ASSISTANT OPEN TEAM COACH POSITIONS

first_imgThe Australian Touch Association is seeking written applications from suitably qualified currently accredited and active Coaches to fill Assistant Coach positions with the Australian Open Mens, Womens and Mixed teams. Positions available: Mens Open Assistant Coach; Womens Open Assistant Coach; Mixed Open Assistant Coach. Potential applicants should be aware that all Open team participants will be required to pay a levy for tours. Applications for these positions close on Monday 23 February 2004 and should be forwarded to: National Technical Manager Australian Touch Association PO Box 9078 DEAKIN ACT 2600 NB: Applications should be in writing demonstrating ability to perform the duties detailed in the attached Position Descriptions. The applicant should also include a curriculum vita. National Training Squad and Talent Identification Program The Talent Identification (TID) Program and selection of the National Training Squads during 2004 is detailed below: National Training Squad (NTS) selection – National Touch League 13-17 March 2004, Coffs Harbour; NTS training camp 11-14 June 2004, Canberra; State of Origin 13-14 August 2004, Sydney; Final selection camp Australian 20s, 15 August 2004, Sydney; Australian 18 years Championships, Coffs Harbour 15-18 September; Further training camps will be negotiated with the various open coach; Attendance at the major state competitions (i.e. Sydney Champs, South East Qld League). Further inquiries may be directed to the ATA Office.last_img read more

10 months agoBarcelona defender Jeison Murillo: Bittersweet debut

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona defender Jeison Murillo: Bittersweet debutby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona defender Jeison Murillo admits losing on debut was “bittersweet”.Barca lost the first-leg of their Copa del Rey round 16 tie 2-1 at Levante.”It’s a bittersweet night,” Murillo said after the match. “The result is not the best.”We have to take advantage of Coutinho’s goal at home.”Murillo is continuing to integrate into the team and is listening closely to what Ernesto Valverde wants from him.”I’ve tried to fit into the group,” he said. “I’m taking things positively.”The coach keeps asking me to work.” last_img

Jamaican Born Civil Rights Campaigner Appointed to British House of Lords

first_imgStory Highlights Doreen Lawrence has been honoured by the Jamaican High Commission in London. Noted Jamaican-born civil rights campaigner, Doreen Lawrence, who was recently appointed to the British House of Lords, has been honoured by the Jamaican High Commission in London.The United Kingdom’s (UK) Home Secretary, Theresa May, was among the special guests at a reception hosted on Monday, October 21, by Her Excellency, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba.Mrs. Lawrence took her seat as Labour member of the Upper House earlier this month, using the title Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon in the Commonwealth Realm of Jamaica.She is the mother of Stephen Lawrence, a British teenager, who was murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993. Her tireless fight for justice for her son, has promoted reforms of the police service. She has also founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.Mrs. Lawrence said that she was overwhelmed by the honour. “It has been overwhelming. My work was not to get me to here. It was for my son, for my family. I wanted the world to recognise what we were going through,” she said.She said she sees her role in the House of Lords as being the voice of ordinary people.High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba congratulated Mrs. Lawrence on her elevation to the House of Lords.“We are very proud that she is now Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon in the Commonwealth Realm of Jamaica.  It is the parish of her birth in Jamaica and where Stephen is buried. I am told it is rare for this honour to be named after a location in a Commonwealth realm or other country outside of the United Kingdom,” the High Commissioner said.High Commissioner Assamba said the honour was a fitting testament to Baroness Lawrence’s resolute campaign, bravery and commitment to getting justice for Stephen. She is the mother of Stephen Lawrence, a British teenager, who was murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993. Mrs. Lawrence took her seat as Labour member of the Upper House earlier this month.last_img read more

Slow start turns into blowout for Ohio State Buckeyes beat Tulsa 483

OSU junior Jalyn Holmes embraces a teammate after a play against Tulsa on Sept. 10, 2016. OSU won 48-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorOhio State football fans came into Saturday’s matchup against Tulsa with high hopes after the team’s drubbing of Bowling Green last week. Buckeye fans saw a much different game in the first half from their team against the Golden Hurricane, but OSU was too much to handle in the second half, winning 48-3.Things could not have started better for the Buckeyes, as the first pass from Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans was tipped at the line, and intercepted by redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore.A short field did not help OSU find the endzone early. After two failed run plays, a pass from redshirt junior J.T. Barrett intended for redshirt sophomore Noah Brown was swatted away, forcing the Buckeyes to trot out their field goal unit.After senior kicker Tyler Durbin gave OSU a 3-0 lead, the game fell into a defensive stalemate. Sloppy offensive play and little movement by either team’s offensive units kept things close throughout the first quarter.“The offensive line gets a lot of praise around,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said. “Also, when things aren’t going well, it’s probably because we’re not playing up to our expectation level.”Coming off a stellar game against San Jose State, Tulsa junior running back D’Angelo Brewer found wide-open running lanes for much of the first half, slashing through the Buckeyes front seven for 47 first-half yards.The absence of redshirt junior Tracy Sprinkle was apparent for the Buckeyes. A distinct lack of push along the defensive line allowed Evans to remain in the pocket and create space for Brewer to pick up multiple first downs.“The loss of Tracy Sprinkle…it set us back a bit because he’s such a great leader and a great player,” OSU redshirt sophomore defensive end Sam Hubbard said. “These young guys had a good day and stepped up.”Hubbard also said he was pleased with the play of redshirt freshman Davon Hamilton and redshirt freshman Dre’Mont Jones, who are filling in for the injured Sprinkle. Combined, the two players picked up three tackles.OSU redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett struggled to connect with receivers, completing eight passes on 14 attempts and only racking up 69 yards. His biggest target of the first half, redshirt sophomore Terry McLaurin, had a 16-yard catch, which was the longest reception of the first half.Without much of an offensive attack, the Silver Bullets stepped up in a big way, picking off Evans three times in the first half, two of which were returned for touchdowns.Redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker’s interception was good enough for a 26-yard return, putting the Buckeyes up 13-3.Redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore picked off two first half passes, returning one all the way back for a score with less than a minute left in the half.“This was my first pick six ever; I was excited to just get out there,” Lattimore said. “I had some blockers in front of me, so they really helped me out, too.”A delay for inclement weather lasted from 5:25 p.m. until 6:35 p.m., as lightning was spotted multiple times near the stadium during the pause in play. The halftime show was cancelled, and many OSU fans left the stadium during the hour-long storm.However, the Buckeyes were a different team in the second half, leaning heavily on the legs of junior H-back Curtis Samuel.On the initial drive of the second half, Samuel busted off a few double-digit yardage runs, and set a key block that opened a lane for Barrett to break the goal line. The touchdown marked Barrett’s second rushing touchdown of the season.The hour-long break seemed to create a spark for OSU on both sides of the ball, with the Buckeyes preventing Tulsa from scoring during the second half. Evans threw his fourth interception on the day, and once again failed to find paydirt.Opposing offenses have struggled against OSU so far this season, with the Buckeyes defense having yet to surrender a touchdown to another team’s offense.Weber was the leading rusher of the day for OSU, carrying the ball 17 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. Barrett finished the day with a statline of 14 for 22 and 149 yards, with no passing touchdowns and two rushing scores.“I thought the best thing he did is he hit the hole hard, he ran hard, but he also hung on that ball,” Meyer said. “It’s night and day compared to who he was a year ago.”Samuel came back to Earth a bit after racking up 261 all-purpose yards last Saturday, failing to find the endzone after scoring three times against Bowling Green. He still managed to gain 140 total yards, much of which came in the second half.Senior H-back Dontre Wilson picked up a late touchdown run, which was his first rushing touchdown of the year.The wide receiver’s play for OSU was heavily criticized by Meyer last week, and there was little in terms of improvement by the unit. Wideouts for the Buckeyes combined for five receptions, 49 yards and no scores.The Buckeyes face a tough test next week in Norman, Oklahoma, against the Sooners. 14th-ranked Oklahoma lost in its first week against then-No. 15 Houston, taking a hit to its ranking. Both OSU and Oklahoma will be looking for a win to remain prominent in the national picture.The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium next Saturday.This article has been amended by quotes following the post-game conference. read more

