Disabled people and their organisations must take

first_imgDisabled people and their organisations must “take the initiative” and fight to keep the laws that protect their rights as the UK heads towards Brexit, campaigners have been told.The call came at a workshop in London organised by two of Europe’s leading organisations of disabled people, part of a project* to provide information on how the final deal between the European Union (EU) and the UK government might impact on the rights of UK citizens.John Evans, one of the founders of both the UK’s independent living movement and the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), which helped organise this week’s meeting alongside the European Disability Forum, said his message for disabled people and DPOs was: “If you don’t take the initiative, I don’t think anybody else will.”The disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell told the workshop (pictured) that she and fellow peers were having to be “highly proactive” because the government had made it clear that it wants “as little interference as possible” from parliament in the Brexit process.She said peers would have to act as a “vigilant watchdog” during the Brexit negotiations and the legislation that follows it, for example by preventing too much secondary legislation that “bypasses proper parliamentary scrutiny”.And she said that disabled people needed to ensure their messages “get to the ears of the people charged with developing this legislation”.Baroness Campbell said it was “very important” for “people like myself” in the Lords to secure places on the key committees that will scrutinise the various pieces of Brexit legislation.She told the workshop that she will be “attempting to ensure the UK maintains a very high standard of independent living throughout the process; trying to safeguard what we have achieved”.She said that “maintaining that baseline and articulating that vision for the future is going to be really important”, so disabled people and their DPOs must ensure they have a relationship with parliamentarians, ministers and civil servants.Baroness Campbell said she needed to be “backed up by other parliamentarian voices in both Houses [of Parliament].“This is where disabled people have a crucial role. It is absolutely vital that we inform government and those involved in the Brexit parliamentary process.“You have got to help parliamentary colleagues to understand and provide hard data on why it would be an absolute catastrophe to ignore all disabled people have achieved in progressing independent living in the EU.“We have gained so much that we absolutely must not lose.”Evans said he had “considerable concerns” about the impact of Brexit, and believed that disabled people were “fighting for the very survival of what we have achieved over the last 30 years”.He said: “There is progressive EU legislation that protects and strengthens our human rights that could be lost.”He said Brexit could threaten independent living by leading to more austerity measures; providing fewer opportunities to work, travel and study in the EU; restricting disabled people’s freedom of movement; and causing them to lose the right to employ personal assistants (PAs) from the EU.Evans said he has employed PAs from 12 different EU member states over the last 33 years and he feared not being able to recruit replacements from the UK if it was no longer possible to do so from the EU.Professor Anna Lawson, head of the Centre for Disability Studies and the new Disability Law Hub at the University of Leeds, said there was a risk that disability rights would be “swept away by the great repeal bill (GRB)”, the main piece of legislation that will repeal the legislation that ties the UK to the EU and incorporates EU law into domestic law.Although the government has promised that the protections currently provided under EU law will be matched by the GRB, she said, the government can start amending and repealing some of those laws after the bill becomes law.She also warned that some “really important disability rights” provided under EU law – such as the legislation that guarantees assistance to disabled passengers on ships and planes – are not included in UK legislation, so it was important that they “do not get lost” in the Brexit process.Other rights that have come from EU law are included in UK law as secondary legislation, which means they can be changed without parliamentary approval.She said: “We should be careful to try and make sure that any important rights that are in secondary legislation either get turned into primary law… or that there is some mechanism attached to make sure parliament has to be involved in repealing them.“We want to make sure that once the great repeal bill has passed, the government doesn’t just repeal the rights we have enjoyed from EU law and therefore go backwards in disability rights.”She said there were ways in which rights could be further embedded in UK law post-Brexit, such as by giving greater weight to the UN disability convention in UK law; ensuring all future legislation is checked for its equality impact before its introduction; and embedding strong human rights clauses in post-Brexit trade agreements.*The Brexit Takeaways project is organising events in London, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Belgium to provide information on how the different options for a Brexit deal could impact on people’s rights. The project is led by the European Citizen Action Service, New Europeans, the European Disability Forum and the EU Rights Cliniclast_img read more

