first_imgAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say ​Man City midfielder Rodri: Season far from overby Ansser Sadiqa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City midfielder Rodri does not believe the club’s league season is over.Some fans and pundits are already declaring Liverpool hot favourites for the Premier League, given they have a five point lead over City.But Rodri knows that it is still early days, and that every team will slip up in the title race.”The season is very long,” he said to City’s website.”You are going to have matches like this, at least two or three. It’s normal. We are not perfect, and the good thing is we are at the start of the season, not the end.”That’s the only positive thing we can say. We are five points behind the leaders and that’s bad news but we are working and we will keep pushing.” last_img read more


first_imgESPN College Football Playoff top 2015.ESPNWe’re now less than two months away from the start of the 2016 college football season. Get excited, people. In anticipation of the start of the upcoming season, let’s take a look at what ESPN’s preseason top 25 looks like. Can anyone but the defending national champions be No. 1? Nope. ESPN has the Crimson Tide at No. 1 heading into the season. Do they have it right?Here’s the full top 25.  Will Alabama get some more rings this season?Will Alabama get some more rings this season? 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Michigan 4. Florida State 5. Oklahoma 6. LSU 7. Stanford 8. Notre Dame 9. Ohio State 10. Tennessee 11. USC 12. Georgia 13. Ole Miss 14. Oklahoma State 15. Michigan State 16. Washington  17. Houston 18. North Carolina 19. Oregon 20. TCU 21. Texas A&M 22. UCLA 23. Iowa 24. Miami 25. Louisville[ESPN]last_img read more


first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – A judge tightened bail conditions on a South American soccer official charged in the FIFA bribery scandal after prosecutors surprised the courtroom by accusing the defendant of threatening their star witness by making a slashing motion on his neck as the witness testified at trial.The dramatic twist in federal court in New York came after Alejandro Burzaco, a former marketing executive from Argentina, spent the day accusing Manuel Burga and two other soccer official co-defendants of taking bribes in exchange for their help securing broadcasting and hosting rights for tournaments.Burzaco testified that his firm gave Burga, the former president of Peru’s soccer federation, $3.6 million in bribes during the course of their relationship. He claimed that when he agreed in 2015 to co-operate against officials charged in the case he became the target of death threats.After news of Burzaco’s co-operation broke in Argentina, his brother, a former law enforcement officer, called him with inside information that authorities there had received “an instruction to shut me down,” he testified, choking back tears. That meant something needed to be done “for me not to say anything in the U.S., including killing me,” he added.Once Burzaco concluded his testimony and the jury had gone home for the day, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen to jail Burga, saying he had left Burzaco visibly shaken by twice staring at him and using the slashing motion. A lawyer for Burga claimed his client was merely scratching his throat.The judge stopped short of locking up Burga, instead cutting off his access of phones and computers and placing him under house arrest at a home in Brooklyn. Burga already had been on GPS monitoring but had some privileges to leave the home.The judge said that while one security video of the courtroom was inconclusive, she would return to it on Thursday after reviewing a second tape prosecutors say backs up their claim.“All the facts surrounding this give me grave concerns,” the judge said.Earlier Wednesday, Burzaco testified that media giants Globo, of Brazil, and Televisa, of Mexico, teamed with a marketing firm to make a $15 million bribe to a FIFA executive to help them secure lucrative broadcasting rights to the World Cup in 2026 and 2030.Burzaco said that the deal was struck with longtime FIFA finance committee chairman Julio Grondona at a 2013 meeting in Zurich. He also has implicated Fox Sports in a separate bribery scheme. Fox, Globo and Televisa have denied any wrongdoing, and none of them is charged in the case.Burga, Jose Maria Marin and Juan Angel Napout have pleaded not guilty to charges they took part in a 24-year scheme involving at least $150 million in bribes that secured broadcasting and hosting rights for soccer tournaments around the globe. Burzaco has testified that, along with the $3.6 million his firm gave Burga, it directed another $4.5 million in bribes to Napout and $2.7 million to Marin.More than 40 other officials, business executives and entities have been charged. Many, including Burzaco, have pleaded guilty in hopes of receiving reduced sentences.One former Argentine government official killed himself Tuesday just hours after Burzaco testified that he, too, was involved in taking bribes.Jorge Delhon, a lawyer who worked in the administration of former Argentina President Cristina Fernandez, jumped in front of a train in Buenos Aires. He had not been charged in the case.A ministry official in Buenos Aires province confirmed the death. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the subject.“I love you all,” Delhon wrote in a suicide note to his family, the ministry official told the AP. “I can’t believe (what’s happening).”Burzaco testified that he bribed Delhon and others in exchange for TV production rights to soccer matches.In other testimony Tuesday, Burzaco told the jury how Grondona, who died in 2014, claimed in several conversations that he was owed millions of dollars for his 2010 vote as a member of FIFA’s executive committee that helped Qatar land the World Cup, soccer’s most prestigious tournament.The account appeared to back up persistent suspicions that the Qatar vote was rigged and that the influence of Grondona, the senior vice-president at FIFA and head of the Argentinian football association, was for sale.Burzaco also seemed to confirm long-held allegations that FIFA bidding rules were broken by a vote-trading pact between Qatar’s bid for 2022 and the joint Spain-Portugal bid for 2018 hosting rights that Russia eventually won.After Qatar’s vote victory, beating the United States in a final round ballot, unproven allegations were made that Qatar paid the Grondona-led Argentine soccer federation tens of millions of dollars.Burzaco said in court he could not verify the truth of allegations about Qatar.Defence lawyers are set to cross-examine Burzaco on Thursday.___Associated Press writers Graham Dunbar in Geneva, Claudia Torrens in New York and Almudena Calatrava in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed to this report.___This story has been corrected to show the man said the bribe was $4.5 million, not $9.7 million.last_img read more


