Dennis Queen pictured right a leading member o

first_imgDennis Queen (pictured, right), a leading member of the campaign group Not Dead Yet UK, says the support of disabled academic Dr Tom Shakespeare for the assisted dying bill ignores its dangerous flawsWhat Tom has said is very disappointing to me.Tom seems more concerned about the few in a position to make fair choices who don’t get an easy suicide laid on a plate, than the majority of folks who haven’t got the same privileges and will access the new provisions in law and kill themselves, possibly due to suffering which may have real solutions. There is nothing in the bill to examine the causes of a person’s suffering and suicidal feelings and seek other ways to reduce suffering.It is predicted that 3,500 folks will kill themselves in the first year using this provision in law, if it comes in, more than trebling the assisted suicide figures in the law’s target group (compared to the 1,000 (on average) who already end their lives early using palliative care options, and six (again, on average) whose assisted suicides are investigated by the director of public prosecutions each year).Tom appears to agree that there are going to be some problems with the safeguards – although he believes the number of such cases will be virtually negligible. However, there are serious and unavoidable problems with the safeguards proposed, which will affect everyone assessed under the Bill.  The safeguards Tom refers to take up very few words of the bill and consist of a minimal two conversations with different GPs – who need not know us – and a judge in an office, signing off their paperwork as legal.Just this week, the British Medical Journal finally picked up on doctors’ concerns about whether someone can be both suicidal and mentally competent. This is currently a concept which does not exist in medicine, and is not described in the bill, which includes no obligation to have a psychiatric evaluation before being granted an assisted suicide. I can’t help wondering if the absence of such a safeguard is because the proponents of the bill know that no psychiatrist will say that a suicidal person is mentally healthy. Ordinarily, being suicidal, in medical terms, means a person is not mentally competent. This then provides them with active protection and prevention from suicide.If the bill is brought in, our GPs will have no criteria against which to decide on what is currently a non-existent medical state, so people’s lives will be decided on instead by guesswork. Being calm and sure of ourselves (the bill’s “clear and settled intent”) during two GP consultations does not mean a person is not depressed or is not having other mental health problems. I am glad that Tom agrees that the assisted dying bill would be easily bypassed. This is why we think it is better that assisted suicides are kept to those which happen within healthcare already, under supervision, and those others which actually get investigated, as they are now, by the director of public prosecutions, who is very sympathetic already towards assisted suicide. This law will rule the assisted suicides lawful in advance and they will not be checked afterwards to ensure that they actually were legal.This assisted suicide bill circumvents the messy, expensive issue of meaningfully helping people who are suicidal, suffering and not imminently dying. There is no majority call for it from the people it affects, because they are already helped to die comfortably when they are actually dying. It circumvents society’s responsibility to support people in the last months of their life, as we would anyone else. It doesn’t actually award us anything resembling human rights; instead, it takes away our right to have our death, or killing (depending on how it’s done), investigated like anybody else’s. It is deadly discrimination. We all already have a more than equal right to kill ourselves.Nobody in England and Wales should be left suffering to the point that this is an attractive option. We need to stop accepting that and ask the public to please support our call for help instead, during this time of savage cuts to almost all assistance to live better lives.Death cannot improve our quality of life – it is not the solution to suffering. We will keep fighting this bill because the people it is actually about don’t want it, by an overwhelming majority. The public think they will, but you can’t bring in a law based on what people imagine to be true! Especially if it’s going to cause real people to die, who, let’s face it, have plenty of good reasons to feel miserable.Let’s not play into that, let’s help make sure everyone who lives here can be helped to live the best life they can – for all of it. We should not strip away such basic human rights, based on a rough estimation of a person’s life span.Picture by Paula Peterslast_img read more