SF Muni Goes Mobile With First Ticketing App

first_imgChristina Ochoa uses her smartphone to order take-out, pay bills, and for commuting to her job in the Mission District. She believes that adding a transit application to this list could improve her daily life.“I’m in the service industry, and when I get off work late, I want to get home quickly,” said Ochoa. She usually orders a ride through Uber or Lyft, two mobile car-sharing services. “All I have to do is hop in when the car arrives and I’m on my way.”But using ride share services frequently can be pricey, and if the convenience of  paying for a ride through an app were extended to public transportation, Ochoa would likely opt for the bus. Last Monday, such an app finally became an option for Ochoa and other tech-savvy commuters in San Francisco. “Riders should purchase and activate their tickets before or while on the boarding platform,” said Brown.  “Inspector personnel have been trained in verifying these tickets.” App Not a Replacement, but Alternative to Clipper CardGhigliazza remains optimistic. “If we don’t have to deal with transfers, its easier for us bus drivers too. We might actually be ‘rapid’ one of these days,” he said. “It definitely cuts down on  people scrambling for change – but the Clipper card is efficient in that way too.”Under Muni’s Clipper program, riders are currently able to purchase a reusable card that allows them access to San Francisco’s buses, Muni trains, cable cars, and the Bart system. The clipper card can be reloaded on a monthly basis, online or in a store that offers the service such as Walgreens. Riders must tap the card against a card reader when entering a Muni bus, light-rail or Bart train.The Clipper system is currently not a feature of MuniMobile, but that could change in the future.“I think it’s silly – Clipper already works, so what’s the point of the app?” asked Laurie Kindell, a Mission resident. “If they offered all the functions of the clipper card on the app, I might be interested in downloading it.”A beta tester for MuniMobile, who wished to remain anonymous, echoed this sentiment. “I think any app that isn’t a Clipper card replacement is short-sighted,” said the member of a 300-person test group reviewed the app last month. “It only provides standard fare Muni tickets or day passes. I would still need to maintain a Clipper card for use on BART, Caltrain, ferries, cable cars and everything else.”Bridging the Digital DivideAfter hearing about the app, some Mission commuters expressed concern about being excluded from the transit authority’s technological endeavors. “It sounds good if you have a cell phone –  some people in this community don’t,” said 65-year-old Sam Tierra. Tierra pointed out that many senior citizens use public transportation, and that the transition from paper to mobile ticketing may be overwhelming to those that are not “app literate.”“It separates the people that are less tech savvy and those that are poor,” said Tierra. He also criticized the app for not offering other language options such as Spanish and Cantonese. Paul Rose, the SFMTA’s spokesperson, said that incorporating language features into the app is the agency’s next step.  “We want to thoroughly test the English version first before we move into translations.”“Cash ticketing is not going away,” said Brown. “It’s simply another way to purchase and another way to ride for people who do have access to this technology.”But GlobeSherpa’s vision for the future of transit goes beyond this function. Creating partnerships between public and private transit providers, such as Lyft and Uber, and providing access to different transportation services, all in one app  –  could be a goal in the near future.“We are trying to remove borders,” said Brown. “If a commuter can use one app to get where he/she needs to go regardless of transportation mode, then we are providing a great service.” MuniMobile, the city’s first transit app that allows Android and Iphone users to purchase Muni and cable car tickets for single ride fares and multi-day passes online, was launched by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on November 16. “The app is expected to ease commute times and reduce fare collection costs while cutting down lines at ticketing machines,” said SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose. The agency “stepped into tech”  to meet the growing expectation of commuters in the digital age, like Ochoa. The young woman described navigating the Muni system as stressful. During commuter hours, riders often form long lines at the front of buses to purchase paper tickets that she never seems to be able to hold on to. “I never have quarters on me, and to take Muni you need exact change. The last thing I want to do is dig through my wallet – it makes me feel vulnerable and it’s irritating,” said Ochoa, adding that Flashing her wallet in public while fumbling for change makes her uncomfortable.MuniMobile is targeting riders who rely heavily on mobile technology, explained Mac Brown, director of communications at GlobeSherpa, the Portland-based startup that developed the app. The company has equipped transit systems in Chicago, Los Angeles and Portland with mobile ticketing services.The partnership between the public sector and tech, said Brown, stems largely from a growing public demand. “For riders, convenience, speed, and access to information are the greatest benefits of using MuniMobile,” said Brown. SFMTA hopes that widespread usage of the app, which cost $95,000, will reduce operational costs such as fare collection and ticket machine maintenance.“Technology-wise, the app is headed in the right direction of having a device that allows people to reduce any friction in their lives,” said Jennifer Ng, who works in mobile design and user experience research. “Its different from other apps because it is enhancing a public service – transit, healthcare, government and education are traditionally lacking in terms of tech innovation.”Because the app is brand new, some confusion remains on both sides of the transit system.“It seems pretty straightforward – a valid ticket is a valid ticket,” said Tim Ghigliazza, a bus driver on the 14 Rapid bus line that runs through the Mission District.  Ghigliazza said that he and other drivers were briefed on the app. Still, he admits that he is unsure of how he is expected to enforce payment. “From my understanding, its based on an honor system – riders can enter through the rear of the bus and are only accountable to Muni inspectors,” said Ghigliazza.  He wonders if riders who are not required to show their mobile passes to drivers when boarding will try to cheat the system. Brown explained that developers addressed this concern by  installing “moving parts” – animations, changing background colors and a timestamp that prevent riders from taking screenshots  – into the app, minimizing the possibility for abuse. 0% Tags: muni • tech • Transportation Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Abortion Protesters and Supporters Face Off in SFs Mission