first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Tonight, Friday, August 9th, 2019 is the opening night of A Celebration of Images Captured by Local Artists at the Peace Gallery North.From 7 pm to 9 pm, the public is welcome to the opening reception for ‘Captured’ with live entertainment by Landis Dell playing jazz guitar and catering by the Cultured Cafe. Come meet the Photographers and their works of art.Exhibits include work by; Tammy BoveeSharon GauntVictor IreneDon HoffmanSandra MilnerSteve MilnerAnn MusgroveDiane WatsonEight photographers are featuring their work, with a wide variety of images, there is something for everyone. There will be captures of landscapes and portraits with approximately 60 exhibits to be seen shares Bev Berg, Manager of the Peace Gallery North.The exhibit will be up in the gallery until the end of August.Photographers will have take away items for sale as the exhibit must remain until the end of the show. This will give you an opportunity to see the artists repertoire of art.To view the FB Event; CLICK HERElast_img read more


first_imgPatna: At a time when the trades of chaiwallas and chowkidars have become part of the political discourse, a humble street hawker in Patna is diligently working to raise awareness about voting and asking the electorate to vote on the basis of a candidate’s merit to build a strong democracy.Through his ‘Cycle Jagrukta Yatra’, Lal Mani Das travels across the Bihar capital and also tells people to not give in to temptation of money or other material gains offered by others to sway their votes. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Das, 50, is a ‘bhunjawallah’ — street snack seller — and puts up his cart near the Bazaar Samiti, city’s huge vegetable and fruits market, but now only hawks the famous snack in the evening, spending early part of the day on his campaign. Wearing a shirt and a trouser, a pair of slippers, and sporting a cap bearing the Election Commission logo and a slogan, he paddles around in Patna on his bicycle, and distributes pamphlets to people, carrying an appeal to vote wisely. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIn front of his bicycle, he has put up a banner that enumerates the qualities a candidate should have, which every voter should keep in mind. Das, himself wears a big, two-sided banner carrying a message — ‘Respect rights of a citizen. Cast your vote’ — over his shirt to spread the message. “Voting is very essential part of ensuring a strong democracy. My first target is to reach out to as many people so that more and more numbers come out and vote on the polling day. Also, I am appealing to them to vote for candidates who have character and those who respect the rule of law,” Das told PTI. On the banner mounted in front of his bicycle, a slogan on the top reads in Hindi — ‘Will respect rights of a citizen, will vote’. “In this banner I have mentioned 10 points for voters to keep in mind, whether first-timers or old-aged ones. So, first one says, we will elect those people who spend less money during election. And, those who respect the rule of law. “Also, among those seeking re-election, we should vote for a candidate, who does not create ruckus in Parliament, has an attendance of at least 75 per cent, participates in House debates and who is committed,” he said. Voters should prefer NOTA (none of the above) option if they have to choose among those candidates who often break laws, Das said. A father of four — one daughter and three sons, Das who originally hails from neighbouring Begusarai district, says, he moved to Patna 15 years ago, in search of livelihood, and lives with his wife and children in a small house near Bazaar Samiti. Asked, how much he earns from selling ‘bhunja’, he said, “I make around Rs 500 to Rs 600 on an average. But, as I am giving more time to my campaign, I am making some losses, but I have no regret.” Das admits that his wife, a homemaker, was against this idea of awareness drive, and still wants him to quit and go back to regular selling job. “She is upset, and my children also are also half-supportive of this campaign, but, I feel that as a citizen, we must each do something towards strengthening our democracy. This is my humble contribution to that larger vision of building a great nation,” he said. Das, in a profound message printed on the pamphlet he hands out, quotes writers, poets and revolutionaries to inspire people to vote with discretion. “…It is not as to who will solve the problem in the system, it is about who will take the first step towards it,” he said, quoting the lines in Hindi from the pamphlet. “If we have to save democracy, we will have to elect candidates with character, otherwise sacrifices made by the freedom fighters will go waste,” he said. The 2019 Lok Sabha polls will be held in a seven phases from April 11 to May 19. In Bihar too, which has 40 Lok Sabha seats, the elections would be held in seven phases. As part of the first phase, four constituencies in the state — Gaya, Nawada, Aurangabad and Jamui will go to polls on April 11.last_img read more


first_imgGurugram: Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, the Congress candidate for Gurugram Lok Sabha constituency, on Thursday filed his application. Among the leaders who were present during his filing of nomination were Randeep Surjewala, Rao Dharampal and Sukhbir Singh Kataria. Before filing the nomination, the 61-year-old leader exhibited his show of strength when he first held a roadshow in Old Gurugram and then held a public meeting at Congress headquarters in Kaman Sarai.Urging the electorate to vote for him, Captain Yadav raised national as well as local issues. He highlighted how nationally demonetisation destroyed the nation’s economy and increased the rates of unemployment. On the local issues, the six-time MLA from Rewari asserted that how the BJP government was not able to bring the development to South Haryana region and stalled the progress of Gurugram. In the affidavit filed, Captain Yadav has stated that his source of income is mainly from his rental incomes however his spouse Shakuntla Yadav is getting income from the business investments. Named after his father Rao Abhay Singh an automobile showroom in Behror Rajasthan is registered under his wife’s name. He owns two Toyota Innova one is of 2015 model and the other 2017. Besides an automobile showroom in Rajasthan, Captain Ajay Singh and his family have also done investments in commercial establishments in Manesar and Daruhera. While Yadav’s total investments in commercial establishments amount to Rs 30.85 lakh his wife Shakuntala’s is nearly Rs 1.47 crore. Captain Yadav’s family also has substantial investments in residential building. Besides his house in Rewari, he has houses in DLF, Gurugram and Sector-31. While the net worth of his investments in residential building amount to nearly Rs 10.37 crore while his wife’s total value of assets is nearly Rs 7.22 crore. The importance of Captain Yadav can be gauged from the fact that he has won Rewari Vidhan Sabha seat six times for the Congress. He won the Rewari seat for the first time in 1989 after which he continued the successful trend with wins in 1991, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2009. In South Haryana where he was instrumental in making Congress a formidable party, he has been rewarded with various ministerial births including finance, PWD, etc in the state government.last_img read more