Football Torrance Gibson signs letter of intent with junior college

Former OSU redshirt freshman wide receiver Torrance Gibson (6) carries the ball after a reception during the first half of the spring game. Credit: Alexa MavrogianisOhio State wide receiver Torrance Gibson’s future in Columbus was uncertain following his semester-long suspension before the team began its 2016 season in September. On Tuesday, Gibson expressed his desire to play elsewhere, at least for the near future.Gibson signed a letter of intent with junior-college program Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. A press release sent from a team’s spokesman said Gibson will enroll in the spring.Although Gibson’s signing does show his interest in playing for the Bulldogs, the letter of intent is not binding, meaning he can continue to search for other options, like from other Division I schools. Gibson is eligible to play in 2017 for MGCCC, but would have to sit out a full season if he were to transfer to another Division I school.Gibson, a native of Plantation, Florida, attended American Heritage School and was a member of the 2015 recruiting class. He came out of high school as a four-star dual-threat quarterback and rated the No. 6 athlete in the class by 247Sports.Gibson redshirted his first year at OSU while undergoing a change from quarterback to wide receiver. Gibson shined in the 2016 spring game, scoring twice. OSU coach Urban Meyer said that the wide receiver was “in the mix” for playing time this year before his suspension.“We are looking forward to having Torrance join our football program,” MGCCC coach Chad Huff said in a press release. “We are confident in his abilities on the field and his character off the field, and we expect him to contribute to our team and the Gulf Coast community.Gibson is expected to play quarterback at MGCCC. He made the switch to receiver with OSU after an already deep group at signal caller forced him to make a change.Editor’s Note 12/13: Gibson’s high school has been corrected to American Heritage School. The Lantern originally published that Gibson attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School. read more

3 Reasons Why Privacy Matters to Your Business Your Brand and Your

first_imgMay 9, 2017 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals The FCC, Congress and the Trump Administration recently reversed proposed rules curtailing internet providers from gathering and selling sensitive customer data to marketers. This new freedom that allows companies like Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink to enjoy the same data access as internet giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter has increased concern among Americans around internet privacy. What is the impact on entrepreneurs and businesses?Here are three serious considerations:Privacy matters to your customers.Consumers have become increasingly connected and are constantly sharing information online. They are researching, purchasing and using online products and services, via any number of connected devices. They are also opting in to share their preferences as part of interactions on social media and search sites. All of this customer data is being collected by device manufacturers, desktop and mobile apps, internet providers and mobile operators for their own purposes or to sell to other businesses.Related: The Weirdest Things People Agree to in Terms of ServiceIn many cases, consumers are happy to share information like photos, opinions and locations over Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. But, when it comes to other, often highly personal aspects of their life — health, wealth and family — they are more protective.According to a recent survey conducted by my company, AnchorFree, a staggering majority of Americans — 95 percent — are concerned about businesses collecting and selling personal information without permission. Additionally, over 80 percent are more concerned about their online privacy and security today than a year ago.This means that your customers are thinking about privacy when they visit your website, use your app, and purchase your products and services. What are you doing to demonstrate to your customers that their privacy is important to your company?Privacy matters to your brand.Most businesses today are connected to other business partners in our highly interdependent world commerce. Businesses may be using a hosted webstore, a separate email marketing provider and a different website hosting operation. All of them deploy different ways of dealing with customer’s information.The same goes for other business partners, like affiliate marketing and associations. When businesses offer or receive customer referrals, that information is coming and going and potentially exposed and treated differently by each entity.Related: How to Protect Your Internet Browsing Data (Since It’s for Sale Now)This distributed approach to information exposure means businesses need to think more broadly and deeply about privacy. Privacy isn’t just a few paragraphs that are buried deep in a terms and conditions of use page in your website. Privacy is embedded in everyday interactions with customers. Privacy is something that can impact a brand, disrupt the customer experience and potentially damage a company’s reputation.According to a Harvard Business Review study, 72 percent of Americans are reluctant to share information with businesses because they “just want to maintain [their] privacy.” And Deloitte, as a part of a study about consumer trust and data protection, explains that data privacy and security is not just a risk management issue, but a “potential source of competitive advantage that may be a central component of brand-building and corporate reputation.”Privacy should be a product issue, not just a policy issue. Protecting user privacy will enable you to drive more revenue and gain more customers.Privacy matters to the growth of your business.Safeguarding customer privacy is more than a protective measure; it is also a strategic opportunity for brand growth and a potential business opportunity for startups and entrepreneurs, as well as large companies.Now that the Administration and Congress are clearing the way for ISPs to collect and sell customer information, more than half of Americans are saying they will investigate additional ways to safeguard their personal information, according to the survey.Related: How Do Google, Apple and Others Stack Up When It Comes to Protecting Your Privacy?Much of that concern may stem from the increased number of connected technology devices that contain personal information. Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 8.4 billion connected devices — everything from phones to new household devices swept into the internet of things market —  will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020.This increase in connected devices, combined with the increasing consumer concern around security and privacy breaches, will further drive the already substantial market opportunity around privacy. While the previous billion-user companies like Google and Facebook have been built on collecting data, it’s projected that the next billion user companies are going to be built around protecting user data.Entrepreneurs and startups have an opportunity to build new business as a result of this emerging reorientation around privacy and trust. Business opportunities will surface around privacy platforms and services for businesses and consumers.Related: 4 Reasons Why You Need Developers With Cybersecurity Skills in All Your Tech TeamsDemonstrate your commitment to customer privacy.There are steps that any business can take to incorporate best practices for protecting customer’s information. First and foremost, start incorporating privacy into your products, not just into your privacy policy.To show that your business takes privacy seriously, provide customers with tips on safeguarding their own privacy when conducting business, such as:Change passwords often and use complex passwords.Use two-step authentication for critical logins like financial or health data.Check privacy settings on key apps.Integrate VPN for privacy protection right into your app.These steps and considerations will go a long way in protecting customers’ privacy as well as protecting your business.last_img read more

