Ministers are delaying the release of nine secret

first_imgMinisters are delaying the release of nine secret reviews into the deaths of benefit claimants, even though civil servants apparently prepared them for release three weeks ago under freedom of information laws.A response to a request to release redacted versions of the documents was completed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) freedom of information team on 23 May, and just needed official clearance to be released.But the documents – which are likely to be heavily-redacted versions of the nine reviews – have still not been released to Disability News Service (DNS), three weeks later, in an apparent breach of freedom of information laws.The reviews cover the period from August 2014 to January 2016, and are likely to be similar in format to the 49 reviews that were released by DWP last month following a 21-month battle with DNS to keep them secret.DWP is so far refusing to say how many of the nine secret reviews concern a claimant who took their own life.The latest request was submitted on 15 April, but DNS has been told by DWP’s freedom of information team that a draft response was completed on 23 May – three weeks ago – but has still not been signed off so that it can be released.A DWP spokeswoman apologised for the delay, but refused to explain why the response had not yet been released.She said: “We always aim to respond to freedom of information requests within 20 working days – in fact nine out of ten responses are sent within that timescale.“We will get a response to you in due course.”Many of the 49 reviews released last month concerned the deaths of disabled people who had applied for the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA), through the work capability assessment (WCA) process.And many of the reviews – 40 of which refer to benefit claimants who took their own lives – concerned the reassessment of long-term claimants of incapacity benefit (IB).Although key parts of the peer reviews were missing because they were so heavily redacted, DNS found 10 key recommendations for DWP to take national action to improve the way it treated vulnerable benefit claimants. DNS is still waiting to hear from DWP if those 10 recommendations were ever carried out.The nine peer reviews – now renamed internal process reviews – are likely to be scrutinised closely by disabled activists for further evidence of failings in the way DWP has dealt with benefit claimants labelled as “vulnerable”, many of whom are likely to be mental health service-users or have learning difficulties.They could provide crucial evidence for calls – led by the Scottish-based grassroots group Black Triangle, and backed by many other disabled activists – for former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to face a criminal investigation for misconduct in public office following his refusal to address a coroner’s concerns about the safety of the WCA in 2010.They want to hold Duncan Smith and his former employment minister Chris Grayling to account for their failure to improve the safety of the WCA, when they were warned that it risked causing further deaths.Last November, government-funded research concluded that the programme to reassess people claiming IB using the WCA could have caused 590 suicides in just three years.last_img read more

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THE RFL has called for Rugby League fans across th

first_imgTHE RFL has called for Rugby League fans across the country to challenge the BBC’s proposed plans to introduce cuts to local radio services by responding to the BBC’s consultation by December 21.The scale of the issue and the approach of the BBC were made apparent during a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group, attended by RFL Chairman Richard Lewis and representatives of the BBC in London on Tuesday November 29, where the impact of the proposed cuts to local sports services was made clear. The proposals will affect BBC local radio provisions, which could have a very negative impact on local sports coverage.The Group heard that the on-going consultation period outlined by the BBC focuses on the need for the BBC to make cuts to services whilst at the same time absorbing the cost of the World Service and S4C.“The proposals for BBC local radio will have, potentially, a very negative impact upon all sport and on Rugby League in particular,” said RFL Chairman Richard Lewis.“The RFL will be responding directly to the BBC in response to these proposals and we are urging all clubs, leagues and individuals to respond also.“The consultation closes on Wednesday December 21 and I cannot stress enough the importance that every individual who cares about the sport to take part in the consultation and share your concerns with the BBC Trust.”The consequences if these proposals are adopted will be:Midweek Rugby League magazine programmes are likely to disappear as they generally are broadcast between 7.00pm and 10.00pm in the evening. This will mean that listeners will not have access to speak to and question their local club, RFL officials and those involved with the game.The opportunity to have an opinion heard on local radio will almost certainly disappear.In-depth discussion about sport locally will disappear.Live commentary may be affected if there is a reduction in the number of commentators at games making it less likely that there will be a local flavour to the commentary.There may be a reduction in the number of games covered if there are numerous games on the same evening or afternoon.The removal of the Medium Wave transmission will mean that only one event will be broadcast at one time, for example, if there is a Premier League football game and a Super League game at the same time then the station will not be able, as they currently can, to broadcast one on FM and the other on medium wave. The Sports Producer will have to make a choice.It is estimated that if these cuts are implemented up to 95 per cent of BBC London sports output could disappear.Members of the public, who wish to find out more information about these proposals and to make comment can gain more information from www.therfl.co.uk/localradioreview or contact the BBC Trust directly at: Local Radio Review, BBC Trust, 180 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QZ.You can email: local.radio.review@bbc.co.ukThe deadline for responses is Wednesday December 21 2011 and more information can be downloaded from http://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/bbc/dqf/The picture shows Ray French MBE, Veteran Broadcaster, Charles Runcie, Head of Sport, English Regions, Ian Ramsdale, Producer & Broadcaster for BBC London and Richard Lewis, RFL Chairman.last_img read more

