who was elected just two months before Kamil Ahmad’s murder – apologised to the relatives of both men “on behalf of Bristol”.He told them: “I do hope you take from today… that both Kamil and Bijan’s lives matter.”He said the city was committed to ensuring that there were people working in its institutions “who are committed to make sure that safety is the norm and is something we can guarantee and it is not an exception” and that “the support around individuals and communities, the response to people raising concerns, is as good as it should be”.Following the memorial events, organisers and representatives of groups that had taken part – including Yeo, DPAC, Bristol DPAC, TUC, Bristol Disability Equality Forum and Bristol Refugee Rights – wrote to Rees and the city’s MPs, calling for urgent action and a meeting with them and Bristol social services.They warned that the failings by agencies that had affected Kamil were “neither unusual nor the result of oversights”.And they said they knew of at least three disabled asylum-seekers with mental health conditions who had been evicted by the city council from social services supported accommodation and left homeless with no support.They said: “It is only a matter of time before we have the next tragedy and then the next apology. “We need urgent action to find a solution to this inhumanity and to turn Bristol’s apology into practical change. “We are fully aware that local authority budgets are in crisis and that social services have to make huge cuts.   “The impact of this needs to be highlighted at a national level but we also need to find solutions at local level.“This is an urgent issue of saving lives, right now in Bristol.”Picture: Kamil Ahmad’s brother, Kamaran, points at the copy of the mural, watched by Bijan Ebrahimi’s two sisters, Marvin Rees (second from left), and one of Kamil’s cousinslast_img read more

Jeremy Corbyn will today launch Labours European

first_imgJeremy Corbyn will today launch Labour’s European election campaign in Kent, where he is set to promote his alternative plan for Brexit and blame the current “deadlock” on the government.“No one expected us to be holding these European elections, but the government’s complete failure on Brexit means they are going ahead,” the Labour leader will say. “While the government’s incompetence and division on Brexit has created this deadlock, the injustices in our society are deepening. “Labour’s European manifesto, Transforming Britain and Europe: for the many not the few, lays out plans to tackle tax avoidance, environmental harm and the far right across the continent.It will come under significant scrutiny following an internal row over whether the party should commit to backing another referendum in any situation, which nearly half of its MEP candidates have agreed to do.Ultimately, Labour’s ruling body approved a commitment to support another public vote – but only if the opposition cannot secure changes to the current Brexit deal or force a general election, in line with the policy made by conference.Speaking at the University of Kent this morning, Corbyn is expected to highlight Labour’s core message that the “real divide” in the UK is between “the many and the few” rather than Remainers and Leavers.“Whether you’re from Tottenham or Mansfield, Stockwell or Stoke, here in Medway or in Manchester, so many of the problems you face are the same… Labour is the only party with a plan to unite our country to make it work for the many not the few,” the Labour leader will say.“Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit, which protects jobs, living standards and communities, would end the chaos caused by the Conservatives and let us focus on the other big issues facing our country.”The launch will take place in Medway, Kent, where the party gained four seats in the recent local elections. The neighbouring district of Gravesham, taken by Labour from Conservatives who had experienced deep divisions locally, was a key victory last week.Speaking in an area where 64% voted to Leave in 2016, Corbyn intends to explain Labour’s main objective: to reach across the Brexit divide and bring voters together, alienating neither side of the debate.After making it clear that Labour has its own Brexit plan, Corbyn will say: “But we can never accept the government’s bad deal or a disastrous no deal. So if we can’t get a sensible deal, along the lines of our alternative plan, or a general election, Labour backs the option of a public vote.“Labour will address the inequalities that helped fuel the Brexit vote by investing in our communities and people, ending austerity, and creating a fairer society. So whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, I urge you to vote Labour, the party that is determined to bring the many together and take on the entrenched power of the few.”Tags:Kent /Jeremy Corbyn /Brexit /European elections 2019 /last_img read more

Neighborhood Notes St Francis Fountain turns 100 years old and plans to

first_img Tags: arts • housing • restaurants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% St. Francis Fountain turns 100St. Francis Fountain, the diner on the corner of 24th and York street, is hitting the century mark. The ice cream and lunch eatery has been at the same location since 1918, and to celebrate, owner Peter Hood said they’ll be giving the landmark a rest: it will be closing for four to six weeks to revamp the old place, buy new equipment and install new flooring. “It’s like a party, you know?” he said. “When you’re going to have people over, you clean up so when they get there, they say, ‘Hey, nice place!’”   0%center_img Hood is also the general manager of Boogaloo’s, which recently reopened after lying dormant for two years. Having Boogaloos closed was an opportunity to take some staff to his other location, St. Francis Fountain, and have them train there. With Boogaloo’s reopening, Hood said, he’ll have St. Francis staff work at Boogaloos while renovations take place.He said he’s not sure when St. Francis will close, but he’ll post an announcement on the fountain’s website when the time comes. “I might even get back in the kitchen,” Hood said. Housing underway will benefit homelessThe city has selected Mercy Housing and Episcopal Community Services to lead a two-building, 265-unit supportive housing development for homeless and formerly homeless seniors. The city purchased site, currently a parking lot at 1064-1068 Mission, from the federal government. One hundred of the housing units will be earmarked for seniors above the age of 62 dealing with chronic homelessness. The site will also house an urgent care clinic, dental offices, a street medicine unit and homeless outreach services. It is unclear when the project will begin construction, as many affordable housing projects in the city have hung in limbo for years. Brava This weekend, Brava will be hosting a presentation of “Untold,” a theatrical adaptation of the book “Untold Stories” by Kat Cockrill. The production explores the race, gender identities and reproductive rights of women, and will be held in Brava’s new cabaret space.Showtimes: Starts at 8 pm Friday through Sunday at Brava Theater (2781 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110).Tickets are $0-25. Free classes coming up at ODCTo celebrate Bay Area Dance Week (April 27 to May 6), ODC is offering new students the opportunity to take any three classes for free. Returning students can also take one of the following classes for free: Afro Haitian, Rhythm & Motion Fusion, Hip Hop, Rhythm & Motion Fusion Essentials, Roryography and Salsa Workout. More info here:  Celebrating children, books and literacy The San Francisco Public Library invites families to the 19th Annual Día de los Niños/ Día de los Libros celebration on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Parque Niños Unidos, at 23rd and Folsom streets. There will be live music, book giveaways and special performances. Children can climb aboard the bookmobile, make art, meet new friends and explore the playground. Special guests include children’s hula hoop performer Cherry Hoops and bubble artist Sterling Johnson. Back again will be the dynamic Master of Ceremonies, Josue Guardarrama, live DJ PakíPayá and more. Here’s a video that will give you a sense of what will happen. Coming up at ODCUncertain Weather, an ode to Climate Change, will premiere on May 5 and 6 at ODC.  The show follows three young people and their canine companion through a meteorological meandering. Showtimes:  1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, at ODC Theater in the Mission. Tickets are $10 for a child, $20 for an adult and $35 for a patron and can be purchased here.last_img read more

