31 Jul
2019

A series of offensive remarks made by a disabled M

first_imgA series of offensive remarks made by a disabled MP about other minority groups and women should end his political career, according to members of a disabled women’s collective.Sisters of Frida was among disabled groups and activists who spoke to Disability News Service (DNS) this week following revelations that Labour’s Jared O’Mara, now aged 35, had posted a string of homophobic, misogynist and racist comments on websites when he was in his 20s.The disabled MP was forced to resign from the Commons women and equalities committee after he apologised and admitted posting the comments, which had emerged through the political blog Guido Fawkes.But new concerns then emerged about further offensive comments O’Mara (pictured) was alleged to have made to a woman in a nightclub just seven months ago, comments he is reported to have denied making.Labour subsequently suspended him from the party and launched an inquiry into that incident, which is also likely to investigate the historic online comments.There has been little sympathy for O’Mara from prominent disabled campaigners this week.Eleanor Lisney, one of the founders of the disabled women’s collective Sisters of Frida, said they believed that O’Mara’s political career should now be over, although it was “up to his constituents” to decide on his future.But she added: “We don’t think he should be an MP if he has those kind of views.“He should know from lived experience how it feels like to have those kind of remarks said about you.”She said Sisters of Frida had ruled out any engagement with O’Mara, and added: “We don’t want to have anything to do with him.”She said members of Sisters of Frida were “disappointed” and “really surprised” that O’Mara managed to become an MP after previously making such misogynist, racist and homophobic comments.She said: “We can’t accept that kind of attitude. It’s not whether he said it 15 years ago or whether he said it now. It’s just not acceptable.”Lisney said Sisters of Frida believed the claims made by the woman who said O’Mara had directed offensive remarks at her in a nightclub earlier this year.And she said O’Mara had compounded the seriousness of those remarks by then calling the woman a liar.Stephen Brookes, a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, supported Labour’s decision to suspend O’Mara.He said that, as a disabled person, O’Mara should have been more aware of other equality issues.He said: “We must all remember that it wasn’t just a single throwaway remark or misguided joke.“If negative comments had been made about him or disability by one of the groups he has demeaned there would have been an outcry from all of us.“Seems we have someone who is only really sorry because they have been caught out. His suspension is absolutely justified.”Deborah King, co-founder of Disability Politics UK, said: “Jared O’Mara is entitled to due process and a fair hearing.“We will know after that whether he can be an important voice for disabled people in parliament.”She added: “Diversity and inclusion should be part of all politicians’ core values. Politicians need to be sensitive to all groups in society. The key words are dignity and respect.“All MPs need to get some good quality training which involves role play and self-assessment, not just a lecture.”Rebecca Boot, a disabled Labour party member, told DNS: “Jared O’Mara said some inexcusable things, which no one should be defending.“He says he no longer holds those views, but he needs to follow that up with substantive action.“All minority communities have experienced people just paying lip service to ‘change’ and are rightly sceptical of that.“O’Mara has been a good advocate for disabled people in parliament, highlighting the barriers in getting to elected office, issues with the practices of the House of Commons and the damage that austerity policies are inflicting on disabled people.“If he can prove that he has changed, that he no longer holds the homophobic and misogynist views that he did as a 21-year-old, and if the latest allegations are false, then I would welcome his continued involvement in disability politics.“However, we cannot throw women and LGBT+ people under the bus by allowing him to speak for disabled people if the pattern of his behaviour does not hold with his words.”Debbie Abrahams, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, told DNS on Tuesday: “Anybody that makes any derogatory and discriminatory remarks must be held to account.”She said Labour was launching an investigation into the comments, but she added: “We must allow due process.”The following day, a Labour party spokeswoman confirmed that the investigation had been prompted by the allegations concerning the remarks made seven months ago.But she said it was likely that the investigation would also examine the historic comments he made on social media.She confirmed that O’Mara had been suspended from the party but would still be expected to vote on party lines.Earlier in the week, women and equalities minister Justine Greening said, in a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn: “Violent, sexist and homophobic language must have no place in our society, and parliamentarians of all parties have a duty to stamp out this sort of behaviour wherever we encounter it, and condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”She said the comments showed “the deep and persistent stain on Labour’s ability to represent women, the LGBT community and wider society”.Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable had called on Labour to withdraw the whip from O’Mara for his “completely unacceptable behaviour”.He said: “People must have confidence that MPs will stand up against prejudice. As MPs we cannot let ourselves fall short of those standards, particularly in our dealings with the public.”After the first – misogynistic – comments emerged, and he was forced to resign from the committee, O’Mara had released a statement saying that he was “deeply ashamed of the comments I made online” and that he understood “why they are offensive and sincerely apologise for my use of such unacceptable language”.He said: “I made the comments as a young man, at a particularly difficult time in my life, but that is no excuse.”He added: “Misogyny is a deep problem in our society. Since making those comments 15 years ago, I have learned about inequalities of power and how violent language perpetuates them.”The allegations have emerged only months after O’Mara won a shock election victory over former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in the Sheffield Hallam seat.There were hopes after his election that he would provide a strong new voice in parliament for disabled people.He said he wanted to highlight the impact of austerity on disabled people, and said Tory ministers had “completely torn up the welfare system” which had supported disabled people.He also accused the government of introducing policies inspired by “eugenics” in the hope that disabled people would “suffer and die”.O’Mara later told DNS that he wanted to see the House of Commons draw up a policy on bullying and harassment by MPs to prevent the kind of behaviour he had witnessed since joining parliament.And he said he wanted to “get some decorum and professionalism in the chamber and get it into the 21st century” and try to “make it a comfortable environment and make it an inclusive environment”.*The idea that different forms of oppression can combine and overlap, for example with the discrimination experienced by black women, or by gay disabled menlast_img read more

