Month: July 2019

Disabled activists behind a pioneering new project

first_imgDisabled activists behind a pioneering new project are aiming to build the first organisation that will give people with chronic illness the chance to have their voices heard outside their own “social media bubble”.The Chronic Illness Inclusion Project plans to recruit people with chronic illness, develop a manifesto for social change, and ask how the internet and social media can provide them with new possibilities for “participation, organisation and action”.The aim is to “forge a collective voice” for the online chronic illness community, and find a place for them under the umbrella of the wider disability movement.Catherine Hale (pictured), the project’s manager and lead researcher, said they planned to build on the work of groups such as The Broken of Britain, Spartacus Network and #MEAction, and the community of “spoonie” activists who have developed an online “badge of identity” through social media.Despite the growth of this community, Hale said that those who identify as spoonies or as people with chronic illness were still “largely invisible to the ‘real world’ because social media often acts as an echo chamber.“The challenge is to move beyond the echo chamber and have our voice heard.”As she says in a blog for Shaping Our Lives: “The trouble is no one outside of our social media bubble knows who we are.“We’re doubly invisible. We mostly can’t go out into the world to tell people about our lives. And when we do go out into the world our impairment is generally hidden.”She believes the project is the first attempt to “consciously bring the issue of chronic illness to the fore, the first attempt to forge a collective voice that cuts across diagnostic labels, and work out where we fit within the disabled people’s movement.“It’s very exciting because I know there’s great interest out there in doing this. It’s daunting because, well, we’re all ill and organising anything poses huge challenges.”She said she hoped the project would help to build a new movement that would have a place “under the broader umbrella of the disability movement”, which she said has so far not recognised or involved such groups as well as it could.She said: “To me, ‘chronic illness’ is not an alternative or competing framework to ‘disability’ and the social model of disability.“It is simply a form of impairment, like neurodiversity or visual impairment, that needs better recognition within the disability movement as well as wider society.”Among the aims is for those participating in the project to develop a manifesto for social change, which might present policy priorities for government, on issues such as welfare reform, employment or healthcare, or highlight issues that need to be addressed by families and communities, such as addressing social stereotypes and disablism.The lack of understanding of the challenges faced by those with chronic illness is stark, says Hale.She said: “The public can understand someone needing to work part time to manage a health condition.“The public has no understanding of the lives of people who could work just five hours a week from their bed, if such a job existed; or people who can’t ‘work’ at all but who actually work incredibly hard just to keep themselves alive.“I want these lives to matter equally.”Although she says the hashtag #ChronicIllness on social media usually refers to “health conditions where stamina problems/fatigue and/or pain are associated with systemic impairment”, she wants anyone with a long-term health condition to sign up to their mailing list to find out about the project.They will set up an online forum for up to 20 of those who sign up, for detailed discussion of the experience of chronic illness and the barriers they face to social participation.They will also survey the broader base of supporters, as part of a process among all those taking part that will lead to the co-production of a “manifesto for social change”.The three-year project will receive £40,000 lottery funding through the pioneering user-led DRILL (Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning) programme, and is led by Hale, who has had ME for nearly 30 years and previously worked as a policy researcher for the Spartacus Network, Inclusion London, Action for ME and Mind.She will be working with co-investigator Jenny Lyus, herself a disability rights and ME activist.The project is also supported by an expert committee of people – including the artist-activist Liz Crow and the researcher and activist Dr Sarah Campbell – whose lives have been severely affected by chronic illness, and supported by the Centre for Welfare Reform.last_img read more