SF Mission District drag queens fighting Ellis Act eviction

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Richard Padilla, perhaps better known by his drag name, “Renita Valdez,” stood in a long hallway of his apartment at 1779-1781 15th Street Monday evening. He pointed to the constellation of plaques covering the walls that Renita Valdez has garnered throughout the years. “These are my accolades,” Padilla said. “You know, for being a part of the community.” He was particularly proud of ones given to him from former State Sen. Mark Leno and current State Sen. Scott Wiener. This personal Hall of Fame, in fact, has been growing for the last 22 years — the time Padilla has lived here. But now, he, his three roommates, and the resident of an in-law unit downstairs are facing an Ellis Act eviction.  “They just want to get rid of us,” Padilla said. Padilla believes it’s not a simple case of his landlords, Leslie Wan and Brian Keller, wanting to exit the rental market — the nominal purpose of an Ellis Act eviction. “We’re being discriminated against,” he claimed. Although his landlords deny that discrimination is involved — and Padilla says they’ve never explicitly used derogatory terms — the longtime tenant says he has felt an undeniable sense of repugnance from the landlords, who live in the unit above them. “The look of disgust, the look of shielding their children from us when we’re dressed in drag,” he said. “You get that feeling, when people look at you.”He added that Wan and Keller have harassed them by throwing away some of their drag costumes and disposing of furniture in their backyard, where the roommates and their friends would often hang out. “That’s another form of discrimination,” he said. These episodes are only part of an ongoing saga between those residing with Padilla and their landlords. They are detailed in a lawsuit filed last October that alleges the harassment and discrimination. (At one point, the lawsuit alleges, Wan covered her son’s eyes and told him to go upstairs when she saw one of the tenants, Freddie Miranda, dressed in drag.)Although Padilla alleges the landlords have been trying to shoo him out for years — first with an owner-move-in eviction in 2014 that was later dismissed by a judge — the situation came to a head three weeks ago, when Wan and Keller offered all four of their tenants a $50,000 settlement, according to Padilla.“My lawyer laughed and left the room,” Padilla said. “That’s when we knew we had to fight.” A trial is set for November. The tenants have also alerted media outlets, and hosted a press conference in front of their house Monday evening. Logos Branchflower has been living at the residence for the last eight years. The only emotion he could convey was “exhaustion.” Sadly, he said, the feeling was all too common. “We’ve been going through eviction attempts at this house for years,” he said. Before he moved into his house on 15th Street, he said, he had been priced out of his longtime residence in the Castro. He said it was very difficult to find his current living arrangement. “I don’t know where I’d go,” he said, when asked if he would have to leave San Francisco if evicted. Branchflower pointed to his artwork, which seemed to populate every bit of space in his room — paintings, artificial stained glass (tissue paper and foam board), a plethora of Fimo clay votives that line his shelves. He has been working with Fimo since the 1980s, but said he has not been producing much artwork lately. “I’m exhausted,” he reiterated. “It’s hard to do anything when your living situation is in jeopardy.” center_img Email Address,0%last_img read more

SAINTS fielded probably their youngest side ever a

first_imgSAINTS fielded probably their youngest side ever at this level with 6 making their debut along with 6 with less than 10 games under their belt and yet were still massively too strong for their opponents – recording a 94-0 victory over the North East.The game was a procession virtually from the kick off and developed into a battle with the score board against the clock. Although to their credit the players never once thought of it that way, approaching the job professionally throughout.Lewis Furlong kicked off the 17 try jamboree collecting Regan Grace’s clever knock back of Dave Hewitt’s last tackle cross kick to scoot into the corner. Second tackle from the restart and good footwork from Mike Weldon, making a welcome return after injury, put him through on a 50 metre break, he found Hewitt in support who shipped it out to Calvin Wellington and the big Welsh centre finished in style.Wellington turned provider for Hewitt minutes later providing the pass from which the scrum half twisted over in a tackle for the try.From the kick off a great 40 metre run carrying three defenders from Adam Thompson put the Saints on the front foot. The ball was spread right for Jake Spedding to go 50 metres down the right flank only to be caught with the line in sight. From the play the ball Hewitt jinked over for his second and the Saints were 22 points to the good in the opening 15 minutes.Saints fifth try saw Regan Grace show his paces. The ball was fired out to the wing from a scrum on the Saints 30 and Regan did just enough to outpace his opposite number and the covering defence on his way to the line without really getting out of second gear!This wasn’t just a fantastic display of handling skills. A wonderfully deep clearance kick from Rob Fairclough and a great chase saw the North East picking the ball up on their 5 metre line. Two tackles later and the weight of tackle had forced the error. Four tackles later and a Hewitt long ball saw Spedding in for his first.The pack were making yards down the middle for fun and runs from Chris Worrall, Ross McCauley and Joe Ryan, all impressive off the bench, coupled with an intelligent grubber on the last from Hewitt saw Ben Morris touch down at the sticks.Worrall and Ryan teamed up for the Saints last try of the half on the half hour as the Captain took the pass from his fellow prop after he had committed the full back.If there was to be a criticism at all about the Saints yesterday it’s that in both halves they switched off for 10 minutes at the end of each one.It’s often very difficult to switch back on in the second period after such a dominant display but normal service was most definitely resumed with a divine 40/20 from Hewitt giving the Saints a scrum on the home 15 metre line. Two tackles later and Ryan was strolling under the sticks.On the next set a half break from Wellington put Matt Costello in the clear. He took it on 30 metres before feeding the supporting Weldon to storm the final 30 to the try line for his first try in Saints colours at this level.Worrall and Ryan teamed up again this time to send fellow sub McCauley in at the posts for his first.Wellington showed the defensive side of his game rattling the teeth of his opposite number. Spedding picked up the loose ball and scooted in.McCauley charged over for his second try and then embarked on a series of wonderful examples of strong running centre play. The big prop obviously thought, wrongly, that Lewis Furlong needed a little bit of help down the left and proceeded to terrorise the right flank of the North East Region with some barnstorming runs, scattering would be defenders like pieces of straw on the wind. Worrall and Grace benefitted from these runs, both finishing off moves with tries.Just when the century looked a formality the Saints lost concentration and despite two more tries in the final three minutes from Lewis Furlong and Spedding’s hat-trick try after good work by Josh Eaves and Wellington, it was always going to be just too far away.However, as always this was never about reaching the ton, it was always about attitude and the ability to stay focussed and do your job properly and professionally. That is what this side did even to the expert running of water although the cone boy left a little to be desired!Seriously though, a long trip, a young side and the knowledge that other teams had whipped our hosts could have been a recipe for disaster. But not with this team. What they have done is exactly what they should have done, left the coaching staff with a host of dilemmas as the season progresses.Match Summary:North East U19s:Tries:Goals:Saints U19s:Tries: Jake Spedding 3, Lewis Furlong 2, Calvin Wellington, Regan Grace 2, Dave Hewitt 2, Ben Morris, Mike Weldon, Ross McCauley 2, Chris Worrall, Joe Ryan 2.Goals: Dave Hewitt 4, Rob Fairclough 7, Lewis Furlong 2.Half Time: 44-0Full Time: 94-0Teams:North East:1. Joe Thubron; 35. Lewis Davey, 3. Jake Woods, 4. Jack Williams, 5. Niall Sidney; 29. Zack Clark, 7. Dave Wheetman; 8. Lewis Thompson, 9. Aidan McCallion, 10. Kieran Bruce, 11. Jason Bass, 12. Kane Young, 13. Will Doyle. Subs: 14. Alex Bielby, 15. Ben Hoggart, 16. Alex Taylor, 17. Jonah McIntyre, 18. Jack Midgley.Saints:1. Matt Costello; 2. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 3. Lewis Furlong, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Rob Fairclough, 7. Dave Hewitt; 15. Joe McLoughlin, 9. Josh Eaves, 10. Adam Thompson, 11. Lewis Hatton, 12. Ben Morris, 13. Mike Weldon.Subs: 8. Ross McCauley, 14. Brad Billsborough, 16. Chris Worrall, 17. Joe Ryan.last_img read more

