Month: July 2019

The toxic government contractor Atos has been ac

first_imgThe “toxic” government contractor Atos has been accused of trying to create a smokescreen to hide its past failures and “appalling reputation”, after quietly announcing that it is changing the name of its disability benefit assessment arm.The company – blamed by many disabled people for repeated, serious and harmful failings in the way it has carried out assessments – has told “stakeholders” that its Atos Healthcare brand has now been renamed Independent Assessment Services.The company carries out assessments for the government’s new personal independence payment (PIP) – which is gradually replacing working-age disability living allowance – across London, the south and north of England, and Scotland.Only this week, Atos has been forced to launch an investigation after Disability News Service (DNS) reported how a disabled women said she was left to sit in her own urine for nearly two hours after her plight was ignored by one of its PIP assessors.This followed a major DNS investigation that uncovered scores of cases in which claimants described how Atos assessors – and those from the government’s other PIP assessment contractor, Capita – produced dishonest reports after carrying out face-to-face assessments.Atos was previously responsible for delivering the even more controversial work capability assessment (WCA) – a process that researchers, activists and the Equality and Human Rights Commission all concluded had caused significant harm and distress to many of those who were assessed, and was also linked to deaths of claimants – before it quit the government contract in 2014.Disabled activist Gail Ward, from Black Triangle, accused Atos of trying to create a “smokescreen” to cover up its “incompetence” in carrying out assessments.She said: “Atos can rebrand all they wish. We will still call them Atos at every opportunity.”She said Atos’s actions had left many disabled people trapped in their own homes, after losing their entitlement to PIP, with many having to return their Motability vehicles.And she said many grassroots campaigners were receiving requests for help in dealing with “fabrication of facts” in Atos PIP assessment reports, which had caused many sick and disabled people “a great deal of distress”.Her Black Triangle colleague John McArdle added: “Atos has not changed its spots. It is still working as the government’s henchman.“We see the same litany of wrongdoing that has been reported by DNS, with fraudulent reports and catastrophic harm being caused to disabled people.”He said the attempt to rebrand itself as a “respectable organisation” would fail, and added: “Atos is infamous for carrying out systematic abuse of the fundamental human rights of disabled people.“It is a toxic brand and has become a byword for corporate wrongdoing worldwide.”One PIP claimant who has previously given evidence as part of the DNS investigation into dishonest assessment reports said she was “not surprised” at the Atos rebranding.She was assessed by an Atos nurse, who produced a “fictional” assessment report that was “totally inaccurate”, including a description of a medical examination that was a “total fabrication”.She said Atos had an “appalling reputation”, and added: “It doesn’t matter what they call themselves, the same people are running the company and the same people are doing the assessments.”Atos has told stakeholders that it carried out the rebranding to make it “clear that we are ‘independent’ providers, distinct from DWP” and because the new name explains more clearly the service it delivers.It also claims that the involvement of Atos will still be clear in the branding of the new name, but its new website shows Independent Assessment Services with the words “delivered by Atos” only in tiny letters underneath.An Atos UK spokesman said: “We believe the new name better reflects the role the company undertakes on behalf of the DWP and the assessment work the company carries out.“The change also follows the first independent review by Paul Gray which recommended a number of changes to claimant communications*.“It has been planned and undertaken in consultation with a number of disability representative organisations, who have been supportive and have welcomed the change.”Both of the two disability organisations Atos said had supported the name change have told DNS that they did no such thing.The Atos spokesman added: “The change has no effect on any policies and procedures, or the way in which assessments for PIP are carried out. “All claimants are being advised to continue to attend assessment appointments and respond to communications in the normal manner.”*Among its recommendations, the review highlighted how “the branding of letters for different parts of the process emphasises the different organisations involved rather than highlighting that they are all part of what should be an integrated PIP journey. “This practice also makes the development of a blame culture between different parts of the supply chain all too easy.”Gray recommended that the assessment process should be made “more integrated under common branding”, but there was no suggestion that Atos Healthcare itself should change its name.last_img read more