SF Housing Group Renews Call to Sue the Suburbs

first_imgThe San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation doubled down on a pledge it made in September to sue the city of Lafayette for not building enough housing, saying they will file a lawsuit next week in what they promise is just the first volley in a longer war against suburbs that fail to construct their share of new housing.“Lafayette is the beginning,” said Brian Hanlon, a member of the federation and part of the legal effort. The pro-development group held a panel discussion yesterday at the Women’s Building on 18th and Guerrero to review how state law might favor their legal suit against the East Bay suburb and to call for more volunteers to join the suit.“Thirty five years of wonky liberals trying to induce localities to build housing has been a complete failure, so why not just sue the suburbs?” said Hanlon, referring to a 33-year-old law that the group hopes to use to prod Lafayette into creating more housing.The issue concerns a development that was approved by the Lafayette city council in August for 44 single-family homes, a steep reduction in density from the originally proposed 315 units of middle-income housing. The city said public dissatisfaction and other concerns pushed them to favor a “scaled-down alternative” that would see the 22-acre lot turned into a suburb and soccer field rather than a higher density apartment complex. Tags: Affordable Housing • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img The Bay Area permitted just about half of the housing it needed from 2007 to 2014, though for low to moderate income levels the totals are worse, coming in at about 28 percent of the regional goal. Counties like Napa fared particularly badly, approving 15 percent of the very low income and 12 percent of the low income housing it should have.The legal basis for the suit against the suburb comes from the 1982 Housing Accountability Act, a state law that prohibits cities from blocking higher density affordable housing without a specific finding that it threatens health and safety in an unfixable way — a tall order.“I cannot imagine a housing project that would have a significant adverse impact,” said panelist Linda Klein, a land use attorney with the real estate law firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson. Klein said the novel application of the act would be useful “up to the city council period,” meaning she was unsure of its success once a city has chosen to go through with their version of the project as Lafayette has.The law is typically used by developers to force city approval of a project when it’s been stalled by density concerns. But Hanlon and Sonja Traus, the founder of the renter’s federation, are approaching it from a tenant angle, gathering at least 28 plaintiffs (more were recruited after the meeting) who would have been eligible for the original 315-unit complex. This will give them legal standing to sue Lafayette for “removing” units they might have otherwise lived in.Though the panelists were curious about the application of the law to the Lafayette development, David Grabill questioned the utility of lawsuits and said the Bay Area could not build its way out of the housing crisis.“Suing is not going to get you much,” said Grabill, a public interest attorney who has been involved in pushing for affordable housing in Sonoma County for years. He said suits are useful when there’s “a strong movement, a renters movement, a low-income movement” behind them that pushes lawmakers long-term.“Make it at least look like there’s a movement,” Grabill said.“We are a movement!” said a crowd member.“We’re on it,” said Hanlon, referring to the federation’s frequent appearances at city meetings.Grabill did concede that the suburbs are “a big problem” that a suit might help fix, and Trauss — well known for her “build, build, build” stance — interjected when Grabill said increasing housing supply would not solve the crisis.“I’m not saying don’t build,” Grabill clarified. “Build, but you gotta do some other things too.”No one knows whether the suit will be successful. Klein said she recently invoked the Housing Accountability Act in Fremont to make the city cut fewer units from a project than it would have otherwise, but Trauss and Hanlon are hoping for a victory an order of magnitude greater.For her part, Trauss said the effort to continue suing the suburbs is not contingent on the success of the Lafayette case. She has already created a new organization — the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund — and is looking for a staff attorney to lead future efforts around the Bay Area.“What am I going to not do it?” Trauss said.As for financing, Trauss said she would be fundraising but was thin on specifics. She mentioned “captains of industry” and “big employers” who would have a stake in creating housing for workers, and said she would seek funds from developers because they stand to gain from constructing housing in the suburbs.“If they know that there’s a citizen organization out there, hopefully it will give developers some backbone. last_img read more