Three weeks ago, the Denver Broncos looked like an easy choice for the NFL’s best team after back-to-back impressive wins: a 42-17 thumping of the San Francisco 49ers (then the third-ranked team in our Elo ratings), followed by a 35-21 victory over the then-seventh-ranked San Diego Chargers. Since then, however, Denver has arguably been the coldest team in the league. Or at least, nobody has shed more points off of their Elo rating since the end of Week 8 than the Broncos (although the Carolina Panthers certainly seem to be trying their best to match Denver’s skid).Denver’s record over that span — one win, two losses — hasn’t necessarily been its entire undoing. Unlike some of the other more frigid teams across the league, the Broncos have at least won a game in November. (Not to pick on Carolina again, but the Panthers haven’t won since the first week of October.) But the Broncos were also expected to win more — the pregame Elo ratings generated an expectation of 2.1 wins over their past three games. Our Elo point spreads figured Denver would take care of its November opponents by a collective 19.5 points; instead, the team has posted a -13 point differential.The most damaging game of the Broncos’ season thus far was their most recent one, when they were upset by the St. Louis Rams. Losing 22-7 despite being favored by 6.5 points, the defeat cost Denver 43 points of Elo rating, the fifth-most Elo points any team has relinquished in a single game so far this season. (If you’re curious, the Cleveland Browns’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals ranks first in that department.) It also dropped the Broncos to fourth place in the current rankings, the lowest they’ve sat since right after they were shellacked by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in February.But all is not lost for the Broncos — in fact, from a making-the-playoffs perspective, hardly anything was lost. Although the losses to the New England Patriots and St. Louis were costly to the team’s chances of locking up one of the AFC’s top two seeds (and therefore a first-round playoff bye) and even of winning the AFC West (the Kansas City Chiefs are in hot pursuit), they were not particularly damaging to its postseason probability. The Broncos’ chances of making the playoffs have only declined from a practical certainty (96 percent) to a matter of high likelihood (85 percent) during the skid. And Denver still has the league’s third-best chance of winning the Super Bowl. So, despite the team’s recent lapses, fans can probably R-E-L-A-X.The bigger playoff concerns belong to Denver’s Super Bowl opponents a season ago: the Seahawks.Before Week 8, we said the league’s defending champions were suddenly underdogs to return to the postseason … upon which the Seahawks promptly rattled off three consecutive victories, increasing their playoff odds to 61 percent. But on the heels of a loss in Kansas City, here we are again; our Elo simulations say the Seahawks have only a 47 percent probability of returning to the playoffs.The 49ers, who bested the New York Giants last week, were clear beneficiaries of Seattle’s loss, tacking 14 percentage points onto their playoff probability as the Seahawks lost precisely the same amount from theirs. It was a fitting zero-sum transaction for last year’s NFC Championship Game contestants. At the start of the season, the NFC West was supposed to go to the Seahawks or the 49ers, with the runner-up at least being favorites to grab a wild card berth. But nobody counted on the Arizona Cardinals building on their surprising 2013 success and emerging as the division front-runners, the reality of which could leave either Seattle or San Francisco (or both?) out of the playoffs.As Arizona increasingly runs away with the West (Elo gives the Cardinals an 80 percent chance of winning the division, granting that it doesn’t take Carson Palmer’s injury into account), it has become apparent that the Seahawks’ and 49ers’ only path to the playoffs might lead through one of the NFC’s two wild card slots. While our simulations say there’s a 72 percent probability that at least one NFC West team earns a wild card berth, there’s only a 32 percent chance that both wild cards emerge from the division. Most likely, one of the West runners-up will be left out — a fate that befalls Seattle in a slightly higher proportion of simulations than it does San Francisco.Elo point spreadsRecord against point spread: 76-72-3 (6-5 in Week 11)Straight-up record: 111-49-1 (8-6 in Week 11)The Elo ratings again had a winning record against the gambling lines last week, but as we caution in every edition of this column, don’t take these numbers to Vegas and use them to place bets. Even in a lucky year, Elo hasn’t done well enough to turn a profit after the bookies take their vigorish.At any rate, Elo seems to have a difference of opinion than Vegas when it comes to the aforementioned NFC West race. The consensus spread on this weekend’s big Arizona-Seattle tilt has Seattle favored by 6.5 points, while Elo only considers the Seahawks two-point favorites. Much of this probably stems from Seattle’s formidable home-field advantage, which is several points per game greater than the generic 2.6-point edge Elo gives home teams. But Vegas also rates Arizona much lower than Elo does — and that was true even before Palmer’s injury. The bookmakers are probably accounting for the Cardinals’ relatively unimpressive peripheral indicators, figuring their performance will come back down to earth.Vegas also seems to devalue San Francisco relative to its Elo rating. Elo ranks the 49ers fifth, but their implied rating from the betting lines places them 11th in the league. This explains why, against a dreadful Washington team, San Francisco is favored by nine points instead of the two-touchdown edge Elo would predict.Meanwhile, Vegas holds the Green Bay Packers in much higher regard than Elo does. While Elo ranks the Packers sixth in the NFL and has boosted their standing more over the past three weeks than all but three teams, the oddsmakers list them as 9.5-point road favorites against the Minnesota Vikings this week. Elo gives them a four-point advantage. That 5.5-point discrepancy is the biggest for any spread in Week 12, so it will be interesting to see whether the relatively high “K-factor” Vegas seems to be assigning to Green Bay’s recent dominance (to put it in Elo-equation terms) is appropriate. read more


Before the season started, coach Thad Matta told his team that the regular season Big Ten champion was going to have four losses. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they were nearly at that number just two weeks into the season. After four games, OSU was just 1-3 and near the bottom of the conference standings. But despite the slow start, the team was surprisingly confident. “I don’t think we were really thinking about, ‘We don’t really have a shot to win it,’ because we had a lot of games to play,” junior Jon Diebler said. “We were still positive that we were going to get back on the right track.”And that’s exactly what they did. Two months and 13 wins later, the Buckeyes are the Big Ten champions.“We had shown that we could be a good team and there were spurts where we played good basketball,” junior David Lighty said. “Everything just kind of flowed for us to get these wins.”The trouble began for Matta and the Buckeyes in early December when Turner was sidelined with a back injury. OSU was left without its best player for what was initially projected to be as many as eight weeks. The loss made what was already expected to be a difficult start to conference play even harder. OSU was scheduled to begin Big Ten play with four of its first five games away from Columbus. Fortunately, Turner returned sooner than expected, but after the slow start, his team had a tall mountain yet to climb. Despite all the odds stacked against him, Matta said his confidence never wavered.“It was one of those things where I never even thought about a Big Ten championship,” Matta said. “It was more of how to get ready to play. I knew in July when they sent me the schedule, with the start, it was going to be challenging.”Matta has always been a strong proponent of the typical one-game-at-a-time mentality that so many coaches have, or at least appear to have when in the public eye. But for Matta, it’s no act. Ignoring the prying of reporters, Matta refused all year to look ahead to a potential title. It’s a mindset that Diebler said has been infused throughout the team. “He keeps pounding it into our heads, so after three years I guess we’re going to [believe it],” Diebler said. “Honestly, we were mad because we were losing and we know what type of team we could be so it was frustrating to start off 1-3. Obviously we’re doing alright right now.”With the exception of junior David Lighty, the conference title is a first for all of OSU’s regular contributors, including junior guard Evan Turner.  “You keep persevering through and keep pushing through and keep overcoming the odds,” Turner said. “People always knock you down and don’t show you that type of respect because they don’t see how hard you work. “We paid our dues and I guess some of the luck is coming.” read more