RHINO Gladiator is a unique Mud Obstacle Event tha

first_imgRHINO Gladiator is a unique Mud Obstacle Event that is taking place between Wigan and St Helens on August 13 and 14 this year.It features more than 40 challenges for runners of all abilities over two days and former international rugby stars will be taking part.The event will take place at Shoot Delph Farm – with a 10k event on day one and a 5k and 2k on day two.It really will offer something for everyone and create a community event in Rugby’s heartland!Endurance Sports Ltd created Gelt Gladiator in 2015 with 2,500 runners taking part.The event in Cumbria was the first as part of a Gladiator Mud Run series which offered tough challenges but for all levels of ability including children, beginners and the extreme tough/fit guys.Partnering Endurance Sports in Rhino Gladiator will be former St Helens and Great Britain Rugby League captain Paul Sculthorpe.He will lead the Gladiators on the event days and join Adrian Morley, Ewan Dowes and Garreth Carvell in the challenge.Paul and the Endurance Sports team are proud of what Rhino Gladiator will bring to the area in offering an event that requires team work, effort, determination, desire and stamina which is everything he offered as a player.To complete the course they will need to get past Scully and his team of Gladiators!To find out more click here.last_img read more

He says the loss to Warrington showed the best and

first_imgHe says the loss to Warrington showed the best and worst of the side this season as they ran up a 14 point lead before losing heavily.“We have been a Jekyll and Hyde team all season and the game on Friday summed up our year,” he said. “You saw the really good side of us and the average side of us too. We were very disappointed after getting into the position we did to concede 30 unanswered points.“The lads were gutted in the dressing rooms but we didn’t help ourselves with errors and our decision making. They scored twice when we had the ball too.“Ideally, you’d have wanted to get into the dressing room at half time at least 14 points up. We played well in that opening 25 minutes and could have had more points.“But you could sense the momentum move towards the end of the half and at 14-6 you’d have wanted to get in, talk and regroup, but they scored again. Then, they started like a whirlwind on the back on another error and ran up the points.”He continued: “We lost Jon Wilkin in the warm up and he was a miss. He is our captain and an experienced talker and leader on the field. It does affect you but we have to be able to handle these things.“We have a no excuse policy here and you have to be able to handle what is thrown at you. Morgan Knowles went well there and did a superb job.”Saints take on Castleford in the Sixth Round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup this Saturday and will take heart from the last time the two sides met.They handed the Tigers a 26-22 defeat on Easter Monday.“We have to take confidence from what was our best performance of the season,” Derek added. “We played well against Castleford at our place and know we can compete with them. Going to Castleford is probably the toughest ask in Super League at the moment but we know the ability we have. We just have to show it for 80 minutes on the day.“We have a few knocks. Ryan Morgan should be ok and that means we have everyone but Jonny Lomax available to pick from.“Alex Walmsley and Mark Percival will be back too. They came back in on Monday, watched the video of the game with us and then went to sleep off their jet lag. They are quality players, that’s why they were in the England squad, and they will come back in and give everyone a boost.“I was brought up on the Challenge Cup and I love it. It is a massive occasion and a massive honour for the club and the players to get there and hopefully win it.“My first Wembley was in 1972 and I still remember walking up the steps and seeing how big it was. It took my breath away the sheer size of it. I am sure the players would love to put their mark on the history at the club.“We have to go over there, do what we can do for 80 minutes and get into the next round.”Tickets for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against Castleford at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle (2:30pm) remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Some residents wait patiently to prepare for Hurricane Irma

first_img Some buildings have planks of wood layered against their windows, and some people who live in Carolina Beach are ready to do their usual hurricane preparation.“We would put the hurricane shutters up. We’d have to move all the furniture in from outside,” Robin Smith said.But many of the homes already prepared are only vacation homes. Some of the year-round residents are hoping the hurricane stays away.Related Article: Ocean Cure prepares for annual Life Rolls On surfing event“You know at this point and time, we’re concerned and we’re watching all of the weather reports. We will make that decision on Sunday when we decide that we have to board up, whether or not we’re going to stay,” Smith said.Some residents say they are hoping everyone is safe and warns anyone new to hurricanes to be careful and cautious.“Be prepared but don’t get too excited and over prepared,” Southerly said.For anyone else in Carolina Beach looking to prepare for impacts, sand will be provided for public use beginning at 9 in the morning, tomorrow. You can find it on Sumter Avenue by the Mike Chappell park tennis courts. You must bring your own bags and shovels. 00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not found 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 CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Impacts from Hurricane Irma are still days away, but some residents will wait a little longer to start preparing.“At this point, we’re kind of just watching because its still a little early and don’t know when its going to make the turn, whether its going to come up the west side of Florida or straight up the peninsula or the east side,” Chris Southerly said.- Advertisement – last_img read more