Ministers are to push ahead with plans to tighten

first_imgMinisters are to push ahead with plans to tighten eligibility for their new disability benefit, ignoring the views of the overwhelming majority of disabled people and organisations who took part in a consultation on the changes.The changes, which will apply from next January, will see £1.2 billion a year less spent on personal independence payment (PIP) by 2020-21 than if they had not been introduced.The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that the number of people claiming the daily living element of PIP will be 290,000 lower in 2020-21 than without the new PIP measures, while another 80,000 will receive the standard rather than the advanced rate.The OBR figures differ from those published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which says the changes will affect 640,000 people.DWP says this difference is due to OBR taking into account “behavioural factors”, for example claimants now being likely to provide more information about the impact of their impairment when they are assessed than they would have done without the PIP change.Documents published by OBR this week suggest that the government probably decided to tighten PIP eligibility because the move from disability living allowance to the new PIP for working-age claimants was not producing the savings of 20 per cent it hoped for in 2010.The OBR estimates that the probability of someone receiving DLA being successful when they had to apply for PIP as part of the reassessment programme has risen from 74 to 83 per cent, with a “significantly higher proportion of claims being awarded the enhanced daily living and mobility payments”.The OBR document says this meant that – without the new PIP cuts – Osborne would have saved about five per cent in the move from DLA to PIP, rather than 20 per cent.But it predicts that the PIP cuts will now increase those savings “back towards the original target” of 20 per cent.DWP has insisted, though, that the change was solely to ensure PIP was “meeting the initial policy intent to support people with extra costs associated with their disability”.The announcement of the tightened criteria came in the DWP response to a public consultation, which laid out five possible changes to how PIP assessments take account of the way a disabled person uses independent living aids and appliances.All of the five options laid out in that consultation document would have either reduced payments for many claimants, or made it harder to claim PIP.The PIP change will only affect those claiming the daily living component of the benefit, and will mean that claimants will receive half the previous number of points (two points instead of one) for using aids and appliances for washing and dressing, and for managing toilet needs.But this will mean hundreds of thousands of disabled people will either receive a lower rate of PIP than they would otherwise have received, or will receive no daily living component at all, when previously they would have received the standard rate.Of 281 written responses to the consultation, just 11 – less than four per cent – agreed with the government that any changes at all were needed to how the use of aids and appliances are considered.Those who took part in the consultation, which also included consultation events, were hugely critical of the government’s plans, according to the DWP document.Among their comments, they said the use of aids and appliances was a good indicator of extra disability-related costs; they questioned the “effectiveness and accuracy” of the PIP assessment; they said that all of the five options would have a negative impact on PIP claimants; and they said they believed that any changes would increase people’s need for support from other public services and could eventually lead back to increased spending on PIP.The change will apply from 1 January 2017 to new PIP claims, PIP claimants who report a change of circumstances, and disability living allowance claimants who are reassessed for PIP.Existing PIP claimants who do not report a change of circumstances will be affected when DWP reviews their current award, as long as that is after 1 January.The announcement caused anger among many campaigners at yet another cut to support for disabled people, although some relief that the changes were not as bad as they might have been if one of the other four options had been chosen.Ella Sumpter, who tweets at @latentexistence, said: “Not as bad as it could have been, but they’ve still just made disability benefits much harder to get. Again.”Disability Rights UK criticised the announcement, but said the other four options the government had been considering “would have had a devastating effect on those claiming PIP”.Emma Nock, co-author of the Crippling Choices report for the Spartacus Network – which concluded last month that the government had failed to provide “adequate” evidence to justify any of the PIP changes suggested in the consultation – said mainstream coverage of the changes had missed a “crucial point”.In a Spartacus blog, Nock pointed out that the small number of daily living activities covered by the PIP assessment act as a proxy for all the problems a disabled person could be facing, which was why it was important to keep the points for the use of aids and appliances as they were.She said: “A person who needs to sit down while dressing likely has balance, mobility or strength issues that limit their capacity to engage in other household activities.“They may struggle to lift a load of wet laundry out of the washing machine or to move around the kitchen while cooking and cleaning up afterwards. Neither of these activities are considered in the PIP assessment.”Justin Tomlinson (pictured), the minister for disabled people, said the change was justified because many people were being found eligible for PIP “despite having minimal to no extra costs”, while the courts had “expanded the criteria for aids and appliances to include items we would expect people to have in their homes already”.He said: “We consulted widely to find the best approach. And this new change will ensure that PIP is fairer and targets support at those who need it most.”Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith even claimed in parliament this week that the changes would “improve the lot of the worst off”, although he didn’t explain how.When asked why ministers appeared to have ignored the views of 96 per cent of those who took part in the consultation, a DWP spokeswoman said: “We did listen. We are not implementing any of the first four options and are continuing to recognise aids and appliances in the same number of activities as before.“When making a decision we took into account Paul Gray’s independent review [of PIP], reviews carried out by our health professionals as well as the consultation events and responses.”But Debbie Abrahams, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said the proposals would cut another £1.2 billion a year from disabled people, only three days after the government had forced through cuts of £1,500-a-year to new claimants placed in the work-related activity group of employment and support allowance.She said: “In coming to this decision, the Tories are yet again ignoring the views of disabled people, carers and experts in the field.”She added: “Labour rejected entirely the principles underlying the consultation; all of the proposed ‘options’ impact harmfully on disabled people and removing support for people who need help to use the toilet or dress is an attack on dignity.“Tory cuts have already taken over £24 billion in support from disabled people. These further cuts would represent another huge blow, making life even more difficult for many people who are already facing huge barriers.”last_img read more

