The Department for Work and Pensions DWP has bee

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been criticised by the information commissioner over the way it dealt with a request to reveal the identities of seven foreign governments that asked for advice on disability reform.After facing a probe by the commissioner into its refusal to release the information, DWP is now claiming that the written information it refused to release never existed.Disability News Service (DNS) has been trying since last October, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to secure details of which ministers for disabled people from other countries had been asking their UK counterpart for advice on issues such as social security reform.Penny Mordaunt (pictured), at the time the minister for disabled people, told MPs last October that she frequently received requests for advice from her “opposite numbers around the world” about “how to set up welfare systems and improve accessibility, employment and representation”.She claimed she was “keen to promote what we are doing” because her government’s work on disability was “a catalyst for change elsewhere in the world”.And she insisted that her government had “shown what can be done to facilitate disabled access, both physical and service-based, and how that can be achieved in co-operation with business and the third sector”.Mordaunt had been attempting to defend her government’s record on disability rights, weeks after the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities had said its policies had caused a “human catastrophe” for disabled people.Following her remarks to MPs, DNS submitted a freedom of information request, asking which countries had asked for such advice.DWP’s freedom of information team replied that there were seven countries that had approached Mordaunt, but it refused to identify them, claiming that there was “a very strong public interest in maintaining good relations between the United Kingdom Government and overseas governments”.It argued that “given all circumstances of the request, the public interest in not releasing the information outweighs the public interest for disclosure”.DNS asked DWP to reconsider its answer and to release the written requests for advice from the foreign governments, as well as Mordaunt’s replies.When DWP refused to change its decision, following an internal review, DNS appealed to the Information Commissioner’s Office.The information commissioner Elizabeth Denham has now completed her investigation and has said that she is “most concerned” about the way DWP dealt with the DNS request.But she also concluded that – on the balance of probabilities – DWP never possessed any recorded information about the foreign governments that had requested information from Mordaunt.DWP had told Denham that there had been “some confusion” around the original request from DNS, mainly because some of its staff “appear not to have made the critical distinction between recorded information and what people knew, recollected or had been told by others”.Denham said that she “questioned how the Minister was able to make a statement in Parliament without recorded information being held by DWP” but was told that Mordaunt had relied on “a briefing, some of which was written”.DWP told the commissioner that meetings were often held “on an informal basis and sometimes in the margins of other meetings and in this case that may explain the lack of recorded information” and therefore “formal invites or requests for meetings/information may never have existed”.Denham told DNS that it was “now apparent that DWP has erred in its handling of your request” and she said she was “most concerned by DWP’s handling of this request for a variety of reasons… especially given that DWP is a public authority well versed in handling FOIA requests”.In a letter to DNS, DWP’s central freedom of information team apologised “for any confusion that we may have caused you”.DWP told DNS that it was now “reviewing processes” to ensure that “everyone involved in handling FOI requests recognise the requirement to meet statutory duties under FOIA”.It added: “We accept that we may have given the impression that more information was held, which was not the case.”It insisted that “although administrative errors were made, your request was answered in good faith and in accordance with our duties under the Freedom of Information Act 2000”.It is not the first time DWP has been criticised by the information commissioner.In March 2017, Denham questioned why the government had failed to keep track of whether it had implemented 10 recommendations on improving the safety of “vulnerable” disabled people that had been made in its own secret reports into benefit-related deaths.Denham said then that DWP’s failure to keep track of its actions on “such sensitive cases” was “highly unusual”, after the department told her it had no idea whether it implemented the 10 recommendations.last_img read more