20 Winners Emerge From African News Innovation Challenge

first_imgAdvertisement In May 2012,  Google announced that it would award $1 million to innovative journalists who through digital tools could find new ways to report the news and tell stories.The winners of the Africa News Innovation Challenge were announced at the African Editors’ Forum annual meeting in Kigali, Rwanda on November 28.Here are the winning projects below: – Advertisement – 1. actNOW – GhanaA mobile application that empowers audiences to act on investigative reportage, by providing simple tools for citizens to organize themselves into civic action groups around issues reported by the media, or to petition government or corporations in response to journalistic exposés.2. AdBooker – South AfricaAn open-source, streamlined workflow management system for planning and managing media advertising. It will generate ad rates and manage bookings, artwork production and ad placements.3. Africa Check – South Africa/NigeriaA pan-African, non-partisan and crowdsourced fact-checking service that systematically verifies claims made in media reports. The project is intended to improve the accuracy and quality of reporting by exposing incorrect assertions by sources quoted in the media as well as errors in news stories.4.   africanDRONE (renamed skyCAM) – Kenya/Nigeria A pilot project that establishes Africa’s first newsroom-based “eye in the sky” drones and camera-equipped balloons to help media that cannot afford news helicopters cover breaking news in dangerous situations or difficult-to-reach locations.5. Africa’s Wealth (renamed NewsStack) – Nigeria/NamibiaA project to integrate a new generation of forensic data analysis tools such as DocumentCloud, Poderopedia,Overview and Mapa76, into a unified and reusable journalist toolkit. The kit will be used in a year-long, pan-African investigation by 10 media organizations into the continent’s extractive industries.6. Citizen Desk – MozambiqueThis toolkit that allows news organizations to create a mobile-optimized platform for aggregating, verifying, publishing and rewarding citizen journalism. The platform will be integrated into the widely used Superdesk production management system and serve as a way to incorporate citizen journalism into a news organization’s core workflow.7. Code4Ghana – GhanaThis “kick-starter program” helps Ghanaian media experiment with data-driven journalism. It will provide access to data scientists and programmers, specialized training and a series of public “hackathons” designed to build news tools that take advantage of the new Ghana Open Data Initiative.8. ConvergeCMS – Kenya/Tanzania/UgandaAn open-source and data-optimized editorial content management system and technical support program designed specifically for African media houses. It will help newsrooms centralize and manage content creation, dissemination, archiving and workflows.9. CorruptionNET – South AfricaAn open-source mobile platform that gives citizen reporters a step-by-step toolkit for filing journalistic reports to newsrooms about corruption or other abuses of public resources. The citizens can report using SMS or MXit, Africa’s largest social mobile network.10. DataWrapper – Nigeria/Senegal/TanzaniaAn initiative that establishes a network of full-fledged data visualization desks in forward-thinking newsrooms across Africa. It will help improve the use of interactive infographics and data-driven visual news apps, using the open-source DataWrapper toolkit plus other powerful graphic tools.11. End-to-End (renamed First Mile Crowdmapping) – Liberia/Ghana/KenyaA crowd-sourced reporting tool built on top of the platform to help African journalists and citizens tell complex investigative stories. This tool will visually map the people, places and events behind the “first mile” of supply chains, so that consumers can understand where goods originate in African industries such as cocoa or logging.12. FlashCast – KenyaThis platform will beam hyper-local news to commuters in taxis and buses, using smart, location-aware LED displays. It also allows the audience to use their mobile or other digital devices to engage in conversation about news items with viewers in other taxis and buses.13. Green Hornet – South AfricaA plug-and-play toolkit for journalistic sources and whistle-blowers, developed in collaboration with the Tor Project for use by investigative reporters in African newsrooms.14. ListeningPost – South AfricaAfrica’s first social media-focused newsroom will produce actionable information from citizen reporters. It will establish a customized Storyful dashboard that aggregates social media posts and will include mobile apps that commission and sell crowd-sourced photos and news.15. MoJo: Keeping media honest by monitoring online journalism – South AfricaA user-friendly toolkit of analytical software for African media-monitoring projects and other civic watchdogs. It will help improve media professionalism by keeping the media honest, detecting online censorship and exposing plagiarism.16. openAFRICA – Kenya/Nigeria/Rwanda/South AfricaA digital document and knowledge management toolkit, coupled with the creation of a pan-African online archive, to house and search documents for investigative pieces. This kit will streamline freedom of information (FOI) requests to government agencies and then use semantic search and analysis tools to help journalists and the broader public assess these documents.17. ODADI (renamed Code4SouthAfrica) – South AfricaAn incubator for watchdog journalism that embeds data scientists and programmers into newsrooms to build new data desks and news APIs. The group will receive additional support from a local civic technology lab, which will provide trainers who help the reporters use data in stories.18. Oxpeckers – South AfricaA narrative mapping project that uses satellite imagery and geographic data analysis in stories to expose cross-border criminals and syndicates damaging the environment through logging, poaching and ecological degradation.19. Wikipedia Zero – Cameroon/Ivory Coast/Tunisia/UgandaAn initiative designed to boost original content from African news media for the new Wikipedia Zero mobile platform that is available free of charge to hundreds of millions of Africans, in 37 African languages, via either SMS or mobile phones.20. ZeroNews – pan-AfricanA simple tool for African news publishers to disseminate their content, free of charge, on mobile channels, including Facebook Zero and various Google platforms, so that they can reach a new generation of mobile news consumers in a cost-effective way.You may find more information from the Africa News Innovation ChallengeSource: TechLoylast_img read more