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Nearly Evicted SF Family Buys Affordable Home

first_imgDespite having just signed the paperwork that secured her home, Palacios did not allow herself to be too relieved. Recent months had shown her that something else could always go wrong in a saga that began with a promise of a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to buy into San Francisco’s housing market and nearly ended with them being pushed out on the street.The  “once in a lifetime opportunity,” as Luis Palacios called it, came when the Homeowners’ Association at the Tiffany Gardens apartment complex decided to convert the building’s below-market-rate rental apartments into “owned units.” Doing so would help the association finance repairs for a faulty roof.The Palacios had been renting the unit through the below market rate rental program and the city allows for such conversions so long as the occupants of the rental are offered a fair chance to buy the unit, at a price set by the city. Not only had the family managed to get in to a highly sought-after affordable rental unit, now they could buy it and stay there permanently.But trouble started brewing when it came time to get a loan to finance their purchase of the $150,000 two-bedroom – the price determined to be within reach of anyone earning 60 percent of the Area Median Income. But the Palacios, having immigrated from Guatemala, had no credit history, and therefore found it impossible to get a loan from any of the banks that the city usually worked with. The Mission Economic Development Agency and the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development tried and failed to work with a new lender who could assist the family.“Maybe it was that there was not enough interest from every party,” said Luis Palacios. Often, he said, it seemed like nobody quite knew what to do.“I feel a little more calm. But I’m not going to shout with joy, because every day there’s new [issue],” said Brenda Palacios. “I don’t feel like I can dare to be happy.”After months of delays, the loan still wasn’t settled, and the Tiffany Gardens HOA decided to evict the Palacios and move on to the next qualified below-market-rate buyer. The Palacios missed their window of opportunity to buy the building. What was more, the price went up – from about $150,000 to $339,000. The chances of remaining in place shrank further.“We worked with and did everything that the HOA was required to do … We even extended [the purchase] period three more months,” said Andrew Baugh, the lawyer for the Tiffany Gardens homeowner’s association, in July of last year.“For them this was a business transaction, it wasn’t emotional,” Luis Palacios said at the signing this week. “I understand that this is just how business is.”After news of the impending eviction came out, MEDA and the city redoubled their efforts.“I know we had a great responsibility to you,” MEDA’s Dairo Romero told the Palacios at their signing. “I felt that responsibility, and that the organization hadn’t done its work well the first time.”MEDA tried a new lender – Umpqua Bank. The process of securing another loan was arduous, not only because the family had no credit, but because there were now legal eviction proceedings underway against them.But this time, it stuck. Umpqua offered the loan, the city found a way to offer further financial assistance, and the Homeowner’s Association agreed to sell the home to the Palacios at $339,000 – after all, it now made economic sense to do so.“Ultimately they did what was in the interest of their clients,” said tenant rights attorney and real estate broker Richard Hurlburt, who represented both buyer and seller in this transaction. “They actually have been very patient. It’s really been a complicated process.”“Once you took the emotion out of the equation, it just made sense to sell the family the house,” said Juan Diego Castro, also of MEDA.At last, after initialing and signing dozens of forms, the Palacios were secure in their home. Almost – one additional payment needed to be made, and they will now pay about $300 more in mortgage payments than they did for rent.“This was teamwork,” said Brenda Palacios. “Everyone did their part. So I hope it works out.”Disclosure: Mission Local rents an office space from a building owned by MEDA. 0% Once on the brink of eviction from a below-market-rate rental that had been their home for 11 years, Brenda and Luis Palacios and their three children were finally able to purchase their home at the Tiffany Gardens apartment complex in La Lengua.An exceptionally complicated situation involving a city agency, a nonprofit, and a homeowner’s association was resolved because the sale, as it turned out, was just good business.“There were a lot of things that provoked this situation,” said Brenda Palacios. “We worked hard to keep surmounting each obstacle.”“I’m tired,” said Luis Palacios. The father of three works two jobs, one at minimum wage and the other at $16 an hour.center_img Tags: Affordable Housing • rent Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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Building housing Jayn Bee Club up for sale

