The Department for Work and Pensions DWP has bee

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been declared a gold-standard employer of disabled people under its own much-criticised scheme, despite being found guilty of “grave or systematic violations” of the UN disability convention.DWP documents obtained by Disability News Service (DNS) through a freedom of information request show how it was “validated” as a “Disability Confident Leader” on 4 November 2016, just days before the report by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities was published.Among the UN’s conclusions was that DWP ministers had “regularly portrayed” disabled people as “being dependent or making a living out of benefits, committing fraud as benefit claimants, being lazy and putting a burden on taxpayers”.DWP “strongly” disagreed with the UN report, and appeared to suggest this week that its findings were not relevant “because Disability Confident assessments look at an organisation’s employment practices and commitment to supporting both disabled employees and potential candidates”.The validation also came despite a Civil Service survey last year which showed how more than 1,400 disabled DWP civil servants claimed they had faced discrimination in the workplace, an increase of nearly a quarter on the previous year.The Disability Confident validation process, carried out by the Business Disability Forum (BDF), of which DWP is a member, makes no mention of those figures, or the UN report.According to the scheme, a Disability Confident Leader – the highest of the scheme’s three levels – must ensure “there are no barriers to the development and progression of disabled staff” and that managers “are aware of how they can support staff who are sick or absent from work”.BDF’s validation of DWP’s own self-assessment also fails to mention the DWP decision to impose a cap on annual payments made under the Access to Work scheme, which has particularly hit Deaf workers who use British Sign Language interpreters.Instead, BDF praised DWP for policies such as offering guaranteed interviews to disabled candidates who meet a role’s minimum criteria; for taking part in the Ambitious About Autism work experience scheme; and for having an established framework for making adjustments for disabled staff.Despite focusing on how organisations perform as employers of disabled people, Disability Confident also encourages them to provide an inclusive and accessible environment for “staff, clients and customers”.In its validation of DWP, BDF praised the department for making adjustments for disabled customers, “which includes offering two-way communication in a number of formats”, while DWP says in its self-assessment that staff “can also communicate by e-mail, an interpreter or through a claimant’s representative or intermediary”.Again, the validation and self-assessment are in stark contrast to the experience of disabled people who rely on DWP’s support and services.Earlier this year, DNS reported how a disabled benefit claimant, Mark Lucas, was taking DWP to court over its refusal to allow him to communicate with its civil servants via email.Despite DNS having heard a recording of a member of staff in DWP’s personal independence payment department telling Lucas: “We will not communicate via email,” DWP insisted again this week that claimants are “entitled to request to receive all communications from the department by email on the grounds of disability under the Equality Act 2010”.There is also no mention in DWP’s self-assessment, or the validation by BDF, of concerns raised about the accessibility of benefit assessment centres, which are managed by the property company Telereal Trillium.Instead, DWP claims its sites are “fully accessible for both staff and customers”, while it insists that “DWP as a service provider ensures that for disabled customers, relevant reasonable adjustments are implemented to ensure that there are no barriers which are the direct result of an individual’s disability”.David Gillon, a disabled campaigner and one of the most prominent critics of the Disability Confident scheme, said it was “barely a year since headlines about their soaring staff discrimination rate… how can they suddenly have no problem?“What we are seeing is the fundamental weakness of Disability Confident.“Statements of good intent are easy to make, and we know from Two Ticks [the previous DWP scheme for employers, which Disability Confident is replacing] just how easy they are to abuse.”He said that DWP’s sub-contracted assessment centres were “notorious for inaccessibility, often with no carparks and wheelchair-users regularly barred from lifts as alleged ‘fire risks’.“This inaccessibility is no secret, it has repeatedly been national news, yet DWP’s Disability Confident assessors took their statement at face value.”He added: “DWP has a notoriously adversarial relationship with its disabled customer population. Nowhere in the evidence or the audit report is this even raised.”Gillon said: “What we really see with this evidence is that even an organisation with notorious issues with both its own disabled staff and with its disabled customer population simply has to say, ‘We’ve got a procedure for that,’ to be handed Disability Confident Leader on a silver platter.”BDF declined to respond to concerns that its report had ignored the discrimination revealed by the Civil Service survey, the cap on Access to Work, and the UN report.Despite the scheme’s reference to “providing an environment that is inclusive and accessible for staff, clients and customers” – and DWP’s lengthy response to that in its self-assessment – a BDF spokesman insisted that Disability Confident was “about an organisation as an employer”.And he said BDF supported DWP’s strategic approach to supporting their disabled employees, and “recognised their commitment in accrediting them under the scheme”.He said: “Business Disability Forum sees Disability Confident as a way forward for employers in developing and improving their offer for their employees.“In accrediting an organisation under Disability Confident, Business Disability Forum supports it in moving in the right direction and helping it shape what it does around disability.”A DWP spokesman also insisted that the department deserved its validation as a Disability Confident Leader.He said: “We are committed to equality of opportunity for all and do not tolerate discrimination on any grounds”.He added: “Whilst we have greatly improved our efforts to be a more inclusive workforce, we know there is more work to do, [and] this will be reflected in our departmental diversity and inclusion strategic plan that we are currently developing with our employees.”He said: “The Disability Confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace.“Our Disability Confident Leader status relates to DWP as an employer and we actively encourage contractors to sign up to Disability Confident.”He said DNS had failed to provide any evidence to support claims that assessment centres were “notorious for inaccessibility”.He added: “As I’m sure you’re aware, access guidance is included in appointment letters for face to face assessments so that alternative arrangements can be made if needed, and anyone unable to travel as a result of their condition is offered a home visit.”He said that BDF was “a leading, impartial and evidence-based organisation advocating for disabled people’s rights”.He added: “We have demonstrated through the self-assessment that DWP acts as a champion within our local and business community, supply chain and networks.“And we have demonstrated that we are serious about leading the way and helping other organisations to become Disability Confident.“There is no evidence that the scheme is in disrepute.”Picture: David Cameron launching Disability Confident in 2013last_img read more