City Orders Demolitions Investigates Causes After Mission St Fire

first_imgA fusebox at the Graywood Hotel.At the meeting, Department of Building Inspection Director Tom Hui dispelled concerns of evacuated residents that the sprinkler system at the Graywood hotel failed to activate.“The sprinklers did their job,” said Hui, explaining that a “fire wall” at the south side of the building prevented the fire from spreading into much of the hotel and caused a delay in the system’s activation.The anonymous city official added that the sprinkler system was designed to only activate in areas of fire involvement, and therefore would not have turned on in areas that were not yet in flames.The exteriors of several businesses ravaged by Saturday’s fire at 29th and Mission Streets were boarded up and building inspectors combed the block on Monday to assess the extent of the fire’s damage.Hui confirmed that a total of seven businesses surrounding the hardware store have been impacted by the fire. The hardware store’s building and a neighboring restaurant, Playa Azul at 3318 Mission St., will undergo an emergency demolition as the severity of the fire and water damage make it impossible for the buildings to be restored.Tenants of the Graywood hotel, who account for half of the displaced, will not be allowed to enter their rooms until Tuesday afternoon, as the building is still awaiting inspection by the Department of Public Health.“Tenants will likely be able to enter tomorrow around 2 p.m. We have found some asbestos and other toxins and it is not yet safe for them to go in,” said James Sanbonmatsu, a senior housing inspector with the Department of Building Inspections. According to Department of Building Inspection Spokesperson William Strawn, one building on 29th Street sustained some fire and water damage. Those closer to Tiffany Avenue were spared from direct damage but still had their utilities cut off.Earlier in the morning, residents of two buildings affected by the fire, 29-31 and 33-37 29th St., were allowed minutes to enter their apartments and grab a few personal belongings. Hui said that residents may return to their homes once the buildings are restored. “We want to save as much as we can [and] to have tenants move back,” said Hui, adding that his department will work with the landlords of the damaged buildings to move reconstruction forward. San Francisco officials issued emergency orders to demolish two buildings, the former homes of Cole Hardware and Playa Azul restaurant as well as an estimated four residential units, following a five-alarm fire on Saturday that displaced 58 residents.San Francisco Fire Department spokesperson Lt. Jonathan Baxter also confirmed Monday that the fire originated at 3312-16 Mission St., the building that housed Cole Hardware. Previous reports indicated the fire had started in the SRO hotel next door at 3308 Mission St. “The exact spot where the fire occurred is still under investigation,” said Baxter, adding that the mixed-use building has four residential units above the commercial space that were undergoing renovations and unoccupied at the time of the fire.A city official who requested anonymity said fire investigators have thus far been prevented from identifying the cause of the fire because the area of suspected origin is inaccessible due to extreme danger from debris. The official also said that reports from SRO residents who had encountered flames coming out of a fuse box may have been due to fire spreading from outside the building inward toward the electrical wiring. 0%center_img Tags: Business • Department of Building Inspection • displacement • Fires Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

WE reflect on the win over Castleford with Head Co

first_imgWE reflect on the win over Castleford with Head Coach Keiron Cunningham and James Roby in the latest edition of the Saints In Touch Podcast.KC also addresses the situation with Jonny Lomax and rebukes rumours that Travis Burns will be leaving the club.Podcasts are automatically synced to your device if you subscribe via iTunes or you can listen at our Fanzone page.last_img