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address Pour one out for the Jay’n Bee Club – at least in its current form. Owners Steve Benazzo and Mike Perry are in the process of selling the building that houses the cherished dive bar at 20th and York. “It’s been fun, and I love it,” Benazzo confirmed over the phone. “But maybe enough is enough.” Although the building hasn’t officially hit the market, it could fetch around $2 million, he said. A for-sale sign was recently posted above the bar’s entrance. center_img Benazzo told Mission Local last week that he hopes the Jay’n Bee Club, which has been closed indefinitely for weeks, will continue as a bar and grill. “I’m sure someone can take this and run with it,” he said on Thursday. Perry and Benazzo took over the bar 21 years ago. In that time, it became known for its pizzas and salads. For a while, a Mexican restaurant called Marta’s Kitchen operated out of the bar. In a 2008 episode of KQED’s Check Please, Benazzo touted his bar’s 70-year history. “We’ve been many different things in that time,” he said on the show. “Things like a cop bar, or a fireman’s bar, an old-timer’s bar — but nowadays we’re pretty much everybody’s bar.” But Benazzo knows one thing: Jay’n Bee will forever be cemented in his own personal history. “Most of my adult life I’ve been running this thing,” he told Mission Local. “A thousand people who want to know what’s gonna happen, right?” he said. He paused for a moment. “Make that 1,001.” last_img read more

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SAINTS travel to Salford tonight in a Round 3 Firs

first_imgSAINTS travel to Salford tonight in a Round 3 First Utility Super League clash.We’ll be live from the match, which kicks off at 8pm, at our Match Centre and Official Facebook and Twitter feeds.Tickets are still on sale for the game from Salford’s Ticket Office only.Saints have won their last seven meetings (three away from home) with Salford, with their opponent’s last victory coming 42-34 at The Willows on May 15 2010.Last Ten Meetings:Salford 10, St Helens 52 (SLR19, 21/6/13)St Helens 14, Salford 10 (SLR8, 22/3/13)Salford 10, St Helens 32 (SLR18, 22/6/12)St Helens 38, Salford 10 (SLR2, 10/2/12)St Helens 31, Salford 6 (SLR26, 2/9/11)Salford 22, St Helens 56 (SLR2, 18/2/11)St Helens 58, Salford 34 (SLR19, 25/6/10)Salford 42, St Helens 34 (SLR14, 15/5/10)Salford 20, St Helens 10 (SLR18, 3/7/09)St Helens 38, Salford 12 (SLR5, 13/3/09)Super League Summary:Salford won 4St Helens won 29Ups and Downs:Salford highest score: 42-34 (H, 2010) (Widest margin: 39-26, H, 1997)St Helens highest score: 66-16 (H, 2001) (Widest margin: 58-4, A, 2000)Career Milestones:Birthday boy Paul Wellens remains one point short of 1,000 for his career.He has scored 953 points (218 tries, 40 goals, 1 field goal) for St Helens since 1998.He has also scored points for Great Britain (18 – 4 tries, 1 goal), England (16 – 4 tries) and Lancashire (12 – 3 tries).Consecutive Appearances:Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook has the longest run of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, with 57.He last missed a Saints game on March 17 2012 – a 12-8 defeat at Bradford.His streak then started on March 25 2012 – a 46-6 home victory against Leeds.1. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (St Helens) 572. Craig Huby (Castleford Tigers) 473. Danny Houghton (Hull FC) 424. Josh Jones (St Helens) 365. Jordan Turner (St Helens/Hull FC) 34last_img read more

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SAINTS have named their 19man squad for Fridays

first_imgSAINTS have named their 19-man squad for Friday’s First Utility Super League fixture with Warrington Wolves.Luke Thompson is recalled to the side whilst Luke Walsh misses out.Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Lama Tasi, 15. Greg Richards, 17. Luke Thompson, 19. Theo Fages, 20. Joe Greenwood, 21. Matty Dawson, 22. Jack Owens, 27. Jack Ashworth, 28. Morgan Knowles, 30. Calvin Wellington.Tony Smith will choose his Warrington side from:1. Kurt Gidley, 2. Tom Lineham, 3. Rhys Evans, 4. Ryan Atkins, 6. Stefan Ratchford, 7. Chris Sandow, 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 11. Ben Currie, 14. Joe Westerman, 16. Brad Dwyer, 18. George King, 22. Gene Ormsby, 24. Toby King, 25. Joe Philbin, 27. Sam Wilde, 29. Benjamin Jullien, 32. Jordan Cox, 33. Ryan Bailey.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee is James Child.Ticket details for this mouth-watering tie can be found here.last_img read more

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The fans alongside attendees of our development s

first_imgThe fans, alongside attendees of our development sessions and cheerleaders, got the chance to meet the players and collect autographs before heading into the North Stand Concourse to enjoy games and fun activities from Saints Community Development Foundation .The A Star Saints Angels and Saints Wheelchair Rugby League Club also put on demonstrations too.We all hope you had a great day – here are some images courtesy of our club snapper Bernard Platt.Remember, it costs from £70 to be a Junior Member – and not only can you enjoy events like these but you also get to see your Saints both home and away!last_img read more