first_img Tags: planned parenthood Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% The protest remained peaceful throughout its duration, with only one pro-choice protester fished out from the midst of the pro-life advocates by police.“They didn’t want me to be on their side,” said Blake Griffith, who had crossed the barricades to hold up a sign that read Abortion Without Apology. Disregarding police officials’ instructions to remain on the other side of the barricades, the man said he felt a strong need to protect women’s rights – his stepsister, he explained, was a mother of three who had “two children before the age of 18” and committed suicide three years ago.“If she had a lot more autonomy over her life and my parents hadn’t discouraged her from having an abortion, I think she would have been in a much better place,” said Griffith.San Francisco Police Lieutenant Eric Washington said that some 12 officers oversaw the protest to facilitate both sides’ “first amendment rights” and to ensure there would be “no violence on either side.”  By 2:45 p.m., the vocal crowds disbanded, and only a handful of protesters remained.Gilda Hernandez, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood, said that the organization had originally encouraged protesters standing on both sides of the issue to express themselves “far away from our health center.” “This is quite intimidating for people who are just seeking health care,” said Hernandez said about the clinic’s clients, adding that she was nonetheless appreciative of the strong show of support.When asked about the federal threat to the organization’s funding, Hernandez called the protest “indicative of the whole issue.”“You have a few anti-Planned Parenthood protesters and a vast majority who are pro. That’s indicative not just of the Bay Area but in all of California, that a vast majority of people know of our work and support us,” she said, adding that the organization is “determined to prevail.” Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. Chavez Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of Planned Parenthood Saturday at noon to oppose and support abortion rights. The two groups faced off across barricades at the clinic located at 1650 Valencia St. Abortion opponents numbered around 40 and supporters of choice about 200.The counterprotests mirror hundreds around the country this weekend and come as a response to the recent effort by the U.S. Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health services nationally and globally.On Saturday alone, some 225 protests are planned nationwide in 45 states, according to Defund Planned Parenthood, an umbrella network of “pro-life” groups rallying against a woman’s right to choose and in favor of stripping tax dollars from the clinic that fund abortions and many other free health care and reproductive services provided by the organization.“Life starts in the womb. It’s wrong to take a life,” said Randy Mazzey, who held up a sign that read “Defund Planned Parenthood.” Mazzey said that he is not with any particular group but that news of the protest moved him to express his views on women’s reproductive health.center_img In these two videos Bucovinac and a woman on the other side of the barricades have a civil conversation about their differences.In the first, Bucovinac, carrying the sign Human Rights for All Humans, offers her point of view, and in the second video, Janice Strassheim, who supports choice, responds. Photo by Lola M. ChavezBut many of those opposing Mazzey – in opinion and in physical location, across the sidewalk– said that abortions are just one aspect of the services offered by Planned Parenthood, and that defunding the entire organization because of its abortion service is misguided.“Planned Parenthood does way more things than abortion – they do baby check-ups, STD checks – unprotected sex isn’t only about abortion,” said Zenaida Hernandez, who lives around the corner from the clinic and said she has used its services for some 25 years. “I was a teen mom. I got my pregnancy test at Planned Parenthood. My kid got her immunization shots here.”“I’m disgusted with people who are so ignorant and not aware of how important Planned Parenthood is that they would say ‘defund them,’” she said. “How dare they talk shit about only abortion – this is an all-encompassing women’s and children’s health service provider.”Photo by Lola M. ChavezWhen asked if he supported the defunding of other services provided by Planned Parenthood, such as birth control, Mazzey expressed indifference.“I’m not here for the other services” said Mazzey. “I think it was said by Trump very clearly – ‘defund the abortion part’ – why would I care about the other [services]?”Though eclipsed by the large number of supporters of the clinic, some anti-abortion activists in front of the Valencia clinic said that both groups technically stand on common ground.Photo by Lola M. Chavez“It’s important to us to make sure there is quality, affordable and accessible health care, including contraceptives and all of the other services – minus killing a human being,” said Therrisa Bucovinac, president of Pro-life Future San Francisco and West Coast coordinator of Secular Pro Life. Bucovinac said the countering protest was a positive result of her activism, and hoped it would be the catalyst for a much needed conversation about equality and human rights.“When you come face to face with another human you are a little more willing to find common ground,” she said. last_img read more