Displaced Tenants Pick Up Checks But Many Have Nowhere To Go

first_img Tags: David Campos • displacement • Fires • housing • meda • tenants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Like many of the other SRO tenants, Walley and her husband have been put up by the Human Services Agency in different SRO’s around the city for the past month. Only three families have been housed permanently in affordable units in the Mission District through the Mission Housing Development Corporation, according to its executive director, Sam Moss.  The others continued to shuffle between hotels and SROs.“The heartbreaking thing about a fire is that there’s really nothing we can do to put you in the same position as you were in before,” Mission District Supervisor David Campos told the tenants.The $140,000 was raised over the month following the June 18 fire that damaged six buildings, including a low-income Single Occupancy Hotel. The fire displaced 39 households. The money was raised at events hosted by local bars and businesses, community contributions, and funds pulled from MEDA’s Mission Tenants Fire Fund.Community activist and former Mission supervisorial candidate Edwin Lindo set up a crowdfunding page within hours of the fire starting, and that campaign alone raise some $51,000 from 859 donors, and a separate fundraiser was organized by Google employees that raised over $60,000.Gabriel Medina, policy manager at MEDA, said that “100 percent of the funds” were going to the tenants, but that the amount each household received was calculated by a base amount per unit plus a base amount per person.“We didn’t want to punish people for overcrowding,” said Medina, meaning that tenants were doubling up in single person units illegally. “We know that people who overcrowd are usually more likely to be economically vulnerable. Additional funds were allocated for seniors, children, single parents, and tenants who lived in units that had to be demolished after the fire, meaning that they lost their right to return. Medina added that Friday’s disbursement was only the first round of checks and amounted to 60 percent of the money raised. Tenants could expect to receive the rest sometime in September, he said.Kimberley Walley, displaced by fire, worries about what’s next for her. Photo by Laura WaxmannWalley said through tears that while she was grateful for the  $2,000, but it failed to solve her long term problem of finding a place to live.  She said that she and her partner were kicked out from one of the SRO’s in the Tenderloin where the city had placed them because they “have too much stuff.” Walley, who was homeless for 13 years before moving into the Graywood five years ago, said she has been suffering from depression. “I don’t want to be here anymore, I’m tired of being moved around,” she said. Most recently, she said, they have been staying at an SRO in the Mission, but the  hotel was infested with bed bugs.  As proof, she offered cell phone pictures that showed red welts and rashes on her arms and face. “We literally have nowhere to go after this,” the woman said, adding that she had turned down a bed in a shelter because she was unable to bring her belongings with her.Stephanie Williams, another tenant displaced from the Graywood who has also experienced homelessness in the past, shared a similar experience. She is currently housed at a Mission SRO.“I don’t want to stay there,” said Williams. “I want to go back home. I would rather stay outside until then.” Marline Molina, a caseworker with the Salvation Army confirmed that some of the tenants were offered housing but declined it for reasons such as location or the condition of the building.“If you start declining, it’s going to get more difficult,” said Molina. “You can’t have them in the hotels that long, because in San Francisco, they are very expensive.”But many of the tenants said they had no choice but to decline their offers, because the conditions at the hotels were “poor.”“They haven’t seen the places in which they are putting us,” said Cristel Gutierrez, also displaced from the Graywood along with her partner.  Gutierrez said that she was offered an SRO room on 8th and Howard streets, but declined because the room was “disgusting.”“They wanted us to pay the same rent as at our old place, but the room was much smaller and dirty,” she said. “When I refused the place, they told me that my case is closed.”Ben Amyes, the city’s emergency services, confirmed in a phone interview that the process of housing the SRO tenants has been especially difficult.“For the apartment dwellers, I was able to come up with apartment solutions that worked relatively quickly,” said Amyes, adding that “the Graywood is a completely different story.”“A lot of the SROs have been master leased by the city to get homeless folks off the streets,” said Amyes. “Now I have this displaced SRO population and I’m having a heck of time identifying another block for them.” After hearing the tenants’ complaints, Campos said that more city resources are needed.“Right now the city has one person who helps these families when there is a fire, and that person is supposed to do everything including finding them housing,” said Campos. “That is just an impossible job.” 0%center_img Community efforts raised $140,000 to help 67 individuals displaced by a five-alarm fire at 29th and Mission streets last month get back on their feet. The Mission Economic Development Agency dispersed some of that money Friday night at the Salvation Army Community Center at 1156 Valencia St near 23rd street. Most of those picking up their checks are still without permanent housing and expressed serious concerns about the city’s efforts to relocate them.“We have nowhere to go but the streets tonight,” said Kimberly Walley, a tenant displaced from the Graywood Hotel, the fire damaged SRO at 3308 Mission St.last_img read more