Lawyer John Burris black activists stump for Tasers — and against police

first_img 0% On Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, civil rights attorney John Burris, along with the organization Brothers Against Guns, announced their support for arming San Francisco police with Tasers. But only if the weapons’ use policy is subject to strict civilian oversight. Tags: police • SFPD • tasers Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% “I’d rather be hit by a Taser than a bullet,” says anti-gun advocate “On balance, the thousands and thousands of times [the weapon] is used, I think the number of times there’s a bad outcome is diminished, compared to when you have a fatal outcome from a firearm,” Burris said at the press gathering in the Western Addition. He said, however, the Police Officers Association’s ballot measure — Proposition H, which would circumscribe the Police Commission’s ability to revise the department’s Taser policy and allow for more liberal Taser use than the policy approved by the Police Commission — could be dangerous. “The police should not be allowed to decide for themselves when and how Tasers are going to be used,” he said. Whether to equip San Francisco police officers with Tasers has been a decades-long battle that ostensibly concluded last November when the Police Commission voted 4-3 in favor of their implementation. Last month, the commission adopted a Taser policy that was drafted with more than a year of community input. In January, however, the POA amassed enough signatures to place on the June ballot a measure that would give Tasers to officers by the end of the year. In effect, the law would strip the Police Commission, a board of appointed citizens who craft and interpret the SFPD’s policies, of its ability to create or alter the policy. In March, Police Chief Bill Scott denounced the measure as “antithetical” to the spirit of the reform process. While Taser critics say that the weapons will be used disproportionately against people of color and those suffering from mental illness, members of Brothers Against Guns repeatedly emphasized that, considering the alternative, they’re okay with that. “I’d rather be hit by a Taser than a bullet,” said Shawn Richard, executive director of Brothers Against Guns. He asserted that past victims of the police shootings in San Francisco — including Mario Woods, Jessica Williams and Keita O’Neil — would still be alive if SFPD officers had the option to stun them. Still, Richard continued, it’s better to be neither Tased nor shot; de-escalation would be superior to any use of force, and he feels Tasers and de-escalation tactics can be used in tandem to save lives. “If you train them how to talk a person, that’s better than any weapon,” he said. Burris agreed. He said that de-escalation is important, but it can sometimes fail. “Then a Taser becomes an appropriate use,” he said. Without citing specifics, Burris said he recently turned down a case in which someone was Tased by police, but he felt de-escalation had been properly attempted and the use of the Taser wasn’t inappropriate. “It certainly wasn’t used in an abusive way,” he said. Although he recognized that the SFPD has a long history of failing to live up to its own rules — Burris has more cases against the department than he can keep track of — he seemed resigned that arming its officers with Tasers “can’t be any worse than any weapon they (already) have.”“The question is: Can it be used, short of officers using deadly force?”  Damien Posey, a Bayview resident and a member of Brothers Against Guns, thinks so. He has been shot by both a gun and Taser. “I’ve felt those hot slugs before,” he said. “I’ve seen what they can do and how deadly they are.” “With proper training, Tasers can be used effectively in our communities instead of us dying senselessly over just fear.” last_img read more

Wilmington Police search for hitandrun suspect after cyclist hit

first_imgWilmington Police say the drive of the dark colored vehicle in this photo is wanted for a hit-and-run crash that injured former WWAY personality George Elliott on May 11, 2018. (Photo: WPD) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are searching for a suspect who struck a cyclist on South College Road last week causing serious injury.George Elliott, 59, was riding his three wheel cycle north on South College Road around 5:40 a.m. May 11 when a black in color SUV or pickup truck struck him in front of the CVS and drove away.- Advertisement – The suspect continued north on South College Road onto Chambers Avenue where the vehicle stopped for a short time. The suspect then left north on South College Road making a U-Turn at the Ace Hardware and headed south on South College Road, passing Elliott who was laying in the road.Wilmington Police search for hit and run suspect. (Photo: WPD)The suspect vehicle could have damage on the passenger side and may have a missing passenger side mirror.Elliott was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery for his injuries.Related Article: ‘Use of force’ simulator approved for Wilmington PoliceAnyone with information is asked to contact WPD at 910-343-3600 or use Text A Tip.last_img read more

Southport leaders continue administrative leave for police department

first_img “We want to conduct an internal investigation, and the city manager is going to work on that,” said Mayor Jerry Dove.The city has already budgeted money for the police to do their job and protect citizens. They now have to deal with the paradox to continue to pay officers, who did nothing wrong, but sit idle now, as well as pay two men accused of abandoning their posts.Mayor Jerry Dove says the indefinite leave is needed as they still have not reached a decision as to who will lead the department. Police Chief Gary Smith and Lt. Michael Simmons remain suspended with pay accused of working for a trucking company while on the clock for the city.Related Article: Wilmington Police wants new technology to solve crimesThe ten man department in total earns roughly $1,600 dollars a day before taxes according to wage information WWAY received following our Open Records Request to city staff.We found that more than $430 of that goes to the two men accused of breaking their oaths.“I know that it has been a hard time and it has been a strain on everyone here at city hall,” said the Mayor.There could be a continued strain on taxpayers, as city leaders also voted to approve the city manager.Seeing if an internal affairs audit will need to be conducted in the department. The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office will continue law enforcement operations in the city for now.City leaders like citizens hope to see that change sooner rather than later.“We’re going to get them back as soon as we can,m” said the Mayor. “That’s the plan from our city manager and staff is all in order. Our whole board is eager to do that. We want to get our police department back in order.”Southport Police took to Facebook Wednesday night sending a message to neighbors.The city manager tells us he plans to present to the alderman an updated decision on the Chief and Lieutenant’s suspensions at next week regular council meeting. SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) –  Southport police will remain off the streets until further notice.That decision coming from a board of aldermen meeting this afternoon.Nearly a week ago, investigators arrested the two top cops in Southport. The city then placed the entire department on non disciplinary administrative leave. We now know that leave will remain indefinite.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Man spots shark in surf at Bald Head Island

