LabourList readers believe that Labour should supp

first_imgLabourList readers believe that Labour should support the further use of ‘stop and search‘ in response to the rise in knife crime, our latest survey has found.A majority of almost 56% of respondents said they backed the use of ‘stop and search’ police powers, excluding ‘don’t know’ answers. With ‘don’t know’ replies included, nearly 46% approved, 36% didn’t and 18% weren’t sure.Coming after a week of knife crime dominating the news and politics due to a recent spike, the results indicate that readers are divided on the right approach to violent crime.But they also suggest that criticism of ‘stop and search’ powers from top party figures such as Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott have not cut through. This could be because Labour has not advanced such arguments recently, choosing to focus instead on cuts to police numbers.Last week, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said it was looking into complaints about Labour’s handling of antisemitism cases and believed the party “may have unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs”.Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a former Tory chair, also called for a “full independent inquiry” into Islamophobia in her party as senior Conservative MPs denied there was a problem.The survey found that LabourList readers believe the Labour Party is not institutionally antisemitic – but that the Conservative Party is institutionally Islamophobic.An overwhelming 70% of readers said Labour’s antisemitism problem was not ‘institutional, while over 60% of 4,165 respondents said the Tories had an institutional Islamophobia problem.If both Theresa May’s deal deal and ‘no deal’ are rejected by the Commons this week, as is likely, the Prime Minister has pledge to offer a vote to parliamentarians on extending Article 50.Asked whether MPs should in favour of delaying Brexit, a very large majority of respondents – 81.5% – said ‘yes’. Just 14% said they shouldn’t, and over 4% were not certain.1. Do you believe that the Labour Party is institutionally antisemitic?Click to enlarge.No – 70.2% (2,939)Yes – 20.6% (864)Don’t know – 9.0% (379)2. Do you believe that the Conservative Party is institutionally Islamophobic?Click to enlarge.Yes – 60.1% (2,504)No – 21.6% (900)Don’t know – 18.2% (761)3. If both Theresa May’s deal and ‘no deal’ are defeated next week, the Prime Minister has promised to give MPs a vote on Article 50 extension. Should MPs vote to extend Article 50, which would delay Brexit?Click to enlarge.Yes – 81.5% (3,387)No – 14.2% (593)Don’t know – 4.2% (175)4. Do you believe that Labour should support the further use of ‘stop and search’ in response to the rise in knife crime?Click to enlarge.Yes – 45.7% (1,889)No – 36.1% (1,491)Don’t know – 18.1% (748)The survey was open from 9am on Friday 8th March until 8pm on Sunday 10th March. Thank you to all 4,188 readers who took part.Tags:Labour /Stop and search /Weekly Survey /Antisemitism /Islamophobia /Brexit delay /last_img read more