He was a fans favourite when he played for his ho

first_imgHe was a fans’ favourite when he played for his home town team for well over a decade and will be remembered with a special affection reserved for only a select few. Why? He is not a member of the Greatest 17 or a top appearance-maker or points’ scorer but we all thought the world of him in the red vee.Simply because of this: Roy Haggerty, a local lad, bled red and white. He would go out onto the field and give everything he had for the cause, in his own unique style, with tremendous pride and an unbridled passion. Supporters loved that.Pound for pound the Saints have never had a harder player and he never once took a backward step. In that respect, he was a sort of seventies Duggie Greenall, who could more than hold his own against bigger, arguably more powerful opponents. With socks rolled down to his ankles and his left knee eternally bandaged, he would plunge himself into the fray with unbridled enthusiasm, more often than not after getting on the end of one of skipper Harry Pinner’s passes, to cause absolute chaos and pandemonium in the opposition defence.He seemed to be ‘all knees and elbows’, a nightmare to tackle and possessed a devilish sidestep. Roy was certainly quick off the mark and most effective up to, say 30—40 yards. He was extremely durable and had few major injuries during his career – an undoubted measure of his toughness.Roy had a distinctive one-armed off-load too, which was put to its best use in the forwards, rather than in the centres. He was certainly not necessarily the ‘perfect’ rugby league player. He played it his way and sometimes made the wrong choices on the field, simply because he would try something different, frustrating coaches, his team-mates and supporters alike at times, but he always remained an endearing character throughout it all and a real cult hero. His commitment to the cause was never, ever, in doubt.Born in Thatto Heath, on March 22 1960, Roy played rugby union at Grange Park School, where two great Saints were on the staff, namely Steve Llewellyn and Geoff Pimblett. He played league for Pilkington Recs and came through the ranks from Colts level at Knowsley Road, where his individual flair and determination singled him out as future first team material. He made his debut at left centre, at Naughton Park, Widnes in a second round John Player trophy tie on September 30 1979. Saints lost 20-31 but his winger was another Thatto Heathen also making his debut: Kevin Meadows.He joined a squad in the throes of change, at the end of the 1970s, when many stalwarts from that golden decade were moving on and the club’s fortunes were about to decline. Roy was one of a host of youngsters thrust into the spotlight, such as Chris Arkwright, Steve Peters, Barry Ledger, Paul Round and Brian Parkes, with legendary loose forward Harry Pinner at the helm.Roy gradually managed to cement his place in the seniors with some powerful displays in the centres, as the Saints showed that they were turning their fortunes around. The advent of Mal Meninga saw Roy switched more to the second row, which proved to be the perfect platform for him to become not just a member of a successful Saints’ team, but also take the eye of selectors at county and international level. The Meninga season saw Roy win a Lancashire Cup winner’s medal against Wigan [including a barnstorming try] and a Premiership final victory against Hull KR at Elland Road.The mid to late 1980s saw Roy established as a real fans’ favourite, although he ran out of luck in major finals, with Wembley defeats against Halifax and Wigan [1987 and 1989] and Widnes in the 1988 Premiership final, even though he scored a superb try in the Old Trafford sunshine. He did win the John Player trophy final in 1988, however, after a titanic battle against Leeds at Central Park, followed by selection for the Australian tour that same year. He joined fellow Saints Andy Platt, Paul Loughlin and Paul Groves on the plane Down Under, although he did not play in any of the tests. Roy played in two tests for Great Britain, however, against France at Leeds [52-4] and Carcassonne [20-10] in 1987, in which he packed down in the second row with the likes of Andy Goodway, Chris Burton and Mike Gregory. Roy also represented Lancashire [against Yorkshire] on one occasion.From relatively humble beginnings in Thatto Heath, Roy played rugby league at the top level. He remained close to his roots and had no airs and graces, a veritable ‘working class hero’, in fact. He enjoyed a smoke and a pint and his team-mates loved having a laugh with him, especially when he worked on the groundstaff with the likes of Shane Cooper, Paul Loughlin and Neil Holding and he took it all in good faith. Stories about him are plentiful, although several have that apocryphal touch. Suffice to say, who can dislike a guy who told a subsequently bemused Australian journalist on landing in Sydney that he came ‘from the top of Elephant Lane’ and who took a ready supply of pot noodles with him to France on Great Britain duty because he would miss ‘British food’. Legendary stuff. Roy was a genuine ‘one-off’ and there has been nobody like him since.His last chance of possible Wembley glory evaporated in the 1990 semi-final at Old Trafford, when Wigan secured victory with a controversial last try. Roy also became something of a drop-goal specialist in his later years and notched a one-pointer in his final game against Wakefield Trinity at Belle Vue on April 7 1991, as Saints won 22-8. His fellow back-rowers were Paul Jones and Shane Cooper. It was the last of his 363 appearances in the red vee, including 115 tries and 20 ‘drops’.A spell at Barrow followed and a dalliance at amateur level, before his retirement from the game that had meant so much to him. He enjoyed a successful testimonial in 1990 and two sons, Kurt and Gareth followed him by also playing professionally at Super League and international level.Roy leaves us all with some fantastic memories of his career, from an era when we simply loved his contribution to the Saints’ cause. There will surely be a further flood of tributes from team-mates and opponents alike for one of the great entertainers in the Greatest Game. We will never forget him.At this extremely sad time, we would all like to send our extreme condolences to Roy’s family and friends. Funeral details have not yet been arranged.Roy Haggerty – Born March 22 1960, Died April 22 2018Written By Alex Servicelast_img read more

