Campaigners have cast doubt on Twitter’s commitment to protecting disabled people from vile disablist abuse on its social media platform.They spoke out after the media giant launched its new Twitter Trust and Safety Council, which it claimed would help “ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter”.The council is made up of 50 individuals and organisations from across the world, including representatives of anti-bullying, LGBT, Muslim, Jewish and feminist organisations.But with the exception of the Samaritans and a campaigning Australian mental health charity, there is not a single disability-related organisation represented on the new council, and there does not appear to be a single disabled member.Disabled activists say this underlines Twitter’s failure to take seriously the disablist abuse that blights the social media platform.One disabled Twitter user, who asked not to be named, said: “What this says is that Twitter just don’t care about disability hate crime being carried out on their site.“They don’t care about disabled people being told to die, that we should be beaten.“They don’t care about people organising hate mobs to try to ruin disabled people’s lives.”She said: “I’ve read lots of articles about the council; and not one addresses the fact that Twitter are basically sanctioning disability hate crime on their platform by not being interested in tackling disablist abuse.”One disabled campaigner who contacted Disability News Service told how she was subjected to the following tweet: “You’re just a disabled bitch that should be put down. nothing but a lazy workshy, scrounger.”She said the person was subsequently banned by Twitter “for about an hour”.Another disabled activist was called “spastic”, “retard” and “cretin” during a short Twitter exchange.Another was called a “fucking freak”, and told: “You should be in a care home and not let out without mental health carers you’re a danger to the public you’re mentally retarded.”One prominent online disabled activist, Ella Sumpter, was forced to block several Twitter-users who subjected her to abuse, often suggesting she was “faking” her impairments and claiming benefits fraudulently.Although this happened three years ago, one referred to her “designer diseases”, said she had a “severe case of spazzeritus”, and called her a “benefit scrounging wanker”, before adding: “Now I hate disabled people because some benefits scrounging cunt can’t be arsed to get up. Fuck right off. How many starving Africans have ME.”David Gillon, an online disabled activist, monitored the disablist abuse that followed the screening of Channel Four’s Benefits Britain: 1949, for a blog he wrote in August 2013.He said that tweets that featured the #BenefitsBritain hashtag included: “Funny how it’s the fat, foul mouthed bint with illness u can fake that is the one with the issues,” “Luckily for these slackers, it’s difficult to prove ‘pain’,” and “#Motability What clown thought this idea up? Free cars for bone idle, lard-arses.”Many #BenefitsBritain responses even threatened violence, such as: “I’d quite happily kick the shit out of that fat, lazy fucker!!”, “Take the cane off that woman and beat her over the head with it,” and “Utterly contemptuous cow. I hope she really does become confined by her ailments. Permanently. In a wooden box.”Gillon said that Twitter had a “lackadaisical approach” to stopping online abuse in general, despite being forced to improve its procedures following the harassment of a number of high-profile women’s rights campaigners.He said that Twitter’s page that deals with online abuse gives “the definite impression they don’t want to be bothered with it”.He said: “First they tell you unwanted replies are legitimate, then that you should block the person, and that if it escalates to threats, contact the police.“There is no coverage of harassment and abuse short of threats of violence.“Buried just below that, with no separate header, is: ‘You can report the contact to Twitter here.’“If I was trying to hide the link to minimize use, that’s exactly how I would do it.“Then it tells you to ‘reach out’ to friends or relatives to help you deal with it, which I think amounts to victim blaming.”He also pointed out that Twitter’s form that allows users to report harassment does not provide a clear option for reporting hate speech.He said: “Twitter need to be more pro-active, and they need a report form that actually allows us to report hate speech.”Twitter has refused to comment.
The sister of a disabled man who died after being left destitute by having his benefits sanctioned has launched a high court legal challenge over a coroner’s refusal to hold an inquest into his death.David Clapson (pictured), who had diabetes, died in July 2013 as a result of an acute lack of insulin, three weeks after having his jobseeker’s allowance sanctioned.Because he had no money, he couldn’t afford to pay for electricity that would have kept the fridge where he kept his insulin working, in the height of summer, and he had also run out of food.An autopsy held after his death found his stomach was empty, and the only food left in his flat in Stevenage was six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. He had just £3.44 left in his bank account.But despite the circumstances of his death, and clear links with the sanctions system, no inquest was ever held, even though DWP admitted that it knew he was insulin-dependent.Now Clapson’s sister, Gill Thompson, has issued a judicial review and human rights claim in the high court, challenging the refusal of the senior coroner for Hertfordshire to hold an inquest into her brother’s death.Thompson has been campaigning for an inquest to be held in a bid to secure answers and change the sanctions system she believes led to her brother’s death.She has set up a crowdfunding account to pay for her legal battle, and needs to raise another £7,000 to reach her target.Her solicitor, Merry Varney, from human rights lawyers Leigh Day, is arguing that Clapson died an “unnatural death” because of the benefit sanction imposed on him shortly before he died.Last year, Varney wrote to the Hertfordshire senior coroner, Geoffrey Sullivan, to ask him to overturn the decision not to hold an inquest.But he refused to order an inquest, and said that “the evidence does not support either a direct or contributory causal link between the imposition of the benefit sanction and Mr Clapson’s death”, while there was “no evidence as to whether the benefit sanction was imposed properly or not”.Varney said: “A DWP-imposed benefit sanction left David with no income, unable to afford food or electricity, circumstances which diabetes experts agree could easily render his condition fatal.“The law requires a coroner to hold an inquest into certain deaths and we believe the circumstances of David’s death clearly trigger this duty.“Our client, who has campaigned since her brother’s death, is asking the high court to quash the coroner’s refusal so that a full, fair and fearless inquest can take place, and so that issues of significant wider public importance concerning benefit sanctions and vulnerable people are properly considered.”Thompson added: “The thing that continues to haunt me is that the DWP knew David was an insulin dependent diabetic, yet they stated: ‘…we followed procedures and no errors were made.’“Diabetes is a serious condition, which in cases such as David’s requires both food and insulin to stay healthy.“I feel that the sanction resulting in my brother being left destitute and having no money to chill his insulin or to buy food, ultimately led to his untimely death.“Going to court is an option of last resort but I feel compelled to use every effort to ensure that the impact of the DWP imposed benefit sanction on David’s death is properly and independently investigated.“I believe the DWP continue to impose sanctions on diabetic benefit claimants and not only for my brother’s sake, but also for others at risk, I hope the high court grants me permission to challenge the coroner’s decision.”
