Government plans to introduce a new safer form of

first_imgGovernment plans to introduce a new safer form of pre-natal testing for Down’s syndrome and other conditions send a message to disabled people that they are “better off being dead than being born”, according to a leading activist.The Department of Health (DH) is believed to be poised to give the go-ahead to non-invasive pre-natal testing (NIPT) across the NHS.Supporters of NIPT claim it is a safer form of pre-natal testing for Down’s syndrome that will eliminate many of the miscarriages caused by pregnant women opting for an invasive amniocentesis.Those who test positive after NIPT will still need to have an invasive test to confirm the diagnosis.A study funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) found that introducing NIPT instead of more invasive tests for pregnant women with a more than one in 150 chance of having a child with Down’s syndrome would identify 102 more fetuses with the condition, and prevent 25 miscarriages a year.But campaigners say that pregnant women choose to abort about 90 per cent of fetuses identified as having Down’s syndrome, so the new technique would prevent 25 miscarriages but lead to 92 more abortions of fetuses with Down’s syndrome every year.Some academics point to research by Professor Lyn Chitty, at Great Ormond Street Hospital, for the UK National Screening Committee, which found that 30 per cent of women given NIPT decided to carry a Down’s syndrome fetus to term, compared with six per cent under the current system.But even if that proves accurate when NIPT is rolled out, the NIHR research suggests that it would still see an increase of more than 70 babies with Down’s syndrome aborted every year, compared with 25 fewer miscarriages.Disabled activist Simone Aspis (pictured), founder of the training and consultancy organisation Changing Perspectives, said she was “deeply concerned” by the prospect of NIPT being available from the NHS.She said: “Any test that is being used to eliminate disabled people is definitely a form of eugenics.“What message does it send to other people about disabled people and difference – you’re better off being dead than being born.“The more you screen out, the less tolerant people become of people who are different from themselves, and the more the expectation is that you abort a disabled baby.”But she said that introducing such tests also contributes towards “moving the goalposts”, a gradual process in which society is gradually defining more and more people as disabled and therefore expanding the number of fetuses that are suitable candidates to be aborted.Aspis said the key issue was not whether one pre-natal test was better than another because it reduced miscarriages, but “what kind of society do we want?”She said: “We are always going to end up in a system where resources are tight, and there is elitism, so there is going to be the potential for wanting to be eliminating people who are not deemed to be productive. “Someone who is deemed to be averagely productive now will end up [in 10 or 20 years’ time] being labelled with an impairment and therefore be subjected to medical procedures, screening out, and abortion eugenics.“This money could be much better spent in keeping people alive and upholding their fundamental human and civil rights, such as under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).”Last month, the disabled academic Professor Tom Shakespeare offered his opinions about NIPT for BBC Radio 4’s A Point Of View, in which he said that the “major benefit” was that it would lower NHS costs and “more importantly it will also avoid the dozens of miscarriages which result from amniocenteses each year”.He added: “The down side is the potential delay of several weeks before those women at high risk receive a final confirmation of the status of the pregnancy.”He is chairing a Nuffield Council on Bioethics working group, looking at the ethical and social aspects of NIPT, and said in the recording that he was concerned that the NHS puts “a lot of energy and expense into ensuring that these tests are scientifically robust” but less into “achieving balanced information and sufficient counselling” about life with disability.He pointed out that “advocates for people with Down’s syndrome argue that having the condition does not prevent you from having a good life”, and highlighted his own inherited genetic condition, restricted growth, which he passed on to his two children, but which “never stopped any of us flourishing”.He also warned that NIPT was a technology that had been driven by the commercial sector and that providers were “competing to offer more and more information through these blood tests”.Professor Shakespeare said the government’s decision on NIPT was “not just a minor technical upgrade of fetal anomaly screening in the UK” but was instead “a step change”.He said in his BBC recording: “By offering a more accurate and less risky screening test for Down’s syndrome today, we are also taking another step down the path to more widespread testing for conditions in pregnancy tomorrow.”This meant, he said, that there was a need for: better availability of balanced information through genetic counselling in pregnancy; up-to-date online information about conditions; and a “wider debate about what information we are prepared to provide in pregnancy” through genetic testing.But Aspis said that even with improved genetic counselling, would-be parents would still make their decisions on whether to abort their children on how they perceived disability, in a society in which there was “a lot of hatred towards disabled people”.Her concerns about NIPT are shared by the Don’t Screen Us Out campaign, a grass-roots initiative supported by people with Down’s syndrome, families and advocate groups and led by Saving Down Syndrome, which aims to “raise awareness around the discriminatory and eugenic nature of the practice of antenatal screening worldwide”.The campaign has written an open letter to health secretary Jeremy Hunt, warning that introducing NIPT would have “a profound long-term effect on the community of people with Down’s syndrome and further enable the effective ‘screening out’ of those with certain disabilities from the UK population before they are even born”.It called on Hunt to delay the introduction until there is “a full ethical review” of NIPT and the government’s fetal anomaly screening programme, involving people with Down’s syndrome and their families, to ensure NIPT is “consistent and compliant” with the UNCRPD and other human rights obligations. The letter adds: “This must be accompanied with medical reforms to ensure every parent with a disability diagnosis receives balanced information and support to ensure that [NIPT] testing does not lead to the further screening out of people with Down’s syndrome.”A DH spokeswoman said: “We want women to make informed decisions and access safe and appropriate tests.“We are considering this carefully and will make an announcement in due course.”last_img read more

