first_imgWu, who said she has experienced no abnormal symptoms in recent months after taking an experimental vaccine herself in April, did not specify which vaccines she was referring to.A unit of state pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and US-listed Sinovac Biotech are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use programme. A fourth COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.Sinopharm said in July that its vaccine could be ready for public use by the end of this year after the conclusion of Phase 3 trials.Global vaccine makers are racing to develop an effective vaccine against the virus which has killed more than 925,000 people. Leading Western vaccine makers pledged earlier this month to uphold scientific study standards and reject any political pressure to rush the process.Topics : Coronavirus vaccines being developed in China may be ready for use by the general public as early as November, an official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.China has four COVID-19 vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials. At least three of those have already been offered to essential workers under an emergency use programme launched in July.Phase 3 clinical trials were proceeding smoothly and the vaccines could be ready for the general public in November or December, CDC chief biosafety expert Guizhen Wu said in an interview with state TV late on Monday.last_img read more

first_img The mechanisms underlying rhythmogenesis and large-scale patterning — for example, left–right alternation of body wall muscles in vertebrate swimming, stance-swing alternation of flexor and extensor muscles in stepping — have thus been elucidated in many model systems. It is important, however, to stress that the fine patterning and coordination of individual muscle groups within single cycles — for example, the dorsal fins in lamprey swimming, the precise timing of extensor muscles in single extensions during stepping — are less understood. Nose codes:  One of the most complex of our senses is the sense of smell – the olfactory sense.  The reason is that the nose has to be able to sort through an almost infinite variety of odorants, identify those of interest, and communicate that information to the brain for the appropriate response.  Olfactory organs are often highly sensitive.  Insects have incredible sensitivity to certain odorant molecules, such as pheromones and nectars.  Higher animals such as dogs and bears are also renowned for their ability to detect and memorize scents.  What scientists did not realize till recent years is that olfactory organs perform their magic by means of codes. It’s easier to study olfaction in insects, so that is what biologists have studied most (see “Nose Knows More than Math Pros Suppose,” 06/26/2005).  Undoubtedly, olfaction in vertebrates is much more complex, but functionally equivalent organs and processes in mammals have been identified.  Gupta and Stopfer, writing in Current Biology,1 used the word code twice in their headline: “Olfactory Coding: Giant Inhibitory Neuron Governs Sparse Odor Codes.”  They wrote about how odor information is encoded at several stages on the way from receptor to brain.  The method is remarkable, as they summarized in their opening paragraph: Brain mechanisms have evolved to gather and organize sensory information. This information does not flow passively from the outer environment through neural circuits, coming to rest as memories or actions. Rather, information is encoded, processed, and dramatically transformed in myriad ways as it travels through the brain, providing multiple advantages to the animal. For example, in many species and brain areas, sensory stimuli elicit dense bursts of action potentials from neurons in peripheral structures, but sparser firing in more central structures. Olfactory coding condenses initial bursts of odor information into manageable categories.  The pattern of initial bursts of peripheral neurons called Kenyon cells causes characteristic responses in the central structures, as if to sort responses by type.  It would be as if a dozen different signals from a flagman could trigger a single danger response.  But what happens is much more complex, with feedback and feed-forward signaling between the organs.  In addition, the information-compacting central structures respond differently if the incoming signals are synchronized.  The central structures appear tuned like a compressor-limiter to require thresholds before passing the information forward. Gupta and Stopfer reported that recently a giant neuron named GGN with “enormous, sweeping arborizations in the input and the output areas” appears to play a big role in information compression in insect olfaction.  This neuron takes input from every Kenyon cell, processes it like a computer, and can then inhibit the inputs.  According to the study, this giant neuron “responded to all tested odors with graded potentials that increased in amplitude along with the concentration of the odor.”  As a result, discrete inputs (molecules), by passing through the layers of information density and compression, yield a continuous output while simultaneously regulating further inputs.  In addition, another neuron tunes the giant neuron’s effectiveness, which in turn can be inhibited by the giant neuron.  Gupta and Stopfer said it’s like the input neurons turn a dial, another neuron regulates the dial’s sensitivity, and the GGN neuron, like a central processor, can choose what to do with the information and control the upstream inputs. In their final paragraph, Gupta and Stopfer said that these insect studies are shedding light on vertebrate olfaction.  