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Police respond to shooting in Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Officials responded to a shooting in Wilmington that left two people injured Sunday night.According to Linda Rawley Thompson with Wilmington Police Department, officers got a Shotspotter alert around 10:30 p.m. near Ruth’s Grocery at 503 Anderson Street.- Advertisement – Officials arrived and found a man and woman who had been shot. Thompson said neither of the wounds were life threatening.Police do not believe that either victim was the intended target.Shell-casings were recovered from the scene.Related Article: Holden Beach man held without bond in wife’s murderThe investigation is ongoing.  If you have any information, please contact police.last_img read more

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VIDEO Flooded ditch provides surf fun for instructors

first_imgCAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — With it being so wet lately, some people are trying to have a little fun in the rain.Kevin Murphy with Odysea Surf School in Carolina Beach posted a video of him and another surf instructor doing just that Monday.- Advertisement – In the video, you can see Murphy “teaching” a surf lesson to a “student”, Jacob Duval, in a flooded ditch next to the office located on North Lake Park Boulevard.Murphy said it happened after they got stuck at the office because of heavy rain. They were out on the beach laying down 2,500 square feet of beach flooring, to make the beach more handicap accessible, but were forced to head back to the office because of the weather.According to the National Weather Service, this July will go down as one of the wettest in history.last_img read more

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Actor David Hyde Pierce to appeare with Wilmington Symphony Orchestra

first_img00:00 00:00 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 WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Emmy and Tony Award winning actor David Hyde Pierce will be coming to Wilmington next month for a special guest appearance with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the symphony presents “Music from the Silver Screen” at Wilson Center featuring Pierce who is best known for his portrayal of Dr. Niles Crane on the long-running TV sitcom Frazier.- Advertisement – “It’s going to be a Hollywood glam kind of theme and we’re going to have a red carpet and photographers to take your picture as you arrive,” said Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Marketing and Operations Director Nicole Thompson.“The evening is going to include music from great films — Ben-Hur, Gone With The Wind, The Way We Where, Dances With Wolves — and wonderful movie themes,” Thompson added.Later this month, the orchestra presents mezzo soprano Mary Gayle Greene whose voice has been described by one reviewer as “molten chocolate.” This performance is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 at Wilson Center.Related Article: Wilmington Symphony’s night of ‘Blood Sweat Tears, Earth Wind Fire…and a little Chicago’Conducted by Dr. Steven Errante, the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra will soon turn 50. Thompson says lots of events are now being planned to celebrate this upcoming milestone season.Currently, the symphony is comprised of about 65-70 musicians and most hold full-time jobs.“We have doctors, dentists, school teachers, church musicians–all kinds of people who do their regular job during the day and play with us at night,” said Thompson.Auditions are held twice a year. Click here to learn more about the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.last_img read more

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Study Certain birth defects higher in Southeastern NC

first_img00:00 00:00 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 SOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) — Some birth defects are higher in the Cape Fear region than other parts of the state, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.DHHS analyzed four categories of birth defects in Bladen, Brunswick, Cumberland, New Hanover and Pender Counties to address concerns raised during the state’s ongoing investigation into GenX and other per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances.- Advertisement – The Birth Defects Monitoring Program does not routinely collect information about specific exposures. The program is developing plans to examine the occurrence of brain anomalies across North Carolina and will continue to monitor geographic variations in the occurrence of birth defects throughout the state. No birth defects have been definitively linked to PFAS exposure in humans. The study used date from 2003-2014 using data from the NC Birth Defects Monitoring Program.The review showed some central nervous system and cardiac defects were higher in one or more of the five counties examined compared with the state average, keeping in mind that these estimates vary widely from year to year because of the small number of these defects.Within the five counties, compared to the state, different types of brain defects were elevated in different counties.Related Article: NC State researchers to hold meeting to discuss GenX blood test resultsIn New Hanover County, microcephaly and hydrocephaly were more prevalent.The prevalence of brain reduction defect was higher in Bladen, Brunswick and Cumberland counties.For reasons that are not well understood, the prevalence of brain anomalies varied substantially across North Carolina and higher prevalence was not limited to the lower Cape Fear region. Because birth defects can be caused by a complex mix of genetic, medical, behavioral and environmental factors, DHHS said no conclusions regarding links between PFAS or other exposures and birth defects can be drawn from this analysis. There are no national data available for comparison. Brain and spinal cord defects, facial clefts, heart defects and skeletal defects were chosen for this analysis because they have been included in previous studies of PFAS exposure or because associations with PFAS have been suggested in studies of laboratory animals. To view the full report, click here.last_img read more