FOUR players have been banned for a total of seven

first_imgFOUR players have been banned for a total of seven matches for fighting in the St Helens v Wigan Warriors Stobart Super League Magic Weekend fixture at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.Shaun Magennis was suspended for three matches and fined £300 when he appeared before the RFL Disciplinary Committee this evening after pleading guilty to the Grade D offence of punching in the 52nd-minute incident.Wigan Warriors player Gareth Hock admitted a Grade B punching offence and was suspended for two matches whilst his team-mate Chris Tuson was banned for one match after pleading guilty to a Grade C punching offence. Both players were also fined £300.A third Wigan player, Lee Mossop, was banned for one match earlier in the day after submitting an Early Guilty Plea to a Grade B charge of punching.last_img read more

NATHAN Brown will see a familiar face when his sid

first_imgNATHAN Brown will see a familiar face when his side take on London Broncos tonight.Saints’ Head Coach oversaw the St George team that contained Jamie Soward in 2007/08 – and now the scrum half is plying his trade for the Twickenham Stoop-based club.“I know Jamie well,” Brown said. “I coached him at St George-Illawarra. He’s added some profile to the Broncos and a different dimension to their play. He can kick a ball and is very fast. He is having a real positive impact on the team.“Last time we played London we weren’t playing with a lot of confidence and a dozen of our top players were out. They were too good for us even though we created enough chances. This week we can hopefully play with a bit of confidence and do better.“London would have been disappointed with their Challenge Cup semi-final but they bounced back against Leeds, pushed them and showed what they can do.”Saints will miss Gareth O’Brien tonight after he was taken high twice in succession and that has forced a slight shuffle in the line-up.Lance Hohaia is likely to come into the halves and Brown has recalled Joe Greenwood to his 19-man squad.“Lance has been training great over the past month and is looking for an opportunity,” Nathan added. “I’m sure he will do well. His attitude has been great so it is right that he gets a chance.“It’s been good to put some performances together and win back to back matches. We’ve beaten some good teams like Wigan and Catalan too. That has helped build confidence and belief.“There would have been times in the past few weeks that we would have not won in those tight situations. When we played Catalan earlier in the year we still could have won but conceded an intercept.“This time Tommy Makinson takes a superb ball out of the air for a try and they are big game changers.“But, we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We are a loss from being seventh and two losses from being ninth again. Every game has significance on the ladder but we are looking to build momentum too.”You can buy tickets for tonight’s game at the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or by going through the cash turnstiles in the Totally Wicked North and Hattons Solicitors West Stands respectively.last_img read more