first_imgThe Manchester United striker is out with the Belgium squad getting ready for the World Cup, and a pre-tournament friendly against Portugal in Brussels on Saturday.But in a brief press conference at Belgium’s training camp, the forward was asked to choose between Belgium and United with a clear answer to the question “is the current Belgium squad better than the Manchester United squad?”, he acknowledged that Belgium squad is better by answering “Yeah”. However, it was after winced, took a deep breath and smirked his face, signaling how tough the decision was for him to make, according to the Mirror Uk.Also, in fairness to the striker, most football fans will also take his stance if asked and would surely agree with him so far Belgium’s preliminary squad for the World Cup includes Lukaku,Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois, Dries Mertens, Vincent Kompany, Mousa Dembele and more.last_img read more


first_img Now playing: Watch this: Mate X foldable phone: Here’s what it’s really like to use Share your voice 36 Photos Originally published June 14, 5:24 a.m. PT.Update, 5:55 a.m.: Adds background on Huawei. What is going on between Huawei and the US? Huawei Samsung This comes after Samsung paused its release of the Galaxy Fold this spring. The $1,980 foldable phone was scheduled to go on sale in the US on April 26, but Samsung hit the brakes right before the phone’s launch due to numerous screen problems on review units. Samsung said a new release date for the phone will be announced in “the coming weeks.”The Mate X delay is just the latest challenge for Huawei, the world’s No. 1 telecom supplier and No. 2 phone manufacturer. In May, the US blacklisted networking gear from Huawei and President Donald Trump signed an executive order essentially banning the Chinese company due to national security concerns. As a result, some tech companies have cut ties with Huawei. Peng said the Mate X delay wasn’t due to the supply-chain issues, according to the Journal.The foldable phone was unlikely to launch in the US. In May, UK carriers Vodafone and EE said they were pulling the Mate X from their device lineups for their 5G network launches.center_img The Mate X was previously scheduled to go on sale this summer. Juan Garzon / CNET Huawei is reportedly delaying the release of its $2,600 Mate X. The Chinese tech giant is pushing the foldable phone’s launch date from this summer to September, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.Huawei is delaying sales of the Mate X, in part, to improve the quality of the phone’s foldable screen, Vincent Peng, a senior vice president at the company, told the Journal during a tech conference in Hong Kong. “We’re doing a lot of tests,” Peng told the Journal, adding that Huawei aims to release the phone as soon as it can.Huawei didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Commentary: Rushing foldable phones doesn’t work. Just ask Samsung and Huawei 4:59 Tags Post a comment Mobile Foldable Phones 0last_img read more


first_imgUnion Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday clarified that fears of of privatizing railway operations are misplaced, saying seeking private participation is aimed at raising funds. Addressing an Asia Society event through video conferencing, Prabhu said that some people, especially the unions, “do not understand” the difference between merely getting private capital and privatisation.”There are unions who feel that Railways is going to be privatised, government will not own Railways anymore. Railways will continue to be an important, dominant part of India’s social-economic culture and Government of India will make sure that we’ve proper trade-offs between private participation which can come through proper regulatory framework,” he said, according to MoneyControl.com.Since the Narendra Modi government came to power, a lot of talk has been generated around foreign and private investment in the railways.This has been opposed by unions, who represent the two-million strong workforce of the state employer.Two of the unions had even come forward to offer employees’ provident fund deposits for upgrading the rail network.The resource crunch of the railways requires private investment, which would prove to be a “win-win” situation, benefiting the country and all its stakeholders – investors, passengers and most importantly the employees, Prabhu said.The Railway Minister added that “he wants to make Railways “vibrant, sustainable and an efficient effective business organisation” and promised to never let go of its agenda of doing social good. Travel by Indian Railways set to get more expensiveReuterslast_img read more


first_imgReliance Jio’s announcement of Jio GigaFiber has set the ball rolling in the right direction for the disruptive telecommunication company in broadband space. After disruptive the telecom space with its nationwide 4G rollout, affordable plans and more, Reliance Jio is now stepping into the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband space with its Jio GigaFiber.At RIL’s 42nd annual general meeting (AGM), Mukesh Ambani announced that it will commence the Jio GigaFiber rollout in India on September 5 – which marks the company’s third-year anniversary. The Jio GigaFiber plans start at Rs 700 per month and go all the way up to Rs 10,000 per month depending on the speed users choose.Reliance Jio, which offered free 4G services for several months before official rollout, is now attracting consumers with something new. Jio GigaFiber subscribers will get a free HD or 4K LED TV for free as a part of the “Welcome Offer” on the condition that they opt for the annual plans aka Jio-Forever plans.There’s no clarity on how Reliance Jio will choose its customers to give away free HD or 4K TV, but it appears the 4K resolution televisions will be reserved for the premium tier and the HD TVs will be given to those who get the basic package. Reliance Jio’s GigaFiber plans start at Rs 700 for the 100Mbps plan and the top-tier package will offer 1Gbps speeds. Reliance Jio GigaFiber registration pageReliance Jio Website (Screen-shot)With only a few more days to go for the official rollout, it’s worth noting that interested folks register themselves on the company’s official JioFiber broadband website. The individual plans and prices, depending on the data allocation, will be revealed on September 5. Keep a close watch on the offers bundled with each plan to get the maximum benefits.In addition to the LED TVs, Reliance Jio will also be offering a free 4K set-top-box and a free landline. After all, the company is going for a bundled service and not just broadband, so it makes sense to give the best package at launch. There will be attractive calling plans focused on international calls, where Jio guarantees lowest fixed-line rates. Representational ImagetwitterFinally, the free offerings don’t just end there. Reliance Jio GigaFiber subscribers will also get free access to some premium OTT services. It is not clear what these are, but we are hoping to see something on the lines of Amazon, Netflix, Hotstar. If nothing, Jio’s own JioTV, JioMovies will be a part of the package. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:02/1:09Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:07?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Closecenter_img RIL’s 41st AGM: Biggest highlightslast_img read more