Zambia Using CellPhones to Fight HIVAids

first_imgAdvertisement By Gethsemane Mwizabi, Times of ZambiaYoung people in Zambia and all across the world, live in a time of unprecedented expansion of mobile phone technology.With the number of mobile phone subscriptions that has outpassed the global population, this generation has more access to mobile phone, social media, and internet than any other generation before. – Advertisement – The rise in mobile phone usage among young people serves as an opportunity to reach them with life-saving information, such as how to protect themselves from HIV infection.This is good news given the low levels of knowledge among young people, such as those in schools.Over the years, significant strides have been made by the Government and other stakeholders to ensure that young people receive comprehensive life skills and sexuality education.However, comprehensive HIV knowledge among young people in Zambia still remains low- at around 40 per cent.It is even lower among girls compared to boys. Transfer of comprehensive HIV information from teachers to learners remains a major challenge, and the availability of youth resource centres remains limited.Hence, innovative approaches are needed to narrow the HIV knowledge gap in this “digital” generation, in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.Evidence indicates a need for creative ways to cater for the needs of the young people to reach them out with information.In this context, new technologies such as SMS and internet have the potential to reach them with information, which can address their key concerns and dispel ignorance, rumour, and misinformation about HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support.This can then help them to make informed choices to go for available services on HIV and related issuesUse of SMS (SMS) has been proven to be an effective strategy for continuous, low cost, and individualised HIV and STI education, and for broader health promotion, resulting in increased level of knowledge, and adoption for safer reproductive health and sexual behaviours such as reduction in multiple concurrent sexual partners, increased up-take of condom use, and up-take of STI/HIV tests etc.It is for this reason then that the National AIDS Council (NAC) with the support from UNICEF designed an innovative SMS platform -Zambia U-Report- for young people.Zambia U-Report is an innovative SMS based HIV Prevention programme targeting young people.The platform provides individualised and real-time 24hours education and counselling services on HIV, STI to adolescents and young people in a manner that respects their privacy, through SMS using the short code “878” to join.Results from polls would inform policy and programmatic decisions, and guide targeted behavioural change campaigns that will integrate SMS as one important tool.Since its launch last year in December, the U-report has been providing a platform for youths as they take a more central role in shaping the national HIV response at individual and community levels through regular opinions polls on HIV and STI related issues using SMS.24-year-old Jack Kafwanka from Ndola says the programme has given him power to implement change for an HIV free Zambia.“I am happy that the programme ensures privacy which enables me to be free to ask anything, clear my mind and empower myself on issues of HIV and STIs in turn, this makes me a young walking breathing mobile knowledge bank helping me to cash out information and provide answers to my peers on pressing issues affecting them like sex debut, use of condoms and circumcision,” he says.How it worksThe SMS tool, it is designed to give youth and children a voice on issues that affect and impact them in their community.A question is sent each week; if the recipient answered correctly, a confirmation SMS was sent, and if he or she answered incorrectly, a rectifying message is sent. Questions includes: “What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?”, “How is HIV transmitted?”, “Have you ever tested for HIV?”It uses a bulk of short message service (SMS) platform for HIV/AIDS education and communicating knowledge about the disease and encouraging subscribers to volunteer for HIV testing.The Zambia U-Report has two programmatic modules (Knowledge Bank; Poll/Campaign):The Knowledge Bank is a dynamic repository of up-to-date information on HIV and STI; it is accessible to the SMS-counsellors as they interact with the young people through SMS.Whereas the Poll/Campaign module serves two purposes: polling opinions of young people on HIV and STIs issues to inform policy dialogue and programmatic decisions; defining a baseline profile (knowledge, access and utilisation of high impact HIV prevention services) for each young people to inform customised SMS-based behavioural change messages, linked with other mass media (radio or TV programme).These linkages with mass media would guarantee equity in access to information for young people who do not own a mobile phone and the young people with disabilities.There is no doubt that rising HIV prevalence is forcing policy makers to look for inventive ways of educating people about the virus.Their latest tool is mobile phone technology, whose rapid growth has provided an avenue that could potentially reach millions with messages.Why young people?Zambia, whose population stands at 13,817,479 (July 2012 estimates) has an increased mobile user penetration with 8.2 million subscribers, according to the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA),One third (4 million) of the Zambia population is aged 15-24 years; yet every hour, three young people become infected with HIV, two of them are girls.Over the past 10 years, despite implementation of nationwide HIV education programmes in school and at community level, less than 40 per cent of young people in Zambia have comprehensive HIV knowledge, with lower levels among females.Similar trend is noted for the use of HIV prevention services (condoms, male circumcision) with the exception of HIV testing among girls and delay of sexual debut.With such statistics, the young generation remains an endangered species.Young people’s HIV risk is increased when they have limited knowledge about the means to protect themselves and they are not supported to access and utilize them.Emerging evidence support the potential of SMS-based interventions to increase young people’s knowledge about HIV and STI, and reduce their sexual risk behaviours.Yet, adaptation of this approach for large scale national HIV prevention programme in high prevalence settings remains limited.As the number of people with access to mobile phones increases the world over, Zambia has a fair share of it.The number of mobile phone subscribers has increased from 400,000 subscribers in 2004 to more than 8 million in 2012.About one in every three young people in Zambia has at least one mobile phone subscription.This presents an opportunity to reach-out to young people with life-saving SMS-based interventions.There are a number of issues affecting the young people were HIV is one of the big issues affecting the young people in Zambia.The programme is free for all U-Reporters registered with the three mobile providers in Zambia (Airtel, MTN and Zamtel).ProgressFrom the time, it was launched, according to the National Paediatric ART Review Meeting that was held recently, over 12,500 messages have been received and the number of unique conversations stood at 3,479.Most Frequently Asked Themes included; HIV/AIDS ,transmission, cure difference, ARVs, STIs, transmission, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Warts, Others are , PMTCT, condoms and usage, male circumcision, HPV, causes and treatment, pregnancy and contraception.Others are masturbation, various health, and ailmentsIt is a Functional two-way real-time interaction between adolescent/youth and SMS counsellors.“We just want to take advantage of the new media to reach this (youth) audience. Young people are very free to use this resource because mobile phone is very personal and confidential,” says Justine Mwiinga Donor Coordinator and public relations manager NAC.Mr Mwiinga is happy with the overwhelming response from youth ever since its launch.Many young today, both in urban and rural areas are sexually active, which is why redemptive measures are needed to salvage a generation from HIV.As Mr Mwiinga puts it the initiative seeks to harness the benefits of communication technology in the form of mobile phones which have increasingly become more affordable“The U-Report presents an atmosphere of confidentiality as counselors are not personally known by ‘reporters.’ he says.UNICEF is happy with the “hype” the u-report caused among young people.Country representative Dr Iyorlumun J Uhaa has disclosed that the initiative currently targeting some 150,000 young people in Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces as direct beneficiaries in 2013, with expansion to other provinces in 2014.Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces have the highest population of young people aged 15-24 years (476,000 in Lusaka and 447,000 on the Copperbelt) with HIV prevalence of 18 per cent in the general population 15-49 years.“The Zambia U-Report project has received very positive feedback from young people. For instance, we have noted comments through social media platforms such as the UNICEF Zambia and Unite4Climate Zambia Facebook pages.There can never be a better way to guarantee the future of any nation without preserving the lives of its youth,” he says.Since the launch on 1 December 2012, 5,600 people have registered on U ReportUNICEF has collaborated with the Government through the National AIDS Council to put U-Report together.“The launch of the Zambia U-Report is very timely. Because of our commitment as UNICEF to contribute towards reduction of HIV among young people who are Zambia’s future leaders, we thought of innovations that can work,” says Dr Uhaa.U-Report has been successfully used in Uganda for the last five years to exchange a wide range of information like governance issues.One of the biggest advantages of the using the system is confidentiality.Due to cultural factors and tradition, young people in Zambia are sometimes constrained to freely talk about sex with their parents.U-Report enables them to freely ask questions from counsellors who are online.Yes it is almost unreal, but is a real digital generation where free advice on HIV and STI from trained counsellors can be gotten from the comfort of one’s phone.True, long ago, these where the issues one would need to get appointments for, but not anymore.The confidentiality of the programme has given courage and peace of mind for young people to talk about issues they could have been silent on.“It has been fan to use it. I encourage all young people in Zambia to get involved and to sign-up for it,” says 16-year-old, Tiyamike Phiri, who completed Grade 12 in 2012 at Helen Kaunda Secondary School, in Kitwe.Next year she is going into law school, and she is happy and feels empowered and that her voice has been able to count on matters of that affect her.Another youth, Kapolo Mushinge, 22, believes youths need guidance and mentoring if they had to lead socially responsible lives.“I have a fiancé, and for us it’s abstinence until marriage. What I know is, however, a lot of young people are sexually active and they should be told on the correct way of using condoms,” she says.Her argument is that majority of the youths are sexually active and do not use any safe methods at all.Ms Mushinge, says lots of young people are contracting the virus, which is why initiatives like the U-Report are ideal arm them with right information.“I can tell my fellow youths to abstain, but a lot of them are sexually active,” she says.She has convinced her fiancé to join the U-Report saying more people need to sign-up for it.As ZICTA public relations officer Chisha Malunda would say the advent of electronic based communication is greatly transforming all social and economic conditions and interactions globally and Zambia is not excluded from this transformation.The U-Report is just a testimony to that. So go ahead and sign-up for it and let your voice count.Source: Times of Zambialast_img read more