Polish pay TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat is adding in

first_imgPolish pay TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat is adding insurance products to the range of services it sells to customers.Cyfrowy Polsat and mobile sister company Plus have teamed up with Sopot-based Polish insurance group Ergo Hestia to offer car, home or travel insurance via their respective points of sale.The TV group and Ergo Hestia will offer JA+ Insurance, a package of products designed by the insurance outfit for new customers of both Cyfrowy Polsat and Plus.Cyfrowy Polsat already offers electricity supply as part of its product portfolio alongside pay TV, fixed and mobile internet and mobile telephony. The insurance product will sit with other products in SmartDOM offering.Ergo Hestia’s main shareholder is Ergo Versicherungsgruppe, part of Munich Re.last_img

AE Networks is looking to grow its presence in So

first_imgA+E Networks is looking to grow its presence in South Korea, launching History and Lifetime in the region as well as setting out further production and distribution goals.A+E execs announced that the launch of A+E channels History and Lifetime in South Korea today and described intentions to invest further in the region through local production opportunities.Original productions will feature prominently across the two channels and the company announced an initial slate of original content, which will premiere between this month and March 2018.A+E has also signed an agreement with Korean talent management and production company iHQ, in which it owns a stake, for format development. The partnership aims to sell and distribute projects in the global market.Two projects, Man vs. Child and Alone, have already been shortlisted and aim to begin production by the end of the year through the partnership. A+E joined the ranks of iHQ’s shareholders in March this year.Content produced in Korea will be represented by A+E for global distribution of both original content and remake opportunities, which the company says will contribute significantly to the promotion of Korean content worldwide.A+E will also look to collaborate with local studios and further reinforce South Korea’s position as a global hub for media content.Youngsun Soh, general manager of A+E Networks Korea said, “A+E’s venture into the Korean market is particularly meaningful in that it is the first case in which a global media company not only operates channels in Korea, but also invests directly in the content production and distribution as well.“We expect that the cooperative work between Korea and A+E, which has a global network, will have a positive influence on local companies including platform companies and content production agencies, in their expansion to the global market.”last_img read more

Marijuana it seems is not a performanceenhancin

first_imgMarijuana, it seems, is not a performance-enhancing drug. That is, at least, not among young people, and not when the activity is learning.A study published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry finds that when adolescents stop using marijuana – even for just one week – their verbal learning and memory improves. The study contributes to growing evidence that marijuana use in adolescents is associated with reduced neurocognitive functioning.More than 14 percent of middle and high school students reported using marijuana within the last month, finds a National Institutes of Health survey conducted in 2017. And marijuana use has increased among high schoolers over the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. At the same time, the percentage of teens who believe that regular marijuana use poses a great risk to their health has dropped sharply since the mid-2000s. And, legalization of marijuana may play a part in shaping how young people think about the drug. One study noted that after 2012, when marijuana was legalized in Washington state, the number of eighth graders there that believed marijuana posed risks to their health dropped by 14 percent. Researchers are particularly concerned with use of marijuana among the young because THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, most sharply affects the parts of the brain that develop during adolescence.”The adolescent brain is undergoing significant neurodevelopment well into the 20s, and the regions that are last to develop are those regions that are most populated by cannabis receptors, and are also very critical to cognitive functioning,” says Randi Schuster. Schuster is the director of Neuropsychology at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Addiction Medicine, and the study’s lead author.Schuster and the team of researchers set out to determine if cognitive functions that are potentially harmed by marijuana use in adolescents – particularly attention and memory – improve when they abstain from marijuana.They recruited 88 pot-using teens and young adults, ages 16 to 25, and got some of them to agree to stop smoking (or otherwise consuming) marijuana for the month. Schuster says the researchers wanted to recruit a range of participants, not just heavy users or those in a treatment program, for example. Some of the young people smoked once per week; some smoked nearly daily. The researchers randomly assigned the volunteers into an abstaining group and a non-abstaining group. They delivered the bad news to those chosen to be abstainers at the end of their first visit, and Shuster says, they took it surprisingly well.”People were generally fine,” she says. “We kind of went through what the next month would look like and helped them come up with strategies for staying abstinent.”One motivation for the non-tokers to stick with the program? They received increasing amounts of money each week of the month-long study.The researchers urine tested both groups on a weekly basis to make sure that the THC levels for the abstinent group were going down, but that the levels for the control group were staying consistent as they continued using.Also at each visit, the participants completed a variety of tasks testing their attention and memory through the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, a validated cognitive assessment tool. The researchers found that after four weeks, there was no noticeable difference in attention scores between the marijuana users and the non-users. But, the memory scores of the non-users improved, whereas the users’ memories mostly stayed the same.The verbal memory test challenged participants to learn and recall new words, which “lets us look both at their ability to learn information the first time the words were presented, as well as the number of words that they’re able to retrieve from long-term memory storage after a delay,” Schuster says.Verbal memory is particularly relevant for adolescents and young adults when they’re in the classroom, says Schuster.”For an adolescent sitting in their history class learning new facts for the first time, we’re suspecting that active cannabis users might have a difficult time putting that new information into their long-term memory,” Schuster says.While this study didn’t prove that abstaining from cannabis improves adolescents’ attention, other studies have found that marijuana users fare worse in attention tests than non-users. Schusters hypothesizes it might take more than four weeks of abstinence for attention levels to improve.Interestingly, most of the memory improvement for the abstinent group happened during the first week of the study, which leaves the researchers feeling hopeful.”We were pleasantly surprised to see that at least some of the deficits that we think may be caused by cannabis appear to be reversible, and at least some of them are quickly reversible, which is good news,” Schuster says.One weakness of this study is its lack of a non-marijuana-using control group, says Krista Lisdahl, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee who was not involved with the study, but also researches the neuroscience of addiction. Because of this, it’s difficult to conclude whether the improvements in memory brought the participants back to their baseline levels prior to using marijuana.Also, because the study lasted only four weeks, it’s impossible to draw conclusions about the long term effects of marijuana usage for young people, such as how marijuana directly affects academic performance or sleep patterns or mood.Lisdahl says that longitudinal studies like the NIH’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, could provide more information about what marijuana does to the adolescent brain. It might also reveal what happens if adolescents stop using marijuana, and if their brain functioning can completely recover.Lisdahl is helping with the NIH study, which has, to date, enrolled over 11,000 children ages nine and 10, and will follow them over into young adulthood. It’s the largest long-term research study on child brain development in the U.S., and it assesses how everything from screen time to concussions to drugs affect adolescents’ brains.In the meantime, Lisdahl says the findings from the new study – that abstinence from marijuana is associated with improvements in adolescents’ learning and memory – sends a positive message.”I remain optimistic that we can show recovery of function with sustained abstinence,” she says.Rachel D. Cohen is an intern on NPR’s Science Desk. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Updated July 19 at 1225 pm ETMark Morgan actin