Another appeal another deal — but activists are frustrated

first_imgAnother project has gotten the go-ahead following mediation between developer and activists by Supervisor Hillary Ronen and her staff. The project, 1726 Mission Street, plans to turn a former sausage factory near Duboce Avenue  into 40 units of housing with a commercial ground floor. The activist group Our Mission No Eviction then appealed the project’s approval, putting it up for a vote at the Board of Supervisors.Rather than ask the Board to take an up-or-down vote on the project, however, Ronen was able to mediate the talks until the parties came to an agreement: The sponsor of the project, the LLC Sustainable Living and its managing member John Dennis, will make one more of the 40 units in the proposed building available for sale at below market rate. That brings the total number of units in the building deemed affordable from seven to eight, or 20 percent. Sustainable Living also agreed to lease the ground-floor space for light industrial purposes — often called Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) — at below market rate for 10 years. There will also be a mural painted on the site visible to the street. With the appeal withdrawn, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last Tuesday to affirm the project’s approvals. Ronen has made a habit of stepping in as a mediator, sealing deals at 1515 South Van Ness Ave., 2675 Folsom St. and, more recently, 1850 Bryant St.As Scott Weaver, an attorney and tenants rights activist who brought the appeal, said: “She gets the job done.”Ronen has told Mission Local in the past that “I can’t imagine a better use of my time as a district supervisor.”Her staff, it seems, is also playing a key role. Legislative aide Amy Beinart joined the staff about a month ago with a focus on land use and housing, and jumped into the 1726 Mission St. negotiation. Beinart said these deals hinge on both parties being willing to budge, but also to focus on specific goals to move toward. “The goal is for people to focus on what they’re able to achieve, to look at realistic circumstances and to walk into it with an open mind and a good spirit,” she said. “Some of these kinds of mediations move forward and some don’t.”In this case, Beinart said, the developer was willing to share his finances for the project and illustrate candidly where compromises could be made.It’s unclear which project will be the next to avoid an appeal. At the moment, Ronen’s office is monitoring the progress of several completely below-market-rate buildings — 1950 Mission St. (the site of a current Navigation Center) and 490 South Van Ness Ave. are among them.But with dozens of market-rate developments also proposed around the Mission, activists are likely to keep the pressure on developers to provide more community benefits.In fact, Weaver, though he admitted Ronen’s office has been efficient, is far from satisfied with the result of the negotiation. The deal was “the best we could get” without having to take on the expenses of pursuing opposition all the way through the Board of Supervisors appeal process, and then suing the developer if the appeal had failed with the Board, Weaver said. “We’re not happy about it,” he said. Still — “It’s a small project. It’s only 40 units. So it’s hard to get really upset about it … But, you know, it seems like we’re giving a lot of ground.”Some might consider 20 percent affordability, which is more than the roughly 17 percent minimum that was originally required by the city, a success — especially on a relatively small project. Weaver and other activists, however, measure in terms of the proportion of new buildings that will be rented or sold at market rate. The lost ground, then, is this project clocking in at five percent more market rate units proportionally than 1515 South Van Ness Ave. and 2675 Folsom St., two other projects approved after a deal was made.“The community is losing more than it’s gaining, and I think that’s the source of a great deal of frustration,” Weaver said. He said it won’t take very much longer before neighborhood activists decide to go whole hog and take a developer to court for, say, being out of compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.“I don’t know when is going to be the breaking point where people will say, ‘that’s it,’ but I don’t think it’s too far away just judging from people’s frustration,” Weaver said. “At some point, we’re just going to have to say, ‘enough is enough.’”One group has already been projecting that message: The Plaza 16 Coalition, a vocal opponent of the 1979 Mission Project at 16th Street, has repeatedly vowed to reject any proposal on that site that is not entirely below-market-rate. A hearing date has not been set for the project, but opponents have already made a request to the Planning Commission that its hearing be held in the Mission District. It’s unclear whether that request will be granted. 0%center_img Tags: development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SF Mission District politicians stand behind Leno

first_imgTo tackle housing and the homelessness crises, Leno pledged to build and refurbish 5,000 low-income, moderate-income, and supportive housing units each year. He also said he would make sure the budget includes additional funds to end city homelessness by 2020. A crowd of mostly Leno supporters waved signs bearing his name and cheered as he made his pledges. Some passersby stopped to listen, while others approached him during his speech. “Are you a Democrat or a Republican?” asked an older lady with a basket in tow. “I’m a Democrat!” replied Leno as the lady walked away. David Campos, now the chair of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, said he is casting his first vote for Leno in the election’s ranked-choice voting system. He echoed Ronen in calling Leno’s plans “detailed and realistic.” “Not enough to talk about change; you have to deliver on that change,” he said.Campos said that Leno is the Central Committee’s first choice and Kim, he said, is the committee’s second choice. Ronen, too, has endorsed both candidates, although not in any particular order, saying only that they both would be excellent and have “different strengths.” As Mission Local reported in March, both Leno and District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim are focusing resources in District 9. Kim has a field office on Mission Street, Leno’s is not far away in the Castro, and both appeal to the area’s working-class, progressive politics. Recently, however,  Board of Supervisors President London Breed’s campaign has become more active in the district. Breed signs are popping up in merchant windows along the district’s main drags. And Breed, who has been conspicuously absent from many mayoral forums, attended the SF Latino Forum last week in the Mission. On Thursday, Campos took a shot at Breed for heading a Board of Supervisors that worked with Ed Lee “to roll out the red carpet for corporate entities without anything in return.” He mentioned the Twitter tax break, as well as now-state Assemblyman David Chiu’s legislation that “legalized Airbnb without any metrics for how (the company) could be a socially responsible entity in the city.” The statements, perhaps, served as a knock at Kim as well, since she supported both laws. A poll released Thursday has Leno and Breed virtually tied for the lead — Leno at 28 percent and Breed at 27 percent — with Kim in third at 17 percent, Angela Alioto at 6 percent, and all other candidates at 12 percent. Nine percent of voters are undecided, according to the poll. It’s unclear, however, if the poll means anything, aside from the fact that the race is tight.  As evidenced by the candidates’ ramped up presence in the neighborhood, this cycle appears to be the first time in a while that the Mission District is in competition. In 2011, when Ed Lee made his successful first-term run for mayor, it was the progressive District 11 Supervisor John Avalos who won the district’s vote by a landslide. Leno said after his speech that the Mission was especially important to him because it is “not only the epicenter of the affordability crisis, but also the poster child for unbridled change and growth.” “It does reflect all that San Francisco is dealing with,” he said. Past and present Mission District representatives are doubling down on their support for mayoral hopeful Mark Leno. Indeed, unlike recent past mayoral elections, the Mission District appears to be in play. On Thursday morning, standing beside District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen and her predecessor David Campos at the 24th Street BART plaza, Leno trumpeted his plans for small business, housing and homelessness — issues he believes deeply affect the Mission. “I’m so proud to be standing here in my district, supporting Mark Leno for the next mayor of San Francisco,” Ronen said.She emphasized that Leno’s legislative history and plans for housing, homelessness, street sanitation and crime are among the most realistic and detailed in the field of candidates. 0%center_img Tags: crime • Elections • homelessness • housing • Mark Leno • Mayor • politics Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SAINTS would like to wish everyone a very Merry Ch