first_imgKim Thomas, of Westminster, Md., prays during a rally in front of City Hall, Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Baltimore. Hundreds of jubilant people prayed and chanted for justice days after the city’s top prosecutor charged six officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest. Gov. Larry Hogan has called for a statewide “Day Of Prayer And Peace” on Sunday after civil unrest rocked Baltimore. (AP Photo/David Goldman)BALTIMORE (AP) — Six days after riots sparked by Freddie Gray’s death, Baltimore’s mayor lifted a citywide curfew Sunday and faith leaders called for continued activism until justice is achieved.A jubilant crowd of several hundred prayed and sang civil-rights anthems at a City Hall rally. Sunday’s peaceful gathering came two days after the city’s top prosecutor announced criminal charges against six officers involved in Gray’s arrest.Speaker after speaker exhorted the crowd not to rest just because the officers have been charged. The Rev. Jamal Bryant, a fiery leader of the protests that followed Gray’s April 12 arrest and the death of the 25-year-old Black man a week later, drew deafening cheers when he said the officers deserve jail time.“We’ve got to see this all the way through, until all six officers trade in their blue uniform for an orange uniform,” Bryant said. “Let them know: Orange is the new Black.”The Rev. Lisa Weah, pastor of the New Bethlehem Baptist Church in Gray’s neighborhood, said the message of equal justice for all must not be lost.“Our prayer is that Baltimore will be the model for the rest of the nation,” she said.Local rappers from right, Kova, Bilal and Spence sing on a street corner near the scene of some of Monday’s rioting following Freddie Gray’s funeral, Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Baltimore. Baltimore’s mayor has lifted a citywide curfew six days after riots were sparked over the death of a Gray who suffered a severe spinal injury while in police custody. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police said Sunday that 486 people had been arrested since April 23, and that 113 officers had been injured at riots and protests. The extent of the officers’ injuries was unclear. Earlier in the week, police had said that out of nearly 100 injured officers, 13 were hurt to the extent that they couldn’t work, and 15 were on desk duty.The order for residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. had been in place since Tuesday; officials had originally planned to maintain it through Monday morning. Protests since last Monday’s riots have been peaceful, and Friday’s announcement of charges eased tensions.Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the curfew’s end in a statement.“My number one priority in instituting a curfew was to ensure the public peace, safety, health and welfare of Baltimore citizens,” the Democratic mayor said. “It was not an easy decision, but one I felt was necessary to help our city restore calm.”People join hands during a rally in front of City Hall, Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Baltimore. Hundreds of jubilant people prayed and chanted for justice days after the city’s top prosecutor charged six officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest. Gov. Larry Hogan has called for a statewide “Day Of Prayer And Peace” on Sunday after civil unrest rocked Baltimore. (AP Photo/David Goldman)State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has said Gray died after suffering a broken neck while inside a police van. On Friday, Mosby filed charges against the officers involved in his arrest and transport. One is charged with second-degree murder. Three others are charged with involuntary manslaughter and two with second-degree assault.Mosby said Gray’s neck was broken because he was placed head-first in a police van, handcuffed and later in leg shackles, where he was left to slam against the walls of the small metal compartment. Police said the officers who arrested Gray ignored his cries for help because they thought he was faking his injuries. He was repeatedly denied medical attention.Rioting and looting erupted hours after Gray’s funeral last Monday. A 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew was ordered Tuesday after a night of violence, looting and arson. About 3,000 National Guard soldiers were deployed to the city along with 1,000 extra police officers, including some from out of state. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said the Guard and the officers would be leaving over the next few days.“We think it’s time to get the community back to normal again,” Hogan said. “It’s been a very hard week, but we’ve kept everybody safe.”The Maryland chapter of the ACLU sent a letter to Rawlings-Blake on Saturday alleging that the curfew was “being enforced arbitrarily and selectively” to break up peaceful protests and prevent media outlets from providing accurate coverage of police activity.Members of the National Guard board a truck at an armory staging area Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Baltimore. Baltimore’s mayor has lifted a citywide curfew six days after riots were sparked over the death of a black man who suffered a severe spinal injury while in police custody. (AP Photo/David Goldman)“The curfew is having a dramatic effect on the ability of Baltimore residents to simply go about their daily lives free from fear or arbitrary arrest,” the letter read, adding that it’s also “the target of protest and the source of new problems rather than a solution.”Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said Sunday he will ask President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to send a bipartisan delegation “to look at what is going on in Baltimore.”“It is so symbolic of what is going on all over this country. We have to address the problems of the urban areas because so many our young people are being left behind,” Cummings said.More than 200 people were arrested during Monday’s riots, and more than half of those were released without charges. Rawlings-Blake said during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that authorities are combing through videotapes to identify looters and charge them.___Associated Press writers Michael Biesecker and Juliet Linderman, and radio correspondent Julie Walker in Baltimore contributed to this report.last_img read more