Hackers eye social sharing

first_imgAdvertisement Security experts have said that sharing on social media helps hackers sharpen “spear phishing” attacks they use to trick their way into computers.Spear phishing refers to individualising deceptive messages sent to people in order to trick them into clicking on links or opening files booby-trapped with viruses.[related-posts] – Advertisement – Public posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and other online venues give hackers fodder to mimic the way people write and the words they use, said Ulisses Albuquerque of the security firm Trustwave.“I don’t think people have any idea what kind of insight that gives to a potential hacker,” Albuquerque told AFP.He and colleague Joaquim Espinhara are at a premier Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this week to present a talk titled “Using Online Activity As Digital Fingerprints To Create A Better Spear Phisher.”The Trustware security consultants created a software tool that “fingerprints” the way people communicate by analysing online posts.The tool scrutinises posts at social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to ascertain writing styles, right down to hashtags added to indicate subjects of online posts.A hacker unable to break into a company’s computer network could write a convincing email pretending to be from a friend of an employee and include an attachment or link that, once clicked, unleashes malicious code.“Say a CEO has a Twitter or LinkedIn account and I am able to see those posts,” Albuquerque said.“Then I could produce content that looks like it came from him and send it to his staff, who will be less suspicious of clicking a link.”He said the Trustwave-developed tool was not designed to extrapolate insights into people’s conduct or personalities, but that such observations could be made if desired.“Absolutely, you can show what the people posting are like,” Albuquerque said.The tool provides “spear phishers” with outlines for creating messages likely to hook prey.It is intended for “ethical hackers” such as security professionals working with companies or organizations to find and patch weak spots in computer network defenses, according to Albuquerque.It can also be used to help prove when posts claiming to be written by someone are bogus, he said.Source: iAfricalast_img read more

Snowden residency in Russia increased by three years

first_imgEdward Snowden Advertisement Edward SnowdenUS whistleblower Edward Snowden who is currently in Russia has been granted permission to stay for three more years.This is after his year-long leave to stay in Russia had expired on 31 July, his lawyer revealed.Snowden fled the US in 2013 after leaking details of the National Security Agency’s surveillance and telephone-tapping operations. – Advertisement – He has been charged by the US with theft of government property and communicating classified information.Mr Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told journalists that the request for an extension had been accepted.“Accordingly, Edward Snowden was given a three-year residence permit,” which will allow him to move about freely and travel abroad, Mr Kucherena said.Source: BBClast_img read more

Kiira EV to push ahead with risky car plans

first_imgThe Kiira EV Smack at Sankara Hotel, Nairobi. Photo Credit: Nairobi Wire Advertisement By 2018, Uganda’s planned automotive industry will be making 7,000 hybrid cars a year, says Paul Isaac Musasizi, acting CEO of the state-run Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC).According to reports, the Kiira SMACK, will have five seats, a top speed of 180 kilometres an hour and will be able to travel 50 kilometres using its lithium-ion battery alone.The firm says it will also sell station wagons and pick-up trucks made in Uganda, but industry insiders say the project faces “very high risks to its success”. – Advertisement – The government is backing the project with 154 billion shillings (US$43.5 million) and 40 hectares of land for a factory at an industrial park in the southeastern town of Jinja, according to Musasizi. The funds come from the Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology, which is part of President Yoweri Museveni’s plan to turn Uganda into an upper middle-income country by 2040.Although more funding may be needed, KMC finance manager Arthur Tumusiime Asiimwe  says he is confident the firm will eventually get more money and will find many customers in the region.But industry newsletter Automotives Insight was less enthusiastic in a June analysis brief. “In addition to facing burdensome manufacturing costs owing to Uganda’s poor energy supply and limited availability of skilled labour, the company will also struggle to find enough buyers in Uganda and the East African region,” it said. In addition, “production volumes [will be] unlikely to compete with other producers in Kenya, the region’s largest automaker”.Alex Mbaziira, a PhD student in the Department of Applied Information Technology at George Mason University, United States, said in an email response that the project to develop electric and hybrid vehicles was interesting. But he added that it was unclear what it was trying to achieve.“If one of the goals was producing an affordable, brand new car for a Ugandan or African market, then that car is still far from affordable and commercially viable,” he said.But a low-polluting car would make sense within congested cities as an alternative to taxi minivans and boda-boda motorbike taxis, Mbaziira said.“The city and municipal councils could acquire these vehicles and have them as rentals or self-drive cars for people that need to move around the cities,” he said. “Furthermore, there should be incentives for buying an electric vehicle, like green tax credits, reserved green parking lots and free or affordable charging stations.”First published on Sci Dev Net by Esther Nakkazilast_img read more

New MTN CEO Rob Shuter expected to take office in March 2017

first_imgRob Shuter Advertisement MTN Group has announced that its new CEO Rob Shuter will take over office on 13 March 2017. Rob Shuter, currently CEO of Vodafone Netherlands, was named MTN CEO in June, and at the time MTN said he would start no later than 01 July 2017. Phuthuma Nhleko, who has been filling in as CEO will revert to non-executive chairman after Shuter takes up the CEO job.MTN said the start date had been brought forward, and will support its ongoing transformation plans. Nhleko, said that he will delegate more operational responsibilities to Gunter Engling, acting CFO and Stephen Van Coller, VP M&A and Strategy, in the coming months, and ensure that all outstanding senior management appointments are completed by year-end. – Advertisement – [related-posts]In addition to the senior management changes, MTN said it’s focused on operating efficiencies and improving customer experience, starting in its biggest markets Nigeria and South Africa. The first impact of the changes, led by the dedicated transformation office set up in recent months, should be apparent in the first half of 2017, the company said.Credit: Telecom Paperlast_img read more