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31 Jul
2019

Voters can track millions flowing into local races Do they give a

first_imgIt still feels sadly accurate. And yet, progress has been made. Unfortunately, it’s largely limited to the technical side; now you can skip the public records room or registrar’s office and just log in from your living room, like Bush. And yet, few voters are exposed to this information and, arguably, even fewer care. Bush has spent decades leading this horse to water, but he can’t make it drink.Well, hell. That’s unfortunate. You could make a credible argument that unchecked money in politics is the No. 1 issue that should dominate both media coverage and inform voters’ political opinions — much more so than endorsements, which are mere tokens of political advocacy and back-scratching. A candidate’s record of action — and, don’t forget, inaction — is important, but must be matched against his or her donor profile. A candidate’s professed priorities are interesting, but have to be weighed against the professed priorities of his or her major donors. Very few people give tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars for altruistic reasons. That’s an investment. And investors are looking for a return. In this city, they’ve gotten it. Didyou hear? Another poll has been leaked to the media. You’re not going to believe this, but the candidate supported by the group that sponsored this poll is the candidate who comes out on top (this seems to be a pattern, whether the groups favor London Breed or Mark Leno). Your humble narrator wrote before about how the media could stand to undergo bit of introspection on how to handle partisan polls. And the one salient detail across every last publicly released poll is the one detail the media fails to properly highlight: No one is cracking 31 percent, if that — meaning the eventual winning candidate has a hell of a lot of second- and third-place votes to pick up under ranked-choice voting. Yes, these polls purport to tally such votes for a ranked-choice winner — but that’s a predictive double bank shot. What these polls seem to indicate is that it’s an open race. Which, frankly, only figures to goose big donors into making more of those big donations. This most recent poll was undertaken by the pro-Breed firefighters union, and placed their chosen candidate atop by a seven-point margin. Fair enough. But who paid for this poll? It’s difficult to know.    And that’s because everybody loves firefighters. Police envy the unabashed public adulation they receive. Call the firefighters and, very rarely, do they burn down your house. But call the cops and people end up getting ticketed or arrested — or so much worse. The firefighters’ glow extends to those who simply funnel them funds. Voters might not be thrilled if a tech baron mailed them materials or knocked on their doors telling them who he thought they should vote for. But firefighters? Everyone loves firefighters. To wit, Evan Williams, the former CEO of Twitter and boss at Medium, dropped $50,000 on the firefighters in support of Breed. (An aside: Williams has been active in this cycle. He also gave $50,000 to It’s Our Time, a pro-Breed Political Action Committee, and dropped another $50,000 on the Edwin M. Lee Democratic club to boost Breed — and, yes, the name of our departed tech- and business-friendly former mayor is now affixed to an outfit that exists largely to serve as a conduit for tech and business money. Of note, tech honchos from Zendesk and Automattic have ponied up $150,000 for the Rose Pak Democratic Club, named for Lee’s deceased frenemy, to support her preferred candidate, Jane Kim. This town.)Chris Larsen, the CEO of Ripple and, per Forbes, “The Richest Person in Cryptocurrency,” donated $49,000 to the firefighters to back Breed. The city’s association of Realtors kicked in $20,000. The chief product officer of Facebook and his wife kicked in $18,000. Here’s $25,000 from Verizon; do you hear me now?  But, as you can see here, the firefighters’ No. 1 donor, with $150,000 (so far), is “Progress San Francisco.” This is the Ron Conway-affiliated committee the “Godfather of Silicon Valley” recently sent out an e-mail blast on behalf of, noting that it “accepts unlimited personal & corporate contributions” and “will contribute to the other 100 percent positive independent expenditure committees in support of London Breed for Mayor.” (That e-mail ended up in the Chronicle; Chronicle columnist Willie Brown was on to something when he noted that the “e” in “e-mail” stands for “evidence”). Perusingthe donors to Progress San Francisco, we find Benchmark Capital general partner Matthew Cohler ($80,000); Twitch Interactive CEO Emmett Shear ($20,000), Instagram CEO Kevin York Systrom ($20,000) and others. Progress San Francisco sent $60,000 the firefighters’ way on May 7 — and, for that matter, on May 10 pushed $80,000 toward the “Affordable Housing for All Yes on D” committee. But thanks to reporting rules, the source of those funds won’t have to be disclosed until May 24. And much more money may flow by then. That means a flurry of activity from this and other Independent Expenditure committees late in the election will effectively cloak donors’ identities until the last vote has very nearly been cast. Back in Larry Bush’s living room, he can find all of this information in a matter of moments (and so can you; if you do nothing else prior to casting a vote, visit the Ethics Commission’s website and see who’s paying for what. Did you know R.J. Reynolds has already pumped some $12 million into fighting this city’s proposed ban of flavored tobacco? Now you do.) When a visitor stands to leave Bush’s Castro abode, Izabel the dog barks and growls: A watchdog for the watchdog. Bush laughs, but, like this dog, the bodies he fostered to rein in campaign finance in this town have proven to be glassy-eyed and nearly toothless. Still, he’ll keep on following the money. “And now the only one who can fire me,” says the 72-year-old retiree, “is me.”    Tags: Elections • mayor’s race • politics Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Retirement, for Larry Bush, looks a lot like work did. The former journalist, politico, fixer and government apparatchik is seated on a recliner in his Castro district living room, his feet up; his tiny dog, Izabel, sitting across his legs; and a Macbook in his lap. He’s following the money. Well, someone has to. “His watchdoggery is unrelenting … No one else is doing the job,” reads a profile of Bush. “What of the fourth estate? Well, most reporters have become inured to the pervasive influence of political money. For them, lucre is as much part of City Hall as the mortar and the marble. That leaves Larry Bush, rooting around all alone in the musty public records room at the Registrar of Voters Office, poring over campaign finance records.”That passage was written 23 years ago. center_img 0%last_img read more