Two disabled peers have called on the government t

first_imgTwo disabled peers have called on the government to ensure that the rights of disabled people are protected when the country leaves the European Union (EU).Both Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson and Baroness [Jane] Campbell raised concerns of possible “regression” of the rights of disabled people in the UK as a result of the Brexit process.They were speaking this week in a House of Lord debate on human rights and Brexit, secured by the Labour peer Lord Cashman.The debate took place as MPs continued to discuss the European Union (withdrawal) bill, which will move to the House of Lords next year.Baroness Campbell said: “I worry for the future of the one in five UK citizens who are disabled.“Arguably, they have benefited from the best equality and human rights legislation in the world.“The UK has both influenced and been influenced by EU law on disability rights.“Under EU law, international treaties have a stronger impact than they do under UK law.“For instance, EU law must be interpreted consistently with the [UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities].“This has provided a significant baseline for progressing disability rights in the UK.”But she added: “The government must ensure that there is no regression, so that disabled people continue to benefit from the convention and see progress in the UK.”Baroness Campbell said one of her “major areas of concerns” was over disabled people’s right to independent living.She called on the government to carry out a “rigorous” assessment of the impact of Brexit on the right to independent living, including on the thousands of disabled people who each employ between two and six EU nationals as personal assistants (PAs).She said that this “vital” workforce “enables people like myself the freedom to enjoy a private family life, to work, to ​be here debating… to socialise and to actively participate as equal citizens”.She also asked how the government would replace the share of the billions of pounds of EU structural funds that have “stimulated a significant shift from institutional to independent living across Europe”.Baroness Grey-Thompson (pictured) said the impact of Brexit on disabled people had “barely been discussed in the public arena”, and she asked for government guarantees that their rights would be protected.She raised fears that the government could “inadvertently discard” disability equality rules and regulations “and just call them ‘red tape’ as a reason to get rid of them”.And she said there had to be “continued government commitment to the UK being ahead of the curve on disability rights”, including “fully committing to implementing standards equivalent to the new European Accessibility Act” when that becomes EU law.She also called on the UK government to commit to “at least matching current funding for disabled people’s organisations”.Lord Keen, the advocate general for Scotland, on behalf of the government, said that Brexit “does not change our commitment to human rights, nor is there any reason why it should”.And he said that those rights “will be retained and protected”.But he did not respond to Baroness Campbell’s request for an assessment of the impact of Brexit on disabled people’s right to independent living, or her question about the structural funds, or Baroness Grey-Thompson’s question about funding disabled people’s organisations.last_img read more

Disability charities that sign up to help deliver

first_imgDisability charities that sign up to help deliver the government’s new Work and Health Programme must promise to “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of work and pensions secretary Esther McVey, official documents suggest.The charities, and other organisations, must also promise never to do anything that harms the public’s confidence in McVey (pictured) or her Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Disability charities like RNIB, the Royal Association for Deaf People and Turning Point have agreed to act as key providers of services under the Work and Health Programme – which focuses on supporting disabled people and other disadvantaged groups into work – and so appear to be caught by the clause in the contract.At least one of them – RNIB – has also signed contracts with one of the five main WHP contractors that contain a similar clause, which explicitly states that the charity must not “attract adverse publicity” to DWP and McVey.The £398 million, seven-year Work and Health Programme is replacing the Work Programme and the specialist Work Choice disability employment scheme across England and Wales, with contractors paid mostly by results.All the disability charities that have so far been contacted by Disability News Service (DNS) insist that the clause – which DWP says it has been using in such contracts since 2015 – will have no impact on their willingness to criticise DWP and work and pensions secretary Esther McVey or campaign on disability employment or benefits issues.But the existence of the clause, and the first details to emerge of some of the charities that have agreed to work for DWP – which has been repeatedly attacked by disabled activists and academics for harassing and persecuting disabled people, and relying on a discriminatory benefit sanctions regime to try to force them into work – will raise questions about their ability and willingness to do so.It will also raise questions about their independence when delivering future statements on these issues.The clause was revealed through a freedom of information request by DNS, with DWP finally producing contracts signed by the five main Work and Health Programme contractors, four months after the request was first submitted.The contracts signed by the five organisations – the disability charity Shaw Trust, the disability employment company Remploy (now mostly owned by the discredited US company Maximus), Pluss, Reed in Partnership and Ingeus UK – all include a clause on “publicity, media and official enquiries”.Part of that clause states that the contractor “shall pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of DWP and ensure it does nothing to bring it “into disrepute, damages the reputation of the Contracting Body or harms the confidence of the public in the Contracting Body”.The contract defines the “Contracting Body” as the work and pensions secretary, a position currently occupied by the much-criticised Esther McVey (see separate story).And it warns that these promises apply whether or not the damaging actions relate to the Work and Health Programme, and it says they also apply to any of the contractor’s “Affiliates”.This suggests that none of the organisations involved in providing services under the programme – and particularly those carrying out key elements of the contracts – will ever be allowed to criticise, or damage the reputation of, DWP or McVey during the course of the contract in connection with any area of the department’s work.There is still considerable confusion over exactly how many disability charities will be paid to work for the five main contractors.The contractual documents include the names of scores of organisations, including charities, local authorities, education providers and companies.But some of the disability charities named – including Mencap and the National Autistic Society – made it clear this week that they have not agreed to carry out services under the Work and Health Programme, despite being named as “stakeholders” in the documents.Other disability charities, though, have confirmed that they will be providing services under the WHP.Among those organisations that have signed letters agreeing to provide services as a subcontractor for the Ingeus contract with DWP is the disability charity RNIB, which is currently “working on an agreement with them”, while it is already a subcontractor with Shaw Trust.An RNIB spokeswoman said: “RNIB has a number of contracts for different services provided to the Shaw Trust as a sub-contractor.“Some of the contracts do include a clause stating that when providing the services, we shall not do anything that may damage the reputation of the Shaw Trust (the contractor of the DWP) or of the DWP which has commissioned the services to be carried out by the Shaw Trust.”That clause is almost identical to the one in the contracts signed by the five main contractors and says RNIB must not do anything to “attract adverse publicity” to DWP or “harm the confidence of the public” in DWP.RNIB claimed that the clause “only refers to how we carry out the contracted services and does not restrict our campaigning ability. It relates solely to how we carry out the specific services.”Another disability charity, the Royal Association for Deaf People (RADP), is described as a “core stakeholder” in the Pluss contract.RADP had refused to answer questions about the contract by noon today (Thursday).A third charity, Turning Point, is described as a “core stakeholder” in the Remploy contract, while it is also mentioned in the Ingeus and Shaw Trust contracts.Turning Point had refused to answer questions about the contract by noon today (Thursday).Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) – despite being mentioned in the Shaw Trust contract – says it has only agreed to provide support services in two London boroughs as part of the Ingeus contract.An LCD spokesman said this work “in no way compromises our ability to campaign around issues related to payments or social care reform” or on the Work and Health Programme.Action on Hearing Loss – formerly known as RNID – refused to comment on its presence in the Remploy contract with DWP, other than to praise its own campaigning work.Business Disability Forum, which is mentioned in the Pluss contract, also refused to comment.Remploy said the clause in its contract with DWP was “standard contractual language and has not impacted on our ability to support service users or engage with delivery partners”.A Remploy spokesman said it was working “in collaboration with many organisations as we deliver the Work and Health Programme across Wales” and that the many stakeholders mentioned in the document were “public, private and third sector organisations across Wales that Remploy has identified and plans to engage with and signpost to as it delivers the Work and Health Programme”.But he declined to say whether Remploy believed the clause also applied to its stakeholders and subcontractors.Shaw Trust said the “publicity, media and official enquiries” clause had been present “in previous DWP contracts” and “does not and has not impinged on our independence as a charity”.A Shaw Trust spokeswoman said the “stakeholders” named in the contract were “organisations we will engage with over the life of the contract to encourage voluntary referrals to the Work and Health Programme, or will engage to potentially source additional support to participants with wider requirements”.She claimed that “no funds are proposed to be transferred in exchange for services” provided by these stakeholders, but she had not been able to clarify by noon today (Thursday) why these stakeholders would want to work for Shaw Trust for free.A DWP spokeswoman appeared to suggest that the clause was partly intended to prevent those organisations providing services under the WHP from speaking out publicly to criticise DWP.She said: “The department did not introduce this clause specifically for the Work and Health Programme contract.“It has been used in DWP employment category contracts since 2015.“The contract is the framework which governs the relationship with DWP and its contractors so that both parties understand how to interact with each other.“The clause is intended to protect the best interests of both the department and the stakeholders we work with, and it does not stop individuals working for any of our contractors from acting as whistle-blowers under the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, nor does it prevent contractors from raising any concerns directly with the department.”last_img read more