Is it Becoming The Most Hated App or its The Most Hated

first_imgBoda Boda riders operating around the city centers of Kampala, Uganda.(Photo Courtesy: RFI) Advertisement We’re talking about the Taxify ride-hailing app. Is it ‘becoming’ the most hated—or it’s the ‘most’ hated ride-hailing application?The Taxify app is reported to be Africa’s fastest-growing ride-hailing application. On the other hand, it turns out to be also the ‘most’ hated ride-hailing application—or becoming the fastest hated ride-hailing application. Why is that? In our opinion, the biggest issue at hand is customer care service.I will narrow this down to Taxify Uganda, although it’s reported in Countries like Kenya, and Nigeria are facing the same issue at hand. Bad/worst customer care service. – Advertisement – The Estonia-based transportation firm expanded its services in Africa in 2017—in major cities of Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, among others. It launched in Uganda in October 2017 after successful launch in Nairobi and Lagos. Taxify then came second after Uber—who launched in June 2016.Taxify services that begun with/limited-to — cab services, expanded to moto-taxi services as well, to compete with Safeboda. They launched their service a month before UberBoda. Integrating the moto-taxi hailing option right in the original app, than having a standalone app.With all this competition at hand — safeboda, uber, and other ride-hailing firms, as well the normal public transportation services, Taxify had enticing offers that drew a good number of customers on its side. Well, all was going on well till its (Taxify) riders started misbehaving. It’s reported the riders were hiking the prices of the trip to what the app was estimating. How? Presenting billed screen shots from their previous trips—to their clients, starting off trips before picking up the customer, and negotiating on the price to pay from what the app estimates.Apparently, the riders claimed the weren’t getting enough from the app. They further stated that the fuels prices weren’t favoring them—that spent a lot on fuel, and getting less from the company. It comes to our notice that the Taxify gets 15% commission off the trips its riders make. Which apparently is good, looking at the fact that—its reported that its competitors like Safeboda charge up-to 30%.Therefore, price is key in all this ‘mess’, adding on the poor customer care service — then worsens everything to being a hated service. Other factors like, poor hygiene has also been brought out by the consumers while others report that some of the riders don’t obey traffic rules and regulations. Are these some of the reasons why the app is — ‘becoming’ the most hated or the ‘most’ hated ride-hailing app.Meanwhile, micro-blogging website, Twitter has then become the arena for the customers outcry.Pricing Trips Taxify customers have a number of times reported to the company about how its riders are hiking/requesting for money cash than what the app has estimated. Some have reported that some of the riders even start the trip before reaching the customer. However, this kind of compliant has also been seen with some of Safeboda, and Uberboda riders. One reason to anger the customers.Taxify riders have also mastered the technique of presenting billed screen shots of previous trips to customers, which does work on naive customers.Twitter user, Alvin (@musiime_vin), tweeted saying, quote “But @Taxify_ug drivers are becoming stupid. Guy instead of showing us what we are meant to pay. He was showing us an old screenshot thinking we are naive or something…”But @Taxify_ug drivers are becoming stupidGuy instead of showing us what we are meant to pay.. He was showing us an old screenshot thinking we are naive or something…— Alvin🔥 (@musiime_vin) January 3, 2019Hiking prices from the app estimate to an imaginable price has angered customers. Twitter user, banda’s-finest (@patsy127t), said her trip cost was tripled from UGX6500 to UGX20300. “I almost fainted, she said.”These guys trippled my journey from 6500 to 20300 shs wow I almost fainted 😭😭😭— banda’s-finest🌸🇺🇬 (@patsy127t) January 3, 2019Taxify customers are reporting, deleting the company’s application opting for better services from its competitors Safeboda and Uberboda.Poor Customer Care Taxify Uganda’s customer care service is totally poor. Most of its customers have complained a lot about their customer care, who claim the ride-hailing firm doesn’t respond to customers complaints immediately as its done by its competitors. Customers complaints are respond to with auto generated replies, like;“We’re really sorry to hear about this, we are constantly looking at finding ways to improve our service. Please do share any ideas which you think might be helpful in improving the experience with Taxify.”Twitter user Raheem (@i_am_raheem), tweeted saying, quote, “That’s Taxify!!! Terrible experience I had two days ago with them, and they don’t even have the courtesy to respond to my DM.”That’s Taxify!!! Terrible experience I had two days ago with them, and they don’t even have the courtesy to respond to my DM @Taxify_ug— Raheem  (@I_am_raheem) January 5, 2019One other Twitter user, Poetic Justice (@Austyn_Machel), said Taxify Kenya also does have poor customer service. He said in a tweet, that;This is not isolated to Uganda alone. You should read about Taxify in Kenya. Their business is suffering due to poor customer service and an increase in theft of clients, especially female ones. I personally use @Taxify_ke only when necessary.— Poetic Justice (@Austyn_Machel) January 21, 2019With such issues, Taxify Uganda is being hated gradually. The company should by now that no its customer care service oughts to be worked on. The company is reported not to even have a direct call line.Unfortunately we do not have a direct telephone line, You may however email us on or on the app under support in the menu or send us a DM and we will gladly attend to your concerns.— Taxify Uganda (@Taxify_ug) January 15, 2019Poor Hygiene Customers complain how Taxify rider’s hygiene is poor. Some have gone a head to ask whether the riders have a bath before going to work or even take a time off to have their moto-cycles cleaned. Hygiene is a priority most of these riders have failed to comply with. It’s rival Safeboda, ensures to see that its riders do put hygiene a priority. During their teaching-classes, the Orange-based Bukoto firm, teaches its riders on why hygiene is essential.With that all said, what does future hold for Taxify in Uganda. At the rate the company is losing its customers to its competitors, and if they don’t change, they might in one way or the other lose its ride-hailing market in Uganda — especially its moto-taxi option.Riders are reported to be dropping out from the company for unfavorable conditions. The company now in new reports is looking for a new Country Manager after Julian Byamugisha reassigned. One of the responsibilities the manager will have, is to ensure Taxifiy constantly increase their supply base.More ride-hailing services are launching to compete for the market. If Taxify doesn’t change sooner, its competitors will benefit.[related-posts]What has Taxify Uganda, to solve some of these issues from becoming the hated ride-hailing app, We shall have a follow up article.last_img read more

PREVIEW Tottenham v Nottingham Forest

first_img[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ohn Isner beating Nicholas Mahut 70-68 in the final set at Wimbledon in 2010.Liverpool beating Middlesbrough 14-13 on penalties.Sometimes the most unlikely pairings produce the most incredulous results.One thing is sure. Spurs won’t be wanting to be putting in too much overtime tonight at White Hart Lane with a trip to the Emirates on Saturday teatime for the North London derby beckoning.As we saw last night with Liverpool, playing a weakened side against a Championship side can level the scales somewhat and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is likely to rest a number of his top players.Forest have made a superb start to the new season, unbeaten in eight games and topping the Championship table with 18 points.The two sides haven’t met since the FA Cup in 2005 which went to a replay.Tottenham v Nottingham ForestCapital One Cup, 3rd RoundLive on SKY, 7.45pmHEAD TO HEAD(Maximum 10 matches)Mar 2005 FA Cup Nottm Forest 0-3 TottenhamFeb 2005 FA Cup Tottenham 1-1 Nottm ForestApr 1999 Premier Nottm Forest 0-1 TottenhamNov 1998 Premier Tottenham 2-0 Nottm ForestMar 1997 Premier Tottenham 0-1 Nottm ForestJan 1997 Premier Nottm Forest 2-1 TottenhamApr 1996 Premier Nottm Forest 2-1 TottenhamMar 1996 FA Cup Tottenham 1-1 Nottm ForestFeb 1996 FA Cup Nottm Forest 2-2 TottenhamOct 1995 Premier Tottenham 0-1 Nottm ForestAmongst the changes for Spurs Michel Vorm is expected to make his debut in goal with Ben Davies, Fazio, Kyle Naughton, Benjamin Stambouli, Aaron Lennon and Roberto Soldado may all likely players at some points this evening.I went close with Middlesbrough last night and will again go for the underdogs. 5/1 is far too tempting in the circumstances.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK NOTTINGHAM FOREST at around 5/1 for 5 points with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 18.01 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_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.Saturday 23 MayRACING3.45 HaydockHot Streak 9/2 > 7/25.35 BeverleySovereign Bounty 5/2 > 13/88.45 SalisburyIckymasho 5/1 > 7/2FOOTBALLLeague Two Play-Off Final5.30pm SKY13/8 Southend 9/5 Wycombe 11/5 DRAWEUROVISION11/8 Sweden 11/4 Russia 4/1 Italy 10/1 Australia 66/1 United Kingdom(Others on request)(All prices subject to fluctuation) What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

