July 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgBusiness owners are starting to see the provision of accessible facilities as an “opportunity” rather than an “obligation”, according to the sponsor of an event that will encourage disabled people to test out new venues.The second Disabled Access Day takes place on Saturday 12 March 2016, with more than 50 venues across the UK already signed up, including Westminster Abbey, Tate Modern, and the Scottish parliament.It follows the success of the first Disabled Access Day (DAD), on 17 January 2015, which saw 261 venues across 11 countries take part – including Portugal, Turkey and Bulgaria – a figure organisers are confident they will improve on next year.The idea for DAD came from powerchair-user Paul Ralph, who had been inspired by an event held by his local bus company, which gave wheelchair-users the opportunity to explore the layout of a bus and learn how to get on and off safely.As a result of that event, he became a regular bus-user.Ralph said: “Chatting with friends, I thought how great it would be if there were similar initiatives, including some more informal events, happening across the country on one specific day.“The idea of encouraging disabled people to also try something new that day appeared and out of it came the idea of Disabled Access Day.”Ralph is a supporter of DAD’s main sponsor, Euan’s Guide, a listings and review website and mobile phone app that helps disabled people find accessible venues such as visitor attractions, cinemas, sports grounds and hotels, and facilities such as hospitals, banks and post offices.Euan MacDonald, co-founder of Euan’s Guide and also a powerchair-user, said the first DAD was designed to be “a really positive day that aims to empower people and highlight good access, something which isn’t celebrated or acknowledged enough”.He said: “The day gave venues an opportunity to highlight all the facilities and services they have available and gave disabled people confidence to try out new places with the knowledge that people would be on hand to answer questions if required.”He added: “People used the day as a reason to visit somewhere new or to go out or do something they hadn’t done before.“We loved hearing about what everyone got up to on the day, from people exploring new coffee shops, to family outings to new venues, to a couple who visited the cinema for the first time in eight years.”One of those who took part last year was disabled broadcaster, journalist and access expert Mik Scarlet, who visited St Paul’s Cathedral.He said: “Our visit to St Paul’s was amazing. The staff were so helpful and friendly and our guide was super informative and engaging.“A real day to remember and I can’t wait until the next Disabled Access Day, as it allows you to visit places and know that the access will be spot on!”MacDonald said he hoped next year’s event would see more people leaving reviews of the venues they visit on the Euan’s Guide website.He said he had noticed major improvements in the last year, with more venues installing Changing Places toilets and major festivals pledging to improve access.He said: “We are seeing signs of the beginning of a shift in business owners’ thinking, away from the idea that the provision of accessible facilities is an ‘obligation’ and instead viewing it as an opportunity to engage more people and reach new markets and audiences.“It is clear there is a demand for information on how to make venues more accessible, both in terms of physical infrastructure and facilities, and staff training.”And he said there had already been improvements introduced as a result of the first DAD, with some venues updating their staff training and others deciding to make one-off events a permanent feature, such as Borough market in London, which held its first cooking demonstration with a British Sign Language interpreter on DAD, an event which is now held regularly.MacDonald said: “For us, it’s really about increasing conversations between disabled people and venues.“Disabled Access Day provides a great opportunity for these conversations to start or continue, whether that’s people trying something or somewhere new, or for venues to receive acknowledgement that they’re doing a good job, or suggestions on how things could be improved in the future.”last_img read more

