Ministers appear to have failed to hand a crucial report about the work capability assessment – warning it put at risk the lives of thousands of people with mental health conditions – to the expert they commissioned to review the test.An investigation by Disability News Service (DNS) suggests that work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) and employment minister Chris Grayling neglected to pass on a legal letter written by a coroner in the wake of the suicide of a disabled man, Stephen Carre, in 2010.The letter – written under Rule 43 of the Coroner’s Rules – said Carre’s death had been triggered by being found “fit for work”, and it called for a review of the policy not to seek further medical evidence from a GP or psychiatrist if a claimant has a mental health condition.A coroner could only write a Rule 43 letter – a system replaced in 2013 – if he or she believed that the evidence they heard in an inquest “gives rise to a concern that circumstances creating a risk of other deaths will occur or will continue to exist in the future”.It is the second letter uncovered by DNS to have been written by a coroner to warn about the failure to seek further medical evidence when assessing the fitness for work of someone with a mental health condition, and was written more than three years before a similar report into the death of Michael O’Sullivan, from north London.Although the Rule 43 letter relating to Stephen Carre was sent to the Labour work and pensions secretary, Yvette Cooper, it arrived on 30 March, just a few days before the start of the 2010 general election campaign.Rule 43 gave ministers 56 days to respond to the letter, but nothing – apart from what is believed to have been a holding reply by the department’s permanent secretary on 4 May 2010 – had been sent to the coroner by October 2010, five months after Duncan Smith and Grayling had taken up their posts in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).And the letter does not appear to have been passed by ministers to Professor Malcolm Harrington, who was appointed by Grayling to review the “fairness and effectiveness” of the WCA for the government in late June 2010.Harrington has told DNS that he believes he was not shown the coroner’s report.He said: “I cannot recall the report. Nobody brought it to my attention that I can remember.“If I had known about that coroner’s report, I would have said that this was something else we need to look at.“I am a doctor, I know about coroner’s reports. Coroner’s reports are something that you don’t ignore.”He said the need to secure further medical evidence was a consistent concern during the three reviews he carried out, and he made it clear in his third – a recommendation that has still not been implemented by the government, three years later – that decision-makers should “actively” consider seeking further medical evidence.He said that, if he had been shown the coroner’s letter, it would almost certainly have led to him making recommendations far earlier about the need to seek further medical evidence.He said this was particularly important for claimants with mental health conditions, like Stephen Carre.He said: “Of course! They weren’t picking up this additional information that should have been right up front. It would have brought forward the best evidence.”Asked how he felt about Grayling’s apparent failure to pass on this information to him, he said: “No comment.”Stephen Carre, who lived alone in Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, had been found “fit for work” after an assessment by a doctor working for the government contractor Atos Healthcare, with the final decision that he was not eligible for out-of-work disability benefits – again, with no effort made to consult his doctor, psychiatrist or community psychiatric nurse – made by a DWP civil servant.He took his own life in January 2010, just days after learning that a reconsideration of the decision, by DWP, had confirmed that he was “fit for work” and so not eligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), the out-of-work disability benefit launched by the Labour government in October 2008.His father, Peter, told DNS that Atos, its assessor and DWP had all failed Stephen.He said: “Anyone could have seen that Stephen was incapable of work. It is totally beyond me how they could have found him fit for work.“If they had gone to his GP or his psychiatrist, I have no doubt the result of his assessment would have been different and he would probably still be with us today.”The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that although it has a copy of the coroner’s report into the death of Stephen Carre, it has no record of a DWP response, even though DWP had a legal duty to respond to the report.The office of the coroner who wrote the report, Tom Osborne, has not yet been able to confirm whether he received a response, because the relevant files are being retrieved from the archives.But Harrington said: “If they didn’t respond, they are definitely in breach of the regulations.”Despite the coroner’s letter, a DWP spokesman said: “Suicide is a tragic and complex issue and there are often many reasons why someone takes their life, so to link it to one event is misleading.”The spokesman said that a response was sent to the coroner on 4 May 2010, but he has yet to confirm that this was merely an acknowledgement of the Rule 43 letter, or a holding response.DNS has seen a letter sent to Peter Carre on 6 October 2010 in which the coroner said he had “yet to receive a substantive response” to his Rule 