first_imgSAINTS would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.2012 will be a monumental season for the Club, town and the fans and we look forward to welcoming you to Langtree Park.In the meantime, we all hope you have a great and Saintly Festive Season.Thank you to Diane Thompson at for the picture.last_img

SAINTS lost 1625 to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in

first_imgSAINTS lost 16-25 to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in the Reserve Championship on Friday.Although the scores were tied 12 apiece at half time, Wakefield upped the ante in the second and Saints had no answer.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Wheeler, Percival, YatesGoals: Foster (2)Wildcats: Tries: Wright (2), Walshaw, FletcherGoals: Graystone (4)Drop: AnsellHalf time: 12-12Full time: 16-25Teams:Saints:Swift; Sandford, Foster, Wheeler, Percival (pictured); Gaskell, Yates; Hand, Speakman, Walker, Hale, Clare, Jones.Subs: McCloskey, Lloyd, Tilley, AsheWakefield:Grayson; Morton, Kay, Walshaw, Fletcher; Hyde, Ansell; Lillycrop, Wright, Johnson, Slater, Annahin, Trout.Lowther, Tate, Joynt, Gledhilllast_img read more

Man pleads to trafficking heroin and promoting prostitution charges

first_img Detectives with the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office received information from the Raleigh Police Department that Gantt had traveled from Raleigh and was posting advertisements for prostitution services available in Wilmington.Gantt solicited men online to engage in prostitution services with a 29-year-old female at the Budgetel Inn located at 4903 Market Street.After the criminal investigation, detectives discovered more than eight grams of heroin concealed within the folds of Gantt’s stomach and crotch area.Related Article: NC officer released from hospital more than 3 months after shootingGantt was sentenced up to 8 years in prison for his charges. David Julian Gantt (Photo: New Hanover Co. DA’s Office) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wake County man pleaded guilty for trafficking heroin and promoting prostitution charges.David Julian Gantt, 28, was charged with two counts of Trafficking in Heroin, PWIMSD a Schedule IV Controlled Substance and two counts of Promoting Prostitution.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Man charged with hit and run is an illegal immigrant

first_img He turned himself in to Wilmington police, but it was revealed he is an illegal immigrant and ICE agents have “an interest in him.”He will be electronically monitored for the time being. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The man accused of crashing into an Ashley High School student’s car and leaving the scene was in court today for a hit and run. Now, immigration is interested in him.25-year-old Jose Heredia-Martinez was charged with felony hit and run with injury, misdemeanor hit and run with property damage, no operators license and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Teacher fired following allegations of sex crimes with students