July 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgThe UK government is complicit in the disproportionately high levels of domestic violence experienced by disabled people, because of its welfare cuts and the failure to invest in support services, young campaigners have told MEPs.Four disabled co-founders of the user-led group Disabled Survivors Unite (DSU) spoke about their work and their own personal experiences at a hearing on domestic violence and disabled people, in the European Parliament in Brussels this week.They told the hearing that disabled people were often forgotten in conversations about domestic violence and other abuse.The event was organised by the Swedish MEP Soraya Post, from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, and the campaign Europe Needs Feminism.Alice Kirby, one of the founders of DSU, told the hearing that many of the services needed by disabled survivors of domestic violence could not afford to make adaptations to their buildings or services to make them inclusive and accessible.She said: “The UK government urgently need to reverse the cuts that have left these services underfunded and they need to inject more money into them so they can afford to become accessible to disabled people.”Kirby said that significant cuts to social security had left many disabled people poorer, and “we know that the poorer a person is the less likely it is that they will be able to escape abuse”.She also pointed to the closure of the Independent Living Fund and cuts to social services, which meant many disabled people were forced to rely on their abusers for care, so were less likely to be able to leave that abusive relationship.The acute shortage of accessible accommodation also “forces people to remain in abusive relationships”, she said.Ashley Stephen, also from DSU, told the hearing that abusers often take advantage of the isolation of their disabled victim, withholding their food, care or medication.They said that DSU was founded “on the realisation that disabled victims and survivors are often ignored in the fight against abuse and sexual violence”.One male survivor told DSU that he believed that the court system often discriminates against disabled survivors of abuse, “using our disability against us, framing us as unreliable witnesses because of our conditions”.Bekki Smiddy, from DSU, called for the recognition that disabled people experience domestic abuse “at a disproportionately high rate” to be “embedded in policy, legislation and services, rather than an afterthought”.She described how one survivor of domestic violence, who was a wheelchair-user, had to be “shuffled from women’s refuge to women’s refuge”, and even carried up the stairs, because none of them were wheelchair-accessible.Eventually, she was left with no choice other than to return to her wheelchair-accessible home – where she had lived with her abuser – against police advice.Smiddy said there was only one specialist domestic violence service for Deaf people in the UK, and only one specialist service designed to meet the needs of people with learning difficulties.DSU is now researching the number of accessible safe houses, because there is currently no data available.She said that 17 per cent of refuges had been forced to close because of funding cuts, while local cuts to services had “fallen most harshly on people from minority ethnic communities, LGBTQ women and disabled women”.Smiddy told the hearing: “We require a needs-led approach with user-led organisations at the heart of development.”Her DSU colleague Holly Scott-Gardner said that the domestic abuse of disabled people was often not recognised by care providers, support services or even friends and family.She told the hearing: “In the last few months alone, I have talked with countless survivors whose abuse was ignored or grossly misunderstood.“They have told me about wheelchairs and other necessary equipment being damaged to prevent them from leaving the house, benefits money going to a partner, who withheld it from them, and being abused, and the physical effects of that abuse being hidden by their abuser, who blames it on their clumsiness, which is a symptom of their disability.”She added: “We are often taught that our disabilities are inconvenient, that they cause all of our problems, and it can be easy to blame terrible things that happen to us on the fact that we are disabled.“It can be hard to recognise that we are not the problem, that we are not the one to blame.”Kirby told the hearing that the UK government’s welfare reforms had been “a targeted attack on disabled people” and that “not only do they perpetuate domestic violence by making it incredibly difficult for victims to leave their abusive partner, but these policies are themselves abusive”.She called on the government to carry out an “urgent” assessment of the impact of its welfare reforms “and recognise how living in these circumstances prevents disabled people from escaping abuse”, and to invest long-term funding into accessible and inclusive support services.Kirby pointed to November’s report by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, which found the UK government guilty of “grave or systematic” violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a result of its programme of social security reforms and cuts.She said: “The government needs to acknowledge the failings outlined by the UN report and follow its recommendations.“Until these changes are made, our government will remain complicit in the abuse of disabled people.“We want equality, nothing more or less, and we will continue to campaign until this is achieved.”Eleanor Lisney, a founding member of the disabled women’s collective Sisters of Frida, and also representing the European Network on Independent Living, spoke later at the hearing about the barriers disabled victims of domestic violence face in accessing their rights.She said disabled women face even greater barriers if they are from minority ethnic backgrounds and religions, or do not speak English as their first language, and particularly if they are immigrants.She said research in 2014 found that only about 15 per cent of rapes recorded by police as crimes had resulted in rape charges being brought against a suspect, while more than 80 per cent of people reporting rapes to the Metropolitan police were vulnerable to sexual attack because of psychosocial impairments or because they had learning difficulties.But she said that these impairments meant such cases were less likely to result in a suspect being charged.   Research also showed, she said, that nearly one in five women who report rape have a mental health issue, but such women were 40 per cent less likely to have their case referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for prosecution, while people with learning difficulties were two-thirds less likely to be referred.She said: “This shows that disabled women are so much less likely to have access to justice.”Picture: (From left to right) Holly Scott-Gardner, Alice Kirby, Eleanor Lisney, Labour Co-op MEP Julie Ward, Bekki Smiddy and Ashley Stephenlast_img read more