SAINTS Girls under 12s are celebrating after winni

first_imgSAINTS Girls under 12s are celebrating after winning their North West Region group.They topped the table ahead of the likes of Widnes, Warrington, Chorley Panthers and Leigh and will now be look forward to taking art in the Champion of Champions Festival on the July 2 at Castleford Panthers.Saints Service Area Co-Ordinator, Steve Leonard, praised the girls and the people involved at Thatto Heath where they are based: “I would like to go on record and thank you all for the hard work that has been done at the Thatto Heath Club since the day we first muted the idea some twelve months ago.“I knew from the first session that the blend was right and the people who had come forward were not only the right people but very committed people who were there for the duration. This is only the start of the bigger picture and can only see the girls section growing to have an open age section as well as good numbers throughout the age groups.“I am really confident that we can not only rival our counterparts in the RU game but surpass their achievements by making Girls and Women’s Rugby League the prime sport for women and girls in the St Helens Service Area.“The achievements to date are a true reflection of the dedication and hard work being put into the games and training sessions by the players. To have come top of the tree in the U12s section and to have players already on the player pathway is tremendous reward for their hard work. I look forward with anticipation to where the next twelve months will take us. Congratulations and well done from all at Saints.”Any girls wishing to play under 12s, 14s or 16s Saints Girls and in their famous red vee or just to get fit, enjoy training for rugby league and make new friends, then just come along on a Wednesday evening or Saturday morning to Thatto Heath Crusaders, Close St., Thatto Heath and ask for Geoff Alford.You can also e-mail info@thattoheathcrusaders.orglast_img read more

SAINTS face fierce local rivals Warrington Wolves

first_imgSAINTS face fierce local rivals Warrington Wolves on Friday at Langtree Park in Round 17 of the First Utility Super League.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 matchday experience, ideal for all the family.Game Schedule: Turnstiles open at 6:30pm. Live Entertainment – We have two live performances from Tenor Tom Loughlin (son of Saints Legend Paul Loughlin) and young local artist Sam Flaherty.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!Bouncy Castles – these are located in both the North Stand and South East concourse.Kiosk Food – We have a great range of hotdogs, other great food and pies for you to enjoy. The latter have just been rated the best in Super League by Rugby AM. Members can get our special Pie & Pint Offer on all home kiosks for just £5 (please note the offer cover pints of Fosters or Saints Gold only).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 down in the concourses to meet fans and sign autographs. They will be in the South West concourse area at around 7:00pm, North Stand (7:10pm) and the South East (7:20pm). The Saints Angel Cheerleaders – Will be performing pre-game.Half time – ODs Jewellrey & Watch Boutique Crossbar Challenge The match is sponsored by Arthur J Gallagher with Kingstone Press Cider as our match ball sponsor and Warrington Audi as our programme sponsor.Team NewsKeiron Cunningham has named his 19-man squad for the match. You can find out more hereTicketsTickets 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, Totally Wicked North and McLoughlin and Harvey East 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 then again for a short period post-match. The thirteenth edition of our fantastic match programme ‘Strength in Numbers’ will be on sale.It features an exclusive interview with Adam Swift and 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 AudiTravelIf 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

The club beat off significant interest from other

first_imgThe club beat off significant interest from other Super League clubs to secure the 21-year-old for the next three years.“I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” he said. “I’ve moved over here and I am living in a house with some of the other younger players.“It’s been tough but I can’t wait to get playing, I want to take my opportunities when Justin gives them to me and then work my way into the team. I can’t wait to get out there.”Bentley is a back rower who played for Oulton Raiders before progressing through Bradford Bulls’ Academy ranks.Last season he was named the Championship’s Young Player of the Year as well as gaining the Bulls’ Young Player and Players’ Player of the Year awards.He continued: “When I met Mike Rush, Justin Holbrook and the staff here I knew this was where I wanted to be.“As I player I like to get early ball from the half back and use my feet to get line breaks. I also like to work hard in defence and do my job.“I have settled in great and it is everything I thought it was going to be.”James is working hard for the new campaign, as are the rest of the boys, and Memberships for the 2018 Betfred Super League campaign are on sale now.And as well as guaranteeing your ‘spec’ for the new season you’ll receive a whole host of other benefits AND be entered into our Ultimate Fan draw.Be #saintsandproud – click here to find out more.last_img read more