San Francisco Unified School District graduates out of 45 years of federal

first_imgAfter nearly 45 years of adhering to a federal mandate sparked by a civil-rights ruling to protect the rights of students learning the English language, the San Francisco Unified School District has been released from the oversight of the Department of Justice.In the 1974 U.S. Supreme Court civil rights decision of Lau v. Nichols, Chinese American students in San Francisco won the right for students with limited English proficiency to receive meaningful educational programs and services. The result was the Lau Consent Decree, which ordered the school district to create a plan that would accommodate its English language learner students. The Supreme Court also held that all public schools needed to provide bilingual education programs for English learners.The decision to release the district from federal oversight on June 30 means that it has fulfilled the Justice Department’s demands for English language learners.As required by California and federal laws, the district will now work on its own plan, which will involve key stakeholders — such as English language learners and their families, principals, teachers and district officials — in the process, said Christina Wong, who is the assistant to the superintendent and facilitated implementation of the decree.The Department of Justice audited the school district every year and interviewed a variety of departments to track the decree’s progress.By December, 2018, the DOJ had closed 101 of the decree’s 109 paragraphs. The remaining eight paragraphs — 55.a, 56.a, 57-58, 72, 101.d, 105 and 109 — were completed at the end of June.“The United States has diligently monitored the [school district’s] programs for English learner students in this historic case and determined that the district has satisfied its obligations,” said the Department of Justice in a statement to Mission Local.Although the school district has been released from the decree, its impact endures.The school district and the DOJ decided that third grade students enrolled in their 15 Spanish dual immersion and bi-literacy pathways will now be taught math in English, rather than Spanish, this upcoming school year.By third grade, students begin to take the California standardized test, known as Smarter Balanced, to measure their progress in math and English language arts. The assessment will likely serve as an additional indicator to highlight where students could use extra support.In the Mission District, the sites affected include Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, Leonard R. Flynn, Marshall, Bryant, Chávez, Moscone and Sanchez elementary schools.It will, however, be an eventual transition.Previously, third graders in the Spanish language pathways received 60 percent of total instruction in Spanish and 40 percent in English.When students return to school in August, they will continue to receive 60 percent of instruction in Spanish during the fall; but by spring, both languages will be equally taught to help them shift to the 50-50 language split in the fourth and fifth grades. “We were seeing a lot of students very shocked about the shift in fourth grade, and so we wanted to do a slower on-ramp in the spring semester of third grade,” said Jennifer Steiner, director of the school district’s Office of Professional Growth and Development.If an English learner requires additional support, teachers will still be able to front-load in Spanish and then provide instruction in English.“We want instruction to be solely in one language at a time,” she continued. “We don’t want students to be code-switching, so we support teachers directly with professional development [training].”At this point, the Multilingual Pathways Department, which assists in developing bi-literacy programs at the school district level, have met with the leaders of each school with a Spanish program to discuss the transition plan, while a roll-out with teachers and parents will begin in the fall.“We have come a long way since the 1970s,” said Wong. “We feel like we’re ready for that next stage to be able to develop our own master plan and we want to continue supporting English learners with the promising practices we’ve learned.” Percentage of English and Spanish instruction in bilingual classes to be juked — less Spanish, more Englishcenter_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