After Margot Kenney was followed to her home and groped last year, she immediately called the police. And then, she waited.It took weeks, she said, to finally hear from the investigator assigned to her case. When he spoke with her, she offered suggestions of where to look for video footage. Weeks later, he still had not collected new footage or even begun to pursue her case, she said. Instead, he told Kenney it was highly unlikely the suspect would be caught. Discouraged, Kenney tried for several more weeks to elicit action on new leads she found. When nothing happened, she reported the investigator to his supervisor and was told he would be given a talking to. It’s unclear if he was disciplined, however, since the police did not respond to a request for comment. A look at Kenney’s case and the cases of three other Mission women who reported similar frustration with the police response their sexual assaults point to the difficulty of such cases for victims, police and prosecutors. Victims are often left feeling slighted by police inspectors, cases often disappear into police files, and the public rarely hears about any of this because the San Francisco police do not include sexual assaults or rapes in their daily crime recaps to the media. Follow Ups Fall ShortOn August 5, Meredith Yayanos was at her apartment on South Van Ness near 25th when she heard a woman screaming. She ran outside in time to hear someone sprinting away, and learned from the screaming woman that someone had followed her along the street for a few blocks before grabbing her by the crotch and throwing her against the wall. When she screamed and made a scene, the man fled. Within a few minutes, police cars appeared. One car moved off in the direction the suspect had fled, while other officers took a report. But to Yayanos, the response, while quick, seemed dispassionate.“One of them literally said, ‘So what do you want us to do?’” Yayanos recalled. “It wasn’t impolite, but it was just like, ‘Do you want to come give a statement? Do you want to come down to the courthouse?’ And she was so obviously shaken and freaked out. It felt really frustrating because they’re going to file a basic report and then nothing’s going to happen, nothing’s going to change.”Jennifer Tickes, who was snatched from Mission Street one morning last October by a man and carried down the street before managing to escape, had a similarly discouraging experience. She said she had called the police and was repeatedly told to go to San Francisco General Hospital. When she said she didn’t have any significant injuries, she was told there was little the police could do for her. Though she had planned on confronting officers with her situation at Mission Station, she ultimately decided against filing a report.“When victims report a violent crime, or in this case a potential sexual assault or trafficking incident, you’re not operating at 100 percent. I was vulnerable, frantic, and wanting to block out the entire experience,” Tickes wrote in an email. “Looking back, the initial intake process of reporting this incident wasn’t any different than contesting traffic citation. There is a real learning opportunity for [the police] to coach their teams on how to handle those kinds of calls if they want to be be reported more often.”Another woman, Hilary Lannan, was on her way back from a bar near Precita and Mission streets heading to her home on Bartlett near 24th in October last year when she was approached from behind and thrown to the ground. There, her assailants tugged on the strap of her bag, which held several electronics, but then briefly groped her before fleeing in a vehicle without taking any of her valuables. She, too, filed a report, but nothing came of it beyond a few voicemails exchanged between her and an special victims unit investigator assigned to the case. Barriers to ProsecutionSexual battery cases, which often don’t leave their victims injured or raped, present their own unique challenges because they are hard to prove, hard to charge, and nearly impossible to prosecute. Jim Dudley, a lecturer at San Francisco State University and a former police officer who at one time also served as captain of Park Station, said sexual battery cases face the challenge of requiring proof that a groper or assailant intended to do something for sexual gratification or with malicious intent. “If you’re on a MUNI bus and somebody presses against you or stands too close or actually puts their hand on your butt or something, you’re gonna have to pretty much prove the intent,” Dudley said. “And I would imagine that the [district attorney] in the charging of that kind of case, a misdemeanor, is going to hinge on an identifiable suspect and something that would go beyond someone trying to get by you on the bus.”That may affect a report’s chance of being taken seriously. A 2014 study using a small number of anonymous interviews with officers in an unnamed Midwestern town showed that the likelihood of a case being successfully prosecuted often factored into police officers’ perception of the legitimacy of rape reports. Though Dudley said a theoretical prosecution should not affect an officer’s attitude toward someone reporting any sex crime, others worry it may not be far from their minds. “If the police know that most cases are not going to be charged, it’s kind of this self perpetuating situation. How hard do you work to investigate?” asked Janelle White, director of San Francisco Women Against Rape. But the biggest challenge in sexual battery cases is finding a suspect. None of the four victims in this story were able to identify their assailants, and that essentially ends the case. “It’s difficult if you only have ‘jeans and a dark hoodie.’ There’s not a lot of evidentiary value there,” said Dudley. “If you have a video of their face, if you have a picture of their face, if you have a vehicle description, that’s what you need for a follow up. Short of that, there’s not much you can do if you don’t have any kind of evidence or connection to the suspect.” This is part 1 of a two-part report on sexual battery victims and what happens after they report crimes to the police. Look for Part 2 tomorrow. Tags: crimes • San Francisco • sexual violence • women Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%
Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% But the calm didn’t last long, and the den’s operators have, by the neighbor’s accounts, returned to continue the party.“Everyday they are making too much noise, there are guys standing are outside and [cars] blocking my drive way,” she said, adding that one of her friends was recently “beat up” after confronting several individuals associated with the gambling den.The neighbor said she has notified the police on several occasions, even entering the club herself with a friend and capturing video evidence of the clandestine operation. Inside, the woman said she witnessed gambling, illegal alcohol and drug sales, and a back room where she alleges prostitution.“I saw a lot of money, hundreds on the table,” said the neighbor. “My friend used to work there and she told me that on Wednesdays [the owner] will pick up girls from Capp Street and South Van Ness – They get paid. They have a room. I didn’t go inside but I saw the girls [coming in and out].”But the woman said her complaints have been to no avail – as of Thursday, the illegal partying continues on most week nights and particularly after 1:30 a.m. on weekends. “I made a few complaints and I know other people did too in the neighborhood– but [the police] don’t do anything. [The club] has cameras so they see when police show up, and they [get] quiet. They are not stupid – they know when police come and they clean up.”Local police say they are aware of the problem and have visited the property along with a representative of the building’s owner, who could not be reached for comment.