SAINTS have named their 19man squad for Sundays

first_imgSAINTS have named their 19-man squad for Sunday’s First Utility Super League Round 16 Magic Weekend fixture with Warrington Wolves.Lewis Charnock misses out with a hand injury but Jon Wilkin returns from suspension.Mark Percival is still unavailable with a leg injury whilst Olly Davies replaces Anthony Walker in the squad.Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Travis Burns, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 18. Luke Thompson, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio, 28. Jack Ashworth, 29. Olly Davies, 30. Matty Fleming, 34. Shannon McDonnell.Tony Smith will choose his Warrington side from:3. Chris Bridge, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Joel Monaghan, 6. Stefan Ratchford, 7. Richie Myler, 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Ashton Sims, 12, Ben Westwood, 13. Ben Harrison, 15. Roy Asotasi, 17. Ben Currie, 18. James Laithwaite, 19. Anthony England, 20. Gareth O’Brien, 22. Gene Ormsby, 25. Brad Dwyer, 27. George King, 29. Declan Patton.The game kicks off at 3.15pm and the referee Richard SilverwoodTicket details for the game can be found here.last_img read more

JON Wilkin was pleased to make his return last Fri

first_imgJON Wilkin was pleased to make his return last Friday and believes there is more to come as the season enters its business end.Saints’ Captain played his first game for over a month and was instrumental in the 32-18 win at Leeds.“I was a little scratchy and rusty but it was good to be back,” he said. “Having watched the team over recent weeks I did some of the things I felt could influence what happens on the field. I was a little rusty at some of the basics though.“It was a great win for us; a confidence changing win really. We have been in the doldrums a little recently so to win in the manner we did against Leeds was great.“There is a big emotional story behind Leeds with Kevin Sinfield and Jamie Peacock moving on and a lot of things being written about them and it being their year.“That can’t be our concern. Leeds are a great side and we have a load of respect for them but that are not unbeatable. We certainly aren’t a bad side either, we have just been playing poorly. You have to be cautious when you hear polarised opinions of teams.“We had a load of respect for them and we still do, but we knew we were a better side than what we have been showing and I felt that came through on Friday.“We can play better for sure and I don’t think we have played as well as we did in the first six weeks of the season. We have had good performances but the last few months have been a fluctuating period for us.“As captain I want us to be more consistent. Against Leeds we set some standards certainly in terms of intent and effort that we need to continue.”He continued: “Positions in the top four are still up for grabs. I am disappointed that our form has restricted our opportunities to finish top of the pile. We want to finish as high as we can. This game is important as we played well against Leeds and gained confidence from that.“But the only way to build on that is to play well and win again.”Tickets for Thursday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Coming Home Families adjust to Marines returning from war

first_img You hear this phrase all the time when we’re honoring our nation’s heroes: “Families serve, too.”But what does that really mean for a family to serve? How do they cope when this huge hole opens up in their home, and then when their loved one comes home and so much has changed – especially for those with young children?When Majors Krumnow and Rivera first saw their families, you could feel the relief.Related Article: Man hangs on after glider pilot forgets to strap him inBut after nine long months in Afghanistan, Krumnow and his wife, Christina, faced some surprises.“You have this idea in your mind that like you’ll come home and they’re like, ‘Oh great, let’s go play soccer and let’s do this…’ And then you come home and they’re more into a TV show or drawing in a book.“On the other hand, everyone wants to hold dad’s hand, they want to sit by me at the restaurant, they want to do everything with me. They’re not doing it on purpose. But then mom kind of becomes like, ‘Yeah, mom, we know that you’ve been here. Let’s go back by dad.’”“That hurts, too,” said Christina. “I’m the problem solver, but he’s the fun guy.”Paul Rivera also saw how things had changed.“It was difficult because it was trying to find some commonalities with them,” he said. “I know they like Star Wars. They’d already been watching Star Wars on Netflix and stuff, and they were like, ‘OK dad, this is what we’ve been watching, we’re almost done!’”While he was gone, his wife, Lily, had moved some furniture – two twin beds – to the master bedroom.“It was one of those things where, I guess, a comfort for me, where I have all my babies in one spot,” she said. “I guess that’s what helped me sleep through at night.”For both families, the children are the focus.When asked to a describe a moment that was especially hard, Christina Krumnow replied, “The girls sang for their Christmas concert and they were crying ’cause he wasn’t there. And you can’t console them, it’s just not going to get any better.”“Did you cry?” asked Crawford.“No.”“How did you do that?”“Actually, no, I did cry. I try not to cry, just because I am a very emotional person, and so I do want them to know it hurts. It does. It stinks. But I have to console them: ‘It’s OK, we’ve got this, we can do this. Mommy’s still here.’”For kids, the deployments can be hard to process. Lillian said that on the day her father left, “Everyone was in the car and we were crying, for a long time.”Crawford asked, “What were you thinking then?”“He might die, since he was working so hard,” said son Franklin.The Krumnows have seen the separations take a toll on their son, where at family functions Franklin would pair up with someone, “some other dad,” said Ethan. “To me that, like, confirmed that he really was missing [me].”“Yeah. That was hard. That was really hard,” Christina said.At the Rivera house, it’s much the same.“I was like, ‘Please don’t make him go, please, please, no, I don’t want him to go,” said Caleb.The kids find their own ways to cope. “I basically just thought, ‘He’s coming the next day, he’s coming the next day,’ pretty much helped me through the whole thing,” Caleb said.When the Riveras are separated, with Paul serving in dangerous combat zones, they rely on their faith. “I’d wake up and just go in my closet and pray for 15 minutes, and that was one thing I did every day,” Lily said. “I just felt like I needed that pick up.”“Because you didn’t know what the day ahead was going to be?” asked Crawford.“Yes. And just emotionally. I mean, I’m by myself here.”Through multiple deployments, Rivera has learned to be there when he can – even surprising her on special holidays.“It was a little scavenger hunt,” he said. “So I pre-staged things throughout the house to surprise her. It was like, ‘Do me a favor and I need you to go to this room and I need you to move these books out of the way. And happy anniversary!’”Found: a Tiffany’s famous blue box, with a note.With dad now home, the Krumnows hold barbecues for family and friends to celebrate the times they do have together.“It’s really fun with him, too,” said Lillian.“Is he a fun guy?” asked Crawford.“Yeah, he’s silly.”“What does he like to do?”“I don’t know. Drink beer,” she said, smiling.“In some sense it brings us closer together, now that we were gone for a while. It kind of makes it more meaningful.”Both wives recognize the true meaning of sacrifice. Their needs come second.“He doesn’t particularly belong to me, he belongs to the government,” said Lily Rivera. “So, he goes and does … his responsibilities, and I’m OK with that.”And that has to come first? “It does.”That’s the sacrifice for those back home who serve by staying strong.Caleb and Levi Rivera hope their dad will be able to stay a while. “I think he has to have another deployment,” said Levi.“And how will you guys get through that?” Crawford asked.“By acting good.”Even from those young children, one can see the mix of resolve and hope that all these families have – always ready to take on the next challenge.A third Marine “CBS This Morning” has been following since that homecoming at Camp Lejeune, Captain Tamara Watkins, is starting on a very different story: she just drove across the country to start school in California. We’ll check in on that huge adjustment down the road. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings “CBS This Morning” continues to follow the lives of our nation’s bravest as they return from war. We were there earlier this year when a group of Marines came home to North Carolina from Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.It’s been six months since that emotional reunion. Now as part of our series, “Coming Home,” we focus on the families of two Marines, Major Ethan Krumnow and Major Paul Rivera.- Advertisement – last_img read more