Since Justin Holbrook came in the adage has been t

first_imgSince Justin Holbrook came in the adage has been to take it game by game.And it seems to have been working as his side are now in the top four after being written off not too long back.“We had a great performance against Cas and people have taken note as we are the first team to beat them at home, but it means nothing if we don’t carry it on,” Roby said. “We will keep working hard in training and prepare the best we can. We are slowly improving but there is still a long way to go.“We will continue to take each game as it comes and if in six or seven weeks down the line we are in the Grand Final we will go for it. I am confident in the ability of this team to go on and win it but I’m sure every team would say the same.“It’s Super 8s time now and the level will intensify. Hopefully we can use that to our advantage.”Hull come to the Totally Wicked Stadium this Friday with Saints edging the series between the two sides two to one.“Hull have a big pack with big outside backs who do damage with early carries in each set, but we just have to concentrate on our own game,” Roby added. “Of course we will have to keep an eye on Danny Houghton and Mark Sneyd who is very creative. We have to work hard for each other, get our game right and bring that work ethic from last week too.“Hull are in third place and we are neck and neck with them. We haven’t been at home for a few weeks and we want to put on a good show. We want go above them on the table too.“But it’s about picking up two points as cut off time will come around soon so we need as many as we can get.”Tickets for Friday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.Fans can also take advantage of a three-game package for our home games too:Prices (Three-Game):Hattons Solicitors West and Family Stand: £60 (Adult), £40 (Conc), £15 (Junior)South East Family Stand: £60 (Adult), £40 (Conc), £15 (Junior)Totally Wicked North Stand & South Stand: Bronze – £65 (Adult), £50 (Conc), £15 (Junior); Silver – £75 (Adult), £55 (Conc), £15 (Junior); Gold – £80 (Adult), £60 (Conc), £15 (Junior)2017 Memberships cover our three home games whilst Junior Members can also watch our away Super 8 fixtures as part of their Membership.The package can be found on the Membership section of the store website.last_img read more

Historic site turns into a colonial town for visitors

first_imgPort Brunswick Days (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A weekend to go back in time. Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson let visitors take a look at what life was like in colonial times.The historic site hosted it’s second Port Brunswick Days free event this weekend.- Advertisement – It focused on the Town of Brunswick, which was the first permanent English settlement in southeastern North Carolina.It was a way to show visitors what life would have been like during that time period.They had examples of different trades and skills people had more than two-hundred and fifty years ago.Related Article: Minority troops of Civil War given the recognition they deserve“All the staff here have a love for teaching, a love for educating at the core of it. That’s what it is, so to teach people about the folks who were here, to teach people about different ways of life, to allow folks to think about what life would have been like over 250 years ago,” assistant site manager Shannon Walker said.This interactive learning experience was filled with activities for people to enjoy while exploring the past.last_img read more

Battleship North Carolina announces Memorial Day plans

first_imgBattleship North Carolina (Photo: Taylor Yakowenko/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Memorial Day is this weekend and the USS North Carolina is planning a big celebration including some big name speakers.North Carolina Secretary of Military and Veterans Affairs Larry Hall, Battleship Commission Chair Christopher Boney, and North Carolina Air National Guard Colonel Allan Cecil will all speak at the ships’ 57th annual Memorial Day Ceremony.- Advertisement – The ship opens at 4 p.m. The free event starts at 5 p.m.Friday marks the start of the Battleship’s summer hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Labor Day.last_img

Medical facilities fight proposed drug treatment facility

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Back in February, Wilmington City Council approved a special use permit for a drug abuse treatment center, which has been in the works for more than four years. Now two medical facilities have filed an appeal, asking for an injunction.The multi-million dollar facility will have 100 beds for those seeking treatment for addiction. It will be known as the Healing Place, modeled after Healing Transitions in Raleigh.- Advertisement – “When you look in the obituary section in our newspaper, people are dying every day from overdoses,” said New Hanover County Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield.Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Delaney Radiology are against the treatment facility being built near their facilities.In litigation filed by attorneys, they say the only other group home facility in North Carolina operated by Trillium has had 172 arrests due to crimes committed by people who live at and use the facility.Related Article: Christmas cheer fills aquarium for annual Festival of Trees“No one’s going to be committed there, or having to go there by court order. These are folks that want to go and get the help that they need because they really want help to indeed better their lives,” Barfield argued in favor of the facility.Barfield says New Hanover County desperately needs this facility in order to fight the opioid epidemic. He says the location was chosen due to its proximity to the hospital, employment centers, public transportation, and places to eat.In a previous interview with WWAY, hospice said their location was also chosen for a specific reason.“The noise and the light pollution is one of the bigs things that we are concerned about, because this is very peaceful. It was the purpose of creating this here to be able to have this type of environment,” said Hospice CEO Gwen Whitley.Barfield says by right the county can go in and put a treatment facility, but they needed that special use permit in order to provide overnight accommodations.“We feel very confident that we will prevail in superior court, when this thing goes to the next level,” said Barfield.We reached out to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, who cannot comment, and referred us to their attorney. We left a message with the attorney, but have not heard back.Though not a petitioner in the appeal, The Children’s Learning Center of Wilmington has also expressed concerns. It is also near the property in question, and claims more than half of parents who use the daycare would remove their children if the treatment center was built.A condition of City Council’s approval of the center back in February was that one licensed security guard would be on site of the center during all hours of operation.last_img read more