July 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgThe BBC Panorama episode on Labour antisemitism, airing tonight at 9pm, features eight former Labour staffers and a number of allegations. The key points are summarised below.Allegations of leader’s office interference1) Jeremy Corbyn’s communications director Seumas Milne wrote in a March 2018 email: “something’s going wrong, and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism… I think going forward we need to review where and how we’re drawing the line.” Sam Matthews, head of disputes at the time, said he interpreted the email as “the leader’s office requesting to be involved directly in the disciplinary process” and “not a helpful suggestion; it is an instruction”.A Labour spokesperson said: “This is a malicious, selective briefing from disaffected, politically hostile former employees, which was already briefed to the press several months ago. Through selective quotation to change the meaning, Panorama has deliberately misrepresented this correspondence. The full sentence reads, “But if we’re more than very occasionally using disciplinary action against Jewish members for anti-Semitism, something’s going wrong, and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism.”“The leader’s office did not intervene. The email from a former employee explicitly asks for a “view”, which was complied with in good faith during a short period between the former general secretary leaving and the new general secretary taking over.“The email written by Seumas Milne expresses a view, as requested by former staff, that caution be exercised when taking action against Jewish people over antisemitism. That was the main point of the email, and for the Panorama press release to omit that key issue, is seriously to misrepresent what was said and took place.“Having identified the subject of the complaint as a “Jewish activist, the son of Holocaust survivor”, the email states: “if we’re more than very occasionally using disciplinary action against Jewish members for anti-Semitism, something’s going wrong and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism”. In a separate email, one of these disaffected former employees says “there isn’t a strong case” against the Jewish individual.“The ultimate decision on individual cases always rested with the staff who worked on disciplinary matters. Since becoming general secretary, Jennie Formby has ended this practice and made the procedures for dealing with complaints about antisemitism more robust.”2) Mike Creighton, another former Labour staffer, said he was approached by Milne for advice in 2016 and recommended that “top level” cases should be dealt with “more swiftly and much more robustly” and Jeremy Corbyn should make a speech saying Israel had a right to exist. Creighton has claimed Milne laughed at the suggestions.A Labour spokesperson commented: “This allegation is false and malicious and our response has been misrepresented by Panorama, throwing into doubt the extent and seriousness of their engagement with the Labour party’s responses. Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly expressed his support for Israel’s right to exist and for a two state solution, with a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable Palestinian state, so there would be no reason whatever to laugh at any such suggestion. This claim is absurd and untrue.”3) Corbyn’s office said batches of antisemitism complaints should be brought from HQ to the parliamentary office to be processed by aides, according to a claim made in the programme.Labour has commented: “This is a staff resourcing matter. Staff have been seconded into GLU [Governance and Legal Unit] at various times and from a variety of different departments in the organisation. These staff were always under the management of GLU staff while carrying out this administrative work. This in no way contradicts the separation of functions within the organisation and it does not contradict the party’s position that the complaints process operate independently of the leader’s office.”Allegations of interference in Labour’s national constitutional committeeLeaked emails show that Jennie Formby tried to influence the selection of the panel for the high-profile and controversial Jackie Walker case, according to BBC Panorama. “The NCC cannot be allowed to continue in the way that they are at the moment, and I will also be challenging the panel for the Jackie Walker case,” Formby wrote in a May 2018 email. Corbyn, Milne and chief of staff Karie Murphy were copied in.To the same recipients, Formby later wrote: “I’ve permanently deleted all trace of the email. Too many eyes all on my Labour address. Please use my Unite address.” Labour has told the BBC that Formby temporarily stopped using her party email due to concerns that a political opponent had access to it.A Labour spokesperson commented: “These emails show the opposite of what Panorama is alleging. There was absolutely no attempt to interfere in the NCC. The emails make clear that the NCC is independent. They are about ensuring the NCC is held accountable for the length of time they take to hear cases and about protecting the Party against any successful legal challenge on the basis of perceived bias.“As the email says, former, now disaffected, staff members, deliberately delayed Jackie Walker’s case, and Jennie Formby insisted that it be heard quickly. It was after these staffers had stopped working for the party, that Jackie Walker was expelled.“Any allegation that there was any attempt to interfere with this case or support this individual is entirely untrue, as proven by the fact that the individual was expelled this year, while Jennie Formby was general secretary, after these disaffected staffers had left.”Former Labour officialsThe former party officials reject suggestions that they are politically motivated. Kat Buckingham described Labour antisemitism as “massive” and “real” to Panorama, and said it “wasn’t constructed by embittered old Blairites”. She said she had a breakdown and left the party.Louise Withers Green, a former disputes officer, experienced depression and anxiety and also quit the party, the BBC says. She signed a non-disclosure agreement, which she told Panorama was “really tight” but she has defied it because she wouldn’t “be able to live with myself unless I speak up about the horrendous things that I know have been happening”.A Labour spokesperson said: “It appears these disaffected former officials include those who have always opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, worked to actively undermine it, and have both personal and political axes to grind. This throws into doubt their credibility as sources.”Labour’s responseThe party’s full response to the Panorama programme reads: “The Panorama programme and the BBC have engaged in deliberate and malicious representations designed to mislead the public. We completely reject any claim that the Labour Party is antisemitic. The Labour Party at all levels is implacably opposed to antisemitism and is determined to root out this social cancer from our movement and society.“Labour stands in solidarity with Jewish people and is fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community and its organisations. Labour is taking decisive action against antisemitism, doubling the number of staff dedicated to dealing with complaints and cases. And since Jennie Formby became general secretary, the rate at which antisemitism cases have been dealt with has increased more than four-fold.“Our records show that antisemitism cases that have gone through the stages of our disciplinary procedures since September 2015 account for about 0.06% of the party’s membership. This represents a tiny minority, but one antisemite is one too many, and we will continue to act against this repugnant form of racism.“In both its choice of presenter and lines of inquiry, it appears that Panorama has pre-determined the outcome of its investigation and is relying on unsubstantiated allegations and misrepresentation to come to its conclusions.“No proper attempt has been made by Panorama to understand Labour’s current processes and procedures for dealing with complaints about antisemitism, which is clearly essential to reach a fair and balanced judgement about an important issue in the public interest.”Former staffers interviewedKat Buckingham, Head of Disputes and Discipline 2015 – 2017Mike Creighton, Director of Audit and Risk 2009-2017Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes 2016-2018Ben Westerman, Investigations Officer 2016-2017Martha Robinson, Complaints Administrator 2018-2019Dan Hogan, Investigations Officer 2016-2018Louise Withers Green, Disputes Officer 2017-2018Baron Iain McNicol, General Secretary of the Labour Party 2011-2018Tags:Labour /Antisemitism /last_img read more