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Crowd watches Super Bowl LIII on biggest TV in Wilmington

first_img The Super Bowl kicked off at 6:30 p.m. on WWAY CBS.The beer was flowing and the food piping hot at Marina Grill where a large crowd of people came out to watch the game.Manager Peter Tyler says he saw a lot more Rams fans than he did Patriots fans, which he says is unusual for the restaurant.Related Article: Patriots fan turns Tom Brady’s autograph into a tattooWith the score at 3-0 at halftime, Maroon 5 kicked off the halftime show, which seemed to get lukewarm reception.“Half time show, uh, yeah it was pretty good. I mean, Maroon 5, they’re a good band,” said Scott Ponisc, a Rams fan. “I think the ladies liked it, as you could hear from the bar.”“I like some of their music, so it’s good,” said Tyler. “Adam Levine could have kept his shirt on, but that’s just my taste. I understand other people like it off.”The restaurant was pretty packed early on, but it seems the crowd started filtering out around halftime. Whether that was due to the halftime show, the low score, or was just a coincidence remains a mystery.The restaurant has only been open since last April, so Tyler could not compare numbers to previous Super Bowls. However, he says he was very happy with the turnout. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — People across the Cape Fear watched Tom Brady and the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII. Some watched at home, others at parties, or at bars and restaurants.One of those restaurants is Marina Grill, which boasts having the biggest TV in Wilmington.But was that enough to entice football fans to come out and watch the big game, rather than stay at home or go to a party?- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Swamp Thing looking for adult extras for upcoming shoot

first_imgThe logo for DC Universe’s upcoming live-action drama series “Swamp Thing,” which is eyeing Wilmington as a possible filming location. (Photo: StarNews) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — They say there are no small parts, only small actors. Whatever your size, the Warner Bros. series “Swamp Thing” shooting in Wilmington is looking for extras for an upcoming shoot.According to a news release, the series will be shooting scenes Wednesday, March 13, and Thursday, March 14, set at CDC headquarters. It is looking for adults in their mid-20s to 60s of all ethnicities to be paid extras. They will play CDC officials, physicians and chemists, all of whom should have a clean-cut, professional look. The casting team asks for applicants be able to provide their own business casual or business professional attire. You must also be available for both filming dates.- Advertisement – Pay rate is a guaranteed $64 for 8 hrs and time and a half for every hour that exceeds the eighth. Filming days can last up to 10+ hours, and it will be done outside, so please come prepared.If interested email: SwampThingBg@twcastandrecruit.com, Subject Line: CDC Headquarters.Your email should include the following in list form:Two recent photos (a body and head shot – may be taken with phone)NamePhone NumberAgeLocation (City, State)HeightWeightShirt SizePant SizeJacket Size (if applicable)Dress Size (if applicable)Shoe SizeDescription of any tattoos or piercings.Related Article: Ian Ziering joins the cast of ‘Swamp Thing’ TV seriesSubmissions will not be considered if this information is not listed in email.For more information check out the TW Cast and Recruit Facebook page.last_img read more

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Consultation on parliamentary equality reform extended

first_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> SharePrint The Government has announced that it has upheld the Opposition’s demand for a longer consultation period on parliamentary reform equality.In a statement it announced that the consultation process has been extended by 18 days.The consultation focuses on increasing gender equality within the Maltese Parliament, with the announcement of increasing the quota of up to 40% more women MPs in the 2022 election.The deadline for submissions to the consultation are up until Saturday 8th June.The consultation document can be accessed here.WhatsApplast_img read more