Wilmington theater to close in August

first_imgTheatreNOW in Wilmington (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — After seven years in business, dozens of productions staged and countless meals served, Wilmington dinner theater TheatreNOW will close its doors in August.Owner Alisa Harris announced the closure of the theater, located at 10th and Dock streets, on Wednesday. The current run of Celia Rivenbark and Kevin Parker’s comedy “This Hurricane Blows: A Cat 5 Comedy” will continue its run through June 29 as scheduled, Harris said, with the venue’s final production to be “Clue: The Musical,” scheduled July 19-Aug. 24.- Advertisement – “I just wanted to create a place where theater folks could get paid a little bit to do what we love,” Harris said in a news release. “Running this business was never a dream of mine. I just saw it as decent business model … My idea was this would be a communal place for food, drinks and some theatrical fun in as professional a setting as was affordable.”Read more here.last_img read more

Four County Electric gets 11M in Hurricane Florence reimbursements

first_imgPhotos of NC Highway 53 in Pender County near Mapel Hill taken days following Florence in mid September 2018. (Photo: NCDOT) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The power company for part of our area perhaps hit hardest during Hurricane Florence is getting reimbursed millions of dollars from the state and federal government.FEMA announced today that Four County Electric Membership Cooperative is getting $11.2 million to reimburse the utility for damage to its electrical systems following Hurricane Florence. The co-op serves about 32,500 customers in Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Onslow, Pender and Sampson counties.- Advertisement – Four County said in a news release last fall that it 91& of its customers lost power in Florence, which made landfall at Wrightsville Beach on Sept. 13, 2018. Ten days later Four County said it had 99% of its customers back online. The remaining took longer, because of trouble accessing sites because of flooding and washed out roads or homes that had damage that had to be repaired by the homeowners before power could be restored.Four County’s reimbursement is part of more than $22 million announced today by FEMA and the state of North Carolina. The rest of the money went to Carteret-Craven and Tideland electric cooperatives. FEMA covers at least 75% of the cost, while the state picks up the rest.last_img read more

Leave the hamlets be says Opposition to Government

first_img SharePrint The Speaker of the House of Representatives has been presented with a Private Members’ motion tabled by the Opposition to safeguard the hamlets in the local council elections. hamlets are homogeneous areas within a locality which were given the right to a representative council  but which the current law, as amended, has removed. The Partit Nazzjonalista, as Opposition is seeking to repeal that part of the law to retain the right of these hamlets, such as Bubaqra, Paceville and Burmarrad, to keep a representative council. <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 WhatsApplast_img read more

Second UK extension risks European unity – MEP

first_img 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> MEP Guy Verhofstadt had warned that the EU Council President’s decision to grant the UK a further extension risks European Unity.During yesterday’s plenary session examining the conclusions of the European Council’s decision to grant a further extension to October 31st, the Dutch MEP told Mr Tusk that his decision poses serious risks for European Unity.He told Mr Tusk, the EU Commission President Mr Jean Claude Juncker and fellow MEPs that he disagreed with the decision in the first place, stressing instead that the UK Prime Minister Theresa May should’ve been offered ‘no extension at all or ultimately a very short one, a few days, a week. Instead you gave her six months.’Read more:Brexit: ‘If MPs can’t agree, the people have to decide’ – GreenMaltese Prime Minister wanted shorter Brexit extensionBrexit: Extension must be interests of Malta and EU – MuscatHe warned that such an action only prolongs the uncertainty and, ‘I fear it will import the Brexit mess into Europe … Moreover, it will poison the upcoming European election.’Verhofstadt’s comments come after an EU Summit held on the 10th April which saw EU Council President Donald Tusk announce that a second extension to Article 50 would be granted allowing the UK more time for the UK Parliament to negotiate and support the existing Brexit withdrawal agreement.Despite three defeated votes on the deal,  two sets of indicative votes and a number of amendments and motions, MPs had only agreed that the UK should not leave without a deal.  However, they have been unable to support the existing agreement, resulting in the Prime Minister having to request a further extension.Running down the clockAdding to the MEP’s fears was that the pressure was off for Westminster and the immediacy of cross party talks to secure a deal, was no longer there. Instead he said that he forsaw that they would go back to, ‘running down the clock.’To make his point, Verhofstadt said that the first decision made by the House of Commons following the news was to go on their Easter holidays.Unlikely hero?In a strange turn of events, the MEP went on to say that he believed the only way the EU would be saved from the Brexit situation expanding into Europe, would be if the former UKIP leader Nigel Farage managed to succeed. Farage is now leading the newly formed ‘Brexit Party’ with candidates fielded for the European Elections.‘I never thought I would say this but the only thing that will save us is Nigel Farage,’ Verhofstadt said.Concluding, he warned Mr Tusk that he must get the UK’s key political parties to come up with a deal immediately, ‘in the coming days to avoid this imminent disaster.’‘If we don’t win in the EU, there is the General election’Taking his turn to speak, MEP Nigel Farage said that his new party will win in the EU elections unless there is cross party consensus between the two parties.This may bring with it a permanent customs union or membership of the EU Single Market.But, he stressed that if such a scenario does occur there is always the UK General Election and a chance for voters to back them after the main parties had effectively betrayed their wishes in the Referendum.Read more:Updated: MPs vote in favour of Brexit delay, and other updates‘Brexit was the trigger,’ a new Maltese citizen explainsWatch: MEPs support visa free travel for UK nationals in event of No-Deal BrexitHumiliationFarage also went on to explain that he felt the Prime Minister’s return to Brussels to request a further extension had shown not only the death of demoncracy in the UK, it had also humiliated the UK’s standing in the world.The MEP then went on to explain how the EU elections would be a defining moment for the UK, defining what kind of country it wanted to be.‘This mess is not the EU’s fault, this is a mess of UK politics. They promised to deliver Brexit … What is happening in British politics beginning May 23rd isn’t now just about Brexit, isn’t just about us leaving the Eu, it’s about what kind of country we are … You will all be surprised what happens to British democracy on May 23rd.’WhatsApplast_img read more