first_imgMichael Kelly (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County School Board has decided to fired Isaac Bear Early College High School teacher Michael Kelly who accused of sex crimes with students.Members went into closed session this evening. When they returned they approved a resolution to dismiss Kelly from his duties.- Advertisement – The board said they were appalled with Kelly’s alleged actions.“We need to make sure that people understand that we will not tolerate any activity by anybody that would tend to harm our children,” said board chairman Ed Higgins.Kelly, 48, was arrested back in February. He faces a total of 32 child sex crime charges involving a dozen alleged victims.Related Article: Police: Man tried to pay for McDonald’s with bag of weedRELATED: Crimes involving local teacher allegedly happened on school campusWarrants reveal more details about the alleged crimes.Among the accusations in the arrest warrants is that Kelly performed oral sex on a boy while recording it. He is also accused of showing five teens a picture of another teen naked.A New Hanover County Schools spokesperson says Kelly was suspended without pay on February 7. Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley also started proceedings to dismiss Kelly that day.If Kelly makes bond, he is forbidden to contact the victims or their families, can not be on school grounds, and must not be in the presence of any minor without direct supervision.The prosecutor said Kelly is expected to be indicted before his next court appearance, which is on June 7.He is in the New Hanover County Detention Center under a $1.5 million bond.last_img read more

NC incident management team returns home from Hawaii

first_img The team has been helping plan and coordinate evacuations as well as assisting with shelters as Mount Kilauea continues erupting lava from open fissures.The new team is made up of eight county emergency managers including Major Donald Taft with the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office.The assignment for this new team in Hawaii will last for two weeks. Lava spattering in Hawaii (Photo: USGS) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Members of a North Carolina incident management team who have been serving in Hawaii since May 19 returned home this weekend.Another team from North Carolina has replaced them to assist the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency in staffing its emergency operations center on a 24-hour basis.- Advertisement – last_img read more

UNCW to host 4th Annual Cape Fear Minority Enterprise Development Week

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Starting a new business can be a rewarding adventure but the ultimate key to success is getting the right kind of business development support to help guide you through the tough times.The 4th Annual Cape Fear Regional Minority Enterprise Week gets underway at UNCW on Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Thursday, Oct. 25.- Advertisement – “It’s an opportunity for small, minority business owners to learn how to grow their business and interact with vendors and learn about government contracts,” said Dr. Kent Guion, Chief Diversity Officer at UNCW.Currently, there are 183,000 minority-owned businesses across North Carolina which generate an estimated $16.1 billion in revenue annually.“It’s one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy in North Carolina and nationwide,” said Guion.Related Article: US hiring slower but steady as employers add 155K jobsIn North Carolina, alone, those businesses provide about 261,000 jobs.While the aim for this conference is small, minority-owned businesses, Guion says everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow their business.“One of the most fruitful parts of the events is networking opportunities,” he added.Event organizers have invited a number of speakers to take part in the two-day event.“So many other entrepreneurs want to give back and this is a way for them to talk about their journey and give real-life information about how to grow smaller businesses,” Guion said.Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a vendor fair.The 4th Annual Cape Fear Region Minority Enterprise Week will be held Oct. 24 & 25 at the UNCW Burney Center. Admission is free.last_img read more

Reward offered in Circle K armed robbery

first_img Circle K armed robbery suspect (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) According to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, a man walked into the Circle K at around 1:00 a.m., approached the cashier with what appeared to be a weapon in his jacket and demanded cash. Circle K armed robbery suspect (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in an armed robbery.It happened January 29 at the Circle K on Gordon Road.- Advertisement – center_img 1 of 2 After the cashier handed him money, the suspect drove off.The suspect has a grey goatee, was wearing a black coat, gray pants, and a black beanie.Related Article: WANTED: Man accused of passing fake $100 billsIf you recognize the suspect or have information about the crime, contact Crime Stopper at 1 (800) 531-9845 or the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 798-4260.last_img read more

Brunswick County Schools announces Summer Meals Program details

first_imgSchool lunch (Photo: USDA) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County Schools has released details about its Summer Meals Program for kids and teens.Brunswick County Schools spokesman Daniel Seamans said the program is open to all children 18 and younger. There is no cost and no enrollment.- Advertisement – The program will be held at the following locations:South Brunswick, North Brunswick, West Brunswick: June 3-August 8, Monday through Thursday.  8:15am-9:15am Breakfast.  11:15am-12:30pm LunchBelville Elementary, Bolivia Elementary:June 3-August 8, Monday through Thursday.  8:00am-9:00am Breakfast.  11:15am-12:30pm LunchRelated Article: Law enforcement conducting active shooter drill at Brunswick Co. schoolCedar Grove Middle, Leland Middle, South Brunswick Middle, Shallotte Middle, Waccamaw School:June 3-June 7, Monday through Thursday.  8:30am-9:45pm Breakfast. 12pm-12:45pm LunchJessie Mae Monroe Elementary, Virginia Williamson Elementary:July 8-July 25, Monday through Thursday.  8:30am-9:15am Breakfast.  12pm-12:45pm LunchBrunswick County Schools said that should the dates or location change, there will be updates at as well as on the Brunswick County Schools social media outlets.last_img read more