WPD investigating Sunday night double shooting

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Two people are injured and Wilmington police are investigating after they say the two were shot.Police responded to 414 Bladen Street just before 7:00 P.M. Sunday night according to a police spokesperson. It was not made clear to WWAY if they responded to a shooting and/or found the victims at this residence.- Advertisement – There was a active crime scene along the street for hours. The spokesperson with WPD confirmed with WWAY that the two victims were being treated at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.The extent of their injuries was not known the last time police released information. We are waiting for more updates and are following this latest shooting closely.last_img read more

Pet Pals 2yearold black cat needs a loving home

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — This week’s Pet Pal is a sweet and fluffy cat who needs a home and a name.He’s a 2-year-old domestic shorthair with a soft black coat and a small white spot on his chest. He was found running as a stray and his owner never came to pick him up.- Advertisement – Shelter staff says this guy is extremely affectionate and is looking for someone to snuggle with. He craves human interaction and would love to be a lap cat!If you think he could be the perfect addition to your home, head to New Hanover County Animal Services to meet him.County residents can adopt for just $70.Related Article: Cooper: Don’t let this storm catch you with your guard downAdoption services are available between noon and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday or Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.To see other animals available for adoption, click here.last_img read more

Warrant Hampstead man exposed himself to child at grocery store

first_img According to the warrant, in 2015, Garner allegedly exposed himself at a Charlotte grocery store in front of a four-year-old.WWAY also learned that Garner previously worked in our area as a clown entertainer but investigators say none of the alleged victims came into contact with him through that business.He remains in the Pender County Jail with 37 child sexual assault felonies.Related Article: Jury selection to begin in Pender County death penalty caseHe’s being held on $4.65 million bond. Haywood Elwood Garner (Photo: Pender County Sheriff’s Office) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Pender County man now faces more than three dozen child sex crime charges. The latest one comes from Charlotte.Charlotte Mecklenburg police issued a warrant Thursday for the arrest of 70-year-old Haywood Elwood Garner for felony indecent exposure.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Florence who Wilmington Waffle House cooks on

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It may be getting bad out there, but one place is not backing down.Waffle House in downtown Wilmington is buzzing with customers trying to get one last meal in before the hurricane.- Advertisement – The restaurant was packed with people Thursday afternoon, and servers have been brought in to work from locations all over the southeast.One server tells us she is one of just three employees who actually works at this location.She says Waffle House never closes, and this time is no different.Related Article: Bladen County clears up rumors over dam failure, offers damage survey“It is mass chaos,” Desiree Trimble said. “We’re the only place that’s open. All the gas stations are closed. Everything. And Waffle House never shuts down. never. And we’re open. And we’re gonna be open.”Trimble says her manager has spent thousands of dollars to bring in employees from other locations. She says they plan to stay open tomorrow, too, with or without power.last_img read more

Carolina Beach recognized for wheelchair accessible beaches

first_imgNon-profit Ocean Cure and the Town of Carolina Beach are recognized for their efforts to make beaches wheelchair accessible.(Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Carolina Beach and the organization Ocean Cure were honored for their efforts to make beaches wheelchair accessible at a town council meeting Tuesday night.Ocean Cure is a non-profit that uses beach wheelchairs, accessible flooring, and adaptive surfboards to make beaches accessible to everyone.- Advertisement – At Tuesday night’s meeting, the organization and the town were recognized by the disAbility Resource Center for all the work they have done.Ocean Cure founder and director Kevin Murphy says he wants to continue to raise awareness about the issue.“We take for granted that when we hit the sand, we can just walk through the sand, we can just get in the ocean, and living in a coastal community, that’s why most of us love being here,” said Murphy. “So when you take that for granted and then you realize, ‘wow, some people’s trip ends right at the end of the boardwalk, or the end of the parking lot,’ they can’t get to the sand. Making that possible for people just means the world to us.”Related Article: Good Samaritan pulls unresponsive man from surf in Carolina BeachMurphy says they had 2,500 square feet of accessible path last year, and just ordered 1,000 more.They will also order two more beach wheelchairs.last_img read more

