Post Office criticised by MPs for unfairly blaming others over loss of hundreds of thousands of pounds

first_imgTuesday 9 December 2014 2:32 am More than 140 MPs have withdrawn their support for a mediation scheme set up by the Post Office, following an influx of complaints that the mail service unfairly blamed sub-postmasters for losing hundreds of thousands of pounds of company money.  For several years, sub-postmasters across the country have claimed that they are often used as scapegoats for the company’s own IT system failures, which have resulted in hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of shortfalls. The Post Office has consistently denied this, saying there are no faults in its computer software. But in 2013 investigators discovered defects in the Horizon accounting system in many of the company’s branches, leading to the introduction of the mediation scheme.  There are 11,500 sub-postmasters in the UK and none of them are directly employed by the Post Office. They are forced to make up any shortfalls from their own pockets.  More than 140 MPs have been contacted by sub-postmasters since the dispute began, saying that they have lost their homes or been bankrupted.  James Arbuthnot, the MP leading the complaint against the Post Office, sent a letter to the company this morning, in which he accused it of rejecting 90 per cent of mediation applications.  “The scheme was set up to help our constituents seek redress and to maintain the Post Office’s good reputation,” he said. “It is doing neither. “It has ended up mired in legal wrangling, with the Post Office objecting to most of the cases even going into the mediation that the scheme was designed to provide.”  Sarah Spickernell whatsapp Show Comments ▼ whatsappcenter_img Tags: NULL Share More From Our Partners Russell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.org‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.org Post Office criticised by MPs for unfairly blaming others over loss of hundreds of thousands of pounds Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTele Health DaveRemember Pierce Brosnan’s Wife? Take A Deep Breath Before You See What She Looks Like NowTele Health DaveUndoMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryUndoMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekUndoThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramUndoHero Wars Advertisement This game will keep you up all night! Hero Wars UndoMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementIf Your Dog Eats Grass (Do This Every Day)Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsUndoFungus EliminatorIf You Have Toenail Fungus Try This TonightFungus EliminatorUndolast_img read more

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23 very helpful tips to help make you a happy camper