“We did go in there with one of the reps of the owner of the building, who made a complaint. We documented things, took photographs and police reports were written,” said Mission Police Captain Daniel Perea. “The evening we went in there wasn’t any criminal activity that we saw, that we could take action on.”Perea said that his department is working with the Department of Building Inspections and the City Attorney’s Office to identify code violations and criminal activity in effort to build a case to take action.“We have arrested people outside [of 133 Lilac] who have warrants or were intoxicated. We don’t know if they were drunk because they were inside that place or just hanging out outside,” he said, adding that he has assigned “a few sergeants to that area on weekends.”“We’ve heard the complaints and I’ve had officers out there nonstop for last couple of months to try to put a stop to it,” said Perea.Officer Robert Rueca, public information officer for the San Francisco Police Department, said that he has investigated similar activity while working in the Ingleside neighborhood, and that police crackdowns are dependent on the collaboration of various city departments, the landlord, as well as the local community.“We have a number of illegal gambling shacks in Ingleside, they are difficult to get rid of,” said Rueca, adding that sometimes the landlords themselves “turn a blind eye” to the happenings inside of their buildings.Police intervention, he said, is “possible [but] it just takes a lot of documentation” before search warrants can be issued. Simply “showing up” to an establishment where illegal activity is alleged does not guarantee arrests, he said.“Most of the time, we can’t get a response at the door. You [may] see traffic go in and out, but unless we go inside and witness whats going on…We don’t hammer them from a criminal point of view because a lot of times we can’t get them on criminal charges [if] we don’t witness the activity,” said Rueca.Instead, officers will “at minimum document” the ongoings and complaints so that “we can build up evidence over time. We present that to the landlord or a number of different agencies in the city we are collaborating with.”Rueca said the neighbors’ vigilance is a crucial step in the evidence building process. “It looks like they are doing the first steps of trying to organize… really this is the beginning groundwork for organizing the community and making sure they have an understanding of the process of how something like this can fixed.”“These are dens of bad behavior,” said Rueca. “What that bad behavior extends to we have yet to find out.” 0% A Party on Lilac from Mission Local on Vimeo. An illegal Mission District gambling den that since 2015 has drawn the ire of neighbors frustrated with noise and violence at the underground establishment has again turned on the party lights, according to one neighbor.The neighbor alleges drug use, alcohol distribution to minors, illegal gambling and prostitution at an empty storefront at 133 Lilac St., and said police have been slow to intervene in what she described as a public safety concern.“It’s a night club, they sell drugs, there are a lot of kids there [that are] 15, 16, 17 [years old],” said the neighbor, who reported witnessing fights breaking out in front of the club’s Lilac Street entrance, adding that she and other neighbors feel “unsafe.”The gambling den first appeared on the Mission Street side of the building in 2015, taking over the empty storefront that once housed the Fizzary. The den became the site of a shooting and prompted persistent calls for service from neighbors, but was seemingly immune to police raids. In 2016, the den was shut down only after its tenants were evicted by the Sheriff’s Department.
0% In a townhall meeting held Wednesday at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center at 515 Cortland Ave., local police and city officials probed for information in the fatal stabbing of 33-year-old Giovanny Alvarez and attempted to assure Bernal Heights residents that while police have not identified a suspect in the stabbing, they were safe.“We have to be limited in the information we let out to the public but we want you to know that you are safe and that we do have enough patrols up there,” said Ingleside Captain Joseph McFadden. “Since this incident, you are going to see double the police there.”At 5:30 a.m. on May 25, a person taking a walk in Bernal Heights park discovered Alvarez suffering from multiple stab wounds, according to a police report of the incident. First responders later declared Alvarez, a father of four, dead at the scene.Though most recently a resident of the Bayview, Alvarez reportedly grew up on Moultrie Street, just blocks away from the neighborhood center and from the park where his body was discovered. With an investigation pending, police have offered up few details about the homicide except that Alvarez was likely not a random target. Tags: Homicide Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% “In talking to the captain, [I found out] that the police do not believe that this was a random incident and have assured me that the Bernal community is safe,” said Mission District Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who called for the meeting and addressed some 40 attendees.His murder instilled fear in the tight knit neighborhood and many, including the slain man’s family, expressed concerns for their safety and pleaded for witnesses to step forward.“We are just here as family – we want justice for our brother and for the community,” said Catherine Alvarez, one of the victim’s sisters. “Even though they say its was a targeted attack, nobody is safe.”“If he [the suspect] is out walking the streets of San Francisco then nobody is safe – anybody could be his target next,” said Alvarez, her voice thick with tears. “ If you are walking your dog or jogging, whatever it is – for me, we don’t feel safe either. This could happen to anybody, to any of your family members.”The Alvarez family declined to further comment on the incident.Ronen called Alvarez’ death and the discovery of his body in a park “that members of the community use for recreation” an “unimaginable tragedy.”She said that her office would be providing “all the resources that the Alvarez family needs” as well as advocate for funding for local police to ensure that “our police captain has all resources he needs to keep our community safe.”McFadden said that his officers have canvassed Bernal Hill and reviewed public camera footage, and requested that community members either review their private security cameras as well or turn their footage over to police.“If you have video, review it. If you don’t have time to review it, give it to me and I’ll review it,” said McFadden.But those efforts seemingly did little to chill the concerns of the neighbors, who pressed for answers and strategies.“You say that the community is safe – I listen to the Alvarez family and they don’t agree with you,” said one attendee. “Being safe, those are just words. Convince me that we are safe.”McFadden said that he planned to increase foot patrol beats on Bernal Hill.