43 report from DWP.Asked whether Grayling, who is now leader of the House of Commons, and Duncan Smith responded to the coroner’s letter and carried out the review of the issue raised by the coroner, he pointed to the five independent reviews of the WCA, carried out by Harrington and Paul Litchfield, and to the “significant improvements” made to the assessment since 2010.He said these improvements included “improving the opportunities people have to present medical evidence”, and improvements to the process for people with mental health conditions, while he said the percentage of people with mental health conditions receiving the highest level of ESA support “has more than tripled since 2010”.He said: “The WCA now has a much greater focus on what someone can do and on the impact of mental health conditions on someone’s capability to work.”The DWP spokesman said claimants were “encouraged to provide all evidence that will be relevant to their case at the outset of the claim, including medical evidence supplied by their GP or other medical professionals”, while WCA assessors are “expected to seek further evidence” if it would help them award ESA without the need for a face-to-face assessment.He said DWP decision-makers “assess all available evidence and seek more if required to reach their decision”.But he admitted that DWP was still in discussions with Maximus – which took over the WCA contract from Atos earlier this year – to “pilot new evidence-seeking processes for claimants with mental health conditions”, more than five years after Stephen Carre’s death.Asked whether Grayling and Duncan Smith were shown the letter, he said: “I don’t know. I can’t answer that question.”He also claimed he did not know whether anyone in the press office had asked Duncan Smith about the coroner’s letter.And asked whether the two ministers ensured that Harrington was shown the coroner’s letter, he said: “I’m not able to answer that. I don’t know the answer to that.“What I do know is that Malcolm Harrington had access to a huge range of information. Whether he saw this one particular letter, I don’t know.”In a written statement to questions from DNS, the spokesman declined to say whether Duncan Smith and Grayling would apologise to the families of Stephen Carre and Michael O’Sullivan.Osborne’s Rule 43 letter emerged through a freedom of information request by DNS to the Ministry of Justice.The request was submitted* after DNS uncovered a coroner’s report written in January 2014, following the death of Michael O’Sullivan, a father-of-two from north London, which said that the decision to take his own life had been triggered by being found fit for work.Questions about the O’Sullivan case were raised twice last month at prime minister’s questions, by the SNP’s Westminster leader, Angus Robertson.The O’Sullivan family said in a statement: “We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Carre family and our sincere sympathies for their son, Stephen, whose untimely death mirrors our father’s in many tragic ways.“Peter Carre has shown great resilience in reliving this tragedy in such a public manner.“Having to relive our loss two years on has been very distressful and upsetting, but we felt that anything positive that could be learned from our father’s death was worth it.“We stand by what we have always said, that the WCA is not a fit or a fair way to assess people with a mental health disability or any disability.“It is heart-wrenching to hear that in 2010, three years before our father took his own life, Stephen Carre did the very same due to the cruel WCA.“Had the DWP acted as it should have done in Mr Carre’s case, had it learned from its failings then, we firmly believe that our father’s death would have been preventable.“Instead we are forced to spend another Christmas without our much-loved father. It is utterly devastating. Our family is shattered beyond repair.”Atos refused to respond to requests for a comment.*The Stephen Carre report did not emerge at the same time as the Michael O’Sullivan report because legislation was updated in 2013, which meant references to the two reports were filed in separate online locations by the Ministry of Justice. The post-2013 reports are available in full, but the Rule 43 reports are only available in summary
A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The government could be forced into court to defend its failure to make the much-criticised universal credit benefit system accessible to disabled people.A parliamentary meeting held to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Monday – and to call for universal credit to be scrapped – heard that disabled campaigners are now seeking claimants willing to help challenge the government’s apparent breach of equality laws.Inclusion London’s Disability Justice Project (DJP) is considering various possible legal challenges, which could include the failure of jobcentres to make the process accessible for disabled people forced to apply for universal credit, and the failure to assess the impact of the system on disabled people.Another possible legal challenge could address how the rollout of universal credit has led to disabled people losing accessible housing, or not being able to secure housing that meets their access needs.DJP is also examining the impact of sanctions and conditions imposed on disabled people through universal credit and whether that could form the basis of a legal action.Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, and also representing the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance, told the parliamentary meeting that it was a “disgrace” that the government had never carried out an equality impact assessment of the universal credit system, even though it “disproportionately affects disabled people”.She said universal credit was “fundamentally inaccessible”, with an online system that appeared to have been designed to exclude hundreds of thousands of people from using it, and which disregarded the many disabled people who have never used the internet, and the hundreds of thousands who only have sporadic online access.She added: “We also happen to think it is legally challengeable under the Equality Act, so we are looking for people who might be interested in making that challenge*.”Lazard said she could not think of a better event to mark IDPD because universal credit provided a “live, current danger to disabled people now” and despite recent government concessions it “continues to be devastatingly unfit for purpose”.She said: “Rather than motivating people into work, as this government claims, there is now irrefutable evidence that this hostile and threatening use of sanctions and conditionality is deeply damaging.”She said there was a “growing number of deaths linked to universal credit” and “widespread experience of a downward spiral of sanctions, debt, food and fuel poverty”, and even destitution, and a regime that was “instilling terror and anxiety in hundreds of thousands of disabled people”.Lazard said universal credit had been “ideologically designed” to be “punitive and hostile”, and she said disabled people must “refuse to be guinea pigs” in the government’s “ideological experiment”.The event was organised by the TUC disabled workers’ committee, Unite the union and Disabled People Against Cuts, and was hosted by Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, Marsha de Cordova.Dave Allan, chair of the national disabled members’ committee of Unite, reminded the meeting that the annual TUC Congress unanimously approved a motion he had moved in September that called on the Labour party to shift its stance on universal credit and promise to scrap the system.Labour’s policy is currently to simply “pause and fix” universal credit rather than scrapping it.The motion had previously been approved by disabled trade unionists at May’s TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference.Allan said there was a need for a broad alliance to “put massive pressure” on the government to scrap universal credit.But he said there was also a need to pressure Labour’s frontbench to commit to scrapping universal credit.Dorothy Gould, a freelance researcher, trainer and consultant for the National Survivor User Network (NSUN), said people with serious psychological trauma were seeing their mental distress “severely” worsened by the “huge problems associated with universal credit”.She said people were finding themselves “trapped in a cycle of assessment, rejection and appeals”, and she said the assessment system was “particularly unsuitable for people in mental distress”.NSUN has been collecting individual accounts of the impact of universal credit.One woman has told NSUN how the fear of disability cuts over the last two years had given her the most severe mental breakdown she had had in 44 years, involving eight months of illness, six weeks in a psychiatric unit and six months of recovery, which was ongoing.She told NSUN: “Now my biggest fear has been realised. The Department for Work and Pensions has cut all my disability payments and with two weeks’ notice.”Everything carefully built up over the last 17 years of self-management to provide some form of stability “has been taken away within two weeks”, she said, and added: “I don’t know where to turn, I’m in despair and in great danger of another major relapse. I have felt suicidal.”Gould said NSUN was urgently calling on the government to address the “trauma and injustice” caused both by universal credit and people’s experience of the Mental Health Act (see separate story).Dr Liz Okokon, co-disability officer and women’s officer for Dulwich and West Norwood Labour party and a Unite activist, who works in the NHS, said it was important to feel “positive and hopeful” because “so many people are not going to give up and give in”.She said: “We can do something about this, we can make a difference, we can change.“There are dreadful stories but [we should remember] the fact that we have our trade union movement behind us, activists from all corners behind us.”She pointed out how the telling of individual stories of the Windrush scandal had brought it to the mass media.She said: “Telling these stories really is really important.“We must remember that we are valued as people, not just as commodities, not just those who will go out and bring in a couple of tax dollars.“We have value as people and we need society to remember all of us have value, and not just how many cogs we can put on a wheel.”Miriam Binder (pictured), from Disabled People Against Cuts, said it was important to recognise that universal credit was being introduced “at a time of unprecedented cuts in our social infrastructure”.She said: “The whole universal credit process is essentially draconian and not fit for purpose.“It is punitive and takes no heed of the personal circumstances of those who are obliged to turn to it.