MGRM says they were convinced inclusion sticker is not about labels or

first_imgThe Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) says that it doesn’t believe the AllAreWelcome IlkollMerhba campaign was not about labels or humiliation.MGRM says that they were ‘convinced that the intention of this campaign has never been to apply labels or to humiliate people.’The organisation was responding to a new campaign launched by the Ministries for Equality and Tourism aimed at improving inclusivity for the LGBTIQ community, but had divided public opinion.The intent has been to encourage Maltese bars and restaurants to participate in the campaign, placing an #AllWelcome sticker in their window.MGRM understands the campaign is more than simply a sticker.‘Rather, our understanding is that the campaign has focused not just on ensuring that businesses do not refuse services to anyone regardless of who they are. The campaign seeks to promote respect for human dignity (not just LGBTIQ+ individuals), representation of our diverse culture in publicity campaigns and equal opportunities for all employees in order to ensure that everyone works in an inclusive and accepting environment,’ they state.You can read the full outline of the campaign here.Labels and discriminationWhile this is a measure which has taken place across other countries and cities, there was a public outcry that the move would actively label the LGBTIQ community and could potentially discriminate against them.Newsbook.com.mt reported yesterday on the comments responding to the new sticker, calling it counter-productive and discriminatory.Public outcry over LGBTIQ inclusion sticker for restaurants and businessesOne commenter on social media said that, ‘I’m trying to really hard to understand the benefits of such an idea. I find it discriminating and totally against what we as a community have fought for. This is embarrassing, this counter-productive, this is tagging. Let’s move away from tagging people for what they are and move towards building a society that gives every human being the tools to move forward on the basis of his/her merits. I thought labeling was something of the past.’Speaking to Newsbook.com.mt, the Allied Rainbow Communities’ Communities Manager Clayton Mercieca said the he was surprised by the response.‘If we are all for it, it wouldn’t have been such a hot topic … This practice was something accepted around the world and praised but now it seems if we see it in Malta, we’ll diss it. Some say that it is the state’s role to educate the business….I think that is called a Nanny State … If business want to be truly LGBTIQ inclusive they initiate the process of educating themselves…we are currently working with a hotel to be more LGBTQ inclusive and it involves a set of actions’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> SharePrintlast_img read more