“When something like this happens, it obviously steps up patrols,” he said, adding that he currently has two officers assigned to patrol all parks in the district. “When it steps up patrols it steps up not only our uniform presence, but our undercovers. When they are there, you have so much police presence, you’re safe.”Another resident wanted to know if there had been a general increase in crime in the area. McFadden said that ironically, crime had decreased in the past three months.“Everyone calls for everything and that’s what I want,” said McFadden. “So we actually have a decrease in calls up here and that’s why this is such a shock.”But not everyone agreed with the captain’s assertion. Another neighbor who lives directly across from the crime scene said that he has seen increased in loitering late into the night, as well as graffiti and bottles strewn around the park.McFadden explained that he was referring to a decrease in violent crimes but encouraged neighbors to report all suspicious activity. “The more you see, the more you report, the more presence you get,” he said.On Monday, just days after Alvarez’ murder, the Mission district saw the homicide of a 45-year-old man near Garfield Square, at 26th Street and Treat Avenue. Ronen assured the community that the incidents were unrelated.“There has been a decrease in violent crime and crime related to gang activity in the Mission District, so when we see a homicide, immediately we worry – does this mean an uptick in activity? Will there be retaliation?” she said, adding that she has consulted with the police captains of both districts who determined that the homicides were neither related nor random.“We looked very carefully at this particular homicide and the other that happened this weekend to make an assessment whether or not it’s safe to go jogging on Bernal Hill in the morning and all of the captains of all of the different stations… have insured me that it is safe for my constituents,” she said.Along with the ongoing police investigation, the Street Violence Intervention Initiative, a city program that aims to reduce violence through intervention at the street level through outreach workers, is working to provide services and intervention to try to stop retaliation, said the program’s director, Arturo Carrillo.“When a homicide or shootings happens, there is a whole team that comes together called the Street Violence Response Team – to try to find out what happened and what we can do to help the victim and the victim’s family,” said Carrillo. “There’s conflict mediation that we do with different sets, because neighborhoods have problems with each other.”McFadden encouraged neighbors to open channels of communication with each other and with police.“The investigation is solved by the neighborhood –It takes a village right?” he said. “That is what this is.”Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. Chavez
You may have seen them: a procession of people seemingly all playing the same song as they paraded around the Mission last night. They gathered at Dolores Park and, at about 7:25 p.m., they all hit play at the exact same moment on an assorted variety of sound amplifiers. The music, a holiday ambient composition, filled the narrow side streets as they walked between 16th and 19th, only once stopping for a few minutes at Mission Dolores Basilica. They were all playing an original composition, Unsilent Night, created by Phil Kline in 1992. Kline composed Unsilent Night as a “multi-track electronic piece,” according to the event website. It is meant to be played in a group during the month of December, from boomboxes — though any kind of device that expels sound as loudly as possible is accepted and encouraged. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address It was Michael Garcia’s first time at Unsilent Night, but he was prepared. A friend gave him a large, bright yellow Pelican-brand case. He turned it into one of the largest sound amplifiers at the event last night. It took him about three hours to figure out how to build it and another three to create it, he said.A few yards ahead of him was Bao Tran, who seemed to be emitting the loudest sound in the crowd. It was coming from the blue and red messenger bag draped over his body.“It’s just a very large speaker,” he said, taking it out from his bag to reveal a black, and indeed very large, bluetooth speaker.A newcomer to the Mission, he had never heard of the event. He joined last night because he “saw it was happening, and it looked interesting.”The procession continued to head back toward Dolores Park, with some people holding their bluetooth speakers above their heads, in a sort of modern version of a Lloyd Dobler serenade to the Mission.Near the front was Catherine Palmer, who was holding a black speaker connected to what looked like a fourth-generation Apple iPod shuffle, a tiny and ultra-light audio player.She liked how “the sounds reverberate off the narrow streets.” She lives in Twin Peaks, and this is her second year walking to the sounds of Unsilent Night, which she described as harmonic. The crowd of about 60 people last night was not only playing one song. It is a multi-track piece, so each participant had one track of the song. When played together in a group, the four tracks sync up to create the kind of musical ambience Kline intended.Unsilent Night is loud. But in a good way. If music could shimmer, Unsilent Night is what it would sound like. Each musical note seemed to blend with the next to form an almost hypnotic sound that loudly reverberated off the walls of buildings we walked past. Wherever the streets became narrow, the music grew louder. The streets of the Mission were alive and busy, but Unsilent Night seemed to overpower the hustle and bustle of a Saturday night.What began as a 50-person public event on a December 1992 night in New York City has become an annual holiday event celebrated across the world. This past week, it was held in Houston, Seattle, and Ontario, Canada. After last night’s sound medley in San Francisco, Sacramento and New York City are next on the list.Like what you hear? Support Mission Local and keep us covering the MissionIn San Francisco, Unsilent Night has been coordinated in the Mission since 2002, except from 2015 to 2017, when the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players took over the event, relocating the route from the Mission to Civic Center Plaza. This year, Josh Greene and Aaron Almanza brought it back to its original route in the Mission. Both long-time San Francisco residents, they have participated in Unsilent Night for years but have never led it.Modern-day Lloyd Doblers march in the Mission. Photo by Betty Marquez.The reprise seems to be welcome. A comment on the Facebook event page read, “Kudos for bringing this back to the original route.”“It’s supposed to be community-led,” Greene said, when asked about why the Contemporary Music Players were no longer organizing the yearly event. He added that he and Almanza appreciate the publicity the event received during that time, but both were happy to have it back on this side of town. Back at the 18th and Dolores street corner of the park, the crowd gathered around Greene and Almanza as the final notes of the song played on the diverse audio players in the group. “Unsilent Night 2018! We will return next year!” Greene and Almanza exclaimed. The crowd quickly dispersed, but a few people stayed behind. Garcia, with his bright yellow homemade speaker next to him, continued playing music. Jackson Five, then Lionel Richie — the sounds of ’80s top hits filled the air.This, too, was loud. But in a good way.