“Universal credit has led to destitution, homelessness, illness, exacerbated disabilities and death.”She added: “It needs to be stopped and scrapped. No ifs, ands or buts about it.”The parliamentary event came just two days after a national day of action by Unite against universal credit saw 90 different actions across the country.Sean McGovern, co-chair of the disabled workers’ committee, said activists now needed to persuade Labour to scrap universal credit.He said universal credit was an “atrocious social policy” that had already killed “innumerable people” and activists needed to discuss the campaign to scrap universal credit with constituency Labour parties and trade unions.He said there would not be a formal campaigning alliance but groups needed to work together, including disabled people’s organisations and other grassroots groups, to push for universal credit to be scrapped under a Labour government.*Disabled people who have ongoing problems or concerns with universal credit or have had problems in the last couple of months, and are interested in a potential legal challenge on these or other grounds, can contact Svetlana Kotova at Inclusion London by emailing: Svetlana.Kotova@inclusionlondon.org.uk although Inclusion London cannot offer advice on individual claims.Picture by Ann Galpin
Tags: my mission Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% “This has been happening for a while, right? It’s just that I’d never actually seen it,” he said. “And I looked at it and thought, ‘I guess this feasibly applies to me.’ ”But, instantly, he also understood the value of art as a form of activism.“How else do you get such easy access to the issues that are present in the community?” he said.Since then, Joshi has often walked through the neighborhood’s alleys where murals run from end to end, in hopes of encountering artists at work. When he comes across them, he shoots their portraits and gets them to talk about themselves — it’s Joshi’s way of examining the city’s internal tensions from yet another angle.To Joshi, those artists may be the most tragic casualties of the city’s housing affordability crisis, since their departure could cheat his peers out of the same eye-opening moment that he experienced.Joshi said he worries most about the people who are “so inoculated by the belief that tech is egalitarian, that they don’t recognize their own biases.”He originally shared that egalitarian mindset. He had attended university at New South Wales, Australia, directly following high school, ultimately earning a master’s degree in medical and biomedical engineering, and then a PhD in the same field soon after. Then, he almost immediately set off to work in San Francisco’s tech sector in 2007, at Industrial Light and Magic.At the time, he said, “I felt very strongly that you can do anything you like if you put your mind to it.”But, living on the border between the Mission District and Potrero Hill, and taking the long bus ride to his job in the Presidio every day, he suddenly found himself interacting with “real people, frankly,” for the first time, he said. Some were well-off. Others were poor and uneducated. The more people he met, the less valid his worldview seemed. It needed amending.Yes, he concluded, most people were capable of great feats, but only if they had two things first: the inclination, and ample free time.Joshi witnessed that first-hand when he volunteered as a photography instructor at First Exposures, a mentoring program for teenagers with troubled backgrounds.“Some of them were just creative geniuses,” he said. But because they came from low-income families, some of the kids worked part-time jobs to help their parents pay the bills, and they had trouble keeping up with the class schedule.“In an environment where they would have the free time, they would thrive and be amazing. But the practical reality is that the situation they’re in — stuff that they have almost no control over — prevents them from achieving their massive potential.”Joshi, on the other hand, knows where he’ll get his next meal, and that he’ll probably never have trouble supporting his family. He worries that his level of comfort is a barrier to relating to people, he said.“How do you have empathy with someone who is being evicted from their house? How? That situation is alien to me. And it’s not because I don’t care — I imagine that it would be horrible, but I just don’t know what it’s like.”But few are entirely safe from the city’s burning real estate market, and someday Joshi and his family might have to leave their building, which does not grant them rent control. The Bayview-Hunters Point area is a likely destination, he said, though he suspects that his new neighbors might see him as a gentrifying interloper.“And that’s rough,” he said. “The burden is on us, to show our neighbors that we care.”Earlier profilesMy Mission: Roger MarencoAutos and Booze, a Mission Bartender with a Passion for Cars En Español.This is one of several profiles of the people who make the Mission District what it is today. They are part of our My Mission Zine. You can buy a copy here. Bhautik Joshi will be the first to tell you that he’s a total dork — for technology, photography, art and even dorkiness itself.That’s why, when he discovered San Francisco’s misfit-friendly culture, Joshi and his family decided to put down roots on the outskirts of the Mission District, where they have lived for about a decade. But as a senior software engineer for photo-sharing site Flickr, Joshi has become acutely aware of the neighborhood’s smoldering culture war and his place within it.The recent, massive influx of workers from the technology sector has long been blamed for indirectly raising real estate prices, which have displaced many longtime residents. When letters started popping up all over the Mission District in 2012, urging tech workers to leave, Joshi said it was a wake-up call in more ways than one. 0%