first_imgUpdated July 19 at 12:25 p.m. ETMark Morgan, acting head of Customs and Border Protection, said on Thursday that his agency is rolling out the Trump administration’s new asylum rule as a small “pilot” for now but that officials expect it to be blocked in court.The rule is a major change in U.S. asylum law. It effectively denies asylum protection to most migrants arriving at the Southern border unless they first apply in a country they passed through on the way.”Although the new federal regulation allows us to apply that all 2,000 miles along the Southwest border, we’re not going to do that. We’re really piloting it in just one location,” Morgan said during an interview on All Things Considered.In a statement on Friday, Morgan said that he was not referring to implementation of the new rule “as a whole.” He said the rule applies to all migrants who didn’t previously apply for asylum in another country but for now his agency is only putting it into place in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas at two CBP stations.”That location is briefed, and they know what to do and how to do that now,” he said. “It’s very limited,” he said.Morgan said he doesn’t expect the policy to be in place for long.”We’re actually anticipating the … regulation will be enjoined. And then we’ll have to go from there, as unfortunately, many times, this happens,” Morgan said.Two federal lawsuits that have been filed in California and Washington, D.C.Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union’s immigrant rights project said the administration hadn’t presented the rule as limited in court where the rule is being challenged.”It may be that the government is backtracking given the plain illegality of the rule. But whether it applies across the southern border or only in two places, it will cause serious harm and we will continue to challenge the new rule,” Gelernt said.U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, whose officers interview asylum seekers, did not respond to requests for comment. That agency issued guidance earlier this week, saying the rule applies to migrants who cross the southern border and took effect Tuesday.Morgan, who has been on the job for two weeks after spending just a month as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also addressed an internal CBP investigation into a private Border Patrol Facebook group that circulated obscene images of Democrats in Congress and ridiculed people who have crossed the border illegally. “It was horrendous,” Morgan said.”Some of the images that were out there, absolutely horrendous, wrong and not consistent with the way CBP, or specifically, Border Patrol conducts themselves.””We’re going to hold these people responsible,” Morgan said, adding that offenders could face criminal charges.”I don’t know whether the actions will satisfy any of the elements of criminal charges, but that has been talked about just to show how serious we’re taking that,” Morgan said.Nearly all high-level immigration officials at the Department of Homeland Security are serving in an acting capacity. Morgan acknowledged “that any time you have turnover, there is some impact.”But he said it doesn’t affect his job.”We do the same job, we have the same authority, same responsibilities whether acting is in front of our name or not. I don’t wake up the morning changing anything I do because I have ‘acting’ in front of my name,” he said.On Thursday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testified to Congress that there has been a 28% drop in the number of migrants taken into custody at the Southern border in the last month.Morgan credited Mexico for helping to slow the flow of migrants.”The support that they’ve shown now in the recent couple of weeks is unprecedented. And we’re seeing it there. They’re … tightening up their Southern border. They’re sending more troops to the U.S. Mexico border. And it’s definitely having an impact,” Morgan said. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Levels of satisfaction among claimants of the gove

first_imgLevels of satisfaction among claimants of the government’s new disability benefit are far lower than for other benefits, according to new Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures.The survey found that only two-thirds (68 per cent) of personal independence payment (PIP) claimants were satisfied with the service they received from DWP, compared with an average of 82 per cent across all 10 benefits surveyed.The report covered the period from summer 2014 to summer 2015.PIP, which is gradually replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA), has been mired in controversy, delays and backlogs ever since its launch in April 2013.Government documents have previously estimated that the number of working-age claimants would be cut by as much as 28 per cent by 2018, with 900,000 fewer people receiving PIP than if DLA had not been replaced.Some disabled people had to wait more than a year just to be assessed, while Atos – one of two government contractors carrying out the assessments – had to fend off claims that it misled the government over how many assessment centres it would provide across London and the south of England.And earlier this month, research by Caroline Richardson, Stef Benstead and Emma Nock for the user-led Spartacus online network concluded that DWP had failed to provide “adequate” or “robust” evidence to justify changes set to tighten eligibility for PIP, through changes to how assessments take account of the way a claimant uses independent living aids and appliances.In the survey, one in five PIP claimants (19 per cent) believed they had received incorrect or contradictory information, while only two-thirds (69 per cent) said that DWP had done what it had said it would do (compared with an average of 87 per cent across all 10 benefits).And more than a quarter (26 per cent) of PIP claimants reported some difficulties or problems in their dealings with DWP, compared to 12 per cent overall, and as low as four per cent for attendance allowance and five per cent for state pension claimants.Overall levels of satisfaction were lower and levels of dissatisfaction were higher for PIP than for any of the other nine benefits.But there was some good news for DWP, as the survey showed that, for each of the 10 benefits, more than 90 per cent of staff encountered in person were polite.For all but three of the benefits, this level of satisfaction was at least 96 per cent, while for PIP it was 97 per cent, although based on a sample size of just 38.The report, commissioned by DWP, concluded that PIP claimants were “more likely to report their calls left unanswered; explanations of decisions inadequate; information incorrect or contradictory; timings unclear; and progress updates lacking”.A DWP spokeswoman said: “The survey results show the significant progress made since the PIP rollout began in 2013.“The vast majority of claimants have been satisfied with the service they were provided with, but we’re not complacent and are making improvements.“Crucially, PIP decisions are now made in 11 weeks – three times faster than in January 2014.“Since the introduction of PIP we have continued to make improvements to the system.“We accepted the majority of the recommendations of the first independent review of PIP, carried out by Paul Gray, and have also recently changed the process for providing support to terminally-ill people, meaning they now receive their payments at an earlier point than ever before.”last_img read more