Using language that sounds like electronic engineering, they could only refer to evolution in a negative sense (“evolutionarily conserved” means unevolved): The discovery of GGN’s powerful effect on Kenyon cells will reshape our understanding of olfactory coding in higher brain regions. How it works in the context of other sparsening mechanisms, such as the feed-forward inhibition pathway mediated by the lateral horn, will be interesting to determine . Combinations of feed-forward and feed-back inhibition have been observed in the vertebrate olfactory system: Stokes and Isaacson recently showed that a feed-forward inhibition mechanism acts immediately upon stimulus onset, and a feed-back inhibition mechanism contributes more slowly, in slices of the piriform cortex, a brain region in many ways analogous to the invertebrate mushroom bodies. And, in Drosophila, Papadopoulou et al. recorded from the APL, a neuron similar in structure to GGN, and found that the two neurons are functionally equivalent. Thus, global normalization mechanisms for maintaining sparse olfactory codes appear to be common. The relatively simple nervous systems of insects will no doubt continue to pave the way for unraveling the evolutionarily conserved mysteries of olfaction. Gupta and Stopfer, “Olfactory Coding: Giant Inhibitory Neuron Governs Sparse Odor Codes,” Current Biology, Volume 21, Issue 13, R504-R506, 12 July 2011. Move it:  How do we move?  Watch sprinters running down a track, weightlifters hoisting massive barbells, divers twisting in mid-air.  Obviously the central nervous system (CNS) is involved along with muscles.  A hint of the complexity in simple everyday movements can be gleaned from excerpts of a review in Current Biology by German and Swedish researchers.3  Once again, whatever we know is just the tip of an iceberg: Tubes constructed from single-layered sheets of epithelial cells (which line body surfaces and cavities) provide the structural basis for many internal organs. These tubes assume diverse forms, from the 25-foot-long, highly coiled intestine, to the elaborate branched networks of the lung and kidney. Even the brain and heart arise from simple epithelial tubes. Each tube must attain the precise length and diameter required for its physiological function, and creating tubes that bend, coil, branch, or twist requires additional regulatory mechanisms or modes of cellular force production. A major challenge for developmental biologists studying organ formation in the embryo, and for tissue engineers who aspire to build organs in the lab, is to understand how the molecular-level control of subcellular forces leads to tissue-level control of epithelial tube size and shape.  Two papers in this issue … address this challenge. They provide new insight into the cellular processes that make the right tube to fit the job. The first paper, attempting to figure out how airway tubes branch, described growth factors that determine the axis of cell division, giving preference to the long axis.  But these factors are regulated by complex feedback loops that govern their actions, turning them on and off at the proper times.  The second paper tried to figure out how tubes twist.  Again, growth factors were identified that preferentially push daughter cells in certain directions, but there were other factors that could cause bending of individual cells and tissues without cell division. It is clear that the researchers are barely beginning to understand tube formation.  The meager hypotheses in the two papers leave many questions unanswered: such as how a flat sheet of epithelium curves and joins into a tube; how the tube diameter and thickness are controlled; and how all the accessory cells such as sensors, blood vessels and nerves and other organs find their proper locations in and around the tube.  Giving a phenomenon a name like “morphogenesis” is not the same as understanding it.  The authors know that; “These studies signal a growing trend in which classical molecular and genetic approaches merge with quantitative microscopy, image analysis, and modeling to provide new insights into the cellular dynamics of tissue morphogenesis,” they boasted, quickly adding a reality check: “It is likely, however, that we are seeing just the tip of an iceberg.” From genes to tubes:  We have lots of tubes in our bodies: blood vessels, intestines, airways, ducts.  How can a genetic code take dividing cells and build them into tubular structures?  This question was asked in Science this week.2   Sally Horne-Badovinac and Edwin Munro from the University of Chicago described the problem: A major challenge for neuroscience is to determine how central nervous system (CNS) activity is causally related to behaviour. Motor behaviours are generated by task-specific CNS neural networks. Sally Horne-Badovinac and Edwin Munro, “Developmental Biology: Tubular Transformations,” Science 15 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6040 pp. 294-295, DOI: 10.1126/science.1209687. Motor behaviour results from information processing across multiple neural networks acting at all levels from initial selection of the behaviour to its final generation. Understanding how motor behaviour is produced requires identifying the constituent neurons of these networks, their cellular properties, and their pattern of synaptic connectivity. These brief looks at just three aspects of body language – olfaction, development and movement – illustrate how scientists find layers of complexity wherever they look.  