SAINTS have had a few dramatic finales with Warrington throughout the Super League era and tonight they served up another rich classic.Tied 14-14 with less than a couple of minutes on the clock Jordan Turner polished off as stunning a team move as you will see to put the champions top of the table.The talismanic James Roby started the move with a characteristic pass, Travis Burns offloaded to Adam Quinlan before Mark Percival stepped inside to allow Mark Flanagan, Luke Walsh and Joe Greenwood to find the centre.And he made no mistake.It was a breathtaking end to a breathtaking match that had everything – last gasp defence, flowing moves and great kicking.Saints made a late change to their side with Mark Flanagan coming in for Josh Jones – and he didn’t disappoint, especially when Captain Jon Wilkin left the field early doors with a damaged thumb.Warrington started brightly in front of a decent home crowd forcing a penalty from the visitors and then putting pressure on Saints’ line.They got little change and then Saints had decent back to back sets following great work from Travis Burns and James Roby.And eight minutes in they almost made the second of those sets pay.Warrington dropped out, Saints applied the pressure but Walsh’s high ball into the try area was well taken by the rearguard.Saints continued to press and after Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook went close James Roby shot over from close range.Walsh added a penalty 19 minutes in before a series of indiscretions saw James Child on his whistle more often than he would have liked.Both sides threatened the line in the madness but the Wire were more wasteful as on 28 minutes Ratchford ballooned his pass into touch – with a nice overlap waiting.With seven minutes to go Anthony England thought he had scored under the posts but Brad Dwyer’s pass was inches forward.But on Warrington’s next foray to the Saints’ line they scored – and it was Ben Currie a great angle that finally broke the visitor’s resolve.Gareth O’Brien making it 8-6 with the boot and that’s how it stayed until the tenth minute of the second half when the Wolves struck ahead.On the last Walsh couldn’t get the ball away with a player on the floor impeding the play-the-ball, but he managed to wriggle it free and then throw a pass to the left.But it was intercepted by Kevin Penny and he went under the sticks.Saints hit back straight away. Walsh’s high ball and LMS’ chase forced a drop out and then Mose Masoe ran 20 yards, smashed his way through and was under the posts.Walsh tagging on the conversion to make it 14-12.Warrington thought they’d gone back ahead when Chris Hill ploughed under the posts – but he was held up – and then Jordan Turner forced the ball out to save a certain try.Saints needed some possession in Wire’s half and they got some as the game entered it’s final quarter thanks to the boot of Walsh.His kicks turned the Wolves around time and time – but they were still seeking that killer score to put their hosts away.And that lack of ball control came back to haunt them as O’Brien kicked a penalty following a bizarre call from the video referee.Atkins caught a cross field ball, twisted and turned but lost it as he hit the floor.The referee took an age to chalk it off, but then gave Warrington a penalty apparently for ball stealing.But these boys aren’t champions for a reason and with two minutes to go they pulled off a coup de grace in front of a superb away support.Burns, Roby, Quinlan were all involved as Saints did what they do best – it found its way to Turner who made no mistake.Cue wild scenes.Saints defended the short restart well and secured their third win over the Wolves this year. And there won’t be any better than this.Match Summary:Wolves:Tries: Currie, PennyGoals: O’Brien (3 from 3)Saints:Tries: Roby, Masoe, TurnerGoals: Walsh (4 from 4)Penalties:Wolves: 10Saints: 9HT: 8-6FT: 20-14REF: James ChildATT: 11,618Teams:Wolves:1. Matthew Russell; 22. Gene Ormsby, 6. Stefan Ratchford, 4. Ryan Atkins, 24. Kevin Penny; 20. Gareth O’Brien, 7. Richie Myler; 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Ashton Sims, 12. Ben Westwood, 17. Ben Currie, 13. Ben Harrison.Subs: 15. Roy Asotasi, 19. Anthony England, 25. Brad Dwyer, 26. Joe Philbin.Saints:37. Adam Quinlan; 22. Matty Dawson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Alex Walmsley, 21. Joe Greenwood, 12. Jon Wilkin, 15. Mark Flanagan.Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio.
SAINTS are pleased to announce the new sponsorship deals for powerhouse Andre Savelio and new recruit Theo Fages.Andre Savelio will again be proudly sponsored by Cultivate Creative for another season in 2016.Cultivate Creative is a St Helens based graphic and web design studio that creates innovative tools for effective communication.They use their experience to create fresh ideas and smart solutions that actually work in the real world.Not only are Cultivate Creative a sponsor here at the club, but we have also worked alongside each other across various design projects over the past few seasons. They are also the club’s official design partner.To learn more about Cultivate Creative visit their website at www.cultivatecreative.co.uk or call their studio on 01744 750 880.Exciting new recruit Theo Fages will be proudly sponsored by IPM Plumbing & Electrical in 2016.IPM Plumbing have been a regular player sponsor of ours over the past few seasons sponsoring Paul Clough, Ade Gardner and Mose Masoe in years gone by.They are a family owned plumbers’ merchants with more than 37 years’ experience of servicing St Helens and the surrounding areas. They sell bathroom suites, showers, central heating systems, boilers and all plumbing fittings to the general public, DIY enthusiasts and the trade.To find out more about IPM Plumbing & Electrical, visit their website at www.ipmplumbing.co.uk or call into their showroom at Unit 6 Park Court, Sherdley Business Park, Sullivans Way, St Helens.Players are still available for sponsorship in 2016! To enquire about Dominique Peyroux, Lama Tasi, Greg Richards or any of our younger players please contact Neil Douglas or call on 01744 455 080.