City of Whiteville employee accused of selling drugs while on the job

first_img During the investigation, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics Unit allegedly completed an undercover purchase of Percocet from Canady.The sheriff’s office says Canady utilized a City of Whiteville vehicle during normal business hours to complete the narcotics exchange.During the exchange and while driving to make the exchange, Canady operated the City of Whiteville vehicle with active flashing lights.Related Article: Man charged with kidnapping, rape in New Hanover CountyOn March 4th, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Canady with four felony counts of Trafficking in Heroin or Opium.The City of Whiteville says Canady was terminated from his job on Monday for unsatisfactory job performance, prior to his arrest. According to a news release, Canady was still on his six month probationary period. He was a maintenance worker in the Public Utilities Department.Canady was arrested at his home on Easy Street in Chadbourn. He received a $50,000.00 secured bond. Justin Canady (Photo: Columbus Co. Sheriff’s Office) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Chadbourn man is accused of trafficking drugs while working for the City of Whiteville.According to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, they began investigating Justin Marvin Canady, 32, in January after receiving information Canady was distributing narcotics across the county.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Blog Facebooks Silent Change to Your Newsfeed

first_imgAdvertisement Okay, nothing wrong with those tweaks. However if you’re like me, and comment on your friend’s statuses and prefer to just watch others, you may have noticed some people apparently are commenting much more, and others much less. This is due to a change in how the site displays your newsfeed: if you haven’t commented, liked, or looked at a person’s profile regularly, they have now seemingly disappeared.I had noticed something was up a few days ago: certain people that are frequent Facebookers had suddenly stopped appearing. Was it something I said? Did they delete me? Nope, they’re still in my friends list. I then just chalked it up to those people just not statusing their life as much, it happens. Then a friend posted one of those chain statuses which piqued my curiosity:HAVE YOU NOTICED LATELY THAT YOU ARE ONLY SEEING UPDATES OR GETTING COMMENTS FROM THE SAME PEOPLE LATELY? Facebook made a change.You only see posts from people you interact with “regularly!” To change this, Scroll down to the bottom of the ‘newsfeed’ homepage and click on “Edit Options.” Click on “Show Posts From” and change the setting to “All Of Your Friends and Pages” *REPOST THIS* – Advertisement – Sure enough, if you follow the directions, this option does indeed exist. And by default apparently (at least a half-dozen of my friends have confirmed this), the option “Friends and pages you interact with most” is checked. So in essence, Facebook has made a pretty fundamental change in the way your newsfeed operates, and without much notice at all.While I can understand Facebook’s desire to make this change to clear out newsfeed spam, at the same time people may be using the site for more than just to keep on top of their closest buddies. The site has done a lot to publicize changes in the past, why would it not publicize this one? IAre you changing back, or do you plan to keep the new way? I’m willing to guess the answers will likely have to do with how each person “friends” others. Some may keep it to real friends, others may add everyone andany one.Source: Technologizerlast_img read more

Twitter Will Decide the Value of Your Tweets

first_imgTweeter CEO Dick Costolo Advertisement Tweeter CEO Dick CostoloTwitter is about to start attaching value ratings to users’ tweets.The value judgements will be assigned to the public metadata of tweeters’ posts, and used by Twitter’s streaming API to help developers more selectively curate massive amounts of status updates.Designations of “none,” “low” and “medium” will most likely debut on Feb. 20, according to a post by developer advocate Arne Roomann-Kurrik on the Twitter developers’ blog. A “high” value option will be rolled out sometime after the initial batch. – Advertisement – How exactly tweets will be ranked is not entirely clear, but Roomann-Kurrik says “medium” — and, later — “high” value posts will be roughly analogous to the “Top Tweets” results you get when you search a word or hashtag on Twitter.com. That likely indicates tweets drawing high engagement or coming from users with large followings.Boiled down, the idea is to make Twitter’s streaming API more useful for developers, who can tweak applications to specify what types of tweets they would like surfaced on a given subject or subjects. Roomann-Kurrik gets into more technical specifications of how this will work in his blog post.That’s mostly a positive for users, as the change should help surface better content. It’s definitely a positive for Twitter, which will have the power to designate “high” value tweets (in some cases, perhaps, for a price) and possibly experiment with new ways of displaying tweets. On the other hand, judging the value of tweets is a significant and unprecedented step for the company. Some could find it a bit invasive and, well, judgmental.In the same blog post, Roomann-Kurrik also announces another impeding tweak to the Twitter API that will give developers the option of language-specific tweet curation.Are value ratings for tweets more useful or annoying? Let us know what you think in the comments.Image of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo courtesy of TwitterCredit: Mashablelast_img read more