first_imgProtesters from PennNorth: The Kids Safe Zone protested Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s cuts to after-school programs. (Photo by Deborah Bailey)One by one, residents stood at the podium during a hearing held April 12 at the War Memorial in Downtown Baltimore, expressing shock and disbelief at Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake’s decision to cut $4.2 million from after-school and community-based educational programs in her proposed fiscal year 2017 budget.  More than 200 parents, children and community supporters protested, pleaded and demanded that cuts be restored during the first of several Baltimore Taxpayer’s Night Hearings.Mayor Rawlings-Blake recently announced that after-school and community-based programs at six schools serving a total of 2,500 students would not receive city funds in the new budget year starting July 1.  The funding was originally allocated at the height of civic unrest following the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015.Ericka Alston, director of the Safe Kids Zone in Sandtown-Winchester, said her program served 100 children a day last summer. Her program is located at the epicenter of last year’s unrest, and serves children in Gilmore Terrace and the surrounding area.“When we opened on June 1, 2015, we were the response to the rioting. There were no safe spaces for kids in Sandtown-Winchester,” Alston said.The children’s advocate said she and participants in her Safe Kids Zone program came to Taxpayer’s Night to convince Rawlings-Blake to change her mind.“We have been operating for 10 months on the promise that the mayor wants to make things better in our community,” Alston said. “We hope the mayor will rethink and make children her priority.”Code in The Schools, one of the community-based educational programs slated for cuts, teaches computer programming to more than 2,000 students from under-served schools and communities each year.  Gretchen Legrand, Code’s director, echoed the frustration of several citizens who compared the impact of the budget cuts to legislation passed by City Council last week offering the equivalent of 15 years of property tax breaks to developers who will convert underutilized downtown office spaces into high-end apartments.“The return on investment we give to our children is so much higher than any tax break we can give developers,” Legrand said.In addition to $4.2 million in after-school and community-school cuts, the FY 2017 budget will also eliminate $450,000 from Experience Core, Teach for America and the City of Baltimore’s Maryland Extension programs.“We only found out about the budget cuts two weeks ago,” said Manami Brown, director of the Baltimore City Extension. The agency serves every council district in Baltimore with food and nutrition, urban agriculture and 4-H Youth Development programming.“All of these groups that are testifying tonight – we serve all of these sites,” said Brown. “If these cuts are not restored, we close our doors as of June 30.”Andrew Kleine, the mayor’s budget director, explained that last year’s $4.2 million allocation was meant to be a one-time allotment.“So when we planned for FY 2017, the result was difficult choices,” Kleine said. He added, that despite the challenges, the mayor has invested in children and youth through the allocation of an additional $10 million to public schools.Kleine was joined in listening to citizen testimony by Bernard C. “Jack” Young, council president; Joan Pratt, comptroller; Henry Raymond, director of finance; George Nelson, city solicitor and Rudolph Chow, director of the Department of Public Works.  Young announced the City Council will hold hearings with city agencies in May before giving consideration of the full budget in June.  Additional Taxpayer Night hearings will be announced at the next City Council meeting slated for 5 p.m. Friday,  April 15 at City Hall.last_img read more


first_imgStreet Organized Noize will be hosting a community drumming session on Sept. 16 at the Archives Metro Station, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 4:30 p.m.to 7:30 p.m. The event is free of charge and is open to all ages. Musicians should bring their drums, instruments and voices. For more information about the event, visit streetorganizednoize.com.last_img


first_img Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Researchers working as part of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) at the Cerra Paranal Mountain Observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile, have succeeded in virtually connecting all four main Unit Telescopes (UTs) at the site, completing a project ten years in the making. Connecting the telescopes together virtually allows for the creation of a single virtual mirror that allows researchers to capture images from space as if all of the telescopes were in fact one giant telescope with a mirror 130m in diameter. Combined, the telescopes are known as the Very Large Telescope (VLT). Connecting the telescopes together was no easy feat, in fact the team had tried last March and failed. To make it all work the facility was built with interconnecting underground tunnels. In those tunnels, an interferometer (and a device with an optical microchip called the Pionier) is used in conjunction with many smaller mirrors to direct light beams from each telescope, adjusting for the slight differences in arrival time due to the different positions of the telescopes on the surface. Connecting the telescopes together improves on spatial resolution and zoom capabilities by a factor of 20.The team had succeeded in connecting various parts of the VLT before, but this was the first time they managed to get all four telescopes connected at once. The VLT is the largest virtual optical telescope in the world and astronomers the world over have reason to be excited about the accomplishments of the ESO as access to the VLT will be offered to both those that work at the observatory and visiting researchers.The ESO is a research group made up of scientists from fourteen European countries and Brazil. It’s been in existence since 1962 and is funded by various state governmental agencies. Its mission is to advance the science of astronomy by providing researchers with state of the art facilities. To that end, it has built some of the biggest and most advanced telescopes in the world.The ESO team believes the new virtual telescope will allow researchers to discern far off objects in the sky with much more detail, providing more insight into such phenomenon as how various entities come together to form new solar systems. The team has also set up a site where those that wish to can take a virtual tour of the facility. A Thousand Papers and Counting: ESO’s Very Large Telescope drives astronomy forwards This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: ESO team succeeds in linking telescopes at Paranal Observatory into giant VLT (2012, February 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-eso-team-linking-telescopes-paranal.htmllast_img read more


first_imgMay 24, 2017 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. What is the responsibility of a platform such as Facebook to its users?This week, The Guardian published its investigation into the social giant’s content moderation practices, revealing through leaked documents the capricious nature of the task at hand.The documents painted the company’s content moderation as something of a moving target, in which a split-second judgement is often required to decide whether something that is potentially offensive, graphic and even dangerous should stay on the site for purposes of awareness and education or removed entirely. Another cause for concern was how far the line went when it came to what threats that were posted could be considered credible.Related: Facebook’s Content Moderation Rules Are Both Careful and ShockingIt’s a complicated process, but when the engine of Facebook is the personal information that people share with it, it begs the question of what kind of transparency is owed to its users, especially around issues of safety and wellbeing.Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, wrote an editorial for The Guardian in an effort to address those concerns and lay out context when it comes to the changing standards required to make those quick decisions.With regard to that transparency, Bickert noted that while Community Standards are available to all, “we don’t always share the details of our policies, because we don’t want to encourage people to find workarounds.” But the boundaries around what is and isn’t appropriate remain blurry.Related: Why Mark Zuckerberg Runs 10,000 Facebook Versions a Day“These tensions — between raising awareness of violence and promoting it, between freedom of expression and freedom from fear, between bearing witness to something and gawking at it — are complicated, philosophical questions,” Bickert wrote. “Many organisations grapple with them, and there are rarely universal legal standards to provide clarity. Being as objective as we can is the only way we can be consistent across the world and in different contexts. But we still sometimes end up making the wrong call. … We get things wrong, and we’re constantly working to make sure that happens less often. We put a lot of detailed thought into trying to find right answers, even when there aren’t any.”So what can any organization learn from Facebook’s stance?While it’s understandable that you would want to keep proprietary practices under wraps, if a process is constantly evolving, take it upon yourself to keep your users or customers in the loop. Their insights could help refine a messy process or highlight issues that you may not see clearly from the inside. It’s also important to remember that admitting you’re wrong isn’t a death knell — it can put you in a improved position to do better going forward.center_img 3 min read Register Now »last_img read more