First Team

first_imgThis will mean that having signed with the Club in 2002, he will have been with the Saints for 20 years by the end of his new deal.Already one of the most influential players in Super League, Roby has recorded 427 Saints appearances since his debut in 2004, scoring 101 tries.He has won all of the major honours at club and individual level including the Man Of Steel Award aswell as representing England and Great Britain at International level.Chairman Eamonn McManus said, “James has already established himself as one of the all time greats of St Helens and of Super league.He is as fit and as motivated as he has ever been,  and I have no doubt that he will lead our club with continuing distinction over the next three seasons.We are more than fortunate to have had James at St Helens for the last dozen years and it’s fantastic news that he’s dedicated himself to us and to Super League for another three.”James said “I would like to thank my family, everyone at the Club including Justin Holbrook, Mike Rush and Eamonn McManus as well as all the previous coaches who I have played under in my career.I have enjoyed many great years at the club and I will be doing all I can to bring more trophies in 2019 and beyond”Watch James’ message on his new contract here.A big thank you to James’ player sponsor – Vinyline.last_img read more

Denied FEMA assistance This might be why

first_imgSOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) — After registering for disaster assistance, you may receive a determination letter by mail or email from FEMA.Read your determination letter carefully to understand your eligibility for federal assistance.- Advertisement – According to FEMA, there are many reasons why you might initially be considered ineligible for assistance.The most common reason is the need to provide FEMA with a copy of a letter verifying your insurance coverage before FEMA can process your grant application.Other reasons for ineligibility may include:You did not sign the required documents.You did not prove occupancy or ownership.Your identity may not have been verified.The damage is not to your primary residence, but to a secondary home or a rental property.Another member of your household may have applied and received assistance.Your disaster-related losses could not be verified.The damage caused by the current disaster has not made your home unsafe to live in.Your home is still safe, sanitary and functional.You indicated on your application that you did not want to move while your damaged home was being repaired. This made you ineligible for FEMA initial rental assistance.However, you have since found further damage to your home and you now have to move.Related Article: After months of waiting, a Bolivia woman is finally on route to getting legal aidGet in touch with FEMA to provide more information or missing documentation by:Calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585)Visiting a Disaster Recovery Center. To find the nearest center, visit fema.gov/DRC, call the FEMA Helpline, or download the FEMA app.Homeowners, renters and business owners in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson counties may register for disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Florence.last_img read more

Police search for Wilmington man missing for nearly a month

first_imgJustin Daniel Griffin (Photo: WPD) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Have you seen this man? Police say he has been missing for nearly a month.Wilmington Police Department says 20-year-old Justin Daniel Griffin was last seen on January 11 in the 2500 block of Troy Drive.- Advertisement – He is 5’11”, weighs 150-160 pounds, and was reportedly wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and camo sweatpants.If you have any information, please contact WPD at (910) 343-3609 or use Text A Tip.last_img read more

UK police searching for two men suspected of releasing CS gas in

first_img SharePrint WhatsApp Metropolitan PoliceMetropolitan Police British Transport Police released CCTV images of suspects after ‘CS Gas’ was released at Oxford Circus underground station in London.CS gas is the definitive component of Tear Gas.People were treated at the scene for coughing and lack of breath, police said. It happened on board a Victoria line Tube train at Oxford Circus in central London.The symptoms suggest the gas is CS gas and authorities said there is no further concern for their health. So far it does not seem that the incident is terror related although British authorities are excluding nothing at this stage.British Transport Police said a number of people were treated at the scene by paramedics for coughing and lack of breath – but there were “no further concerns for their health”. The force has appealed for witnesses and released CCTV images of two people they want to speak to.center_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more