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31 Jul
2019

LEE Gaskell has joined Salford City Reds on loan u

first_imgLEE Gaskell has joined Salford City Reds on loan until the end of the season.The 22-year-old half back has made 43 appearances for the Club since making his debut in 2010 but has found chances limited in 2013.Coming the other way is Stuart Howarth, 23, who is a hooker / loose forward.He was the only Reds player to feature in every one of the club’s 29 matches last season, mostly as a hooker but as scrum half towards the latter end of the campaign.Saints Head Coach Nathan Brown said: “At this stage of his career Lee needs to be playing more regularly and with chances limited at present it made sense for him to go out on loan.“We’re looking forward to watching him develop and I’m sure he will do a good job for Salford.“Stuart has shown in his time at Salford that he is a capable and experienced player and will prove more than adequate cover for a multitude of positions.“He will be put straight into the Good Friday squad and we are confident he will do well.”last_img read more

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31 Jul
2019

ITS Saints v Hull FC this evening in Round 9 of t

first_imgIT’S Saints v Hull FC this evening in Round 9 of the First Utility Super League XXI season.As with all our home games this year, we have a host of entertainment both on and off the field to bring you the ultimate matchnight experience.Game Schedule:Red Vee Cafe Bar – Open at 5pm.Tackling Machine – Try your hand at Trojan’s tackle machine opposite the Red Vee Café Bar.Turnstiles – Open 6.30pm.Club Face Painters – These will be operating in the Typhoo and the Hattons Solicitors Family Stands, as well as the Totally Wicked North Stand from 6.30pm … come along and get your face painted in Saints colours for free!Inflatables – We have a range of inflatables in the South West concourse close to the Karalius’ Bar kiosk and in the North Stand concourse for our Junior fans to enjoy!Frankfurters! – The new range continue to be on sale in several kiosks around the concourse.Matchday Pies – A new tasty range will be on sale in several kiosks around the concourse. These include Steak and Pepper, Tikka, Peri Peri and Pulled Pork.Kiosk 5 – Now has Saints Gold and Fosters on tap.Boots – Your favourite furry mascot Boots will be in attendance in all the concourse areas from 6.30pm onwards so look out for him and say hello!Players – We will have two members of the first-team squad who will be down in the concourses to meet fans and sign autographs – these will be in the South-West concourse area at around 7pm, North Stand concourse 7:15pm and the South East concourse 7:30pm. Look out for the life-size players cut-outs in the South West & North Stand to mark the spot where they will be!Cheerleaders – Will be performing at 7.40pm.Steve Prescott Foundation – Kobi and Taylor Prescott will lead the teams out at kick off to celebrate this years Steve Prescott MBE Cup.Isaac Haggerty – there will be a minute’s applause for young Isaac just before kick-off.Half Time – Crossbar Challenge in association with ODs Designer Clothing.Friday’s match is sponsored by Trojan Workwear with the match ball supported by the Steve Prescott Foundation.Team NewsKeiron Cunningham has named his 19-man squad for the match. You can find out more here – and a statistical preview is here.TicketsTickets for the game are available from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or by calling 01744 455 052. Price details are here.There will be cash turnstiles on the