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€50 million funding for small enterprises

first_img SharePrint Bank of Valletta and the Malta Development Bank (MDB) have today launched ‘BOV SME Invest’ which provides €50 million funding put towards small and medium enterprises (SMEs).This finance is provided ‘through reduced collateral requirements and finance costs.’ Enterprises may seek bank financing up to a maximum of €750,000, at attractive interest rates and reduced obligations. According to BOV’s Bank’s Chief Credit Business Development Officer Albert Frendo, the BOV SME Invest will provide €50 million financing to local SMEs through a €10 million guarantee provided by the Malta Development Bank. This Guarantee allows Bank of Valletta to reduce its interest rates of 2% below market rate.BOV SME Invest is also understood to ease the burden of seeking finance and complements other EU funded financial instruments such as the BOV JAIME scheme that is being well received by the market, Frendo added. The new financing package was launched during a press conference presided over by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who added that the initiative would create €50 million of new business for the Maltese economy and €90 million of ‘potential total investment.’‘This is in line with the MDB’s aim of contributing towards sustainable economic development that benefits the Maltese community through economic growth and infrastructure development,’ the Prime Minister concluded. Also present during the conference were BOV Chairman Taddeo Scerri, together with Josef Bonnici, the Chairman of the Malta Development Bank.Read: “Economy has now matured for a start-up investing ecosystem” – Minister CardonaWhatsApp <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

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Italys PM Conte to issue ultimatum over government on Monday – papers

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives for a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier/PoolFILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives for a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier/Pool Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will present an ultimatum to fractious ruling parties on Monday to speed up government action or face his resignation, Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Il Corriere della Sera reported.Conte will make clear in a speech in the afternoon that he has no intention of being subjected to any European Union disciplinary procedure over public debt, La Repubblica reported citing several sources.The European Commission wrote to Italy last week asking for an explanation as to why public debt rose in 2018 instead of falling as required, setting the stage for a possible legal clash with Italy’s eurosceptic coalition.WhatsApp SharePrint <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

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Victoria Hotspurs overturn twogoal deficit to win GFA Cup

first_imgVictoria Hotspurs managed to win this year’s edition of the BOV GFA Cup by beating rivals Nadur Youngsters 3-2.The winning goal was scored in the second half of extra time by Argentinian striker Emiliano Lattes.Nadur opened a 2-0 lead in the first 45 minutes and it seemed that Victoria Hotspurs had once again lost their chance of winning a trophy that has eluded them since 1998. Two goals in the second half took the game to extra-time but Victoria avoided the penalty shootout with a goal in the 10th minute of the second half of extra time to clinch the coveted cup.Horace Laudi, Chief Officer at Bank of Valletta and Dr Samuel Azzopardi, President of the Gozo Football Association presented the BOV GFA Cup to Victoria.Following the match, Horace Laudi also presented the BOV GFA Player of the Month trophy for April 2018 to former Birkirkara FC player Lattes.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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Googles Android Developer Challenge winner Afrinolly in a copyright battle over Nigerian

first_imgAdvertisement iROKO is taking legal action against Afrinolly,  a self-styled mobile phone app focused on Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Nollywood. The app has built its business model on showing Nollywood feature films and trailers.iROKO, whose entertainment library is in excess of 5,000 Nollywood  movies, say they have never been contacted by Afrinolly or even granted them permission to stream the said movies.In April 2012 Tiger Global, a New York-based private equity and hedge fund run by an early investor in Facebook and Zynga, led two $4 million rounds of investment into iROKO Partners, in one of the largest ever fundraisings into a West African tech firm. – Advertisement – Afrinolly, a Nigerian company based in Lagos, has been streaming Nollywood movies and trailers, exclusive to iROKO Partners, and others, allegedly without any authorisation or consent from the content owners. Jason Njoku CEO of iROKO Partners says: “In an industry that is rife with misrepresentation, piracy and copyright infringement, we are left with no option but to begin legal action against Afrinolly, who have been illegally building their business on our content.“We spend millions of dollars legally buying and organizing Nigerian content and hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in combating piracy and ensuring movie producers are remunerated properly for their content. It is simply unacceptable for Afrinolly to steal their work and profit from it. It has caused great harm to our Nigerian-based content providers and has placed great strain on the delicate balance and ecosystem that exists. Afrinolly, since its inception, has never bothered to even discuss with us or other content owners and has definitely not remunerated anyone to date.“We have been approached by a number of Nollywood producers, who have expressed dismay that their movies are being exploited. As part of our commitment to the lifeblood of the industry, the producers, we see no other means than to seriously consider our options, look at how we can manage the damage done to our reputation and bring this extraordinary mass copyright infringement to a swift conclusion.”iROKO Partners is believed to have formally asked the owners of Afrinolly to remove all illegally sourced content from iROKO Partners’ platform- YouTube channel – (NollywoodLove) and other owned and operated channels.The news comes just hours after Afrinolly was celebrating a combined 500,000 app downloads their four mobile platforms.iROKO Partners will be seeking N100Mn compensation.last_img read more