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JON Wilkin is chomping at the bit to return to act

first_imgJON Wilkin is chomping at the bit to return to action – and provided he comes through training this week, he will be back for the trip to Leeds on Friday.Saints’ Captain suffered a broken thumb last month which required surgery.It meant a lengthy and frustrating time on the sidelines but all that is set to come to an end this week.“It was an unusual injury,” he said. “It has been a little debilitating too; I have had bigger injuries that have been less damaging to my training. I have not been able to train with this one because I couldn’t use it.“The medical staff did a great job though and I’m hopefully good to go this week.“It was a frustrating time to pick up the injury, especially with what is happening on the field.“The last month has been tough for the boys and tough for the club. If anything a bit of leadership and guidance was needed on the field – but it has been a great opportunity for some of the other guys in the team to learn and take on other roles.“It has been an opportunity to see where those guys are coming from. When you look on the field you want to see confidence, direction and belief.“When it is not going so well it is sometimes lacking, and that is where you need to find your leaders. There are maybe a couple of guys who have stepped up.“A team that is quiet is one that is not performing and I feel we have been quiet.”Wilkin’s return coincides with a trip to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup holders and First Utility Super League table toppers.Saints are yet to beat the Rhinos this year too – but have shown enough in each game to suggest they are capable of scoring points.That said, those flurries of good form have come after Leeds have built commanding advantages.“I’m not sure the Cup Final will have taken anything from Leeds,” Wilkin added. “They broke Hull KR down and scored points when they needed to.“They have a good blend in their squad – with young players that have transitioned well into senior players. They have frailties though but I don’t think teams have taken them to a point where they can be exposed.“We have to start with intent and get stuck in. We have stood back and watched them; they have scored points and then we have said ‘hang on, we are St Helens’ and had a dig. That’s too late.“I think we are the side that can disrupt what they are doing as we have the resources on the field.“I have a lot of respect for how they play. I don’t think they play to a structure and that catches teams out.“At the end of the day they are a great side and next six weeks will say if they are one of the greatest sides. We can have a massive say on that.”Tickets for Friday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

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The Head Coach reports a fully fit squad to choose

first_imgThe Head Coach reports a fully fit squad to choose from after two pre-season run outs saw Saints beat Sheffield and Leigh 64-6 and 24-20 respectively.He will choose his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3, Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby (c), 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 23. Ben Barba.Daryl Powell will choose his 17 from:1. Ben Roberts, 2. Greg Minikin, 3. Jake Webster, 4. Michael Shenton, 5. Greg Eden, 6. Jamie Ellis, 7. Luke Gale, 8. Junior Moors, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Grant Millington, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 13. Adam Milner, 14. Nathan Massey, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 16. Joe Wardle, 18. Matt Cook, 21. Jake Trueman, 22. James Green.The game kicks off at 7:45pm and the referee will be James Child.Tickets for the clash remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

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First Team Match SAINTS TV

first_imgSaints had to battle back from two early Hull KR tries to get the win, which saw Kevin Naiqama and Tommy Makinson both score hat-tricks.But despite another high scoring attacking display, Hull KR refused to lie down and Holbrook admitted he was relieved to get the win today, whilst he was also pleased with how his side responded after falling behind.“I was just happy we got the win today. Obviously we played well over that Easter period had a great turnaround and had the luxury of giving a few of the boys the day off and I thought we played that way today!“Hull KR played like they were really urgent, really desperate and full credit to them. They started better than us, but to give our boys a rap, it was a real good effort to turn it around. We easily could have been down a lot more at half-time and we swung it around in our favour. To lead at half-time was really important and I could be really hard on my players in that area, but if you look at the other side of it, full credit for turning it around.“We had a tough second half and we just couldn’t quite kick away, but full credit to Hull KR who kept fighting all the way until the end and I was just happy to get the win.”Holbrook also singled out praise for his right edge with both Naiqama and Makinson grabbing hat-tricks.“I thought Kevin Naiqama was outstanding and obviously Tommy Makinson did some quality things and Jonny Lomax on the other edge, I thought his defence late in that game was outstanding for us and it needed to be. Those three were our best.”last_img read more

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Man sentenced for accessory after the fact in Independence Mall murder