Now add the endocrine system, digestion, reproduction, circulation, the skeletal system, the sensory organs, and all the other systems, package them all in skin and operate everything with a three-pound brain that runs on potatoes, and you begin to fathom the wonder that is you. Your body is speaking to scientists.  Some of them hear it saying evolution.  Others think it says intelligent design.  What characteristics would each side expect?  Most people intuitively know design when they see it.  Here are three recent scientific papers that may help interpret body language. Movements are produced by multiple neural networks, including high-level networks that ‘decide’ if movement is appropriate, those that determine the general characteristics of the movement (for example, direction, limb or body velocity), and the (often segmental) neural networks that generate the detailed motor neuron activity that drives the locomotor organs (typically muscles). Buschges, Scholz and El Manira, “New Moves in Motor Control,”  Current Biology, Volume 21, Issue 13, R513-R524, 12 July 2011. These papers present, once again, a pattern we find often in scientific papers: the more detail, the less evolution talk.  Only one of the three papers even mentioned evolution, and that instance was pathetic: “Brain mechanisms have evolved to gather and organize sensory information.”  That was the opening sacrifice to Charlie in the olfaction paper.  Ask yourself; did that little piece of worldview self-affirmation provide any understanding to the subject matter?  The whole rest of the paper, for crying out loud, was about codes, mechanisms, fine-tuning, signal processing and layers of information.  Those are the same authors who provided that other Darwin gem in their last sentence: “The relatively simple nervous systems of insects will no doubt continue to pave the way for unraveling the evolutionarily conserved [i.e., unevolved] mysteries of olfaction.”  That was it.  Those were the only two mentions of evolution in these three amazing papers.  Darwinists, if you can’t do better than stating your dogmas as bookends to papers that scream intelligent design, don’t be surprised when growing numbers of people find Charlie’s little myth unconvincing.  The rest of us, hopefully, were inspired to thanksgiving, if not worship, for the unfathomable treasures we have been given for our earthly dwellings.  Appreciating the design inside of you might just motivate you to take better care of your dwelling (see Science Daily and Psalm 139).(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgCatriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Management and coaching staff wasted no time and has shopped around for a replacement, their third import in the season-closing conference, who has turned out to be Watson and is expected to plane in either late Tuesday or early Wednesday from the United States.But a ranking team official told the Inquirer that the Beermen would likely play Bridgeman against the Elasto Painters because coaching staff doesn’t feel that Watson would be able to have at least one practice with the team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next MOST READcenter_img Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa WATCH: Derrick Rose moved to tears after watching video tribute from Chinese fans SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief San Miguel Beermen. Tristan Tamayo/ UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games San Miguel Beer, chasing to complete a rare Triple Crown sweep, will most likely play Terik Bridgeman against Rain or Shine in the 7 p.m. PBA Governors’ Cup contest on Wednesday as the Beermen await the arrival of new import Terrence Watson.Bridgeman, who came in to replace Wendell McKines, was a huge disappointment in his debut last Saturday, scoring just two points and grabbing six rebounds in a 79-90 loss to Alaska in Angeles City in Pampanga.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHlast_img read more

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say ​Bournemouth boss Howe has no regrets over Defoe signingby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEddie Howe does not regret signing Jermain Defoe.The former England international is heading to Rangers on an 18-month loan deal, per Sky Sports News.And despite the fact he had a limited impact in his stay at the Cherries, Howe does not feel the transfer was a mistake.”The deal (signing Defoe) has been a good one from our perspective, I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he said in his press conference.”He scored some massive goals for us last year, I don’t think anyone should forget that.”Then you add the other value that he brings in the changing room and on the training pitch. He’s definitely been a role model for a lot of our younger players. As I say it’s something I would do again and again if given the same circumstances.” last_img read more

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_imgAPTN National NewsOuje-Bougoumou is about a 10-hour drive north of Ottawa.For decades the people lived off the land.But Indian Residential Schools and passing missionairies changed everything.The switch to Christianity has, for the most part, replaced traditional teachings and spiritual ceremonies.APTN National News reporter Annette Francis and cameraman Jason Leroux went there to explore what happened and what people today are doing to get the old ways back.Here is part one – a history lesson.last_img

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” alt=”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