Carolina Beach restaurant to raise money for slain UNCC students family

first_img Soul Flavor Kitchen and Bar, located at 716 North Lake Park Blvd. #3 in Carolina Beach, is asking you to come out on Saturday to honor Howell’s heroic actions.The restaurant says all proceeds from all sales from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. will go to the Howell family.“Hopefully this small gesture of support might lead us to a meaningful dialog so a tragedy like this does not occur again,” the restaurant told WWAY. CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — An area restaurant is giving back to a family who lost their son in the fatal shooting at UNC Charlotte earlier this week.Police say Riley Howell tackled a gunman who opened fire in his classroom Tuesday, saving others’ lives but losing his own in the process.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Burgaw to resume mosquito spraying in coming weeks

first_img This is especially important for apiarists who may not want chemicals sprayed near their beehives.You should send your name, address and phone number to the Public Works Administrative Assistant at questions, call the Public Works Department at 910-259-2901. Mosquitoes (Photo: Franco Patrizia) BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — The town of Burgaw plans to resume spraying for mosquitoes in the coming weeks if we get significant amounts of rainfall or when the pests start to become a nuisance.If you have beehives and do not want chemicals sprayed near your home, you should contact the Public Works Department know as soon as possible.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Man arrested after confrontation at Scotchman in Burgaw

first_img(MGN Image) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Burgaw Police Department dispatched to the Scotchman Convenience Store at 400 West Wilmington Street around 8:00 p.m. last night in reference to a call of a person with a firearm threatening to shoot another person.According to the Burgaw Police Department, upon arrival, the officer located the suspect standing outside of the vehicle in the parking lot of the store. The subject was not cooperative as the officers attempted to investigate the situation.- Advertisement – A large crowd of individuals began to gather in the parking lot of the Scotchman store. A second group of individuals arrived at the store that prompted an altercation between the two groups. Extra law enforcement officers were requested from surrounding agencies to assist with the two feuding groups.According to the Burgaw Police Department 18-year-old Jakell Markese Newton of Burgaw was arrested and charged with Misdemeanor Inciting a Riot and Misdemeanor Indecent Exposure.He was brought to the Pender County Magistrate where he was given a $5,000 bond.Related Article: Community support group brings Black Friday to BurgawMarkese’s first court appearance is set for July 30, 2019.This incident is still under investigation.last_img read more

Watch New barriers reduce risks of traffic accidents – Infrastructure Malta

first_img 1 of 4 WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint The installation of new road barriers will ‘reduce the medical, psychological, social and economic consequences of traffic accidents in Malta,’ Infrastructure Malta’s CEO Inġ. Fredrick Azzopardi, has said.Infrastructure Malta is now installing a new concrete CE-certified concrete barrier along stretches of Malta’s roads. This month, the barriers have so far been installed along part of the newly modified Triq tal-Balal and for the separation of the two new three-lane carriageways in part of Triq Reġjonali.With a European wide application, the barriers are understood to be constructed with a series of safety procedures which reduce serious damage and injuries incurred during accidents.At six metres and 3.4 tonnes, the barriers are apparently crash-tested and certified to be able to withstand and contain a collision from a 13-tonne bus hitting them at 70km/h. Their design also reduces the chances that cars will flip over after colliding with them.Infrastructure Malta also explains that the smoother design ensures that injuries for helmeted motorcyclists are less serious.last_img read more