July 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgOn one Saturday morning, you’ve had an election story, a restaurant review, a protest story and a culture story.  We hope these help you get to know the issues and wonderfulness of your neighborhood better.  Keep our reporting coming. Join Mission Local today.  Tags: election 2016 Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%last_img

July 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgJames Roby returns to the line-up alongside Jake Spedding and Greg Richards, whilst Adam Walker is free to play after submitting an Early Guilty Plea to his Grade A punching charge.Alex Walmsley and Mark Percival are away on England duty.Saints will choose their 17 from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Adam Walker, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Tommy Lee, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 19. Greg Richards, 20. Morgan Knowles, 26. Jake Spedding, 28. Regan Grace, 36. Zeb Taia.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Phil Bentham.Ticket details can be found here.last_img read more

July 30, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgDaniel Craft and Jeffery Head (Photo: Carolina Beach Police Dept.) CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A traffic stop on Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach led to several drug and gun charges for two Wilmington men.Carolina Beach Police say after an undercover investigation, they stopped Jeffery Head, 24, and his passenger Daniel Craft, 26, yesterday afternoon.- Advertisement – According to a news release, officers seized 16 grams of methamphetamine, 22 grams of marijuana and two pistols.Both men are convicted felons.Craft is charged with the following:PWIMSD MethamphetaminePossession of a Firearm by a FelonFelony Maintaining a Vehicle for the Use/Sale of a Controlled SubstancePWIMSD MarijuanaSimple Possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled SubstancePossession of Drug ParaphernaliaAggravated Possession of MarijuanaPossession of Marijuana ParaphernaliaRelated Article: Shooting victim’s father talks activism, community effort to prevent violenceHead is charged with:PWIMSD MethamphetaminePossession of a Firearm by a FelonPossession of Drug ParaphernaliaSimple Possession of MarijuanaPossession of Marijuana ParaphernaliaOFA/FTA on Failure to Return Rental PropertyCraft is being held under a $300,000 bond.  Head was placed on a $302,000 bond.last_img read more

July 30, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Governor Roy Cooper took a tour of the Cape fear area Tuesday to see first hand the impacts of Hurricane Florence on residents.Gov. Cooper met with local leaders and emergency workers at the New Hanover County staging area at Independence Mall. He also visited Hoggard High School and Cape Fear Community College’s food and water distribution center in Downtown Wilmington.- Advertisement – WWAY’s Amanda Fitzpatrick had an one-on-one interview with the governor.“We are going to have a long-term challenge here but I believe in North Carolina and I believe we can pull together and get this done,” Gov. Cooper said.Watch the full interview above.last_img read more