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Facebook Changes Policies on Trending Topics After Criticism

first_imgImage Credit: Tribune Advertisement Facebook Inc. said on Monday that it had changed some of the procedures for its “Trending Topics” section after a news report alleging it suppressed conservative news prompted a U.S. Congressional demand for more transparency.The company said an internal probe showed no evidence of political bias in the selection of news stories for Trending Topics, a feature that is separate from the main “news feed” where most Facebook users get their news.But the world’s largest social network said in a blogpost that it was introducing several changes, including elimination of a top-ten list of approved websites, more training and clearer guidelines to help human editors avoid ideological or political bias, and more robust review procedures. – Advertisement – Earlier this month, a former Facebook contractor had accused the company’s editors of deliberately suppressing conservative news. The allegations were reported by Gizmodo, which did not identify the ex-contractor.The report led Republican Sen. John Thune to write a letter demanding that the company explain how it selects news articles for its Trending Topics list.Two days after Thune’s letter, Facebook published a lengthy blogpost detailing how Trending Topics works even though it rarely discloses such practices. Previously, it had never discussed the inner workings of the feature, which displays topics and news articles in the top right hand corner of the desktop homepage for its more than 1.6 billion users.Facebook said its investigation showed that conservative and liberal topics were approved as trending topics at nearly identical rates. It said it was unable to substantiate any allegations of politically motivated suppression of particular subjects or sources.But it did not rule out human error in selecting topics.“Our investigation could not fully exclude the possibility of isolated improper actions or unintentional bias in the implementation of our guidelines or policies,” Colin Stretch, Facebook’s General Counsel, wrote in a company blogpost.Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg met last week with more than a dozen conservative politicians and media personalities to discuss issues of trust in the social network.In his letter, Thune had called on Facebook to respond to the criticism and sought answers by May 24 to several questions about its internal practices.“Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open internet,” Thune said.[Reuters]last_img read more

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Microsoft launches Whos in iMessage App for Groups to Collaborate Plans

first_imgAdvertisement Microsoft has announced the release of a new app for Apple’s iMessage platform, giving users tools to plan events with friends via the messaging app.Inside the App, “Who’s In,” activities are divided into different categories. You can select options for “Eat and Drink,” or “Visit an attraction,” or even create your own event option. The app uses the Bing search engine to find suggestions of things to do in your area.Once an event has been selected, you can then enter details like location, name and choose a couple different time options. A custom card for the event is then created which you can then text to your entire group. Instead of having to deal with all the back-and-forth of what time and place works best for everyone, recipients just vote in the app. – Advertisement – The app is for iMessage only, meaning there isn’t standalone iPhone app functionality.This isn’t Microsoft’s first iMessage app either. The company released iMessage apps for OneDrive, Yammer and Bing last year, plus a sticker pack for Halo players.Credit: Cult Of Maclast_img read more

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Welcome to the House Of Fun

first_imgKiss Mix Handicap Sandown 8.50TIME: 8.50pm, RUKMADNESS NIGHT AT SANDOWNWelcome to the House Of FunIt’s going to be madness at Sandown tonight in more ways than one.A huge crowd is guaranteed at the Esher track with the ever popular Madness playing after racing.But before that the madness of trying to find a winner.Small fields are the order of the night (and the week it seems, have you seen the Leicester card tomorrow ?).Hardly surprising the field sizes are small with the baking hot conditions.Madame Vestris will be a short price favourite for the finale but is one that I want to take on.I think the handicapper has very much erred on the side of caution with the Sir Michael Stoute trained filly who got off the mark at Leicester last time out but it was only by a neck she scrambled home by in a four runner race.She should be suited by the step in distance but looks skinny in the market.A better option might be top weight Argent Knight who is a proven performer who didn’t perform badly over this trip at Haydock last time in what looked a better race.STAR FORECAST(stake between 0.5 and 10 points)5 point win ARGENT KNIGHT (8.50 Sandown)(NO BET Tuesday)IT MUST BE LOVETo put you in the mood….last_img read more

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