Hattons Solicitors West, McLoughlin and Harvey East and Totally Wicked North Stands.If you require a Solarking South Stand ticket then you need to head to the Ticket Office.Saints SuperstoreThe Saints Superstore is open from 9am until kick off and for half an hour after full time. The eighth edition of our fantastic match programme ‘Strength in Numbers’ will be on sale.It features an exclusive interview with Shannon McDonnell as well we a look back at recent events at Langtree Park. There’s also the latest news and views from around the club, our Academy and community teams. Today’s programme is available on the concourse as well as in the Saints Superstore and is sponsored by Warrington Audi.TravelIf you haven’t planned your trip to Langtree Park, then take a look at our Travel Section for the best ways of getting to the stadium.Matchday Car Parking details are here.OD’s Crossbar ChallengeThe half time crossbar game returns with participants having the chance to win £100 in ODs vouchers.If you want to take part email the club at keepmeupdated@saintsrlfc.comlast_img read more

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31 Jul
2019

Collectively close to £8000 has been raised by

first_imgCollectively, close to £8,000 has been raised by ‘bids’ alone for St Helens Autism Support and Andy Reid’s Warrior Challenge.And that figure is set to increase when proceeds from the sales of the special Autism shirt, worn at the Magic Weekend, and the red ‘warm-up’ tops for the Warrior Challenge, are announced.Saints Chief Executive Mike Rush said: “We’re really glad to have such a generous community of people who want to show their support for the charities. That means a lot to the club.“Autism is a cause close to my heart and we are well on track to match the figure we raised last year.“I’m also delighted that the Warrior Challenge auction has gone so well. Andy is an inspiration to all.”The players’ Magic Weekend shirts were all sold in aid of St Helens Autism Support; a charity who offers free support to the families of people on the autistic spectrum.And the first team’s ‘warm up’ tops worn before their win over Widnes were auctioned for the Warrior Challenge in honour of the memory of six men who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.last_img read more

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30 Jul
2019

Wilmington police investigating officerinvolved shooting on N Front St

first_img It happened around 1:30 p.m. on N. Front Street near the post office by Chop’s Deli.Wilmington Police spokeswoman Linda Thompson says someone told a police officer that a man was walking around the area with a gun.A short time later, witnesses told police they heard gunshots and saw the suspect running towards the New Hanover County Library.Related Article: Fight over brownie leaves 14-year-old boy deadA sheriff’s deputy at the library spotted the suspect and saw him bleeding from the face with a gun in his hand. The deputy took him into custody. Law enforcement interviewed several people at the scene.EMS took the suspect to the hospital. No one else got hurt.The State Bureau of Investigations has been called in to investigate the officer involved shooting. WPD says they will release more information as it becomes available. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are investigating after a man was hospitalized with a gunshot wound after an encounter with a Wilmington police officer in downtown Wilmington.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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30 Jul
2019