This cup lets you add a Facebook friend with a toast

first_imgAdvertisement The Buddy Cup is a pretty cool real world meets social campaign from American brewing giant Budweiser’s Brazilian arm. It is a pretty standard beer drinking vessel, except it contains “high-tech chip technology integrated with Facebook”. People connect to Facebook with the device by scanning a QR code and friendship requests are confirmed with the blinking of a red LED light.The cups, which are to be used at sponsored Budweiser events, are reportedly meant to “enhance brand activation and increase the interaction between Budweiser consumers.” It all sounds great, but we can see a few shortfalls. If your existing friends are anything like ours, things will get silly after a few Buddy Cups. Your own Buddy Cup could easily disappear while your friend goes to “get another round”. Allow this to happen a few times and you could wake up in the morning with a monumental headache and 300 or so new Facebook friends you’ve never actually met.Credit: memeburnlast_img read more

MTN and UCC Clash concerning 3digit short codes

first_imgAdvertisement MTN Uganda and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) are set to lock horns concerning the commission’s directive to telecom companies to harmonize their three-digit short codes.Effective December 1, 2014, UCC ordered all telecoms to  start using *130* as recharge voucher number followed by # to recharge, use *131# to check account balance and 100 for customer assistance.However, by Friday last week MTN subscribers were still using *156# to check account balance and *155* voucher number# to recharge. – Advertisement – MTN general manager for corporate services, Anthony Katamba, said the telecom firm has no plan to harmonise the codes.He added that MTN has been using its own codes (123 for customer care, 100 to retrieve voice mails, *156# to check account balance and *155* voucher number# to recharge) for over 15 years and that changing them will confuse its customers.“We cannot effect the directive because subscribers are used to these codes. We got the codes from UCC, and why is it (UCC) asking us to change them now?,” he asked.There is no point in harmonising the codes because UCC is planning to adopt a Mobile Number Portability (MNP), he noted.MNP enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.Fred Otunnu the UCC director for broadcasting said sanctions will be imposed on players who will not comply.Orange Telecom and Airtel are already using the codes, and Uganda Telecom sent out text messages to its subscribers last week informing them of the new short codes.Source: New Visionlast_img read more

Mauritius holds 7th edition of Inventors Open Day

first_imgAdvertisement The 7th edition of Inventors’ Open Day, aiming to promote awareness on innovation and Intellectual Property (IP) in Mauritius, was held yesterday afternoon at Ebène Heights, in Ebène Cyber-city, under the theme Innovative Foundations in Enterprises.A yearly event on the calendar of the Mauritius Research Council (MRC), the Open Day takes added significance, being in line with Government’s drive to encourage the adoption of innovation and innovative technologies as contributing factors to boost the economy and creating employment.Inventors’ Open Day 2015 brought together more than 30 participants from Research and Development institutions, SMEs, enforcement agencies, as well as innovators, IP practitioners, entrepreneurs, creators and users of IP assets, and stakeholders from different sectors and members of the public. – Advertisement – Presentations were made by two groups, namely Eminence Marketing Ltd – which is specialised in cosmetics and home care products, and United Basalts Products Ltd – which is a market leader for building materials. Both enterprises have recently obtained Industrial Design registrations from the Industrial Property Office.Both resource persons provided participants with practical explanations and guidance on matters relating to the development of innovative concepts and products and their transition to commercial outcomes.It is recalled that the MRC, an apex body to promote and coordinate Government’s investment in research, organised its first edition of the Inventors’ Open Day in May 2012 under the theme ‘What is IP and why is it important?’last_img read more

You Can Now Share Up to 10 Photos and Videos in a

first_img(Photo Courtesy:) Advertisement Following their ‘Live Video Functionality’ feature in Stories that was rolled out last month after the announcement was made last year in November, Facebook very-owned, photo and video-sharing platform, Instagram, has a new feature for it’s photogenic’s.In an announcement on its blog post, Instagrammers can now share up to 10 photos or videos in a single post after it was reported that the platform was testing the feature early this month.“With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember. Now, you can combine up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to see them all,” writes in Blog post. – Advertisement – On posting, your followers can see them by simply swiping them from side-to-side or left-to-right.Users can upload multiple images or videos by tapping on a new dedicated icon. In addition, Instagram has let you have filter and manual editing options for each image or video.However, one thing that still remains is the caption. Instagram for now has kept a single caption for all the 10 posts and a square-only photo or videos. There was no mention of whether this would be looked up-to.This update is available as part of Instagram version v.10.9 for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play. Users have to update their apps in order to get this new feature.@AndroidPolice @droid_life @instagram is testing post multiple photo at one time. V10.7.0 pic.twitter.com/31sdC77klt— Philip Chang (@m4au312) February 1, 2017This multi photo/video post feature might look similar to that of Instagram Stories but with the ability to comment and like.Notably, also Facebook’s-owned, social messaging platform; WhatsApp earlier this year got an increment in its media sharing limit that was previously capped at 10 raised to 30. This change allows WhatsApp users who love to share bulk images.last_img read more

Uganda Travel Month is Here – Consider These Tech GadgetsApps on your

first_img(Photo Courtesy: The Pearl Guide Uganda) Advertisement A new and exciting domestic tourism drive dubbed Uganda Travel Month (UTM) is a brainchild of The Pearl Guide Uganda, a private tourism marketing firm, launched last year in September, the UTM usually happens to take place in the month ending September to October.During UTM, Uganda’s much deprived middle class get to tour and experience the gems that make Uganda a much coveted destination globally through a 4 week circuit that takes large groups out into the wild at once-in-a-lifetime discounted fees.The inaugural edition focused on four destinations; Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Jinja. This year’s Uganda Travel Month will as well still focus on four destinations scheduled to run from September 30th to October 22nd with the first trip heading to Fort Portal’s Crater Lakes, second trip at Lake Bunyonyi, third trip at Queen Elizabeth Wild Wonders, and finally the last trip will be heading to Murchison Falls. – Advertisement – Notably, the UTM is sponsored by big names including; Nile Special, Total Excellium, MTN, Jumia Travel, Radiocity, Marafiki Safaris, Geo Lodges, Arcadia Lodges, Simple Entertainment, and Rweteera Safari Park.So what gadget (or mobile apps) will you carry with you at this year’s UTM. Here’s our selection that you might find a bit interesting:1. Laptop/Tablet In this case, I will say one would ought to go with a laptop, especially to those that will have carried cameras with them. With the SD Card slot on your laptop you could have all your pictures taken to your laptop to create more space on the SD Card.2. Smartphone A smartphone lets say is like a must go gadget will on travel. You want to still chat with your friends or family at home, post pictures will on journey, capture live videos, to name a few. Yes! you will need one of these. Preferably, you will ought to get one that has a good camera both for the selfie or the rear camera. So the smartphone will be a backup to those that don’t or can’t afford to have DSLR cameras to capture their moments.3. Smartphone Camera Lens Additional smartphone camera lenses are awesome gadgets that you will ought for. This good to those that are photogenic, you love taking pictures, capturing nature and landscape, these lenses will enhance your photos adding more life to your pictures.4. Extra SD Card Taking pictures and capturing videos can really consumer a lot of space on your SD Card. So if you have a DSLR camera and shooting in RAW images, you might wanna consider carrying and extra SD Card.5. Power Bank I strongly recommend this. Its very essential as your backup plan in case your phone runs out battery.6. Mi-Fi/Modem In case you want to cut costs on buying data which will keep depleting within hours, you can wish to carry a Mi-Fi or a Modem with you. Purchase for data that will be enough for your trip. This will be good enough for those that might want to stream the journey live on their social media platforms; like – Twitter, Facebook, or SnapChat.7. Travel App Download travel apps that will guide you will exploring these place. Learn more about their history, find out nearby historic sites that you might wish to explore some other time or will at your stops.You might want to consider downloading the MTN Uganda Guide app from your preferred app store since it will have all the schedules for the event/journey. The app is free and available for download for Android, iOS and Windows Phone users.8. Social media apps Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, Instagram, you can post live feeds, share photos and let you friends know what’s happening. Tag along with the #Hashtag #UGTravelMonth2017 to get more engagements and impressions on your feeds.Editor’s Note: For bookings call/contact: +25677-5498582, 0414-695658 or email at info@thepearlguide.co.ug.last_img read more