VoIPs SIP Explained

first_img FEATURES $300 Zultys Technologies ZIP 2×2 Put a sip in your setup, and take your telephones to a whole new level. –shares www.avaya.com (866) GO-AVAYA Grandstream Networks GXP-2000 PoE, speakerphone, call encryption $230 4 min read Add to Queue The analog phone may soon be relegated to the world of 8-tracks and brick-size cell phones. When you look at moving up to VoIP, those old desk clunkers will be the first to go. In their place, you’ll get something new, and there’s a good chance it will be a SIP phone. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol, a signaling protocol that establishes sessions in an IP network. A session may be a simple two-way voice call, or it might be something more advanced, involving conferencing or multimedia. Most important, it’s become a hot choice for VoIP systems.One nice feature of SIP is interoperability. You’re not necessarily tied to one vendor. You could install a SIP-based IP PBX from one vendor and SIP phones from another. That’s good news for growing businesses that already have an IP-PBX system and are looking to upgrade or expand their stables of desk phones. You have a wide variety of choices, so you can shop for features, voice quality and price.What’s really glamorous about SIP is that all its extra feature potential makes your standard, plain-old-telephone-service phones look like old appliances. We’re talking about unified messaging, click-to-call and teleconferencing, among other features. Chances are, you can find one to fit all your business needs.The Zultys Technologies ZIP 2×2, a $230 (all prices street) upper-midrange phone in their line, features two Ethernet ports, Power over Ethernet and three-way teleconferencing. The phone also sports advanced encryption standard, a good idea for sensitive conversations and for entrepreneurs working in the legal field.The $280 Cisco 7940G comes stocked with a large display, a built-in headset port and a speakerphone. Cisco aims this particular phone at “transaction type” workers, and it comes with two programmable line and feature keys. In the same price range, the $300 Siemens OptiPoint 410 Standard also comes with PoE, a speakerphone and a built-in LAN switch.In the budget range, the Grandstream Networks GXP-2000 comes in at a very affordable $110. You still get two Ethernet ports and multiparty conferencing, and you can add PoE with an optional cable kit. The Avaya 4602SW IP Telephone, on the other hand, lands in the middle of our price range at $170, with 12 programmable call appearance/feature keys, two Ethernet ports and a speakerphone. All the major SIP phone manufacturers have a variety of models, with differences coming down to features like display size, ability to customize and number of call appearances.Other considerations include whether you prefer physical buttons to access most features or don’t mind scrolling through a display menu. Voice quality is always a top priority, so look for phones with good jitter-buffer technology. Also, if you have Cisco equipment and want to use PoE, be sure the SIP phones you buy support Cisco’s pre-standard proprietary version of PoE.Other manufacturers to check into include Alcatel, Nortel Networks, Polycom, Snom Technologyand Tiger Netcom. Some IP phone manufacturers are planning to make SIP upgrades to some of their existing phones via a firmware update. Talk to your IT consultant or value-added reseller and fellow business owners for information and recommendations. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand PoE, speakerphone, built-in LAN switch CONTACT ETHERNET PORTS New SIP-based VoIP phones will keep you chatting on the cutting edge. 2 Avaya 4602SW IP Telephone Amanda C. Kooser Shopping List 2 $170 2 Next Article MANUFACTURER/ MODEL 2 Magazine Contributor PoE, speakerphone, built-in headset port www.grandstream.com October 1, 2005 PoE, speakerphone 2 www.cisco.com (800) 553-NETS www.siemens.com (800) SIEMENS $110 Siemens OptiPoint 410 Standard $280 www.zultys.com (408) 328-0450 Technology Cisco 7940G STREET PRICE PoE, speakerphone, built-in headset port VoIP’s SIP Explained This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Heres How the New Overtime Rules Will Affect Entrepreneurs