MTN commissions new Data Centre in Uganda

first_imgAdvertisement Inside MTN’s Shs. 25billion Data CentreMTN Uganda on Wednesday launched a much needed Data and Switching Centre in along with the new MTN Business Unit which will be a world class provider of converged communications solutions aimed at providing MTN business customers with superior, directly managed services, fully backed by consistent service levels.In doing so, MTN has taken a special focus on the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the Corporate/Business section of their customer base by providing the necessary products and services to satisfy their needs.MTN business will be the arm of MTN Uganda responsible for providing business solutions that will satisfy the needs of our Corporate clientele. – Advertisement – “MTN Business will offer a wide range of business solutions through an array of technology options to suit our customers’ business needs both in and out of the office, locally and internationally. Customers can focus on their core business and MTN will deliver the needed communications solutions”, said Katlego Arnone, the General Manager MTN Business.User ExcitementExisting and potential customers showed excitement at the launch of the new facility, especially considering that for most of the last few years, cloud services have mostly been offered by foreign companies.MTN has strongly positioned itself with its new data centre in Mutundwe. Its seen a growth is systems software in Uganda.— Aziz Kirumira (@Kirumira_) November 1, 2012“It’s good that we are coming closer to having a potentially stable local cloud services provider, we expect much faster services,” remarked Telecoms Engineer, Douglas Kasyaba.“But then again, I hope people won’t be paying prohibitive prices for shedding off just a couple of milliseconds seconds on the response times,” he added.Converged Communications Solutions“Our vision is to provide converged communications solutions for our customers through a dedicated team that will manage the entire product portfolio to ensure a seamless experience for our customers,” read the press release.MTN Business will be uniquely placed to provide Business customers with superior, directly managed services, fully backed by consistent service levels and management of the quality of service. MTN believes in a holistic approach with our customer, as the customer requirements are not solely infrastructure and technology related. With businesses today trying to make sense of a fragmented industry where multiple suppliers bombard customers with individual solutions, there is a large and growing customer demand for a communications partner that can offer end-to-end solutions for global connectivity, security and reliability.“Over the next 2 to 5 years, it will be important for players in the industry to invest in converged communications solutions in order to remain relevant. The industry will continue to be a key driver of government revenue and transformation of lives – both in the business and personal space and with no doubt the telecommunications industry will continue to be a catalyst for economic development, said Mazen Mroué, the MTN Chief Executive Officer.This launch comes as MTN has just celebrated 14 years of operation in Uganda. Over the years MTN has been consistent in its investment in both infrastructure as well as social development in the country.Over the last two years MTN Uganda has made major investments in the Uganda. MTN Uganda launched the first mobile money service in Uganda with tremendous success, introduced 3G+, expanded our distribution foot print, and greatly enhanced our core, radio capacity and infrastructure technology.  Furthermore, it extended the fibre network infrastructure and built regional switching centres in the East, West, North and Central regions.In terms of infrastructure, this year MTN Uganda will have an additional 600KM of fibre infrastructure completed and MTN Uganda will have close to 2,600km of fibre by the end of 2012 providing the capacity for high speed data connectivity and wider National coverage of 3G mobile data services that extend internet access to the rural areas of Uganda.In 2012 alone, MTN’s CAPEX investments will exceed USD 80 million by December. This investment has been mainly in expanding network infrastructure as well as rollout of new innovative products and services.“With MTN Business, our vision is to provide converged communications solutions for our customers through a dedicated team that will ensure a seamless experience for our customers,” concluded Mroué.last_img read more

Microsoft Surface sales have started modestly says Ballmer

first_imgAdvertisement The Microsoft Surface RT has had a generally positive reception however with Ballmer’s recent comments eyes will now be turning to the upcoming Surface ProThe Microsoft Surface RT has had ‘modest’ sales since its launch according to Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft CEO admitted that sales of the tablet weren’t off the scale but reminded users that their HD-touting Surface Pro would be arriving soon as well.Running on a tablet-optimised version of Windows 8 the Surface was launched to a positive reception with many praising the new direction Windows 8 was taking with others praising the tablet itself. – Advertisement – More recently however the Surface has come under fire after it was revealed some of the accessories provided with the tablet were easily prone to damage.Just a week before it had also been revealed that although Microsoft advertised the entry level Surface as having 32GB of storage it would actually only have 16GB as Windows 8 when installed on the device required nearly half the storage.Talking in today’s issue of Le Parisien Ballmer is said to give a full account of how things are standing with not only the success of the Surface but also with the uptake of Windows 8.Source: T3last_img read more

ICANN to have six new representatives on the African continent

first_imgAdvertisement The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is going to have six new ICANN representatives on the African continent. This was revealed by ICANN President Fadi Chehadé during Africa Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.“ICANN used to say if you want to participate in Internet governance come to ICANN, We’ve changed that, now ICANN is coming to the stakeholders. We’re not waiting for you to come. We’re coming to you.” Chehadé said.ICANN will have at least one staff in each of the 6 regions of Africa. North, South, East, West, Central and the Indian Ocean,” said Chehadé. “I want African on-ramps into the ICANN structures. I will give you the on-ramps, but you need to climb them.” The ICANN leader also said he would like to see a dramatic increase in the number of accredited Domain Name Registrars on the African continent. Currently there are only five accredited Registrars in Africa among more than one thousand worldwide, but Chehadé said he wants to see that number increase five-fold in less than two years. The two-day event in Addis Ababa was attended by some two hundred people, including Ministers and other government representatives, leaders from the African business community, civil society and from ICANN structures in Africa; AFTLD and AFRALO.The multi-stakeholder IG event was co-organized by the African Union, ISOC-Africa, AFRINIC and the African IGF. It was preceded by a two-day workshop about the development of the DNS Industry in Africa. – Advertisement – During the event the implementation of an African Strategy for better engagement in Africa was discussed in detail. This strategy was prepared by representatives from the African community last summer and announced during the ICANN meeting in Toronto in October. Fadi Chehadé reiterated ICANN’s commitment to help implement the three-year strategy in coordination with our global and regional partners in Africa.Credit: Africa Telecom ITlast_img read more