July 30, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img “Events like that should bring us closer and more together and show more compassion toward each other so this thing happened, it could happen to Christians it could happen to Jews it could happen to Muslims, but we really need to stand up together,” said Musa Agil, the chairman.Some of the members here have lived and traveled all around the world. Bassam Ansour says the safest he’s ever felt is here in Wilmington.“I moved to Wilmington in ’88. This is home away from home and over the years we’ve developed a long working relationship, a good relationship, with the local law enforcement office, the FBI and other agencies. If there is anything happening or brewing they contact one of our members,” said Ansour.Related Article: When gunman advanced on New Zealand mosque, 1 man ran at himThe imam of the center, Karorero Maherero, says that he is not nervous about his congregation’s safety, but that they do practice caution by staying informed.“We’re just prepared every day. You know like a human being born one day, die another day, but Wilmington is a safe city so we feel better,” said Maherero. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – As members of the Islamic center of Wilmington gathered for their weekly Friday service, we spoke with them about what happened thousands of miles away.This Wilmington community bleeds for their Muslim brothers and sisters killed in New Zealand.- Advertisement – last_img read more

July 30, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgUpdate (4)The Police and the Armed Forces of Malta have confirmed that they have discovered the body of a 4th person who was originally on board the fishing boat Zaira.The person is understood to be that of Sicilian Luciano Sapienza, the owner of the fishing boat.The wreck of the fishing boat has also been taken to Haywharf.The police say that investigations are still on-going.Update (3)Police have now confirmed that the  dead man was a 29 year old Moroccan national.Man dies at sea off Żonqor PointA man died at sea after the boat he was in with another three men capsized in the choppy sea near Żonqor Point in Marsascala. Police sources also confirmed that two other men managed to swim to the shore. They have meanwhile, been taken to hospital.The Police also confirmed that the accident happened at around 4am on Saturday morning and that all those involved are seem to be Sicilians.An Armed Forces of Malta patrol boat and helicopters are still on a search and rescue mission as the fourth person that was on the boat is still missing at sea.Updated 16.00 SharePrint WhatsAppcenter_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

July 30, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgWhatsApp Ahead of today’s parliamentary session, Repubblika issued a statement where it voices its concern about the bill the government is piloting this evening at the House of Representatives to amend the Constitution.It called on Members of Parliament to reject the bill if they are serious about wanting proper Constitutional reforms that address the problems they are supposed to solve and that are adopted with the wide consensus of the Maltese community.It said that it is not true that the Constitutional amendments proposed by the Government address in any way the grave concerns of the Venice Commission on the set-up and the independence of the Attorney General.The Venice Commission found that this is an excessive power “All the Government’s amendment does is allocate to two persons the roles of counsel to government and chief prosecutor. But the changes force one of those roles to report to the other meaning the functions are not really separated. What’s worse is that the need to separate these roles arises out of the fact that the official who decides on the prosecution of crimes is hand-picked by the Prime Minister,” it stated.It also stated that the Venice Commission found that this is an excessive power while the Justice and Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe found this excessive power is the background to inexplicable decisions not to prosecute corruption of Ministers and persons close to the incumbent Prime Minister.The amendments being proposed to Parliament changed nothing of the exclusive power of the Prime Minister of choosing the prosecutor, it continued:“At the same time, the Government’s amendments leave out another very serious consideration: that the decisions of Malta’s Attorney General are not subject to any form of judicial scrutiny. If the Attorney General decides to drop a case against someone who has committed a crime, the matter stops there and no one can challenge that decision.”It stated that the Government is ignoring the Venice Commission’s advice and is instead using them as an excuse to continue to consolidate its control on the institutions that are supposed to keep it in check.“The Government ignored these submissions and made no reply”Despite appeals for the Government to consult widely before changing the Constitution, this also happened.Last March, Repubblika made detailed submissions to the Steering Committee on Constitutional Reform filed on their request on how appropriate consultations can be conducted. Those submissions were based on lessons from successful and unsuccessful Constitutional reform processes elsewhere. The Government ignored these submissions and made no reply, it said.“Parliament should not collaborate in the Government’s takeover of powers that in a democracy that deserves that name should not belong to it. Representatives have a moral duty to resist the Government’s encroachment and to insist the Constitution is only changed after public consultation with experts, civil society and the public,” it added.“Representatives should also insist that before piloting amendments, the Government demonstrates that it has sought the advice of the Venice Commission on any changes that claim to be made on the back of that Commission’s report. The European Commission has already demanded this. If representatives today approve these Constitutional changes, they’ll be sending out the worrying message that the political parties have reached a political consensus to conspire to deny Maltese citizens their democracy,” it stated.On the other hand, it continued, if representatives reject these amendments as we hope will happen, that fact should not give the Government the pretext to stop working on Constitutional changes that are needed and that have been recommended by the Venice Commission.“The changes we need should happen and should happen without undue delay. But the changes must address the identified problems of our democracy, particularly if they mean restraint of the excessive powers of the Prime Minister. Changes must be implemented with the serious and wide participation of civil society,” it concluded. SharePrintcenter_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