first_imgOvertime May 18, 2016 Add to Queue –shares Jonathan Segal 5 min read Image credit: Hero Images | Getty Images Guest Writer Here’s How the New Overtime Rules Will Affect Entrepreneurscenter_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Partner in Employment Practice Group of Duane Morris Next Article The federal Department of Labor today published its final overtime rules but, before you say or write anything about the final regulations, please take a deep breath.The first thing to know is that for an employee ordinarily must meet three requirements to be exempt from receiving overtime under one of the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, professional, etc.).1. Minimum salary.The current minimum salary is $455/week. The DOL had proposed increasing the minimum salary to what would have been over $50,000 per year. The DOL pulled back slightly in its final rules; the new minimum salary will be $46,475 per year or $913.00 per week. Yes, that is more than double what it was in 2004.In addition, the minimum salary will increase every three years. Initially, the DOL had proposed annual increases.2. Salary basis.The employee must be paid on a salary, not hourly, basis. This means:limited deductions are permitted for absences.no deductions may be made based on quantity or quality of work.One important change to the salary basis test: employers (for the first time) may use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the substantially-higher minimum salary.3. Duties test.The employee’s primary duty must be exempt. Under current regulations, this is quantitative. Primary means the principal, major or most important. The DOL did not propose any specific changes to primary duty test. But it did ask a lot questions, suggesting that it would consider adopting a (harder-to-meet) percentage test.Ultimately, the DOL did not change the primary duty test. With this background here are some do’s and don’ts for adjusting to the new regulations:Do keep legal challenges in mind when analyzing positions.When you evaluate or re-evaluate some positions in terms of their duties, some will fall into the legal gray. Be careful of self-analysis that may be discoverable and hurt you in the event of a legal challenge.I get it. Labor costs may soar as a result of the new regulations but do not create “smoking guns” that will hurt you in court. Be careful of what you say or write. You don’t want to explain in court what you meant when you emailed “These regulations will kill us! We can’t increase salaries or pay overtime!”Those emails will kill you in court, so think before you click “send.”The scope of the attorney-client privilege is deceptively complex. Without getting into the legal weeds, talk with your lawyer about how to structure the collection and analysis of data to minimize its discoverability. By the way, sending a “cc” to your lawyer does not make the communication privileged from discovery. It simply makes your lawyer a potential witness. Delightful.Lastly, this is a federal regulation but don’t forget state law. Employees get the benefit of whichever is more favorable.Related: Do You Have a Plan to Survive the Proposed Overtime Rules?Don’t immediately increase salaries above the ceiling.You may be able to meet the minimum salary now. But will you be able to keep up as number goes up? Employee relations considerations come into play if you later convert the employee’s status to non-exempt. Plus, the cost of overtime may go up, discussed in more detail below.Do carefully evaluate cost of retaining employees “as exempt.”As noted earlier, the minimum salary will go up every three years. What if you can’t keep up? If you convert an employee later to non-exempt because of the minimum salary increases or the position is found to be non-exempt based on a legal challenge, your overtime costs will be based on a higher base rate. Here is an example to demonstrate the point:Assume an exempt employee currently makes $800 per week — $20 per hour times 40 hours. If her rate is not increased and she is converted to non-exempt now, her overtime rate will be $30 per hour. Assume you raise that employee’s salary to the current minimum of $913 per week to keep her exempt from overtime, but further estimate that in six years the minimum salary is $1,200 per week. Money is tight so you convert the employee to non-exempt. Her hourly rate is $30.00, so that the overtime rate now is $45.00 per hour.The cost of overtime soars.Related: Should You Pay Employees an Hourly Wage or a Salary?Keep employee relations top-of-mind.Hourly employees do not have the same flexibility as exempt employees. Most exempt employees have discretion over when and where they work, so long as they get the job done. Convert them to non-exempt and that flexibility goes away. Employers must consider this, and other employee relations considerations, before converting an employee from exempt to non-exempt.Do proceed cautiously.The new rules do not go into effect until Dec 1. You have time to plan thoughtfully, so do just that. Do not rush!.Start thinking….now.This blog is not legal advice. Register Now »last_img read more

PartnerCentric Honored As Bronze Stevie Award Winner in 2019 American Business Awards

first_imgPartnerCentric Honored As Bronze Stevie Award Winner in 2019 American Business Awards PRNewswireMay 9, 2019, 7:35 pmMay 9, 2019 PartnerCentric, a leading performance marketing agency delivering premium and tailored program management and optimization, announced that it has been named the winner of a Bronze Stevie Award in the Online Marketing Campaign of the Year category in The 17th Annual American Business Awards. This award was granted to PartnerCentric for the company’s innovative performance marketing campaign run on behalf of a leading retailer of specialty and import goods.“PartnerCentric is committed to employing creative problem-solving strategies and innovative technology to connect clients with the best partners for their business,” said Stephanie Harris, Owner and CEO, PartnerCentric. “We’re honored to receive this recognition and look forward to sharing it with our partners as we continue to drive successful campaigns beyond the borders of traditional constraints and industry limitations.”Marketing Technology News: Madison Logic Unveils New Data Cloud to Accelerate ABM for B2B Organizations GloballyMore than 3,800 nominations from organizations across industries were submitted for multiple categories, including Startup of the Year, Executive of the Year and App of the Year, among others. Honoring organizations of all sizes, the Stevie Awards recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.“The nominations submitted to The 2019 American Business Awards were outstanding. They illustrate the continued vibrancy of innovation and high level of achievement across the American economic landscape,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.Marketing Technology News: Persistent Systems Joins Siemens’ MindSphere Partner Program to Bring Industrial IoT Solutions to MarketPartnerCentric, Inc. is the largest woman-owned (WBE certified) and fully-remote performance marketing agency in the industry and we exist to build meaningful relationships beyond borders. Our team, comprised of proven industry veterans and strategists utilizes proprietary technology and innovative, strategic management to drive the highest ROI for some of the world’s most respected brands. Our premium management ensures that we are 100% funded by happy customers and our clients are supported by the most tenured account managers in the industry, with an average of over 10 years of experience.Marketing Technology News: Amazon or Alibaba: Freedonia Compares These Global E-Commerce Leaders Bronze Stevie AwardMarketing TechnologyNewsOnline Marketing CampaignPartnerCentricStephanie Harris Previous ArticleRhythmOne Releases Full-Year 2018 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks ReportNext ArticleUberflip Named a Contender in Content Marketing Platforms for B2B Marketers for the First Time by Independent Research Firmlast_img read more

IU Philanthropic Venture Fund commits to invest 500000 to NERx Biosciences company

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 1 2018The Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund, which provides capital to faculty, students, alumni and staff at all IU campuses to help them further develop their research and innovations into startup companies, has committed to invest $500,000 in Indianapolis-based NERx Biosciences Inc. as part of a $2.2 million bridge round.The company discovers and develops targeted therapeutics for cancer treatment. John J. Turchi founded the company and serves as president and chief scientific officer. He is also the Tom and Julie Wood Family Foundation Professor of Lung Cancer Research and a professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine and the IU Simon Cancer Center.Related StoriesNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsKatherine Pawelczak, the company’s vice president for research, is optimistic about NERx’s first-in-class targeted agent.”This drug shows robust, single-agent, anti-cancer activity. Additionally, it has been designed to work with and enhance existing therapeutic regimens to provide effective combination therapy,” she said. “NERx is positioned to lead the first-in-class and first-in-human clinical trials with this novel agent.”Pawelczak said the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund investment will assist NERx in further developing the agent.”The investment, combined with additional funds we have raised, will allow NERx to complete the preparation of a preclinical data package to support an Investigational New Drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” she said.NERx Biosciences has received more than $1.2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, including the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of General Medical Sciences. It has also received $150,000 in matching funds from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and Elevate Ventures.Teri Willey, manager of the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund and managing director of the IU Research and Technology Corp., said the fund is pleased to work with the NERx Biosciences team.”NERx is developing small molecules for cancers that do not respond to current approaches, including immune therapy,” she said. “The company is now in position to expand its team to address the risks in clinical development and corporate partnering, and we are glad to be supporting them in doing so.” Source:https://news.iu.edu/stories/2018/10/iu/releases/30-philanthropic-venture-fund-nerx-investment-drug-development.htmllast_img read more