Tags: police Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Davis advises in the report that San Francisco wait to decide on Tasers until after the SFPD has made “sustained and substantive progress” on the 272 recommendations from the Department of Justice.“To make a decision about CED use, without addressing the issues that arose from these discussions, would be a disservice to the process started for the overall implementation of DOJ recommendations,” Davis concludes in the report.On the youth’s trepidation around the police, she writes, “I hope that SFPD is committed to addressing these perceptions and fears.”The report was prepared for the Police Commission and the Human Rights Commission in the runup to the decision on Tasers.In it, the Davis offers a comprehensive view of the community meetings. The Human Rights Commission, comprised of 11 members, has not taken a vote on the issue.“Why do we need more weapons now, when crime is decreasing? Why not focus more on community?” One person wrote on an index card at a community meeting on Tasers in September.“There are enough weapons to use against US.” Someone else wrote, writing in capital letters for emphasis.Others, but not nearly as many, wrote that Tasers could protect people in danger, or asked, “Would Tasers have saved Mario Woods?”The San Francisco Human Rights Commission compiled these comments, along with a quantitative breakdown of the questions, issues and concerns raised at two city-wide community meetings and three smaller focus groups held in September and October.The overwhelming majority – 87 percent – of those who attended the two meetings were against the SFPD acquiring Tasers. Most objected because they believed the weapons, touted as a less-lethal option for cops, are dangerous.Many specifically said that Tasers ran against the practice of de-escalation, others cited statistics of Taser-related deaths and injuries.For the 12 percent of attendees who supported Tasers, the most common refrain was that cops needed less-lethal options. Others believed the police would be able to prevent crime more effectively with the electrical devices.How much the report of these meetings will influence how the Police Commissioners vote is unclear.At the second community meeting held at City College on 19 September, President of the Commission Julius Turman assured the crowd that “their voices and opinions” would reach the Commission.The Police Commission will hold a special meeting to discuss Tasers on 3 November at 5 p.m. at City Hall in Room 250.An earlier version of this story reported in the headline that the Human Rights Commission made the recommendation to wait on Tasers. This was in error. The recommendation was made by Sheryl Davis, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission. The commissioners have taken no vote on the issue. All during the fall, the Human Rights Commission held community meetings with hundreds of San Francisco residents to hear from them on whether the San Francisco Police Commission should approve Tasers for the San Francisco Police Department.For Sheryl Davis, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission, what struck her from the meetings was the inescapable fear youth hold about encounters with the police.Many of the more than 60 youths who attended a focus group held in Potrero Hill said they were “resigned to the fact that something negative would happen if they encountered the police.”The pervasiveness of this feeling lead Davis to recommend to the seven-member Police Commission that they vote against Tasers. She will present the report and its findings to the Police Commission this Friday when the Commission may make its final decision on arming the force with Tasers. 0%
SAINTS have announced their squad numbers for the 2014 season.New signing Mose Masoe has been given the ‘8′ shirt with Luke Walsh taking over number 7 from Jonny Lomax who has moved to number 1.Kyle Amor (16), Richard Beaumont (20) and Matty Dawson (26) join them to make up the new boys for 2014.Club Captain Paul Wellens has been given the number 17 shirt whilst also retained for the 2014 campaign is Anthony Laffranchi (14), Ade Gardner (21) and Mark Flanagan (15).Connor Dwyer (34) and Andre Savelio (33) have been promoted into the first team.As is inevitable with a large squad, some of the younger players will be going out on loan and we will announce details shortly. As with 2013, we will also be utilising the dual-registration system with our partner clubs.Dom Speakman (Barrow) and Nathan Ashe have left the club and we wish them all the best in future.The squad:1. Jonny Lomax2. Tommy Makinson3. Jordon Turner4. Josh Jones5. Adam Swift6. Lance Hohaia7. Luke Walsh8. Mose Masoe9. James Roby10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook11. Sia Soliola12. Jon Wilkin13. Willie Manu14. Anthony Laffranchi15. Mark Flanagan16. Kyle Amor17. Paul Wellens18. Alex Walmsley19. Paul Clough20. Richard Beaumont21. Ade Gardner22. Mark Percival 23. Joe Greenwood24. Gary Wheeler25. Ant Walker26. Matt Dawson27. Greg Richards*28. Luke Thompson*29. Jordan Hand 30. Carl Forster31. James Tilley32. Lewis Charnock*33. Andre Savelio*34. Connor Dwyer35. Alex Clare*These players are eligible for the Under 19s competition in 2014.Remember, you can get the name of your favourite player on your 2014 replica shirt for just a tenner! Click on the personalisation options when ordering the fantastic home or away shirts for next season.