first_imgHome Columnists 23 very helpful tips to help make you a happy camper Columnists Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results Twitter GAA August is peak camping. The full house signs are up all across the country’s most popular campsites.The summer holidays are in full flow. Families go in search of sea, sand and sunshine.The quest is to enjoy the last of the long summer evenings, the school holidays and the festival season. Any excuse for a barbecue or picnic and hopefully some fine weather to go with them.These essential camping tips are sure to make you a happy camper.1 – Plan aheadWhile camping is all about spontaneity and relaxation, that devil-may-care put your feet up and just enjoy the day, it’s hard to do so if you leave home without half your equipment, or worse again, nowhere to stay.If there’s anything worse than, ‘Are we there yet’, it’s to be so near and not have a pitch or berth booked in advance, especially if you’re travelling with children.2 – A bottle openerYes, the most simple of things but without one, potential disaster. A good opener is the perfect accompaniment to any good bottle of wine or cold bottle of beer.Doesn’t have to be single purpose, a multi-purpose tool or Swiss army knife type gadget will suffice just fine, once it does the trick.3 – Matches/LighterThe same rules as above apply. You’ll really only miss them when you discover you don’t have any.4 – Cool box/fridgeThe fridge in the campervan is worth its weight in gold for that first sip of cold beer on arrival and set up.There are all sorts of other options from the basic cooler box to the fancy plug-in ones. Always handy and will never go to waste.5 – BBQNo camping trip is complete without a barbecue. Lots of options here from the simple disposable ones to the gas outfits.I prefer the old school coal BBQ myself. Namchar are my favourite coals as they are long lasting and double up as a heater afterwards.Do take care with open barbecues and eco-friendly disposal does not mean throwing it out in the ditch.6 – WaterMight seem obvious, but always carry a spare supply. Nothing as bad as running out of water for drinking or cooking, especially if you are off the beaten track or wild camping.7 – MalletOk, a large rock will do, but trust me there is never one around when you need it. A small wooden or rubber mallet is so handy for pitching a tent, awnings, wind breakers and keeping things in their place during the occasional thunder storm. Good idea to have some spare pegs handy too.8 – BikesIf possible bring a bike. So, so handy for reconnaissance, exploring and shopping so that you can leave your vehicle parked up. You also get to see and learn so much more about the locality.9 – CoinsHow many times have I run out of change for showers or parking metres? I know have a special can for coins but still much prefer when there are no metres on the showers.10 – Gas CookerThese are not expensive but invaluable. Those small portable two-ring gas stoves are a life saver and of course carry a spare canister or two. Halfords have them.11 – TorchIt’s 2am in the morning. There’s not a sinner in sight. No light outside either, it’s on the blink. You’ve heard a noise. There’s something just outside the tent…You see my point. Invest in a good torch. Alo Donegan in Portlaoise has a great selection in these parts.12 – Yellow VestSafety first. Always have a couple of yellow vests handy if you are going out walking or cycling, not to mention if you break down on the side of the road.13 – First AidHave you got a plaster? A simple first aid box is a must for happy camping in the events of cuts, stings or minor burns.Keep it stocked and refreshed. Keep it safe and in the same place, so as you don’t have to go looking when ‘disaster’ or that wasp strikes.14 – TunesYou gotta have tunes on the dunes.15 – Tea/CoffeeThe basics, but how many times have you run out. Add sugar and milk to suit.16 – Toilet rollLike I said, the basics and yet how many times when you get down to business … nothing as bad as the cry from a French loo as, ‘NO PAPIER!’ There never is, so make sure to bring your own. The humble bog roll, never really appreciated ‘til it’s gone.17 – RaingearCamping and raingear are inseparable as this weekend’s deluge will confirm. Anyway you know once you have it with you it won’t rain and the opposite also applies.18 – SunglassesShades are a camping prerequisite and you do not require sunshine to look cool.Sun cream, sandals, swim shorts and flip-flops are optional extras, but you never know when you will want to go for a walk on the beach or go for a dip, so best be prepared.19 – Thermal Window ScreensThese are a must for campervans and motorhomes. They not only block out sun glare and overheating in the summer but afford extra insulation on cold nights and privacy in busy close quarter campsites.I have also managed to pick up a dinky little fan that runs off the vans USB connection which is handy to have on extra hot days. (Again, from Alo Donegans).20 – Go SolarWe have a small 120 watt solar panel fitted to the campervan and it allows for some energy conservation but also some flexibility and independence from the need for an electrical hook up (EHU).There are also some really good solar bulbs on the market which are handy for awnings, tents and some atmosphere as you chill out in the evenings (Telfords in Portlaoise have some retro style solar bulbs on special offer at the moment).21 – MapsAfter the compass and the wheel I think maps are right up there as mankind’s most useful invention.Sure, it’s all on your phone these days but not much good if you are out of battery or there’s no signal, as very often happens if you are travelling or camping in remote spots.First thing I suss out in a new place is a town or area map in the tourist office. Always good to know where you’re going and can save a lot of time and hassle.22 – Cúpla FocalNot a summer goes by that I don’t regret getting kicked out of French by Sister Alphonsus.It seemed like I was smart at the time but there’s not a day I don’t wish I could handle myself with a better grasp of French, even just for basic stuff in shops, bars, restaurants, campsites and reading signs and the like.The same applies for learning basic Spanish. I am glad that I can pass myself as Gaeilge as it’s always good to be able to converse in the vernacular.23 – Style & EtiquetteCamping and living in the great outdoors doesn’t mean that you have to be tardy or a slob. Be sharp, look the part.Camping is often a compact neighbourhood so it’s important to respect your next door camping companions, especially in terms of noise and tidiness.Remember to leave the place and the space like you would like to find it. Spotless. It’s not just an environmental thing but basic manners.Happy Camping!If you would like to read more about camping and campervan lifestyle and reviews from the best campsites and road trips check out my Vanhalla – Camper Heaven blog at www.vanhalla.ieSEE ALSO – Weekend Read: A campervan conversion is not just for Easter 23 very helpful tips to help make you a happy camper WhatsApp GAA TAGSCampingVanhalla Facebook Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR GAA Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory By John Whelan – 17th August 2019 Previous articleIn Pictures: Laois production company set to dazzle with new showNext articleWeekend Read: Laois native Michael Dempsey’s distinguished impact on Kilkenny hurling John WhelanJohn Whelan has been a journalist, commentator, columnist, political analyst, campaigner, politician and publisher ever since he was 17. Having been Editor of the Leinster Express, Offaly Express and the Leinster Leader he has also contributed extensively on a number of issues to all of the country’s flagship titles and programmes including the Irish Press, The Irish Independent, the Star, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, The Sunday Times and Prime Time. He is founder of Communicate Ireland a PR, public affairs, event management and media services company.He is the author of the popular camping blog, Vanhalla – Camper Heaven. Pinterest 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshinlast_img read more

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In Pictures: 36th Portlaoise Pantomime a huge success

first_imgHome Lifestyle In Pictures: 36th Portlaoise Pantomime a huge success LifestyleOut and About By Megan Shiel – 27th January 2020 The Portlaoise Pantomime group staged their 36th annual production last week from Saturday 18 to Saturday 25.This year’s production was Robin Hood, a timeless classic and is one of the best loved fairy-tales of all times, adored by both children and adults alike.And it was definitely adored!Tickets flew out the door and the Dunamaise theatre was packed every night.The story unfolded in Sherwood forest told by Barney the bear and Blossom the fairy.When King Richard departs, the kingdom falls into the hands of his brother King John and the nefarious Mumsie who along with the wicked Sheriff rule the land.Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men defend the villagers of Nottingham from the evil rule all while rescuing the lovely Maid Marian, Robin’s sweetheart.The show was full of fun and laughter and even a happily ever after!Our photographer Jordan Harrison was there and he captured some great pictures.Check them out below: Facebook SEE ALSO – Laois nominees sought for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 programme RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Previous article‘If Fine Gael are returned to Government … no plans to reduce capacity’ at Portlaoise Hospital claims Minister FlanaganNext articleIn Pictures: A selection of classic images from the Laois-Offaly 2011 General Election count Megan ShielMegan is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. A Raheen native, she’s happiest when talking sport, especially soccer but just don’t mention the 2019 champions league final Twitter Pinterest Twitter WhatsAppcenter_img Pinterest Facebook In Pictures: 36th Portlaoise Pantomime a huge success Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role TAGSPortlaoise Pantomime group Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin GAA Electric Picnic News last_img read more