People are dying UN official urges aid access for Myanmars Rakhine state

first_img SharePrint REUTERS/Ann Wang REUTERS/Ann Wang A U.N. official has urged Myanmar to grant aid workers “predictable, sustained access” to Rakhine state, where fighting between government troops and rebels has displaced nearly 33,000 people since late last year, saying lack of aid has cost lives.Ursula Mueller, a U.N. assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said authorities had turned down her requests to meet those displaced by the conflict in a region barred to most aid groups since the fighting broke out.“We need access – predictable, sustained access – to reach the people in need,” Muller told Reuters late on Tuesday, at the end of a six-day visit to the southeast Asian nation.“If the assistance, including mobile clinics, cannot get to the people, they just don’t have the services and their needs are not being met and some people are dying.”Reuters could not immediately reach a government spokesman to seek comment.Rakhine has been in the global spotlight since 2017, after roughly 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing a military crackdown in response to militant attacks crossed into neighbouring Bangladesh.U.N. investigators have called for senior military officers to be prosecuted over allegations of mass killings, gang rapes and arson. The military denies widespread wrongdoing.More recently, civilians have been caught up in clashes between the military and the Arakan Army, an insurgent group that recruits from the mainly Buddhist ethnic Rakhine population and is fighting for greater autonomy for the state.During her visit, Mueller met senior officials in the capital, Naypyitaw, including state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who said she was working towards “development and social cohesion” in Rakhine.“I was pointing out the humanitarian needs that are existing that need to be urgently met,” she added.Mueller also visited camps outside Sittwe, the state’s capital, where thousands of Rohingya have been confined since a previous bout of violence in 2012. Most lack citizenship and face curbs on movement and access to basic services.Myanmar has been working with the U.N on a strategy to close the camps, but it amounts to building new, more permanent homes in the same place rather than letting people return to areas from which they fled, Reuters reported last year.Mueller, who is also a deputy coordinator for emergency relief, said she had discussed the strategy with officials.“It’s not enough to erect buildings on the same site while the underlying causes are not addressed,” she added. “People have no freedom of movement. They are losing hope after seven years in this camp.”WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Couples may now fill tax returns separately

first_imgCouples that are married or in civil unions may now fill up their tax returns separately. The new measure for fiscal equality has been announced by the Ministries of Finance, and for European Affairs and Equality. The new policy was introduced to increase equality between sexes and married couples and following a number of complaints after women were receiving rebates addressed to their spouses. The press release states that there are currently 95,000 couples that file joint tax returns with 74,000 listing their incomes separately on the same form. Finance Minister Edward Scicluna explained that even those this measure is a voluntary one, whose who wish to participate in this tax computation system need to inform the Tax Commissioner’s Office until the end of 2019. Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli said that this measure was taken to respect the principle of fiscal independence. Magistrate Doreen Clarke presided over Court as the case against Jordan Azzopardi continued on Wednesday. A number of witnesses gave their sworn declarations. WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img SharePrintlast_img read more

Samsung to stop producing plasma TVs

first_imgAdvertisement Tech giant Samsung has said that it is going to stop producing plasma televisions (PDP TVs) by 30 November. This is because falling demand and  it would instead focus on producing curved and ultra-high-definition (UHD) TVs.“We remain committed to providing consumers with products that meet their need,” Samsung said.Panasonic, Sony, Hitachi and Pioneer have also pulled out of the sector in recent years, and LG is expected to follow suit soon. – Advertisement – Plasma screens use electrically charged ionised gases and are often applauded for their brightness, deep blacks, and high frame rates, which isideal for watching sport and films.They however tend to use more electricity and are considerably bulkier than the now more popular liquid-crystal display (LCD) and light-emitting diode (LED) TVs.Plasma is a lot better than LED/LCD TVs in terms of image quality, such as contrast ratio, and motion handling, it has a few drawbacks, Plasma TVs can’t be made a thin as LEDs, for example yet people like stylish tellies.Source: BBClast_img read more