Good news you can disable the WhatsApp read receipts

first_imgAdvertisement If you were frustrated to know that WhatApp now notifies you when somebody reads your messages, I have good news.The newest version of WhatsApp for Android (version 2.11.44) lets you disable the new receipts under the privacy section of your settings menu. – Advertisement – This new version is currently only available on Android via WhatsApp’s own website, but the update will roll out to iOS and Windows Phone users soon.Via TNWlast_img

Tech Five LinkedIn plunges off outlook

first_imgLinkedIn Headquarters in Mountain View, California. Image Credit: Wikimedia Advertisement Yet another tech company’s stock is getting hammered because of weak forecasts.Let’s look at tech stocks to watch:LinkedIn: Shares of the professional social network sunk 40% in morning trading after missing estimates for its first quarter outlook. LinkedIn lost $10 billion in market value, making it the worst stock drop for the company since going public. LinkedIn projected revenue of $820 million, while Wall Street forecast $867 million. However, LinkedIn claims investor forecasts are too optimistic. – Advertisement – Symantec: Shares of the security software maker surged after snagging a $500 million investment from Silver Lake Partners, reports Reuters. The company is also planning a $2.3 billion share buyback.Apple: The number of retail locations accepting Apple Pay topped 2 million, reports Bloomberg. New stores rolling out the mobile payment service include Crate & Barreland Chick-fil-A.Alphabet: Google revealed several updates to the software that runs its Android smart watches. New features include the ability to perform gestures to navigate and speaker support for voice calls.Samsung: The electronics giant’s first Blu-ray players supporting 4K went on sale Friday. They’re priced at $399.[related-posts]The Google Nexus Smartwatch. Image Credit: Amazonaws[USA Today]Download our PC Tech Android App and keep updated on the move.last_img read more

Nokia claims 10Gbps symmetical speeds over cable networks in lab test

first_imgAdvertisement Nokia Bell Labs has claimed a “significant breakthrough” in the effort to meet surging data demand by demonstrating 10Gbps symmetrical data speeds over traditional cable access networks.The proof of concept access technology, dubbed XG-CABLE, used point-to-point cable topologies to deliver 10Gbps symmetric data speeds over coaxial cable using 1.2 GHz of spectrum. Nokia says the test is the culmination of work that began in 2014.“The proof of concept demonstrates that providing 10 Gbps symmetrical services over HFC networks is a real possibility for operators; it is an important achievement that will define the future capabilities and ultra-broadband services cable providers are able to deliver,” said Federico Guillén, president of fixed networks at Nokia, in a statement.Credit: Nokia – Advertisement – In its lab test, Nokia was able to deliver 10Gbps symmetrically using 1.2Ghz of spectrum over a 100m point-to-point drop cable. In its point-to-multipoint test, which reflects the topology used in HFC network deployments, Nokia was able to get a symmetrical 7.5Gbps.The company said it is hoping to improve the echo cancellation that makes XG-CABLE possible to allow for 10Gbps in point-to-multipoint use cases.Nokia said it would be possible for users to be upgraded to XG-CABLE as needed, once the network’s taps and splitters were upgraded to handle DOCSIS 3.1, and more fibre to be rolled out.Nokia said a commercial solution was “a few years away”, and could increase the lifespan of HFC networks.[ZDNet, FierceCable]last_img read more