Historic Wilmington Foundation executive director retiring

first_img President of the Board of Trustees Walker Abney and fellow board members all expressed praise for Edwards for his work and dedication the Foundation, and the historic preservation movement in Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region.Abney said Edwards has been the face of the Foundation and preservation in the community for years and he will be missed.  Edwards, who celebrates thirteen years as director in November, is the longest serving executive in the organization’s 51 history. Historic Wilmington Foundation has been the voice and advocate for historic preservation in Wilmington and the region since 1966. In fact, during Edwards’ tenure the mission was redefined and the service area broadened to include Brunswick and Pender Counties.The Foundation instituted the first revolving fund to save historic properties in North Carolina and has utilized the fund and preservation easements to save one hundred and one properties since 1967.  The Foundation has also been an aggressive advocate for good preservation practices for local government and property owners, and has offered an extensive array of educational programs.Related Article: ALE operation leads to 18 arrests, 2 Wilmington bars issued violationsAbney stated that “the Foundation is in its strongest financial position in many years and the organization has built an impressive array of programs to educate the public about the advantages of preservation.”   New initiatives begun by Edwards include the partnership with the New Hanover County Schools to implement the award winning Tar Heels Go Walking guide program, the annual Most Threatened Historic Places announcement and the effective traveling exhibit, used to educate the region’s citizens about the value of our historic built environment. The Foundation also has reopened its architectural salvage operation after a ten-year hiatus and it has achieved incredible results in just two short years.Edwards moved to Wilmington from Richmond, Virginia, and is now in his thirty second year in the preservation field. He has worked for local and statewide non-profit preservation organizations, as well as seven years in the Main Street downtown redevelopment field.  He completed his master’s degree in heritage preservation at Georgia State University in 1986. Before moving into historic preservation he had worked in higher education for almost eleven years and was in college textbook sales and publishing for two years.Abney stated that “the board will move to form a search committee to fill the director’s position.  George has strengthened the organization and is leaving us in a very good position to attract a highly qualified candidate who can build on our accomplishments and move us to new heights.  The board is grateful to George for his years of service.” WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The executive director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation for more than 10 years has decided to step down.George Edwards has been with HWF since 2004 and plans to retire in December.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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30 Jul
2019

Insurance company sets up in town helps residents with claims

first_imgAllstate Insurance has a team set up at Home Depot in Wilmington to help residents file claims for damage from Florence. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Allstate Insurance is trying to make the claim process easier on residents with damage from Florence. Teams are stationed throughout North Carolina to help residents get help as soon as possible.The insurance company is set up at the Home Depot on Eastwood Road. They can file claims, write insurance checks and help customers set up home inspections. Allstate says they want to make the process quick. They have even brought therapy dogs out to different sites to keep customers calm during this crazy time.- Advertisement – “Depending on the person’s policy, and specific coverage, and specifics of the claim, for some things we might be able to instantly deposit money for additional living expenses, if that is someone that is on the policy and covered by the claim,” said Allstate spokesman Adam Polak.Polak says they want to be easily accessible for residents once they get home. He says they will stay here until all their customers are taken care of.last_img read more

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30 Jul
2019

Free school lunches continue for Pender County students

first_img Food and nutrition services has extended the program for students in certain counties including Pender, Duplin and Onslow.Students there can eat at no cost until November 30. School lunch (Photo: USDA) SOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) — While students in some areas impacted by Hurricane Florence are no longer receiving a free school lunch, that’s not the case in Pender County.After the storm, the USDA National School Lunch Program provided free meals for students.- Advertisement – last_img

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30 Jul
2019

Airtel Rwanda staff offers handson training to RTUC students

first_imgAdvertisement In line with the company’s social responsibility mission of education empowerment and unlocking potential, Airtel Rwanda staff have offered a hands-on training to Business Information Technology students from Rwanda Tourism University College (RTUC) during a visit to the telecom headquarters and Network centers.Apart from gaining practical experience out of the classroom, hands-on trainings have been seen to aid students narrow their professional focus; a step towards career shaping.Commenting on the training, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Mr. Teddy Bhullar said, “Classroom education blended with hands-on training are key in producing all round graduates who will fill the future workforce of Rwanda.” – Advertisement – He added, “We hope that the tour and hands-on training you have received today will widen your understanding of Information Technology. The Airtel family is also delighted to be the preferred company of choice to facilitate this training.”Also speaking on behalf of the students, Lecturer and Webmaster, Mr. Kudan Kumar said, “It is a lot of added value to have our students receive a hands-on experience and see for themselves what they study in class. This will help them have a more rounded experience and elevate their understanding of the theoretical concepts.This training now becomes the second after Airtel recently hosted another for students from Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center South (IPRC-South). The team focused on Networks and Information Technology.“We want to empower the young generation with skills that will help shape their career. Our primary focus is in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education,” Bhullar concluded.last_img read more

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