Updated Mueller report does not have proof of Trump crimes – US

first_img SharePrint REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File PhotoREUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo Updated – 21.45President Donald Trump has tweeted in response to the publication of the Mueller Report saying, ‘No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!’No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019Addressing an audience in Palm Beach California, President Donald Trump said that following a ‘long investigation where so many people had been hurt badly,’ there had been, ‘No collusion with Russia, none whatsoever, a complete and total exoneration’He added that it was shame that the country and the President had gone through this. ‘This was an illegal takedown,’ he said.He hopes that there will be a look at the ‘otherside,’ he concluded.Mueller report does not have proof of Trump crimes – U.S. Justice DepartmentU.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election did not find that President Donald Trump committed a crime but also does not exonerate him, according to a summary of Mueller’s findings released on Sunday.Mueller, who spent nearly two years investigating allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help Trump defeat his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, also found no evidence that any member of Trump’s election campaign conspired with Russia during the election.“While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Attorney General William Barr quoted Mueller as writing in his report on the issue of possible obstruction of justice.Mueller said he would leave it to the attorney general to decide whether a crime was committed.Barr’s summary said Mueller found no evidence that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia, despite multiple offers from individuals associated with Russia.The release of the summary is likely to ignite a new political fight in Washington as Democrats push for Barr to release the full report, and Trump seizes on the findings as vindication of his near daily assertion that he was a victim of a “witch hunt” that has cast a long shadow over his presidency.Trump has always denied collaborating with Moscow or obstructing justice. Russia says it did not interfere in the election, although U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that it did.Barr said the investigation also found insufficient evidence that Trump had attempted to obstruct justice. Many of his opponents accused him of obstructing the Russia probe when he fired former FBI director James Comey.The Department of Justice announced on Friday that Mueller had ended his investigation after bringing charges against 34 people, including Russian agents and former key allies of Trump, such as his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Mike Flynn and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.None of those charges, however, directly related to whether Trump’s campaign worked with Moscow.(The story refiles to add Barr’s first name in third paragraph)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

Puttinu Cares appealing for help to find new accommodation

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Puttinu CaresPuttinu Cares The Maltese Cancer support charity Puttinu Cares, is appealing for support to purchase more apartment spaces to accommodate its patients.Puttinu says that currently its 25 apartment complex in Sutton London, is at full capacity.They also state that every month, between 60 and 90 patients are coming to London to receive treatment.Puttinu Cares has been providing support and financial subsistence to patients and their families since 2002. The organisation says that it typically spends around €500,000 to cover travel and living costs while receiving treatment in London.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

Police requests publics assistance in locating man

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint CMRUCMRU The police has asked the public to assist in its search for a man which appears in the photograph below that was published on Saturday.CMRUAnyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the police on 21 224001 or 119, additionally anonymous information may also be submitted.The police did not specify why the man is being sought.WhatsApplast_img read more