HAVE you got your ticket yet?The Steve Prescott Foundation (SPF) is extremely proud and delighted to announce the launch of Preckyfest 2017 to celebrate its 10 year anniversary.Preckyfest takes place on Saturday July 1, here at the Saints, and features eight fantastic acts.ABC, Boomtown Rats, Midge Ure, Paul Young, Jo Whiley, Dodgy, Toploader and X Factor winner Louisa Johnson (pictured) will all be rocking the stadium – with Johnny Vegas MCing events.Doors:Doors will open at 1200. The first act will be on stage at 1300 with the last act on stage at 21.30.Tickets:Standard Ticket prices for pitch standing tickets, West Stand and North Stand unreserved seating are £50.South Stand allocated seating is £75.Tickets are available online now!VIP Hospitality:South Stand VIP Hospitality packages are also available with bar service and reserved seating.Tabern Premier Lounge with access to hot food £85. Hall of Fame Lounge with access to Gourmet food £95VIP Hospitality packages can only be bought from the SPF. You can purchase them here.An after party is also planned at the Imperial Bar and Terrace featuring St Helens own Stillia. More details to follow.Let’s fill out the stadium and enjoy a fabulous live music experience in tribute to Steve Prescott MBE, the amazing inspiration of the SPF.The Foundation:The Steve Prescott Foundation (SPF) is a registered charity and is the legacy of Steve Prescott MBE who passed away in November 2013. Steve played rugby league for St Helens, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and was a Great Britain and Ireland international.He was diagnosed with a rare abdominal cancer, pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) in 2006 and formed the SPF in 2007 to raise funds for and awareness of the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and The Christie in Manchester. In 2016 the SPF reached the fantastic Million Pound milestone of donations to its chosen charities and to the SPF Special Causes Fund.For more details please take a look at the Preckyfest website.
TripAdvisor says it rounded up 15 top US locations where you can get your dream beach getaway without breaking the bank.Sunset Beach made the list, coming in at an average of $1,022 a week. Average weekly rates reflect the average cost of a seven night stay in a two-bedroom property during the summer, according to TripAdvisor rentals data.Sunset Beach is called a “friendly little town that spreads from the mainland onto a beachy barrier island” where you can “watch for hatchling sea turtles in nesting season, sunbathe on the glorious beaches and shop the waterfront market for homegrown produce.”Related Article: Church and School bring community together after FlorenceJust down the road in South Carolina, Surfside Beach made the list at $1,183 a week and just north of our area, Atlantic Beach made the list at $1,200 a week. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Taking a vacation without taking out a hefty loan. That’s the idea behind TripAdvisor’s recent list of 15 Best Budget Travel Vacation Ideas by the Beach.TripAdvisor it compiled the list using travel data, industry research, and traveler feedback.- Advertisement –
An emergency alert was issued at New Hanover County Government Center and forced the entire building to evacuate. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Officials are investigating the emergency alert at New Hanover County Government Center that forced the entire building to evacuate Wednesday morning.“It just said ‘Active shooter in the building, please evacuate immediately.’ And you could hear it. We all heard it,” said Margaret Grago, the owner of Break Time Billiards.- Advertisement – It was a message heard loud and clear. Even Grago locked her doors when she heard the alert.“Initially, folks did assume that it was a drill. But we did treat it as an active threat,” said Jessica Loeper, New Hanover County spokeswoman.Loeper says that somehow, the emergency alert system was activated. Employees evacuated the building and officers arrived quickly.Related Article: Man arrested after shots fired at occupied car“Oh my god, minutes. There must have been 30 cops here within minutes,” said Grago.As employees waited outside, sheriff deputies and local police officers entered the building.“So we are conducting multiple sweeps. So it’s not just a one time thing through,” said Lt. Jerry Brewer, of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re going to make sure that everything has been checked, every door has been opened, every closet has been looked in and continue the investigation from there,” said Brewer.Brewer says there was no report of an actual person inside. He says their first priority was setting a perimeter around Government Center Drive and making sure everyone was safe.After about three hours, employees were allowed back inside the building. It was a hectic morning that ended with no one hurt.“To see all those agencies from local to federal, even like I said before, UNCW, to come in and immediately work together and work to get this resolved is amazing,” said Brewer.Officials will continue to investigate how and why the alert was triggered.
Callier says he contacted FEMA immediately after Florence hit. He says they responded quickly but he is still working with them and his insurance but, he says he just doesn’t have enough time.“We haven’t had enough time to prepare to even fix the roofs that are leaking,” said Callier. “Preparation takes a while… the roofing companies that are out here from all over are doing the best they can.”Tuesday, he spoke with FEMA mitigation specialists on how he can prevent any additional damage in the future.Related Article: District by district, storm debris in Pender County is getting a clean sweepBut, FEMA Mitigation Specialist Joy Shannon says whether its Michael coming in a few days or any future disaster these tips work.“First, we talk about the importance of flood insurance,” said Shannon. “Secondly, we go through the damages in their home and we help them think of things they’ve just not thought of like if the damages are from the bottom we talk to them about checking their foundation,if need be. We talk to them about checking their cross space to see if their is any mold. ”She says FEMA is here to stay until the end.“When we are assigned to a state, we stay and finish that disaster,” said Shannon. “They will get other FEMA staff persons to go to the new disaster but no once we are assigned to a state they don’t just yank us out.”Shannon says the most common question people ask is how to treat mold. She urges residents to use masks and gloves whenever dealing with mold.Shannon and other FEMA specialists will be stationed at Home Depot at 5511 Carolina Beach Road until October 26th from 7 AM to 6 PM. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Nearly one month after Florence hit our coast, Wilmington residents are preparing once again. With the high potential for more rain and strong winds from Hurricane Michael, some residents like Jeff Callier are not ready for another blow. He is still waiting for adjusters to assess his roof damage.“If we get a heavy wind it might blow off the tarps and then more water damage… hopefully that wont happen,” said Callier.- Advertisement –
CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A death investigation is underway at Carolina Beach after a man was found in the water off Lees Lane.According to a news release from the Carolina Beach Police Department, officers, along with EMS and fire crews, responded to the Carolina Beach Marina and found the body of Michael Warren Thomas, 56, of Columbia, Maryland.- Advertisement – A witness told investigators Thomas traveled to Carolina Beach by sailboat. The witness also told police that Thomas did not return to his boat the night before as expected.Police say the Medical Examiner’s Office will make the official determination for the cause of death. No foul play is suspected at this time.The investigation is still on-going. Police say family members have been notified.
BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — The Pender County commissioners will consider adopting a resolution next week to declare the county a “gun sanctuary county.”The resolution, which is similar to a “gun sanctuary” resolution adopted March 4 in Cherokee County, is scheduled to be formally considered at the next public Pender County Board of Commissioners meeting.- Advertisement – “I just hope that when there’s something bad, or if something bad happens, God forbid, a good guy is there with a gun to help stop it,” Shane Miracle said.Miracle says he is all for a resolution from Pender County commissioners to help protect gun rights. Commissioner George Brown has proposed to make Pender County a gun sanctuary.What does that mean for residents?Related Article: First ever ‘Pender County State of Education and Economy’ held in BurgawThe resolution says it’s the job of local officials to challenge the civil government when it oversteps.“It’s kind of a pointless, useless resolution,” said former Pender County Democratic Party Chair Debbi Fintak. “But again, as I said, it divides and it’s just not helpful at this time with all the political tension in this country.”Fintak has her concerns. She says there are no laws right now taking peoples’ guns away.She thinks the county should be able to vote on this.According to the resolution, its goal is to uphold the community’s right to bear arms.Miracle thinks it’s a step in the right direction. He says he wants people to always stay educated.“I hope that they take the opportunity to educate themselves,” Miracle said. “I would never ever force anybody to think about forcing anybody to think about having a gun or forcing them to carry a gun. That’s part of being in this country. They have the right to choose.”WWAY left messages for four Pender County commissioners, but have not heard back yet.The meeting will take place Monday, April 1 at 4:00 p.m., in the Public Assembly Room located at 805 South Walker Street in Burgaw.The resolution states it will preserve the following rights for all legal citizens of Pender County:1. The unalienable right to keep and bear arms, as specified in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, the Constitution of North Carolina, and further upheld by subsequent decisions of the US Supreme Court.2. The right, as originally written and understood, to keep and bear arms for self-defense, personal safety, protection of one’s family, and in defense of one’s community and county.3. The right to manufacture, transfer, purchase, and sell firearms and ammunition designed for those purposes outlined above, rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Constitution of North Carolina.The resolution also says commissioners “will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of any element of such acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules or regulations, that infringe on the right by the people to keep and bear arms as described and defined in detail above.”Read the entire Pender County Gun Sanctuary Resolution.
Advertisement US-based, human-curated music streaming service Songza has been bought by Google for a reported $39m.The streming service provides music playlists for users that are personalised depending on their location, the time of day and even the weather.Users can listen to playlists created specifically for being at work, driving or even esoteric situations like “being single”. – Advertisement – It has a huge database of information on listening habits and how they change depending on context – something which could be immensely valuable to Google.The service was launched in 2007 with the unique proposition of human-curated playlists, while other services were looking at automated recommendation features. At various points it has had musicians and Rolling Stone writers selecting music. However, it has never launched outside the US and Canada.It can be used for free, with advertising, or you can choose to pay $0.99 a week for the premium service to remove them.Source: Telegraph
Advertisement Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team experts researched the “Darkhotel” espionage campaign, which has lurked in the shadows for at least four years while stealing sensitive data from selected corporate executives travelling abroad. “Darkhotel” hits its targets while they are staying in luxury hotels. The crew never goes after the same target twice; they perform operations with surgical precision, getting all the valuable data they can from the first contact, deleting traces of their work and melting into the background to await the next high profile individual. The most recent travelling targets include top executives from the US and Asia doing business and investing in the APAC region: CEOs, senior vice presidents, sales and marketing directors and top R&D staff have all been targeted. Who will be next? This threat actor is still active, Kaspersky Lab warns. How the hotel attack works:The Darkhotel actor maintains an effective intrusion set on hotel networks, providing ample access over the years, even to systems that were believed to be private and secure. They wait until, after check-in, the victim connects to the hotel Wi-Fi network, submitting his room number and surname at the login. The attackers see him in the compromised network and trick him into downloading and installing a backdoor that pretends to be an update for legitimate software – Google Toolbar, Adobe Flash or WindowsMessenger. The unsuspecting executive downloads this hotel “welcome package”, only to infect his machine with a backdoor, Darkhotel’s spying software. Once on a system, the backdoor has been and may be used to further download more advanced stealing tools: a digitally-signed advanced keylogger, the Trojan ‘Karba’ and an information-stealing module. These tools collect data about the system and the anti-malware software installed on it, steal all keystrokes, and hunt for cached passwords in Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer; Gmail Notifier, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! and Google login credentials; and other private information. Victims lose sensitive information – likely the intellectual property of the business entities they represent. After the operation, the attackers carefully delete their tools from the hotel network and go back into hiding. Commenting on Darkhotel, Kurt Baumgartner, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said: “For the past few years, a strong actor named Darkhotel has performed a number of successful attacks against high-profile individuals, employing methods and techniques that go well beyond typical cybercriminal behavior. This threat actor has operational competence, mathematical and crypto-analytical offensive capabilities, and other resources that are sufficient to abuse trusted commercial networks and target specific victim categories with strategic precision.” However, Darkhotel malicious activity can be inconsistent: it is indiscriminate in its spread of malware alongside its highly targeted attacks. Read more about these specific malware delivery vectors here. “The mix of both targeted and indiscriminate attacks is becoming more and more common in the APT scene, where targeted attacks are used to compromise high profile victims, and botnet-style operations are used for mass surveillance or performing other tasks such as DDoSing hostile parties or simply upgrading interesting victims to more sophisticated espionage tools.”, – added Kurt Baumgartner. Kaspersky Lab researchers indicated that the attackers left a footprint in a string within their malicious code pointing to a Korean-speaking actor. Kaspersky Lab’s products detect and neutralise the malicious programmes and their variants used by the Darkhotel toolkit. Kaspersky Lab is currently working with relevant organisations to best mitigate the problem. How to outsmart Darkhotel’s tricks:When traveling, any network, even semi-private ones in hotels, should be viewed as potentially dangerous. The Darkhotel case illustrates an evolving attack vector: individuals who possess valuable information can easily fall victim to Darkhotel itself, as it is still active, or to something similar to a Darkhotel attack. To prevent this, Kaspersky Lab has the following tips:· Choose a Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider – you will get an encrypted communication channel when accessing public or semi-public Wi-Fi;· When traveling, always regard software updates as suspicious. Confirm that the proposed update installer is signed by the appropriate vendor. · Make sure your Internet security solution includes proactive defense against new threats rather than just basic antivirus protection. To read more about privacy tips, please visit cybersmart.kaspersky.com/privacy To read the full report on the Darkhotel APT actor, please visit Securelist and please watch the video here.