Infinix Uganda Launch The Anticipated Note 5 in Uganda Features Specs Price

first_imgLaunching the Infinix Note 5 at the Hotel Triangle in Kampala, Uganda on Monday 25th, June 2018. Advertisement Transsion Holdings-owned Infinix Mobility has on Monday officially unveiled the anticipated Infinix Note 5 at a media event held at the Hotel Triangle, in Kampala. The launch of the phablet follows the global launch that was held in Dubai over the weekend.The Infinix Note 5 becomes the third (3rd) phablet Transsion Holdings under Infinix has launched this year. Following the success of the Infinix S3 and the Infinix Hot 6 and Hot 6 Pro which were launched in March and June respectively.One feature we highlight the most as rumored by most ciritics was the phone being part of Google’s Android One project. Indeed the Phablet was be launched with the Android One mobile operating system coupled. It is worth knowing that the Android One Project was seen on the Infinix Hot 2, thus, the Infinix Note 5 becomes the second in the lines of Infinix mobiles to be part of the Android One project from Google. – Advertisement – With Transsion Holding joining the Android One project, the Infinix Note 5 will bring to youth a new intelligent lifestyle and empower them to become “trendsetters”.“Targeting trendsetters and the young professionals, we empower them to go beyond the limit with our newest breaking technology. All while they enjoy an intelligent lifestyle through the fusion of technology and stylishness,” Benjamin Jiang, Managing Director at Infinix Mobile told the press.The phablet is equipped with an amazing display which provides the handset holders with superb viewing and entertainment experience with an infinity 6-Inch screen on an 18:9 screen ratio.Specifications The all Full display 6-Inch phablet is measured at 158 X 75 X 8.4mm, covered on a 2.5D gorilla glass on top. Coupled on an MediaTek Helio P23 Processor, Octa-core 2.0GHz 3GB RAM for a 32GB variant, and 4GB RAM for a 64GB variant supporting an expandable microSD slot of up to 128GB, Android 8.1 Oreo mobile operating system, 12MP rear camera with an aperture of f2.0 good enough for portrait and bokeh shots, 16MP front facing camera a good sensor that will be able to achieve shots even in low light settings.In terms of connectivity, supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v.4.0.0, USB v2.0, 4G LTE for both sim cards, and GPS.The phablet is backed on a 4500mAh non-removable Li-lon battery and the company has claimed it can work for 3 straight days on a single charge on an average usage. In our review, we shall definitely report on this. Its charging system is built with a 3A Fast Charge, according to the company can charge the phone in 30 minutes to give you 50% battery life.Price and Availability The Infinix Note 5 has been priced at UGX769,000, and is available in Red, Blue, and Black color variants in all infinix stores as well as authorized smartphone sellers country wide.[related-posts]last_img read more

New Tax on Social Media and Mobile Money Transactions not welcome by

first_imgA user is pictured paying the OTT Tax to able in position of asking all the social media platforms | Photo by PC Tech Magazine/Olupot Nathan Ernest. Advertisement The proposed tax on social media use and mobile money transactions in Uganda came into effect on July 1st.The tax on social media use has been designed to check gossip online and raise billions of shillings in government revenue. This came about after president Yoweri Museveni complained that gossip on these social media platforms was costing the country much-needed time and income.Parliament of Uganda passed the new laws that introduced the tax on the use of Over The Top (OTT) services; communications platforms offered over the traditional telecom networks. These include popular social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Skype, and others. – Advertisement – A joint statement released by the top telecom firms in the country on Friday said that effective July 1, OTT services can only be accessed on payment of the OTT tax by the customer. The cost for these are as follows:UGX 200 per day.UGX 1,400 for a week.or UGX 6,000 for a month to access social media.Introduction of this tax at first prompted many tech-savvy Ugandans to turn to VPN services to get around paying the new tax. However, many found out that such consume more data and have opted to pay the tax.Godfrey Mutabazi, Uganda Communications Commission executive director, said the commission directed telecom operators to block access via VPN services.Industry experts came out to express their concerns that the new fee could impact usage of social media and mobile money in the country.Those saying 200/- is little money or that VPNs cost more forget that people are not protesting the amount being paid, but the principle behind taxing every little thing from an already suffering economy so a corrupt government can get even more money to steal.#SocialMediaTax— Solomon King (@solomonking) July 1, 2018If you decide to pay social media tax using mobile money, you’ll be charged Ugx 200 plus 1% tax on the transaction. Therefore, you’ll be charged tax on a tax. We are such a shithole country! #SocialMediaTax— Wilfred Businge (@MrBusinge) June 30, 2018On the new levy on mobile money transactions, telecom firms equally issued an announcement to charge a 1% tax of the transaction value for users.Public Notice:Notice of Mobile Money Transaction tax effective 1st July 2018. #MobileMoneyTax pic.twitter.com/T3GbB9emAC— Airtel Uganda (@Airtel_Ug) June 30, 2018last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Monday

first_imgWelcome to Starters Orders. Our new daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Monday 24 JuneTwo winners from four from the market movers on Sunday. We have three movers today:3.45 WolverhamptonChord Chart 5/2 > 15/85.00 ChepstowDream Catcher 5/1 > 7/29.20 ThirskHazza The Jazza 33/1 > 8/1last_img