SOLD Frying Pan Tower flag sells for more than 10000

first_img EBay Inc. said 25 people bid 96 times for the flag. It’s not known who made the winning bid.Proceeds will go to the American Red Cross and its relief efforts.Richard Neal bought Frying Pan Tower in 2010 after the former Coast Guard lighthouse was deemed obsolete due to GPS navigation. Neal put the tower up for sale in May, but retained majority control of the site, which is now a bed and breakfast operated by Neal and his partners. Frying Pan Tower during Hurricane Florence (Photo: WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. flag captured on a live camera as it was being torn to shreds by Hurricane Florence has brought $10,900 at auction.News outlets report viewers watched the flag flying on the Frying Pan Tower get ripped apart as the storm reached the North Carolina coast last month.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Wilmington Police asking for help finding a car possibly linked to death

first_img(Photo: MGN Online) Update: Police have located the black Toyota Avalon linked to investigationWILMINGTON, N.C. (WWAY)– Wilmington Police Department is asking for help looking for a car that is possibly connected to a death at a Wilmington apartment Saturday morning.- Advertisement – In a release sent by Wilmington Police the vehicle is described as a 2002 black Toyota Avalon with tag FJW7303.Officers were dispatched Saturday morning around 9:30 and are investigating a suspicious death that happened in the 600 block of North 30th Street.Anyone with information should use Text-a-Tip or call 910-343-3609.last_img read more

Iran welcomes French efforts to save nuclear deal – spokesman

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron looks on during the COP23 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang RattayFILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron looks on during the COP23 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay Iran welcomes France’s efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, as French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic adviser visits Tehran for talks to help ease the crisis.“The spokesman (Abbas Mousavi) welcomed France’s role in reducing tension and implementing the accord and said: ‘The French are part of efforts … to keep the nuclear deal alive,” state news agency IRNA reported.Emmanuel Bonne, Macron’s top diplomatic adviser, is visiting Iran to try to meet Iranian officials as tensions rise between Tehran and the United States.WhatsApplast_img read more

Makerere University to unveil electric bus in October

first_imgAdvertisement Makerere University is in advanced stages of procuring components for their second electronic vehicle, Kayoola bus, ahead of its launch in October.The Kiira EV car that does not use FuelThis follows the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology students having successfully tested their first electronic car, Kiira EV, manufactured two years ago.The key principal investigator and deputy director for Centre for Research in Transportation Technology, Prof Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa, says they had designed and started to procure the components before they could start construction. – Advertisement – He, however, added that the amount of time to assemble the car would depend on the procurement procedures. The 30-seater innovation is expected to reduce traffic jam and carbon emissions in the city.In addition to using Lithium ion batteries, they were going to add an internal combustion engine to extend the range of drive.He said once this was completed, they would engage the private sector for commercialisation and create special charging stations where individuals could go to recharge.Some of the challenges of electric cars were that they could only take you between 80 to 100 kilometres before you recharge.He said: “…however, in a situation where we don’t have a charging infrastructure installed all over the country, they will look at other ways of extending the range”.Source: Africa Reviewlast_img read more

WhatsApp to remain free in some countries

first_imgAdvertisement Popular messaging app WhatsApp will continue to offer its service for free to users in developing countries like India.The communication was revealed by the Vice-president for business development Neeraj Arora who stated that low debit and credit card penetration was the main reason for not collecting the $1 annual fee the service charges users in North America and Europe.He was speaking at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad on Tuesday. He reiterated that monetization for the service would come from user subscriptions, and not advertisements. – Advertisement – “Monetization is on the cards. It will happen over the next few years. We believe in the subscription model and not in advertising as people do not like to have ads as they converse.”One way WhatsApp could charge users in the subcontinent is by tying up with carriers and collecting subscription charges from offline channels.WhatsApp already works with carriers in bundling data plans that do not charge users for the service, which has a user base of 70 million in the country.The executive, who was pivotal in the $19 billion acquisition by Facebook earlier this year, also stated that there is potential in India to “build the next WhatsApp for the world.”Via Android Centrallast_img read more