Have smartphones killed boredom and is that good

first_imgSmartphones do conquer boredom: but what’s the real cost of that? Advertisement Take a look around today at people in line at Starbucks, on the train platform or waiting for their bags at the airport.Odds are, a huge chunk of them are staring down into a glowing mobile device — passing time by checking on friends, catching up on texts or e-mail or playing a video game that would have required a PC or home console just a few years ago.“That’s me,” said Jeromie Williams, a 36-year-old social media manager and blogger from Montreal. “If I’m on the bus. If I’m waiting in line somewhere … . – Advertisement – “The other day I was at a restaurant with a friend. He got up two times — once to smoke a cigarette and once to go to the bathroom. As soon as his ass was off the seat, ‘Boom!’ iPhone in hand.”Thanks to technology, there’s been a recent sea change in how people today kill time. Those dog-eared magazines in your doctor’s office are going unread. Your fellow customers in line at the deli counter are being ignored. And simply gazing around at one’s surroundings? Forget about it.Between smartphones, tablets and e-readers, we’re becoming a society that’s ready to kill even a few seconds of boredom with a tap on a touchscreen.Smartphone ownership in the United States, and elsewhere, hit a tipping point in 2012. More people now own a smartphone in the United States — 45% of adults — than own a traditional cellphone, according to a survey from the Pew Internet & American Life project.And 42% of all mobile phone users say they expressly use their phone for entertainment when they’re bored. (Presumably, non-entertainment uses like texting and e-mail would jack that number up even higher).“I do everything with my phone,” said Alexandra Reed, 39, a self-employed single mom from Charlotte, North Carolina.“I have five e-mail accounts for different things. I have two phones, one for business and one personal. I use apps — Mapquest, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus, CNN, ESPN … .”Is it a boredom killer? Absolutely, she said.“Even when I’m driving, I might have Facebook open,” she said. “At a red light the first thing I (do is) just look at my phone. I get a little anxious if I see a notification and don’t read it.”Researchers say this all makes sense. Fiddling with our phones, they say, addresses a basic human need to cure boredom by any means necessary.Christopher Lynn, an anthropology professor at the University of Alabama, compares tapping at smartphones to smoking a cigarette. Both can be “pivots,” he says — things that quickly transfer us from the monotony of everyday life into a world of “unscheduled play.”“Smartphones are like cigarettes are like junk food are like chewing your nails or doodling …,” Lynn wrote in a May essay for the Evolutionary Studies Consortium. “Does the naked space of your own mind and the world around you send you screaming into oblivion when you walk across campus, across a street even? Pull out your smartphone and check your email again — that car will swerve around you.”With their games, music, videos, social media and texting, smartphones “superstimulate” a desire humans have to play when things get dull, Lynn told CNN in an interview. And he believes that modern society may be making that desire even stronger.“When you’re habituated to constant stimulation, when you lack it, you sort of don’t know what to do with yourself …,” he said. “When we aren’t used to having down time, it results in anxiety. ‘Oh my god, I should be doing something.’ And we reach for the smartphone. It’s our omnipresent relief from that.”So, our phones are brutally efficient at addressing an ancient desire. But is that always a good thing?At Oxford, England’s Social Issues Research Centre, researchers fear it is not. In their view, by filling almost every second of down time by peering at our phones we are missing out on the creative and potentially rewarding ways we’ve dealt with boredom in days past.“Informational overload from all quarters means that there can often be very little time for personal thought, reflection, or even just ‘zoning out,’ ” researchers there wrote. “With a mobile (phone) that is constantly switched on and a plethora of entertainments available to distract the naked eye, it is understandable that some people find it difficult to actually get bored in that particular fidgety, introspective kind of way.”Williams, the Montreal blogger, admits as much.“One thing that unfortunately I do miss out on is that sort of quiet time where I can think about something I want to write … where, if I’m bored, I’m flipping open Word and punching something out,” he said. “Instead, out comes ‘Infinity Blade II’ and I’m killing titans.“Before smartphones came out, you had that down time where you sit on the bus and your mind just kind of wanders and you think of these amazing things. You get out that old thing called pen and paper and you jot it down.”But Joel Marx, a 25-year-old research assistant in Baltimore, Maryland, disagrees. Marx juggles two jobs and sees his phone as a way to be productive, and keep up with the news, during gaps in his hectic workdays. He relies on it for fun, but also for research and scheduling.“I feel like it gives me a break from what’s at hand,” he said. “I even find it helps to keep me going through the day as I can get in touch with things in the outside world. Most of the time, I would have done nothing during those times anyhow.”Reed, the Charlotte mom, admits her phone use sometimes distracts her from work or even watching a movie. But compared to other time-killers, she thinks the phone is a good option.“I actually feel more productive reading things online and on social media like Twitter and Facebook than if I was just sitting and watching a TV show,” she said. “I follow people who are mostly sports and news anchors, people like that — interesting people I know I can learn something from.”last_img read more