Precision medicinebased approach to slow or reverse biologic drivers of Alzheimers disease

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 14 2018Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition in which individuals exhibit memory loss, dementia, and impaired metabolism. Nearly all previous single-domain studies to treat AD have failed, likely because it is a complex disease with multiple underlying drivers contributing to risk, onset, and progression. Keine et al. explored the efficacy of a multidomain therapy approach based on the disease risk factor status specific to individuals with AD diagnosis or concern. Their findings indicate previously unidentified connectivity between AD risk factors, suggesting that treatment regimens should be tailored to the individual, and should be multi-modal to simultaneously return risk factors to a normative state. If successfully performed, the possibility to slow progression of AD and even reverse aspects of cognitive decline may become achievable.Keine et al. completed analysis for forty subjects with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), using novel software from uMETHOD Health. The software is designed to execute a precision-medicine-based approach to develop personalized treatment recommendations, with the goal of slowing or reversing biologic drivers of AD. AD-associated inputs encompassed genomic data, biospecimen measurements, imaging data (such as MRIs or PET scans), medical histories, medications, allergies, comorbidities, relevant lifestyle factors, and results of neuropsychology testing. Algorithms were employed to prioritize physiologic and lifestyle states with the highest probability of contributing to disease status, and these priorities were incorporated into a personalized care plan, which was delivered to physicians and supported by health coaches to increase adherence. With an average of 8.4 months on their treatment plans (equal to about 2.8 iterations of care plans), 80% of individuals in the study showed overall improved memory function scores or held steady, as measured by cognitive evaluations.Related StoriesSleep decline in one’s 50s, 60s increases risk of Alzheimer’s diseaseMachine learning can be a modern approach in cognitive brain health assessmentUAB scientists identify new target for drug intervention in Alzheimer’s diseaseIt is increasingly recognized that early intervention is key to developing an effective therapy for AD; a precision-medicine platform enables an actionable multidomain therapy for those in the early stages of the disease. Many of the underlying pathologic drivers of the disease (e.g., high homocysteine, genetic biases, insulin resistance, poor diet, poor sleep, lack of exercise, chronic inflammation, toxicity) are modifiable, allowing persons to reduce their risk and potentially delay disease onset. With a multitude of underlying drivers of AD, genetic factors, comorbidities, medications, and optimizations for each person, the amount of data used in generating a care plan quickly accumulates, making a timely process beyond the scope of what a physician can do by hand, and do well quickly. But where manual methods fail, clinical informatics platforms excel. These platforms can provide a personalized treatment method for each individual in a repeatable, predictable, and timely manner. Applying these complex treatment plans to a broader audience through the development of other disease state-specific algorithms could increase the quality of life for many in the aging population. Source:https://benthamscience.com/last_img read more

Children with birth defects have elevated cancer risk study reveals

first_imgWhile cancer risk in children with certain chromosomal defects like Down syndrome is well established, much less is known for children with birth defects where there is no known genetic cause, sometimes called non-chromosomal defects. Non-chromosomal defects, as a group, affect more children, but one of the primary challenges of understanding risk among these children is that limited sample sizes make studying specific defects, like spina bifida, more difficult.”Dr. Philip Lupo, associate professor of pediatrics – hematology oncology and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 26 2019Childhood cancer is a rare occurrence in the overall population but may be somewhat more frequent in children born with birth defects. To better understand the link between cancer risk and birth defects, a collaborative team of scientists led by Baylor College of Medicine has assembled the largest study to date to evaluate cancer risk in children with birth defects. The study appears in JAMA Oncology. The research team gathered data from birth, birth defect and cancer registries across Texas, Arkansas, Michigan and North Carolina to generate a birth cohort of more than 10 million children born between 1992 and 2013. The investigators looked at diagnoses of cancer until 18 years of age to determine differences in cancer risk between those with and without birth defects.Researchers found that, compared to children without any birth defect, children with chromosomal defects were almost 12 times more likely to develop cancer, while children with non-chromosomal defects were 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer. Additionally, children with more than one non-chromosomal defect had a corresponding increase in cancer risk.”Our two key objectives in this study were to identify children who are at an increased risk for cancer, because subsets of these children may one day benefit from screening and better clinical management, and to uncover clues as to why cancer occurs more frequently in this population,” said Dr. Jeremy Schraw, postdoctoral associate in the Section of Epidemiology and Population Sciences at Baylor. “These findings solidify our understanding of cancer risk in these children and show that we need additional research in this area.”Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeCancer types that were more frequent in children with non-chromosomal defects included hepatoblastoma and neuroblastoma.While these findings identify specific, strong associations between birth defects and cancer, Schraw said that it is important to remember that both birth defects and cancer are still rare occurrences.”This study is important in that it is the largest and most informative of its kind. The large sample size allowed us to evaluate cancer risk in children with both chromosomal versus non-chromosomal defects and revealed links between specific cancers and specific birth defects. These data can also help us to study and understand differences in outcomes down the road for children with cancer,” said Dr. Sharon Plon, professor of pediatrics – oncology and molecular and human genetics and co-director of the Pediatric Cancer Program in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor.”In the future, we hope to identify the specific genes behind these associations and systematically research what happens from the time of birth to the time of cancer onset to also understand if environmental factors may be contributing to cancer development,” Lupo said. “This study provides new understanding about biology and the mechanisms that may lead to these complex outcomes in this population.” Source:Baylor College of MedicineJournal reference:Lupo, P.J. et al. (2019) Association Between Birth Defects and Cancer Risk Among Children and Adolescents in a Population-Based Assessment of 10 Million Live Births. JAMA Oncology. doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.1215.last_img read more