first_imgDarius Dandre Nelson sentenced for accessory after the fact in Independence Mall murder (Photo: District Attorney) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man pleaded guilty in court Thursday for accessory after the fact in the 2017 Independence Mall murder.Darius Dandre Nelson, 27, is guilty of Obstruction of Justice and Accessory After the Fact to First Degree Murder for the April 1, 2017 murder of Catherine Ruth Ballard in the parking lot of Independence Mall.- Advertisement – According to the district attorney’s office, Nelson, the ex-boyfriend of Ballard, was with new girlfriend Traneta Campbell when Campbell fired five shots at Ballard while Ballard was standing in the parking lot outside of Ruby Tuesday.It was 1:22 p.m. on a busy Saturday at the mall, so there were numerous witnesses who came forward who saw the murder. Witnesses on the scene also reported that an argument between Campbell, Ballard, and Nelson led up to the murder.Surveillance video captured the entire murder. The trio initially engaged inside the mall and continue their argument as they walk into the parking lot. Nelson first tried to keep Campbell and Ballard apart, and Campbell got into the passenger side of Nelson’s red Honda Civic.Related Article: Wilmington police searching for driver who crashed through fenceWhen Nelson began to walk towards the driver’s side, Campbell came out from the vehicle with a gun and engaged Ballard, who was standing 10 feet away and was unarmed. Campbell fired five times, striking a nearby vehicle and hitting Ballard in the back of the head as she turned away. Nelson and Campbell got back into the car, and Nelson drove the two away from the murder scene.U.S. Marshals arrested Nelson and Campbell hiding in a shed behind a house on Monroe Street on April 3, 2017. Campbell and Nelson were placed under arrest and confessed to police.Although Nelson confessed to police that he sold the murder weapon, in June of 2017, he sent Campbell a letter while both were in custody asking Campbell to lie and tell detectives that she got rid of the murder weapon alone.The Honorable Kent Harrell sentenced Nelson to at least 5 years in prison.Traneta Campbell plead guilty to second degree murder and discharge weapon into occupied property on March 16, 2018 and received a sentence of 31 to 39 years in prison.Catherine “Cat” Ballard worked at New Hanover Regional Hospital and was attending Cape Fear Community College full time. She would have turned 25 on April 21, 2017.last_img read more

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Carolina Beach woman pleads guilty in adoption scam

first_img Prosecutors say beginning in November 2016, George posted on several social media and adoption websites that she was pregnant and wanted to put her child up for adoption. But they say George was not pregnant.People from across the country responded to George’s post about the possibility of adopting her child. She then engaged in lengthy discussions with these people and asked them to send her money for food, doctors’ appointments and housing needs.The DA’s Office says George got a positive pregnancy test using the urine of a pregnant friend and obtained Medicaid benefits from the Department of Social Services. She alsopaid her pregnant friend $20 to get an ultrasound in George’s name so she could send the images to the victims to prove that she was in fact pregnant.Related Article: Oakland becomes 2nd US city to decriminalize magic mushroomsIn February 2017, a couple from Ohio called the Carolina Beach Police Department to report the scam after they gave her several hundred dollars for food and rent.READ MORE: Alleged victims react to nationwide adoption scamAfter this initial report to law enforcement and the defendant’s arrest later that month, an investigation by the Carolina Beach Police Department revealed at least 16 other people who had also claimed George had scammed them during.George was arrested and made her first court appearance on the charges on March 3, 2017. A grand jury indicted her five months later.At the time George was on probation for selling a Schedule I controlled substance.She was also convicted of 16 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses in 2012 in New Hanover County. Investigators in that case said George and her husband rented out condos and collected money before the guests arrived. When folks got there, they realized something was wrong when they couldn’t get into the building, or in the case of an address at Wrightsville Beach, they realized what they paid for was an empty lot.In 2014 George faced charges in Johnston County for a similar con involving a vacation home in Topsail Beach. Wendy Mae George (Photo: New Hanover Co. Jail) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Carolina Beach woman has pleaded guilty to charges related to a nationwide adoption scam.The District Attorney’s Office says Wendy George, 39, pleaded guilty in New Hanover Superior Court Friday to 10 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, one count of felony accessing a computer to perpetuate a fraud and one count of Medicaid fraud. Judge Andrew Heath sentenced her to 50-64 months in prison. The Court also sentenced her to an additional 22-37 months, which was suspended for three years of supervised probation.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Southport physician named Dosher Memorial Hospitals Chief of Medical Staff

first_img Other staff elected to the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee include Dr. Andre’ Minor as vice chief, Dr. Joseph Hatem as Department of Medicine, and Dr. William Bolding as Department of Surgery.Dosher has 150 members on its medical staff in 18 specialties. SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Dr. Terry L. Pieper has been named as Dosher Memorial Hospital’s Chief of the Medical Staff for 2019-2020.Dr. Pieper has a private practice at Howe Street Internal Medicine in Southport and has been at Dosher since 2002.- Advertisement – last_img

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10kg of cannabis en route to Malta seized in Sicily

first_imgThe Italian Police, Guardia fi Finanza, seized 10kg of cannabis that were to be imported illegally to Malta from Sicily.A 46 year old Serb male was arrested in his car as he was boarding a ship to Malta. The market value of the cannabis found in the car is estimated to be €90,000.The Italian police are currently undertaking a series of searches to prevent drug trafficking. Their efforts are reaping success so much so that the day before, an English man was caught trying to smuggle cocaine and cannabis in the air condition system in his car.There were four people arrested on their way to Malta from Sicily overseas in connection with drugs in 2018.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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Maltco searching €820000 prize winner

first_imgThe Quaterno+ €820,000 prize is still unclaimed. The winner has until mid-July to claim the prize. Maltco lotteries said that the winning ticket was purchased in Qawra. The ticket matched five of the eight numbers that were drawn (71-23-75-6-27-56-81-8). Two weeks after the draw nobody has as yet claimed the princely sum of €820,000. Maltco is advising the winner to collect the prize from the Maltco office in Iklin until the 17th of July. If the prize remains unclaimed it will go to the Just Causes Fund. WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img SharePrintlast_img read more

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