Huawei ZTE in EU trouble

first_imgThe Ugandan government ordered a probe into the national fiber optic project currently being developed by China’s Huawei Advertisement The European Commission is planing to send a formal warning to China that it is uready to levy trade duties against telecoms equipment makers Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp over what it says are illegal subsidies, people close to the matter said.Karel De Gucht the EU trade chief is set to win support from the bloc’s executive on Wednesday to send the warning letter and show China’s new president, Xi Jinping, that Brussels is serious about countering what it says is state support.“We want to send a warning to the Chinese, a letter of intent that if they don’t change their practices, there will be duties,” said one person involved, adding that De Gucht had the full backing of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. – Advertisement – Huawei, the world’s second-largest telecom equipment maker behind Sweden’s Ericsson, and fifth-biggest vendor ZTE say their operations conform with international trading regulations.The EU decision marks an intensification of efforts to guard against what Brussels says is dumping by China, the EU’s second-largest trading partner. From June, the Commission will also levy duties on billions of dollars of solar panels from China, EU officials have told Reuters.Huawei was a little known telecom equipment firm less than a decade ago but now, along with its smaller rival ZTE, it holds almost a quarter of the European market.That poses a security risk, the Commission says, because European industries ranging from healthcare to water utilities are becoming reliant on cheaper Chinese wireless technology.An internal EU report last year recommended that the 27-member bloc should take action against Chinese telecoms equipment makers as their increasing dominance of mobile networks made them a threat to security as well as to home-grown companies.Chinese telecom equipment makers receive export rebates from the Chinese government and are also able to sell their equipment at lower prices as China’s state-run policy banks usually provide loans for network infrastructure in emerging markets, industry sources said.However, Huawei and ZTE argue that European governments also provide some form of incentives for their own telecom equipment makers, they said.Collecting evidenceA Huawei spokeswoman in Brussels declined to comment on the move, but the company denies receiving unfair subsidies. It says its advantages are due to low-cost manufacturing and that its products are secure.ZTE said its operations conform with trading regulations of the World Trade Organization and local markets, and it is also committed to safeguarding the interests of China and Europe.“We are confident that our practices are in line with regulations in China and other markets,” said ZTE spokesman David Dai Shu.Huawei derives more than a third of its revenues from Europe, Middle East and Africa, while ZTE gets around a quarter of its revenues from Europe, the Americas and Oceania markets, company data showed. No further breakdown was available.“There is probably slightly more impact on Huawei as it has a larger market share in Europe compared to ZTE. Some of ZTE’s projects in Europe aren’t making money anyway,” said Yang Haofan, a telecom analyst from Guotai Junan Securities.“As for European vendors, they face getting fewer contracts for their bids in China’s 4G market if the EU does go ahead with its sanctions,” Yang said in Shanghai by telephone.De Gucht told Reuters in February there were serious concerns about China’s growing presence in mobile telecoms networks, noting that the United States and Australia had effectively shut Huawei out of their markets over security concerns.Last year, Germany excluded Huawei from supplying the infrastructure for a national academic research network.But European manufacturers Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks fear retaliation in China if they push to launch an anti-subsidy case, so the Commission has been collecting evidence on Huawei and ZTE with a view to launching a case on its own initiative.Division between EU countries over the telecoms issue meant De Gucht has trodden cautiously. Britain and the Netherlands have embraced Huawei as a major job provider, while France and Italy have been backing De Gucht on going ahead with sanctions.Officials say they now have proof of Chinese subsidies.“This is a political decision tomorrow,” said another person briefed on the Commission’s thinking. “It’s basically saying, we have all the evidence we need, we don’t need to launch an investigation,” the person said.The Huawei spokeswoman noted that the company had offered several times to meet the European Commission but was rebuffed.“We are open to talking with stakeholders. Because there are allegations, there are misunderstandings and misperceptions, that’s why we are always keen to discuss with all the stakeholders,” Tina Tsai said.Source: Business Techlast_img read more

Protester gets 10 years in jail over Twitter messages

first_imgAdvertisement Before you protest online, make sure your country is okay with it.A Saudi court sentenced a man to 10 years in jail and a $26,700 fine for joining protests against the kingdom’s rulers and using Twitter to urge people to do the same, state news agency SPA said on Monday.The Justice Ministry spokesman Fahd al-Bakran said that the unidentified defendant had also retweeted messages against the monarchy, Muslim scholars and security services. – Advertisement – “(He was) convicted of entering an Internet site hostile to the state that encourages fighting and promotes deviant thought,” Bakran said, referring to al Qaeda ideology.The man, who has been in jail for three years, was charged and convicted under laws that criminalize internet abuse.His verdict was announced two days after Saudi Arabia designated the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as terrorist organisations.The decree applies to Saudis and foreign residents who join, endorse or give moral or material aid to groups classified as terrorist or extremist, whether inside or outside the country.last_img read more