Facebook adds new tools to stem online bullying

first_img The initiative calls for new tools and programs to help users control “unwanted, offensive or hurtful experiences on Facebook,” global head of safety Antigone Davis said in a blog post.”Everyone deserves to feel safe on Facebook,” Davis said.Facebook users will be able to hide or delete groups of comments, including responses, instead of having to remove them one at a time, according to Davis.The feature was rolling out on desktop computers and Android-powered mobile devices, and promised to reach versions of the application on Apple gadgets in coming months.Facebook also began letting people report bullying or harassment on behalf of friends reluctant to complain to the social network themselves.”Being the target of unwanted attention can be stressful and some people may not feel comfortable reporting a bully or harasser,” Davis said.”If you see a friend or family member being bullied or harassed, now you can report someone on their behalf.”A team at Facebook reviews complaints to determine whether reported posts violate policies at the social network.An appeals process implemented earlier this year regarding photos, videos, or posts taken down due to hateful, violent, or sexually explicit content will extend to decisions regarding bullying, according to Facebook.”You will soon be able to ask for a further review if you report a piece of content for bullying or harassment and you think we made a mistake in determining whether it violates our policies,” Davis said.Facebook is also testing ways to let users search for or block words considered offensive in comment sections of their posts. A majority of US teenagers say they have been victims of online harassment or bullying, and that social media companies aren’t doing enough to fight the problem, a recent survey showed.The Pew Research Center survey found that 59 percent of US teens reported being bullied or harassed online, and 63 percent said it was a major problem for people their age.”Name-calling and rumor-spreading have long been an unpleasant and challenging aspect of adolescent life,” said Monica Anderson, the lead researcher for the Pew report.”But, the proliferation of smartphones and the rise of social media has transformed where, when and how bullying takes place,” Facebook on Tuesday stepped up ways to battle bullying and harassment at the leading social network. Facebook says it will add new tools to help users avoid unwanted or hurtful comments, amid growing concerns about cyberbullying on social networks Online harassment a problem for many US teens: survey This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: Facebook adds new tools to stem online bullying (2018, October 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-facebook-tools-stem-online-bullying.html © 2018 AFP Explore furtherlast_img read more

Cong BJP exchange fire over attitude to Dalits

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE To Rahul’s barbs, Shah points to passage of SC/ST Bill COMMENT COMMENTS Even as the Rajya Sabha followed the Lok Sabha in passing the amended SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, members of the BJP and the Congress clashed outside Parliament on Thursday over their respective positions on Dalit rights.The amendment thus annuls a March 20 order of the Supreme Court, which banned the registration of cases and the immediate arrest of a person accused of insulting or injuring anyone belonging to SC/ST communities. The apex court had held that public servants cannot be prosecuted without the approval of the appointing authority and private citizens could be arrested only after an inquiry. It also said that a preliminary inquiry under the Act would be conducted by an officer of the level of Deputy Superintendent of Police to ensure that the allegations are not superficial.This has largely been perceived as a dilution of the original Act of 1989, aimed at protecting historically and traditionally oppressed communities against whom, according to the national crime records bureau (NCRB), a crime is committed every 15 minutes.The SC ruling on April 2 was followed by a country-wide bandh, which witnessed widespread violence claiming nine lives. On Monday, the government-sponsored amendment Bill to reverse the SC judgment, was unanimously passed in the Lok Sabha with a number of parties demanding its inclusion in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to prevent it from judicial review.On Thursday, the ruling party showcased the passage of the Bill and also the Constitution amendment Bill giving constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes as prominent achievements of the government towards ensuring the rights of oppressed communities.Simultaneously, Opposition leaders including Congress President Rahul Gandhi and the CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury joined a meeting of Dalit activists and agitators at Jantar Mantar to protest the “anti-Dalit mindset” of the ruling establishment.According to Rahul Gandhi, atrocities against the Dalits had multiplied in States ruled by the BJP, and it was a direct consequence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “anti-Dalit” mindset.“Everything starts from intent. If he (Modi) would have had place for Dalits in his heart, then policies would have been framed differently. In Gujarat, he brought out a book of his speeches in which he wrote that Dalits get spiritual satisfaction out of cleaning. These lines throw light on his thinking and ideology,” the Congress chief said.Rahul’s utterances found a sharp rebuttal from BJP President Amit Shah, who, making a reference to the Congress President’s speech in the Lok Sabha during the recent no-confidence motion against the government, advised him to “look at facts when he is free from winking”.In a series of tweets, Shah scoffed at Rahul and asserted that the NDA government had ensured the strongest amendment to the SC/ST Act. The BJP President wondered why his Congress counterpart was “protesting” the passage of a Bill that sought to protect the Dalits. parliamentcenter_img parties and movements Published on politics Joining forces Congress President Rahul Gandhi with CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury during a protest over the SC/ST Bill in New Delhi on Thursday RV MOORTHY   –  The Hindu August 09, 2018last_img read more

Its now RLDs turn to walk out of the Grand Alliance in

first_imgpolitics The grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh formally collapsed on Wednesday after the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), one of the three partners, announced that it will contest the upcoming by-polls alone. The BSP was the first to take such a decision, followed by the SP. The RLD, however, has not completely shut the doors, but said it will take a decision according to the political scenario of the State.Announcing the decision in Lucknow, party’s Uttar Pradesh president Masood Ahmad said the Congress should also be part of the Grand Alliance. “The Rashtriya Lok Dal will contest the UP Assembly by-polls on its own. However, it is too early to comment on the political scenario in the State,” he told PTI.Ahmed added that party President Ajit Singh and his son and Vice- President Jayant Chaudhary will decide on the number of seats the party will contest during a meeting in the next few days. “The profit and loss analysis will be done later. Our wish is that the gathbandhan should increase its kunbaa (clan), so that we can emerge as a strong anti-BJP force,” he said.The RLD had got three seats — Mathura, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpath — to contest as part of the alliance during the Lok Sabha election. The party lost all the three seats to the BJP. The RLD was hoping for a revival by taking up issues of sugarcane farmers, but failed to make a comeback. In 2014, too, the RLD did not win any seat. In a 2018 by-poll, the party contested Kairana and won with the support of the SP and the BSP. At present, the party does not have any members in the UP Assembly, too.While Ajit Singh was the candidate from Muzaffar Nagar, Jayant Chaudhary unsuccessfully contested from the Baghpat constituency. BJP’s Hema Malini defeated RLD’s Kunwar Narendra Singh in Mathura. June 05, 2019 Published on COMMENTS Uttar Pradesh COMMENT SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more