first_img Wragge decided to capture video of the shark, which was darting back and forth in ankle-deep water.In an email to WWAY, Wragge said he’s been “swimming at Wrightsville Beach, Carolina, and everywhere in between”. He said he always hears about sharks, but has never seen anything like this or thought it would happen to him. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man who was at Bald Head Island this weekend managed to get video of a shark darting back and forth right along the shoreline. Derek Wragge was on the island on Saturday and had been swimming just minutes before he spotted the shark near the southern tip of the island.“Just after getting out of the water, a man came running over asking if the other people in the water were part of our family. They were not, so he began to motion them to get out quickly,” Wragge wrote.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Opposition leads in Istanbul vote seen as test for Erdogan

first_imgEkrem Imamoglu, mayoral candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), arrives to cast his ballot at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, June 23, 2019. REUTERS/Huseyin AldemirEkrem Imamoglu, mayoral candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), arrives to cast his ballot at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, June 23, 2019. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Turkey’s main opposition appeared headed for victory on Sunday in a re-run of Istanbul’s mayoral election, dealing one of the biggest blows to President Tayyip Erdogan during his 16 years in power.Ekrem Imamoglu, mayoral candidate of the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), was leading with 53.6% of votes versus 45.4% for Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP) candidate, with nearly 95% of the city’s ballots opened, Turkish broadcasters said.“As of now my rival is leading,” AKP candidate and former prime minister Binali Yildirim said minutes after the initial results were released.“I congratulate him and wish him all the luck. My wish is for Imamoglu to serve Istanbul well,” he said.Imamoglu had won the original mayoral election on March 31 by a narrow margin that prompted the AKP to demand a re-run, citing what it said were voting irregularities.The High Election Board’s decision to grant that request drew criticism from Turkey’s Western allies and from Erdogan’s opponents at home, stirring concerns about the rule of law and raising the stakes in a re-run that many Turks saw as a test of their country’s democracy.CABINET RESHUFFLE?Erdogan was Istanbul’s mayor in the 1990s before he embarked on a national political career, dominating Turkish politics first as prime minister, then as president. He presided over years of strong economic growth but critics say he has become increasingly authoritarian and intolerant of dissent.If confirmed, this second defeat in Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city and commercial hub, will be a major embarrassment for the president and could also weaken what until recently seemed to be his iron grip on power.Analysts say the loss could set off a cabinet reshuffle in Ankara and adjustments to foreign policy.Turkey is balancing diplomatic relations with Russia and the United States, which has threatened sanctions against its NATO ally over its purchase of Russian missile defences.The setback for Erdogan, who campaigned hard in Istanbul, could also trigger a national election earlier than 2023 as scheduled.Turkey’s economy is now in recession and the United States, its NATO ally, has threatened sanctions if Erdogan goes ahead with plans to install Russian missile defences.The uncertainty over the fate of Istanbul, Turkey’s business hub, and potential delays in broader economic reforms, have kept financial markets on edge. Turkey’s lira currency tumbled after the decision to annul the March vote and is down nearly 10% this year in part on election jitters.WhatsAppcenter_img SharePrintlast_img read more