MTN Uganda launches countrywide 4GLTE coverage

first_imgAdvertisement KAMPALA, Uganda – MTN Uganda has today launched countrywide 4G coverage in Uganda, extending the latest broadband technology to all major towns. This latest investment for the first time now takes the MTN 4G experience beyond Kampala, across all corners of the country, to enable high speed internet access for its customers.MTN first rolled out 4G technology in 2013, at the time limited to only Kampala City and Entebbe. This allowed MTN to trial the LTE technology.Investments – Advertisement – In line with the vision to lead the delivery of a bold new Digital World, MTN is continuing to invest heavily in technologies that conveniently facilitate both business and other aspects of life in a digital world.In 2014 alone, the company invested a total of UGX. 171 billion, 35% (UGX. 60bn)  directly to building network capacity, coverage and guaranteeing an even richer customer experience on MTN Uganda’s data network. The total investment in 2015 is expected to reach UGX. 85 billion.This investment has seen MTN build the largest and widest 4G network in the country, with a total of 75 LTE sites so far operational. This is in addition to the already existing coverage of 1,492 2G sites and 591 3G sites.What LTE isAlso known as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), 4G technology is a worldwide efficient mobile broadband technology that enables improved speeds and superior internet  user experience. It offers great data transfer speeds and the shortest latency times, allowing users to have a seamless, uninterrupted download experience.It enables you to stream clear, crisp video, download songs in a few beats, download apps almost instantly, and so much more.“The launch of LTE represents a major development in mobile connectivity and capability in Uganda, enabling access to this revolutionary technology on the MTN network. The service has the potential to operate at speeds of up to 100mbps, which is almost triple the speed of any existing mobile connection available commercially in Uganda, and the wider region,” said MTN Uganda CTO, Rami Farah.MTN’s 4G CoverageThis year’s rollout of 4G/LTE covers all major towns, including Kampala, Entebbe, Mbale, Mbarara, Lira, Arua, Gulu, Kabale, Kasese, Fort Portal, Moroto, Masaka and Jinja. This in addition to the already existing country-wide coverage of 3G. Attached is an illustration of MTN Uganda’s 4G/LTE coverage.Currently, the total number of internet users in Uganda is estimated at just over 6.8 million of which about 3.4million are mobile data subscribers. Compared with the voice penetration of 53%, data penetration is still very low at just 25%.MTN Uganda is taking initiative, not only to bring the internet to some communities for the first time, but also to upgrade those using traditional technologies like 2G to faster and wider 3G internet connectivity. Users of current technologies now have the opportunity to upgrade to even faster speeds on the 4G network.“Mobile users like to download videos and music; playing games, sharing photos and streaming sports content, all on their mobile devices and have a need for enhanced and uninterrupted experience.  With this latest rollout of 4G, MTN promises to offer an enhanced and seamless user experience, lower latency and high spectral efficiency. This also means that a higher number of data users can be serviced without compromising the quality of service they receive,” said Mr. Brian Gouldie, MTN Uganda CEO.“We are confident that we have made significant milestones in providing access to this technology and are happy to be able to offer our customers the LTE experience over our world-class MTN network,” Mr Gouldie added.Ericsson estimates that doubling the speed of broadband can directly impact the GDP growth by 0.3%, while according to UNESCO, for every 10% increase in data penetration, developing countries could add as much as 1.3% growth to their GDP. Such is the significance of internet in the modern era.Through its latest efforts, MTN Uganda aims to continue to extend internet access to the majority of Ugandans who still don’t have access to the internet; demonstrated by its investment in the largest 3G and 4G networks in Uganda as well as recent announcement of an aggressive reduction on its internet bundles, enabling its customers to connect to the digital world on a world class MTN network.Customers will need a 4G-capable device and a SIM card upgrade to be able to enjoy the 4G experience, available at any MTN Service Centre across the country’last_img read more

Samsung Aims to Double Africas Share of Its Revenues in Five Years

first_img(Photo Credit) Advertisement South Korea’s Samsung Electronics plans to double the annual revenue contribution from its African markets to 20 percent of the firm’s global total in the next five years, the head of its business on the continent said on Monday.Sung Yoon said the electronics giant, which accounts for over half of the mobile handsets and televisions sold in African nations like Kenya, would set up shops and other retail channels in more African countries and cut product delivery times.“We think Africa is extremely important for the future,” he told Reuters after a news conference in Nairobi. – Advertisement – Demand for Samsung products was being driven by growing African demand for bigger TV and mobile phone screens, he said.Most customers were now buying 55-65 inch TVs, up from 32 inches about a decade ago, while mobile users were no longer content with three-inch mobile phone screens.An increase in connectivity across the continent, helped by higher investment in telecommunication infrastructure, would further boost demand for devices in future, Yoon said.Telecom executives say more African consumers are turning to smartphones for more basic models, helped by faster Internet speeds, to use social media and banking applications.Yoon said Samsung faced competition in Africa from cheaper devices, undercutting even Samsung’s more basic smartphones.“Those entry products are still slightly more expensive than our low entry competitors so it’s difficult to reduce the gap … We cannot sacrifice the quality,” he said.Samsung’s rivals in Africa include China’s Huawei Technologies and Tecno, owned by Hong Kong’s Transsion Holdings.source: Thomson Reuters 2018last_img read more