Angonix Angolabased Internet Exchange Point IXP now topthree in Africa

first_imgAdvertisement In just two years, Angonix – an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) based in Luanda – has grown exponentially to become the third largest African IXP. With peak traffic of 10.8 Gbps (as recorded in July 2017), Angonix has become a competitive force in Angola and the sub-Saharan region.Managed by Angola Cables, Angonix allows global and local networks such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to interconnect directly to exchange Internet traffic. Angonix currently has 17 members, including leading financial institutions, cable and satellite companies, ISPs, mobile phone operators and various communications service providers operating on the continent. An interactive infographic about Angonix is available here.Darwin Costa, project manager at Angonix, explains what makes the IXP unique. “We provide a physical access point through which major networks with their own Autonomous System Numbers can connect and exchange traffic. As a neutral IXP, Angonix allows content to be localised at greatly reduced per-bit delivery costs and offers improved routing efficiency. Its commercial offering features peering Ports of 1G Ethernet and 10G Ethernet, with speeds of 1,000Mbps and 10,000Mbps, respectively. – Advertisement – Proud of the impact the organisation is seeing in improving Internet access in Africa, Costa adds: “With a suite of strategic communications assets on the continent, Angola Cables will become the only carrier able to directly connect networks from the Americas and Europe to the third largest platform in Africa, Angonix. Remote peering services will soon be launched whereby peering ports on Angonix will be available in other markets.”He adds that the growth of Angonix has exceeded even the most optimistic of forecasts. “Our growth is an indication of how ripe the continent is for digital growth.”[related-posts]Distributed by APO on behalf of Angola Cables.last_img read more

Dont miss the Call Star Sports 08000 521 321 Novices Hurdle

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he race of the day has to be the “Call Star Sports 08000 521 321 Novices’ Hurdle” at Plumpton. Well we would say that !!It’s the opener on Plumpton’s card at 12.25 and hopefully a case of the early bird catching the worm.It’s the morning after the Star Sports Christmas Party and the word at breakfast was for Chase The Wind to land the opener.He showed great promise in bumpers, finishing runner-up three times, but was well beaten on debut over hurdles at Newbury.This looks a much easier assignment and he is worth a second chance.In the next race there’s a real coup for the track as former Champion Hurdler Rock On Ruby makes his chasing debut.He will be long odds-on in this three runner race.Very few horses have made the transition from Champion Hurdler to top chaser – but there’s one notable exeption – the great Dawn Run who won the Gold Cup in 1986 having won the Champion Hurdle two years earlier.RECOMMENDED BET (1-10 points)5 points CHASE THE WIND at around 9/4 with Star SportsWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Friday

first_imgHORSE RACING3.10 BangorAvidity 12/1 > 8/15.10 GalwayCeide Fields 18/1 > 10/16.05 BathExcellent George 6/1 > 4/16.35 BathSecret Agent 4/1 > 5/27.25 GalwayLady Nathaniel 3/1 > 2/17.30 NewmarketMountain Rescue 6/1 > 11/47.55 GalwayEmpress Lyla 9/1 > 11/28.10 BathPattie 9/1 > 9/2FOOTBALLChampionship19:45 Sky Sports Football13/8 Sunderland 7/4 Derby County 21/10 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 4 Augustlast_img read more