Cybercriminals using Ebola outbreak to spread malware

first_imgSecurity Flaw Exploit (File Photo) Advertisement A blog post by security solutions provider Symantec, has proved that cyber criminals are”using the latest headlines to bait victims.The post from”Symantec reveals an observation of  three malware operations and a phishing campaign using the Ebola virus as a social engineering theme.Symantec sheds light on the three different methods via which the cybercriminals are getting people to install viruses on their devices. These viruses can assist in stealing sensitive data and passwords. – Advertisement – First method cybercriminals send out an email that has a phony report on Ebola attached to it. The fake report is aimed at luring victims and downloading the attachment will result in the computer getting infected with the Trojan. Zbot malware.Second method This also involves sending out an email to the victims. However, this email imitates a telecom provider in the UAE – Etisalat – and also has a supposed “high-level presentation” pertaining to the Ebola virus attached as a zip file. Opening the file entitled “EBOLA – ETISALAT” will result in the computer being infected by the Trojan.Blueso.This malware infects a user’s Web browser with W32.Spyrat. Once infected, the hacker can delete files and folders on the victim’s computer, log key strokes, download/upload files, open Web pages, record from the webcam, capture screenshots and even get details on the installed apps, the computer and OS.Third methodThis one is quite sneaky and it builds on the news that the experimental Zmapp drug can cure Ebola. The attackers in a bid to lure the victims, email them claiming that “Ebola virus has been cured” and “the news should be shared widely.” This email too is accompanied by an attachment i.e. the malware Backdoor.Breut.The attackers are even using renowned publication CNN’s name to make the emails seem authentic. This ploy adapts a brief story line and includes supposedly authentic links to an “untold story” which the user needs to click. The email also claims to provide a list of the “targets” areas and tips on guarding against the disease.Incase the user clicks on the links given in the email, he/she is directed to a page where they need to select an email provider. This Web page has been created by the hackers and keying in your email details and password will result in the information being sent to the attackers. Post this, the victims is redirected to the authentic CNN home page.Source: Tech Timeslast_img read more

MTN Uganda CEO Addresses The Different Customer Issues

first_imgAdvertisement The past few months the public has had a lot of complaints in the way  MTN Uganda is delivering it’s services, disgruntled customers vented on social media using the hash-tags like #OccupyMTN to try and get MTN Uganda’s attention.Today, the CEO of MTN Uganda Brian Gouldie held a press conference to address some of the issues that have been raised via these various channels. Brian says it’s very important to have an ongoing engagement between MTN and the public and that’s why MTN wants to bring out some of the facts to the numerous opinions that have been aired out via the different channels.Customer Service  – Advertisement – There was an upgrade on 30th of June and 281,084 customers were affected by this upgrade. What MTN has done is refunded 778 Million in Airtime to the affected customer and has also credited the bundled that these customers who were affected by these intermittent occurrences had subscribed for. Combined MTN has rebated approximately one billion shillings (shs. 1 Billion) worth of data bundles and airtime.Harmonizing Short codesAbout having a harmonized short code like other service providers, Brain says, “MTN has 3.5 million transaction a day that go through our systems, we are in the process to migrate but if you have customers that have been using these codes(155,156) for 15 years, this will take time because we have to educate the public about these changes. For us to be able to do that as company, we have to work with the regulator to make sure our customers are treated fairly. Therefore, we are going to work with the commission but this will take time because we don’t want a case where our customers can’t load airtime over the festive season.”Spamming By Content Providers“Our Content providers have been responsible for generating the billing transactions, and they have been keeping records of the customers who were interested in their given service. As operators we have been facilitating the billing process on behalf of the content providers. There are 7.2 Million customers who have accepted to be provided with content on our system. From today all that has changed, MTN is now controlling the content management system and every 30 Days, customers subscribed to any content provider will automatically be removed from the system and will need to subscribe again in order to access these services,”  Brain remarked.Tax Evasion“MTN Group is listed NO.5 on the Johannesburg stock exchange, we get auditted by both internal and external Auditors and PWC handles audits for MTN Uganda. We have been awarded by Uganda Revenue Authority(URA) as the top tax payers numerous times. To add on this URA has been validating our tax returns the past 15 years, these awards actually mean we pay money and comply by submitting our Tax declarations for VAT, Customs Duty, Corporate and Excise Taxes,” Brain Highlighted.In 2013 MTN paid 336 billion Shillings and they anticipate to pay around 439 Billion in 2014. The issue of the 13.4 Billion shilling was resolved to 1.3 Billion which MTN Uganda didn’t agree with, but paid anyway.Brian also talked about the different audits that are going on in the company and said Audits should be frequent and continous and this should be for all operators. The commission shouldn’t just audit when there is a problem.Well, that’s what you might have missed today. We are going to follow on with a story about the anti-spamming technique and how it work. Feel free to ping us if you have any questions.last_img read more