Advertisement MegaBot USA, the company that raised $1.8m through a Kickstarter campaign to fund its giant robot vision has a new visison.The company has called out Japan’s Kuratas Mecha to a giant humanoid robot duel.Kuratas Mecha is the world’s only other giant robot maker. – Advertisement – Mebabots wants to create the first giant humanoid robot tournament.Kogoro Kurata, the founder of Kuratas Mecha accepted the challenge in a video this week, and the battle is to commence some time next year.Each robot suit will be piloted by a team and both are laden with guns that can shoot paint-filled cannonballs.Via BBC
Advertisement Today, Facebook has introduced a new way to connect and interact with public figures on Facebook through live video.Public figures can share live video from Facebook Mentions, the app that makes it easy for athletes, musicians, politicians and other influencers to talk with their fans and each other. You can discover these live videos from public figures you follow in your News Feed.The public can comment on, like or share the video while watching a live broadcast. – Advertisement – You can also see when your friends or other public figures start watching.“Live is an immersive and authentic way to connect with the public figures you care about, in real-time” the press release said.If you don’t catch the live broadcast, you can also watch the video later on the public figure’s Page.[Facebook]
Advertisement MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab is developing a device that uses wireless signals to identify human figures through walls. Called RF-Capture, the technology “can trace a person’s hand as he writes in the air and even distinguish between 15 different people through a wall with nearly 90 percent accuracy,” MIT said in an announcement today.MIT said the technology could have at least a few real-world applications. It could work in virtual reality video games, “allowing you to interact with a game from different rooms or even trigger distinct actions based on which hand you move.” RF-Capture could also assist in motion capture for movie production without requiring actors to wear body sensors.MIT is “working to turn this technology into an in-home device that can call 911 if it detects that a family member has fallen unconscious,” said Dina Katabi, director of the Wireless@MIT center. “You could also imagine it being used to operate your lights and TVs, or to adjust your heating by monitoring where you are in the house.” – Advertisement – How it works RF-Capture is “the first system that can capture the human figure when the person is fully occluded (i.e., in the absence of any path for visible light),” MIT researchers said in a paper that was accepted for the SIGGRAPH Asia conference next month. RF-Capture uses a compact array of 20 antennas, transmitting wireless signals while “reconstruct[ing] a human figure by analyzing the signals’ reflections,” MIT said. Its transmit power is just 1/1,000 of that needed by Wi-Fi signals, while operating at frequencies between 5.46GHz and 7.24GHz. These frequencies are lower than those used in X-ray, terahertz, and millimeter-wave systems, allowing the signals to penetrate walls.[related-posts]Using these frequencies, which have some overlap with Wi-Fi, allows the system to rely on “low-cost massively-produced RF components,” the paper said.RF-Capture uses a “coarse-to-fine algorithm” that scans 3D space to find RF reflections of human limbs, generating 3D snapshots of the reflections. Multiple snapshots are stitched together to recreate a human figure.The antenna array only captures a subset of the RF reflections off the human body. But as a person walks, it can analyze different points on the body and trace a full figure.RF-Capture is able to distinguish five human figures with 95.7 percent accuracy and 15 people with 88.2 percent accuracy, according to MIT. It can identify which body part a person is moving with 99.13 percent accuracy when the person behind the wall is three meters away from the system, and 76.4 percent accuracy when the person is eight meters away.“Finally, we show that RF-Capture can track the palm of a user to within a couple of centimeters, tracing letters that the user writes in the air from behind a wall,” researchers wrote.Researchers compared RF-Capture’s results with the output of a Microsoft Kinect skeletal trackingsystem. While the Kinect performs better—with the benefit of being in the same room as the human subject—RF-Capture located body parts with a median error of 2.19 centimeters. In 90 out of 100 experiments, RF-Capture tracked the body part to within 4.84 centimeters.There are clear limits in the current version, though.“First, our current model assumes that the subject of interest starts by walking towards the device, hence allowing RF-Capture to capture consecutive RF snapshots that expose various body parts,” the researchers’ paper said. “Second, while the system can track individual body parts facing the device, such as a palm writing in the air, it cannot perform full skeletal tracking. This is because not all body parts appear in all RF snapshots. We believe these limitations can be addressed as our understanding of wireless reflections in the context of computer graphics and vision evolves.”[arstechnica]
Google Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Image Credit: indianexpress Advertisement Google is planning a shake-up of the smartphone market by releasing its own handset, a move that would tighten its grip on mobile software and see it compete directly with the iPhone.Sources familiar with this discussions told The Telegraph that, the Mountain View search-engine giants is in discussions with mobile operators about releasing a Google-branded phone that will extend the company’s move into hardware.Google already develops Android OS that runs on most smartphones sold around the world, and endorses a range of phones made by partners such as LG and Huawei under the Google Nexus brand. But unlike Apple, it leaves manufacturing to other companies such as Samsung, with the company concentrating on developing the free software that runs on its phones.Google Nexus 6P Huawei. Image Credit: TechloMedia – Advertisement – Although Android runs on the majority of smartphones sold globally, Apple still dominates the lucrative high-end of the market. The proliferation of Android device makers, many of which apply the software differently, means Google has struggled to ensure consistency, with some smartphone owners waiting months for updates, and some manufacturers relegating Google’s own internet services which are included in Android.According to sources, the new device which will see Google take more control over design, manufacturing and software be released by the end of the year. Its own phone would allow Google to control the software, securing the future of services such as the Google search engine and Google Play app store that run on it.