Squishy hydras simple circuits ready for their closeup

first_imghttp://news.rice.edu/files/2018/07/0730_HYDRA-1-WEB-247vz1a.jpgA hydra is pulled into a pipette in preparation for insertion into a microfluidic chamber at Rice University. The Rice lab is studying hydra to characterize the relationship between its neural activity and muscle movements. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/07/0730_HYDRA-2-WEB-1sz5mqm.jpgRice University graduate student Krishna Badhiwala captures a hydra for study in one of the lab’s custom microfluidic systems. The Rice lab is studying hydra to characterize the relationship between its neural activity and muscle movements. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) ShareNEWS RELEASEEditor’s note: Links to video, an animated GIF and high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduSquishy hydra’s simple circuits ready for their close-upRice University engineers track neural activity, muscle movement in ageless aquatic creaturesHOUSTON – (July 26, 2018) – Just because an animal is soft and squishy doesn’t mean it isn’t tough. Experiments at Rice University show the humble hydra is a good example.The hydra doesn’t appear to age – and apparently never dies of old age. If you cut one in two, you get hydrae. And each one can eat animals twice its size.These beasties are survivors, and that makes them worthy of study, according to Rice electrical and computer engineer Jacob Robinson.Robinson and his team have developed methods to corral the tiny, squid-like hydrae and perform the first comprehensive characterization of relationships between neural activity and muscle movements in these creatures. Their results appear in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Lab on a Chip.The researchers used several methods to reveal the basic neural patterns that drive the activities of freshwater hydra vulgaris: They immobilized the animals in narrow, needle-laden passages, dropped them into arenas about one-tenth the size of a dime and let them explore wide-open spaces. They expect their analysis will help them identify patterns that have been conserved by evolution in larger brain architectures. Rice University graduate student Krishna Badhiwala captures a hydra for study in one of the lab’s custom microfluidic systems. The Rice lab is studying hydra to characterize the relationship between its neural activity and muscle movements. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description Return to article. Long DescriptionA hydra is pulled into a pipette in preparation for insertion into a microfluidic chamber. Photo by Jeff FitlowRobinson is a neuroengineer with expertise in microfluidics, the manipulation of fluids and their contents at small scales. His lab has developed an array of chip-based systems that let scientists control movements and even sequester biological systems – cells and small animals – to study them up close and over long periods of time.The lab has studied all of the above with its custom, high-throughput microfluidics systems, with worms representing the “animal” part.But hydrae, which top out at about a half-centimeter long, come in different sizes and change their shapes at will. That presented particular challenges to the engineers.“C. elegans (roundworms) and hydrae have similarities,” Robinson said. “They’re small and transparent and have relatively few neurons, and that makes it easier to observe the activity of every brain cell at the same time.“But there are enormous biological differences,” he said. “The worm has exactly 302 neurons, and we know exactly how it’s wired. Hydrae can grow and shrink. They can be cut into pieces and form new animals, so the number of neurons inside can change by factors of 10.“That means there’s a fundamental difference in the animals’ neurobiology: Where the worm has to have an exact circuit, the hydrae can have any number of circuits, reorganize in different ways and still perform relatively similar behaviors. That makes them really fun to study.” Return to article. Long DescriptionRice University graduate student Krishna Badhiwala captures a hydra for study in one of the lab’s custom microfluidic systems. Photo by Jeff Fitlow“It’s a little difficult to jam them into microfluidics because they’re really just a two-cell-layer-thick body,” Badhiwala said. “You can imagine them being easily shredded. We eventually got to the point where we’re really good at inserting them without damaging them too much. It just requires some dexterity and steadiness.”With this and future studies, the team hopes to connect neural activity and muscle response to learn about similar connections in other members of the animal kingdom.“C. elegans, drosophila (fruit flies), rats, mice and humans are bilaterians,” Robinson said. “We all have bilateral symmetry. That means we shared a common ancestor, hundreds of millions of years ago. Hydrae belong to another group of animals called cnidarians, which are radially symmetric. These are things like jellyfish, and they have a more distant ancestor.“But hydrae and humans shared a common ancestor that we believe was the first animal to have neurons,” he said. “From this ancestor came all the nervous systems that we see today.“By looking at organisms in different parts of the phylogenetic tree, we can think about what’s common to all animals with nervous systems. Why do we have a nervous system? What is it good for? What are the things that a hydra can do that worms and humans can also do? What are the things they can’t do?“These kinds of questions will help us understand how we’ve evolved the nervous system we have,” Robinson said.Co-authors are Rice graduate students Daniel Gonzales and Benjamin Avants and alumnus Daniel Vercosa, now an engineer at Intel Corp. Robinson is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.The research was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s BioControl program, the Keck Center of the Gulf Coast Consortia and the National Science Foundation.-30-Read the abstract at http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2018/lc/c8lc00475g#!divAbstract.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Video: Return to article. Long Description http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/07/0730_HYDRA-ANIMGIF-1elbr02.gifSmaller version: http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/07/0730_HYDRA-SMALL-ANIMGIF-27j5igd.gifRelated materials:Nano-SPEARs gently measure electrical signals in small animals: http://news.rice.edu/2017/04/17/nano-spears-gently-measure-electrical-signals-in-small-animals-2/Robinson Lab: https://www.robinsonlab.comRice Department of Electrical  and Computer Engineering: https://eceweb.rice.eduGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering: https://engineering.rice.eduImages for download: https://youtu.be/AYVRHEwkIDkVideo produced by Brandon Martin/Rice UniversityAnimated GIF: Return to article. Long DescriptionRice University electrical and computer engineer Jacob Robinson peers into a chamber of hydra cultivated in his lab for testing. Photo by Jeff FitlowThe microfluidics platform let the lab sequester a single hydra for up to 10 hours to study neurological activity during distinct behaviors like body column and tentacle contraction, bending and translocation.Some of the hydrae were wild, while others were modified to express fluorescent or other proteins. Because the best way to characterize a hydra is to watch it for about a week, the lab is building a camera-laden array of microfluidic chips to produce time-lapse movies of up to 100 animals at once.“If you look at them with the naked eye, they just sit there,” Robinson said. “They’re kind of boring. But if you speed things up with time-lapse imaging, they’re performing all kinds of interesting behaviors. They’re sampling their environment; they’re moving back and forth.”Electrophysiology tests were made possible by the lab’s development of Nano-SPEARs, microscopic probes that measure electrical activity in the individual cells of small animals. The needles extend from the center of the hourglass-shaped capture device and penetrate a hydra’s cells without doing permanent damage to the animal.Nano-SPEARS don’t appear to measure activity of neurons inside the animal, so the researchers used calcium-sensitive proteins to trigger fluorescent signals in the hydra’s cells and produced time-lapsed movies in which neurons lit up as they contracted. “We use calcium as a proxy for electrical activity inside the cell,” Robinson said. “When a cell becomes active, the electrical potential across its membrane changes. Ion channels open up and allow the calcium to come in.” With this approach, the lab could identify the patterns of neural activity that drove muscle contractions.“Calcium imaging gives us spatial resolution, so I know where cells are active,” he said. “That’s important to understand how the brain of this organism works.”Manipulating hydrae is an acquired skill, according to graduate student and lead author Krishna Badhiwala. “If you handle them with pipettes, they’re really easy, but they do stick to pretty much anything,” she said. Rice University electrical and computer engineer Jacob Robinson peers into a chamber of hydra cultivated in his lab for testing. The Rice team is developing techniques to characterize the nervous systems of hydra. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)center_img A hydra is pulled into a pipette in preparation for insertion into a microfluidic chamber at Rice University. The Rice lab is studying hydra to characterize the relationship between its neural activity and muscle movements. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Rice University graduate student Krishna Badhiwala captures a hydra for study in one of the lab’s custom microfluidic systems. The Rice lab is studying hydra to characterize the relationship between its neural activity and muscle movements. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) A hydra is pulled into a pipette in preparation for insertion into a microfluidic chamber at Rice University. The Rice lab is studying hydra to characterize the relationship between its neural activity and muscle movements. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Rice University electrical and computer engineer Jacob Robinson and his lab have developed methods to corral the tiny, squid-like hydra to perform the first comprehensive characterization of relationships between neural activity and muscle movements in the animals. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis Rice University electrical and computer engineer Jacob Robinson peers into a chamber of hydra cultivated in his lab for testing. The Rice team is developing techniques to characterize the nervous systems of hydra. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/07/0730_HYDRA-4-WEB-2nro9up.jpgRice University electrical and computer engineer Jacob Robinson and his lab have developed methods to corral the tiny, squid-like hydra to perform the first comprehensive characterization of relationships between neural activity and muscle movements in the animals. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/07/0730_HYDRA-3-WEB-1vzl31h.jpgRice University electrical and computer engineer Jacob Robinson peers into a chamber of hydra cultivated in his lab for testing. The Rice team is developing techniques to characterize the nervous systems of hydra. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)last_img read more