first_imgSeptember 23, 2016Here are a few more photos of the later part of this years Italian Night performance of THE ROBES OF ST. ANNE.Created in 2014, “The Robes of St-Anne” is a co-production of The show gathered originally 30 Stilt walkers from the United States, New Brunswick and Montréal to created a In situ Performance inspired by Acadian and Mik’Maq legends. The Robes of St-Anne was adapted for the Arcosanti space for the Festival Fuse 2016.The Robes of St-Anne : A nostalgic fisherman, the gossiping ”villageoises” and the flamboyant shooting stars tell the story of how the great St-Anne brought back hope to a hungry village…Inspired from legends of the Mi’kmaq Natives, The Robes of St-Anne stretches out from the mountain to the sea.An itinerant and interactive show uniting stilt acrobatics, dance and physical theatre. This is also an announcement of the upcoming performance byGLOBAL STILT CONGRESS 2016tomorrow evening, Saturday, September 24. 2016FUSE FESTIVAL.last_img read more


first_imgWelcome to Invisibilia Season 4! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior, and we here at Goats and Soda are joining in for the podcast’s look at how a reality show in Somalia tried to do far more than crown a winning singer. The ultimate goal: to change human behavior.Once upon a time there was music in Somalia, but then the music started fading out. First one music radio station, then another, then another, until there was almost no music to hear and people started MacGyvering workarounds.One of the people who came up with a workaround was Xawa Abdi Hassan, a young woman who lived in a village outside Mogadishu.”We used to use a memory card, fill the memory card with music and listen to it from our phones,” Xawa says. In her house, as she cooked and cleaned, Hassan would sing along with the great Somali singers. But even in this private space she says she was careful. “I used to turn the volume down low, so no one could hear it.”The problem was al-Shabab, the Islamic extremist group that dominated large parts of the country. Al-Shabab didn’t like music. In 2009 it banned music at weddings, banished musical ringtones and starting punishing people who listened to music on their mobile phones by making them swallow their memory cards.Eventually the musicians themselves were targeted. The famous soloist Aden Hasan Salad was shot and killed in a tea shop, and others were murdered in the street.Through all of that, Xawa Abdi Hassan kept listening and practicing. Because she had a dream: “I just wanted to sing and become an entertainer.”For most of her life though — because of al-Shabab — this was a pretty far-fetched dream. Then in 2013 an unexpected and interesting opportunity emerged: There was going to be a new reality television show in Somalia, an American Idol-style show with singers competing.”As soon as I heard about it I knew I wanted to join,” Hassan says.What she didn’t know — what she couldn’t possibly know — was that this reality show was part of a much larger political plan.Using reality TV to change the worldThe plan was to create a musical reality show that could undermine the power of al-Shabab, or, in the language of the memo distributed to the people involved in the show’s creation, “undercut the messaging and brand appeal of armed extremist groups.”The United Nations, which was providing the money and support for the show, had concluded that a vivid display of Somali musical culture could serve “as a kind of inoculation against the austerity of Shabab,” Ben Parker told me. Parker was the head of communications for the U.N. in Mogadishu. He says that at this point — 2013 — al-Shabab had finally been pushed out of the capital, Mogadishu. But the situation in Somalia was far from stable. There were still regular attacks, so the new government (which had U.N. backing) needed to prove to Somalis that the power of the extremist group really was fading. This is why, Parker says, a musical reality show that challenged the power of the music-hating group was so appealing.”The beauty of a reality show is that the form itself achieves some of your goals,” he explains.After all, not only is there music in a musical reality show, there’s democratic voting and individual expression. So even in its form it communicates to its audience a very different way of being.This kind of indirect political messaging, Parker told me, is increasingly popular in strategic communications: “Those working in conflict … are less and less convinced of the value of weapons and more and more convinced that other approaches can deliver the dividends.”You get further with songs than with bombs.So is he right?Can a reality show actually change reality?It turns out this question has been systematically studied.The tricky science of changing what’s normalHow do people come to see the world around them as normal, an unremarkable fact, the way things are and should be? This is the question that interests Betsy Levy Paluck, a psychologist at Princeton University who studies media and how societies change.Paluck told me that for a long time people assumed the path to political or cultural change depended on crafting the right argument.”It was all rhetoric and no poetics,” she says.But starting in the 1990s, according to Paluck, poetics started gaining ground because psychologists realized that people consumed stories in this qualitatively different way.”Their defensiveness is disabled. Their counterarguing is at rest.”What Paluck wanted to understand was whether this difference in how we consumed stories translated into any changes in what we thought and how we behaved. So around 2004 she hooked up with an organization in Rwanda that was creating a new radio soap opera that was trying encourage tolerance between different ethnicities.And what Paluck found after a year of studying communities in Rwanda randomly assigned to listen to the soap opera was that their exposure had a surprising impact.”What it boiled down to was that despite the fact that people loved this program, it didn’t change their beliefs,” she says. “But it did change their perceptions of norms, and at the same time it changed their behaviors. Which is why I thought this is something significant.”Let me repeat that: It didn’t change their beliefs; it changed their behaviors by changing what they considered to be the social norm.That’s a sobering idea.”It’s a very uncomfortable thought,” Paluck says. “We like to think that all of our behaviors flow from our convictions, and what we do is a reflection of who we are and what we think. But we’re constantly tuning ourselves to fit in with the social world around us.”So what this work suggests is that if you change someone’s perception of what constitutes the social norm — as you convince people that the world is safe enough to sing in public even though in actual fact singing in public is incredibly dangerous — then you just might be able to move the needle on the ground.She took on extremists with her songWhich brings us back to Xawa Abdi Hassan, the young woman who quietly listened to music off a memory card and dreamed of being a singer.It took her some time to convince her family that it would be OK to compete in the show, called Inspire Somalia. Her mother was afraid that participating would turn her into a target, but ultimately she got permission.Hassan says when she first took the stage to compete, her hands were shaking, and not just because this could be a big break. There was another reason: Because of al-Shabab, she had never sung in public before.It was too dangerous.”That was my first time,” she says. “Before that, I did not sing in public places.”After Hassan two other contestants had their turns, both men. One had a famous musician father; the second, a man named Mustafa, had composed his own song.Once they finished came the part of the show supposed to serve as a democracy demonstration: the voting. Ballots were distributed to the audience and judges, and for a minute the room was quiet. In this small conference room in the middle of Mogadishu people bent over their ballots and considered the options before them.The son of the famous musician.The girl who practiced at home with the volume turned low.The boy who wrote his own song.In that room they consulted their hearts, weighed strengths and weaknesses, then marked the paper in their laps.It was Mustafa who ended up winning, but Hassan says she was honestly not upset. For her just the act of singing in public for the first time was enough. “I was happy as … like I was born that day.” she told me.In fact, Hassan is now a bit famous. People occasionally recognize her on the street, and even more important, she’s part of a professional singing group. As al-Shabab remains a force in Somalia, this means she is still at risk. She says she tries not to worry too much but is often spooked when she sees a car slow down when she’s walking. Still, she is committed to keep making music.”Yes, it is dangerous,” Hassan says. “But if the young person doesn’t stand up for his country and do what’s right, how is he helping his country?”Which brings us to this question: Did this reality show actually change reality in any way?It would be impossible to make the case that Somalia is a completely different country now. It isn’t.But there is at least one undeniable change since 2013. Music is back in the streets. Brought back, slowly and painfully, through a complicated combination of political strategy and personal courage. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more