MTN Uganda Contributes UGX 16 Billion to the UCC Rural Communications Development

first_imgUCC’s Godfrey Mutabazi receives check from MTN Uganda CEO Mazen Mroue and South African High Commissioner to Uganda H.E. John Qwelane Advertisement MTN Uganda has again demonstrated its commitment to the development of the country and has handed over a check worth Fifteen Billion, Nine Hundred and Twenty Eight Million Three Hundred and Fifty Two Thousand, and Three Hundred and Fifty Shillings (UgX 15,928,352,350) to the Uganda Communications Commission Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) in Tax remittance. This is part of the mandatory 2% levy for all telecommunications companies.RCDF projects focus on ensuring access and usage of ICT services for the under served areas. The projects implemented by RCDF include under the leadership of Uganda Communication Commission: 76 Internet points of presence (POP), 106 Internet cafes, 78 ICT training centers, 4,099 Public payphones, 78 District web portals, 13 Multi-Purpose Community Tele-centers (MCT), 45 Postal projects, 708 School ICT laboratories, 174 Health ICT facilities , 90 Voice network sites, 106 Content development projects,2  Local governance projects, and 31 Other unique projects.UCC’s Godfrey Mutabazi receives a dummy check from MTN Uganda CEO Mazen Mroué and South African High Commissioner to Uganda H.E. John QwelaneThe direct impact realized out of the projects implemented includes; 100% voice coverage at the sub county level, 100% data coverage for every district / town of Uganda, teaching of Computer Studies as a subject in at least 50% of government secondary schools and basic ICT equipment in all district government hospitals.“Telecommunications plays an increasingly important role in Uganda’s development of and the world economy and as the leading tax payer; we have an obligation to support Uganda’s development by assisting in tax collection as prescribed by the law,” said Mazen Mroué, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Uganda.He added that MTN Uganda is committed to continue to support the Government of Uganda and particularly the Ministry of ICT and the Uganda Communications Commission in their plans to spread ICT literacy to all regions of the country. – Advertisement – As per the latest public results shared by the company for the first quarter of 2013, MTN Uganda has continuously registered positive performance, with an increase in its subscriber base by 8.4% to 9.5 million mobile customers includes 2.6 million data customer and over 5 million Mobile Money users. The results also confirm MTN Uganda’s market share increase to 55.3% and MTN overall Value share reached 65%.The steady growth in revenue and increased market share has continuously permitted MTN Uganda the ability to remit the UGX. 16 Billion Tax. The solid financial performance of MTN Operations is mainly attributed to attractive, segmented and bundled offers aimed at both acquisition and retention. Regionally focused sales and distribution campaigns further supported the continuous growth and overall performance.last_img read more

Taxify Dismisses Rumors of Terminating its Business in Uganda

first_imgTaxify rebrands and now operates as Bolt | Courtesy Photo. Advertisement Estonia-based transportation firm, Taxify with its operations in Uganda on Thursday afternoon dismissed rumors of the company terminating its operations in Uganda. The dismissal came after a news website, TowerPost reported that the company was closing its operations and re-branding to ‘Rider’.In an exclusive posted by TowerPost, claims — its source who preferred anonymity told the news website, the Estonia-based transportation firm was ending its operations in Feb. 2019 — re-branding to ‘Rider’ who will take on its operations with immediate effect.We contacted the company for an official statement regarding this matter. But we haven’t gotten a comment yet. – Advertisement – However, Taxify Public Relations Manager Marilin Noorem told technology news website, SautiTech, quote, “We can confirm that we’ve no plans of shutting down the business or any other changes in the operations.”She stated that the article published by TowerPost was based on ‘untrue’ facts and breaches many journalism ethics principles.Amidst all the bad reviews and criticisms the company is getting, Marilin told SautiTech the company is working on clearing out all this confusions.Taxify customers have on multiple occasions aired out their complaints on bad behaviors of its riders, poor customer care service, among others. The company’s mobile application is being called and headlining as the ‘most’ hated ride-hailing application.We’re waiting on an official statement from the company.[related-posts]last_img read more