ALEX Walmsley was named Top Metre Maker at the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel Awards last night.The forward racked up 4,092 in a stellar season for the club.He missed out on Man of Steel to Zak Hardaker who also beat out his Rhinos’ teammate Adam Cuthbertson for the top prize.Elsewhere, Wigan Warriors stand-off George Williams picked up Young Player of the Year, Leeds Rhinos were named 2015 Super League Club of the Year and Warrington Wolves took home the Foundation of the Year accolade.Other awards included Brian McDermott (Coach of the Year), Kevin Sinfield (Top Gun), Danny Houghton (Hit Man) and Jermaine McGillvary (Top Try Scorer).Retiring Super League players Garreth Carvell (293 appearances), Ade Gardner (266), Lee Gilmour (407), Wayne Godwin (235), Kylie Leuluai (225), Adrian Morley (316), Jamie Peacock MBE (436), Kevin Sinfield MBE (452), Chev Walker (258) and Paul Wellens (439) were also presented with Outstanding Contribution Awards to mark their long service to the competition having made mroe than 200 Super League appearances.The award winners in full from the 2015 First Utility Super League Man of Steel awards are as follows:Hit man – Danny Houghton (Hull FC) – 1,359 tacklesTop metre maker – Alex Walmsley (St Helens) – 4,092 metresTop try-scorer – Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) – 27 triesTop Gun – Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) – 85.37 percentOutstanding Contribution – Garreth Carvell, Ade Gardner, Lee Gilmour, Wayne Godwin, Kylie Leuluai, Adrian Morley, Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield, Chev Walker, Paul Wellens.Foundation of the Year – Warrington WolvesFirst Utility Super League Club of the Year – Leeds RhinosFirst Utility Super League Young Player of the Year – George Williams (Wigan Warriors)First Utility Super League Coach of the Year – Brian McDermott (Leeds Rhinos)The Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel – Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos)
00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not foundhttps://cdn.field59.com/WWAY/1507859286-f25441a6a10623913d83677629d233710fda68f7_fl9-720p.mp4 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 NEW HANOVER COUNTY, (WWAY) – A former federal firefighter will spend at least three years in prison for child pornography charges.50- year-old Jeffery Affolder pleaded guilty to 12 counts of second-degree exploitation of a minor.- Advertisement – He was sentenced in New Hanover County superior court 3 to 13 years in prison.He will also have to register as a sex offender after his release.Affolder was a firefighter at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point at the time of his arrest.
Advertisement Microsoft 4Afrika and the University of the People (UoPeople), a tuition-free online university, will this year fund 1,000 African students to study an associate degree.The agreement allows applicants from the 53 member states in the continent to compete for the scholarships once they have enrolled in the university, starting the second semester.All the students, including those whose applications are accepted, will however be required to still pay an application processing fee, ranging from U$10 to US$50, and an exam fee of US$100 per each course taken in the first semester. – Advertisement – The university said admitted students can then request financial aid from the Microsoft 4Afrika scholarship program.According to the two organisations the programme will help in improving the lives and the community of all successful applicants, thus transforming the continent.“Through this program UoPeople and Microsoft will support 1,000 African students to graduate with a world-class academic degree from UoPeople, helping to change the lives of the students, their families and communities and ultimately transforming the continent,” reads a statement on the university’s website.Apart from the associate degrees those awarded scholarships will be eligible to participate in other skill and work experience at the university, as well as additional programmes including mentorship, training, internship and employment opportunities at Microsoft and partner companies.Interested candidates coming from non-English speaking countries will be required to complete an English language qualification test.Credit: Humanipo
Image Credit: IT Web Africa Advertisement The Kenya government has revealed that it will now borrow the Brazilian model to establish computer labs in schools instead of its initial plan to buy a laptop computer for each school-going child.The communication was announced by the Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi last week who said the ministry has studied the Brazilian computer project for schools which it implemented with the support of UNESCO and found that the same model which has been implemented in India, Indonesia, and Nigeria can replicated in Kenya.Brazil’s Education Ministry established computer lab in all schools and signed a deal with TV Escola, a Brazilian School TV Programme, to explore the media convergence in broadening the interactivity of TV content used in formal and distance education. – Advertisement – Ministry officials late last year visited Brazil to familiarize themselves with the UNESCO-backed computer lab project for schools and assess how it can be rolled out in the country.“We had to behave like a river for when it is blocked it has to find another route,” said Kaimenyi in relation to government’s move to opt for computer labs instead of lap tops in the face of the court case.The government’s plan by the Jubilee government was set to deliver 1.3m laptops to school children and would cost more than $600m (53bn Kenyan shilling). Implementation will begin this year.The project falls under the first key pillar of the Jubilee Manifesto, Unity (Umoja), where the government promised to raise education standards.Via CIO
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