Rice alumna Caroline Shaw wins Pulitzer in music

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduRice alumna Caroline Shaw wins Pulitzer in musicHOUSTON – (April 15, 2013) – Rice University Shepherd School of Music alumna Caroline Shaw has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in music for her composition “Partita for 8 Voices.” Shaw, who received her bachelor of music from Rice in 2004, is a versatile New York-based musician accomplished as a composer, violinist and singer.According to the Pulitzer jury, Shaw’s “Partita for 8 Voices” is “… a highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects.”Shaw writes on her website that “’Partita’ is a simple piece. Born of a love of surface and structure, of the human voice, of dancing and tired ligaments, of music and of our basic desire to draw a line from one point to another. It was written with and for my dear friends in Roomful of Teeth. Inspired by Sol LeWitt’s ‘Wall Drawing 305.’”“The Pulitzer Prize is the highest national honor an American composer can receive,” said Anthony Brandt, associate professor of composition and theory at the Shepherd School. “We’re thrilled here at Shepherd that Caroline has won the award and congratulate her on this incredible achievement.”“It came as no surprise that Caroline won the Pulitzer,” said Kathleen Winkler, the Dorothy Richard Starling Professor of Violin at the Shepherd School who taught Shaw weekly for four years. “Even as a freshman, she already displayed remarkable creativity that went well beyond her major, which was violin performance. Her diverse interests were already well formed offshoots by her sophomore year.”Caroline Shaw – photo courtesy: Pulitzer.orgShaw performs violin with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and as a vocalist with Roomful of Teeth. She also works with the Trinity Wall Street Choir, Alarm Will Sound, Wordless Music, Signal, the Yehudim, Victoire, the Mark Morris Dance Group Ensemble and Opera Cabal.Her music has been performed by So Percussion, ACME, the Brentano Quartet and Roomful of Teeth, and her collaboration with artist Jane Philbrick is part of a permanent landscape installation at Mass MoCA. Caroline has been a Yale Baroque Ensemble fellow and a Rice University Goliard fellow. She was a recipient of the Thomas J. Watson fellowship and studied historical formal gardens and landscape architecture in Europe.“She is an eclectic artist,” Winkler said. “I remember Caroline singing in a musical production presented by her college (Wiess) one night and presenting a brilliant violin performance the following evening at the Shepherd School. An equally skilled visual artist, Caroline frequently created drawings, one of which hangs in my studio and brilliantly depicts a musical ‘family tree’ of my life. Her artistic flair was quite remarkable.”-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to last_img read more

Rice U study Customer feedback helps spur employee creativity

first_imgAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Rice U. study: Customer feedback helps spur employee creativity HOUSTON – (Oct. 14, 2015) – Empowering customers to give feedback to service providers can have a key motivational impact on employees’ creativity and customer satisfaction, two important service outcomes, according to a new study by management experts at Rice University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland, the University of Minnesota and National Taiwan University.Credit: University“The findings suggest that service creativity is a powerful avenue through which customer satisfaction can be achieved,” said study co-author Jing Zhou, the Houston Endowment Professor of Management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. “Service creativity allows employees to delight customers in unusual ways or solve problems that existing protocol falls short of addressing.”The research, which will be published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, was based on a multilevel analysis of multisource survey data from 380 hairstylists matched with 3,550 customers in 118 hair salons belonging to a large salon chain in Taiwan. Although the study was conducted in the beauty service industry, the theoretical framework the authors developed addresses fundamental psychological processes that are universal for individual employees, authors said.The study’s findings demonstrate that customers might present a unique opportunity for service organizations to manage encounters between customers and employees, Zhou said. “Our results suggest that organizations can benefit from strategically marketing to customers in order to cue them toward empowering their service provider. For example, managers should look for chances to foster customers’ willingness to empower employees by helping customers establish confidence in the employees and focusing on the prospect of superior performance.”By helping customers realize that they can promote new service ideas or solutions and other positive service outcomes through behaviors such as expressing confidence in service employees and consulting employees for their opinions, managers can facilitate employee creativity through customers, Zhou said.The research also indicates that managers can capitalize on the strategic advantage that external customers can provide by empowering their employees.“Because front-line employees engage in contact with customers on a daily basis, they may have a better sense in terms of the issues that customers are concerned about the most and how to solve these problems in a novel and practical way,” Zhou said. “As a result, empowering employees — rather than closely monitoring and controlling them — may be a more effective way to enable employees to provide satisfying service. Specifically, our findings suggest that empowering leadership helped service employees take advantage of customer empowerment by encouraging them to self-regulate their work-related behavior; they were able to express their promotion focus in the form of generating novel and useful solutions.”The authors selected hair salons as the research context for two reasons. First, generating novel and appropriate hairstyles to meet various customer needs is one of the most basic and important requirements for stylists. Thus, hair salons constitute a particularly fitting context for studying service creativity, Zhou said. Second, the interaction between a customer and a stylist usually lasts long enough (more than 30 minutes) for the stylist to perceive a customer’s behaviors and for the customer to observe the stylist’s creative performance.Zhou co-authored the paper with Yuntao Dong, an assistant professor at Connecticut’s School of Business; Hui Liao, the Smith Dean’s Professor in Leadership and Management at Maryland’s Smith School of Business; Aichia Chuang, a professor at National Taiwan University’s College of Management; and Elizabeth Campbell, an assistant professor at Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.For a copy of the study, “Fostering Employee Service Creativity: Joint Effects of Customer Empowering Behaviors and Supervisory Empowering Leadership,” e-mail a Jones Journal article on Zhou’s research in creativity and innovation, “Beyond the Myths of Creativity in the Workplace,” see the Jones School via Twitter @RiceMBA.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Zhou bio: read more