The New Pepperdine STAPLES Center Classroom and More – Los Angeles news

first_img Happy Friday! Let’s take a look at some of the biggest news coming out of Los Angeles this week.Want Better Growth? Toss Out The Marketing Playbook – CGU Drucker School NewsClaremont Graduate University’s Drucker School Chair in Management and the Liberal Arts, Bernie Jaworski, suggests that to compete in today’s emerging markets, traditional ‘by the book’ strategies must take a back seat.Jaworski recently co-authored The Organic Growth Playbook: Activate High-Yield Behaviors To Achieve Extraordinary Results – Every Time with Robert Lurie. In it, they explored the stories of four companies who achieved rapid growth by eschewing standard marketing approaches.Through their research, Lurie and Jaworski discovered that a “more holistic approach to customers’ purchasing behaviors” leads to long term revenue increases. The authors believe that the underlying consumer behavior behind the success or failure of certain products is the key to making the right decisions. Lurie is the current Vice President of Corporate Strategy at the Eastman Chemical Company. The Organic Growth Playbook is available now from the American Marketing Association.Graziadio Forms New Classroom in the STAPLES Center – Pepperdine NewsroomThe Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School are teaming up to establish a classroom in the STAPLES Center. The class will serve as a hub of programming for Graziadio’s sports and entertainment management programs.Students in this one of a kind classroom will gain the opportunity to hear a ‘best-in-class’ speaker series hosted by AEG, which will allow them a glimpse at the operations of one of the nation’s most popular sports and entertainment venues.Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton says of the partnership, “As the exclusive education partner of STAPLES Center … we look forward to providing our sports and entertainment students with a premier educational experience that will uniquely prepare them to shape the future of their industries.”The new STAPLES Center classroom from Pepperdine Graziadio features seating for up to 30 students, and it can be converted into an event space for up to 50 attendees.You can learn more about the brand new classroom opening here.V For Victory – USC Marshall News and EventsUSC’s Marshall School of Business offers Global Leadership Program (GLP) students a chance to see a side of business school that many aren’t accustomed to—the side occupied by veterans of the U.S. armed forces.Ninety-five freshmen in the GLP joined with thirty-two Master’s of Business for Veterans (MBV) students for military-style exercises meant to enhance physical discipline while developing their leadership, strategy, and communication skills.Professor Emeritus Robert Turrill, Academic Director of the MBV program, says, “We wanted our vets interacting with our freshmen. We thought there was a lot of sharing to take place … They hear a lot about corporate leadership, and I wanted them to hear about military leadership and see where the overlaps are. This group of veterans knows leadership quite well, and they have a lot to give.”GLP students are just embarking upon their educational experience, but they were able to offer the vets a glimpse into their lives which was just as valuable.Eugenia Hang (GLP ’22), says, “I think this is really important for the students to experience and reflect on these concepts, like integrity, [and] communication … One of the takeaways I got was sacrificing personal gains for the collective benefit.”You can read more about the recent USC Marshall event here. About the AuthorMaggie BoccellaMaggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city’s annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.View more posts by Maggie Boccella Last Updated Oct 26, 2018 by Maggie BoccellaFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail The New Pepperdine STAPLES Center Classroom, and More – Los Angeles newscenter_img regions: Los Angeles RelatedThe Top Marketing MBAs In Los AngelesEarning an MBA is a great way to gain broad business knowledge that can be applied to many different roles and industries in the business world. As a result, an MBA degree can be ideal for students who haven’t yet made up their mind about their career path. Yet even…March 9, 2017In “Featured Home”Launch of Drucker Family Business Institute and More- Los Angeles NewsWe’ve rounded up some of the top news stories coming out of the business schools in the Los Angeles metro this week. BUCO Hosts MCA- USC Marshall Newsroom The 39th annual meeting of the Management Communication Association (MCA) will take place this week at USC’s Marshall School of Business. The event,…June 6, 2018In “News”USC Tells the Story of Their Own Hero, and More – Los Angeles NewsWe’ve rounded up the top news stories coming out of the Los Angeles metro this week. A Hero MBA – USC Marshall Newsroom The Marshall School of Business at USC recently celebrated the graduation of the MBA Class of 2018, including Marine Corps Cap. Corban Pierce. Pierce, his MBA now in hand,…June 1, 2018In “Featured Home”last_img read more

Trump Infrastructure Overhaul May Top 1 Trillion Cut Red Tape

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share Share this article WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to cut red tape to speed up approval of infrastructure projects and said his overhaul could top $1 trillion on roads, tunnels and bridges, one of his 2016 election campaign promises.Trump, a real estate businessman before he was elected, did not provide further details on the amount or where the money would come from when he spoke to a White House meeting of 50 chief executives and other business leaders.U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said at the forum that the administration plans to release a legislative package in May. Investors have become more skeptical that the plan would win approval this year in Congress, which is controlled by Republicans who are traditionally wary of big spending.Trump said building a highway can require dozens of approvals and take 10 to 20 years, a process he vowed to speed up. Trump said he would not fund projects that cannot be started within 90 days.The administration wants to improve the electrical grid and water systems, rebuild airports, bridges, roads and potentially hospitals for military veterans and broadband.Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy DJ Gribbin (L) holds up a chart showing the regulatory steps to build a highway as U.S. President Donald Trump holds the mic during a CEO town hall on the American business climate at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on April 4, 2017. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque) Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy DJ Gribbin (L) holds up a chart showing the regulatory steps to build a highway as U.S. President Donald Trump holds the mic during a CEO town hall on the American business climate at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on April 4, 2017. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque) National Economic Council director Gary Cohn told executives that privatizing air traffic control, which the administration proposed in its budget outline in March, “is probably the single most exciting thing we can do.”.Cohn, an investment banker with Goldman Sachs before he became Trump’s top economic adviser, said it could help speed flight times and reduce fuel use.Related CoverageUS Trade Deficit Falls as Exports Hit Two-Year HighRyan Dampens Hopes for Quick Revival of US Healthcare OverhaulCohn said if cities “sell off” or privatize infrastructure assets, the administration could provide financial support.“We’re not on the cutting edge of this,” Cohn said. “We’ve got to get a little more comfortable with public-private partnerships.”Cohn touted an idea of electric car maker Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk to use tunnels to speed rail transit on the densely populated east coast and also to cut traffic congestion in Los Angeles. A Tesla spokesman declined comment. Trump: Infrastructure Overhaul May Top $1 Trillion, Cut Red Tape By Reuters April 4, 2017 Updated: April 4, 2017center_img U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a CEO town hall on the American business climate at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on April 4, 2017. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque) US Show Discussionlast_img read more