first_imgThe Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been criticised for failing to treat as a disability hate crime a case in which a disabled man was forced to work for a pittance and live in a shed for 35 years.Three people were convicted unanimously by a jury last week of requiring the 52-year-old man to perform forced or compulsory labour, after a four-week trial at Oxford Crown Court.The man, who has learning difficulties, was forced to live in a brick shed that was described as unfit for human habitation, and to undertake heavy manual labour, working for more than 12 hours a day, for which he was paid just £5 a day.If he failed to work hard enough he was beaten, on at least one occasion with a metal bar.The three defendants also applied for and collected his benefits – worth £139,000 – for 13 years and as a result were also convicted of conspiracy to defraud following a trial last November.They will be sentenced next month for this charge, and the forced labour, but CPS has already confirmed to Disability News Service that the offences have not been treated as disability hate crime.A linked case, which in June last year saw another four defendants convicted of forced labour, involving another man with learning difficulties in the same area of Oxford, was also not treated as disability hate crime.Thames Valley Police, which carried out both investigations, was unable to comment on the latest case this week because the officer dealing with the case was on leave.But a CPS spokesman said: “Disabled people face criminal behaviour every day. “Sometimes, this will be motivated by hostility towards their disability and on other occasions they will be in at-risk situations and exploited because of that.“We considered prosecuting this case as a disability hate crime but could not identify any evidence to show the offence had been committed because of hostility towards the victim based on his disability.“The offenders saw an opportunity to exploit the victim for their own personal gain.“Sentencing is a matter for the courts but the CPS will ask that a victim’s disability is taken into account.”Anne Novis (pictured), a leading disabled hate crime campaigner and a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, said: “Repeatedly we have to ask the question, ‘Why?’“Why is it not a disability hate crime when a disabled person is abused, humiliated, stolen from, made to do work they do not want to do?“For us, it is common sense that if someone is targeted due to perceived ‘vulnerability’ and that ‘vulnerability’ is due to being a disabled person then that is hate crime.“No matter what the law or the CPS say, we, disabled people, are the experts. We know what is or is not hate crime and it is our voice, our perception, and that of the victim that should take precedence.“It is obvious that the justice system still has a lot of work to do on this issue. Such cases do not inspire our confidence.”Meanwhile, a new CPS report has shown that the number of cases of disability hate crime prosecuted in 2015-16 increased by more than 40 per cent compared with the previous year, rising from 666 to 941.The number of convictions also rose by more than 40 per cent, from 503 to 707, although the conviction rate fell slightly, from 75.5 per cent to 75.1 per cent (it was as high as 81.9 per cent in 2013-14).The report says CPS will “identify and execute further work necessary to address the relatively low conviction rate”, comparing it with the overall hate crime conviction rate of 83.2 per cent.The number of cases in which the sentence was increased because the court accepted the offences were disability hate crimes also rose, from 5.4 per cent of successfully prosecuted disability hate crime cases in 2014-15 to 11.9 per cent of such cases in 2015-16. This rate had been as low as 0.6 per cent in 2013-14.The CPS report said the figure still remained “considerably lower” than for other hate crime strands, and promised to work internally to “sustain continuing improvement”, while work would “also be undertaken with the courts to ensure consistent application of sentence uplifts”.The report also revealed that the proportion of both 10-13 year olds and 14-17-year-olds involved as defendants in disability hate crime prosecutions fell from 4.9 per cent and 23.5 per cent in 2007-08 to 1.3 per cent and 9.6 per cent in 2015-16.The report says: “The CPS benefits from a strong relationship with communities affected by disability hate crime as a result of a combination of structured engagement and transparent performance and hopes that, together with an improved conviction rate, community confidence will continue to grow.“In turn, it is hoped that this will provide an environment in which increased numbers of those affected by hate crime will feel able to report.”Stephen Brookes, another leading hate crime campaigner and DHCN coordinator, said the increase in prosecutions was “good news”.But he warned against complacency, and added: “There are still far too many inconsistencies in police, CPS and the judiciary responses, and the gap shown between good and bad practice is massive.”He said the work done by the network had been “a key part of the improvements seen today, and the message from us is, ‘The fight isn’t won yet.’“Rather, we are at the beginning of the real battle of getting closer cooperation between all partners, criminal justice system, disabled people, academics, and the media, who can help with the message that disability hate crime is on its way out.”last_img read more