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Prime Minister Pledges More Town Meetings Per Month, After Successful Start in Mandeville

first_imgRelatedPrime Minister Pledges More Town Meetings Per Month, After Successful Start in Mandeville RelatedPrime Minister Pledges More Town Meetings Per Month, After Successful Start in Mandeville Advertisements Prime Minister Pledges More Town Meetings Per Month, After Successful Start in Mandeville Office of the Prime MinisterMay 20, 2009center_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding told last night’s very successful inaugural Town Hall Meeting, at the Golf View Hotel, Mandeville, Manchester that he intends to sweep across the island with these meetings to explain the implications of the budget to the public.“Even though this kind of interaction is particularly necessary now, because of the challenges we have, we really ought to make it a part of our routine. I want to establish it as part of our regimen,” the Prime Minister saidMr. Golding, obviously buoyed by the large turn out which filled the hall of the hotel and overflowed onto its balcony, said that he had instructed Minister with responsibility for Information Hon. Darryl Vaz, to expand the programme.Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding listens attentively to one of dozens of questions posed by the audience at last night’s first in the series of Town Hall Meetings he is having with the public to discuss the implications of the 2009/10 Budget. Seated left to right are: Minister of Finance and the Public Service Hon. Audley Shaw; Minister of Energy and Mining Hon. James Robertson; and Minister with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Daryl Vaz (partly hidden).Mr. Vaz earlier expressed support for the gesture, adding that the Mandeville meeting cost only $335,776, which he described as “money well spent”, in terms of informing the public about how and why their money was being spent.The Prime Minister answered dozens of questions, ranging from parochial Mandeville Manchester issues, including the fallout of the parish’s bauxite/alumina sector, as well as national and international issues, including taxes, students loans, prices and trade.One woman demanded that Mr. Golding take responsibility for herself and her two “fatherless” children. One businessman expressed concern that the Government did not purchase motor vehicle accessories from his garage.Mr. Golding’s team took down the names of several persons, including the woman with the “fatherless” children, and promised to look at their problems.Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding rolls up his sleeves as he prepares to field questions from the public at last night’s first in the series of Town Hall Meetings he is holding with the public to discuss the implications of the 2009/10 Budget, at the Golf View Hotel, Mandeville Manchester.The meeting, chaired by attorney-at-law Keith Smith, started promptly at 7 p.m. minutes after Mr. Golding arrived to a thunderous applause outside the hall. It opened with the National Anthem and the National Pledge, which was led by Miss Manchester Festival Queen Lanisia Rhoden and prayers led by President of Bethel Bible College and Head of the Mandeville Ministers’ Fraternal, Dr. Roy Notice.Prior to Mr. Golding, the meeting heard from Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson on the bauxite/alumina fallout; and Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, on the Government’s vision for reducing indebtedness.At the start of his presentation, Mr. Golding addressed the issue of the boycott of the meeting by the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP).“It is so hard to do anything in Jamaica without there being some perception that there is a political motive,” Mr. Golding lamented.“This effort, well intentioned as it is, has not been able to escape that victimisation and I am sorry about that because, quite frankly, that was not the intention. I really want to engage the people of Jamaica,” he said.The Prime Minister explained to the audience:“One of the things that I have learnt over my many years in political life, and it has influenced me in so many ways: There was a time that I, perhaps, subscribed to the view that, somehow, if you can only get the people to place in your hands the power to do things, then you can march on to do the things that you set out to do.“I learnt from just my own observations of all the things that Jamaica could have, and should have achieved, but did not achieve, that if you approach political life and if you approach the business of managing the affairs of the country in that way, you will find that, yes, you may be given the power and, yes, you may march off but, after you have gone a distance, you will look over your shoulder and notice that nobody is following you, because you have not engaged them: you have not made them a part of the mission and the purpose that you are pursuing.” RelatedPrime Minister Pledges More Town Meetings Per Month, After Successful Start in Mandevillelast_img read more

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JCF Says Take Extra Precautions During Xmas

first_imgRelatedJCF Says Take Extra Precautions During Xmas RelatedJCF Says Take Extra Precautions During Xmas Advertisements RelatedJCF Says Take Extra Precautions During Xmascenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is urging Jamaicans to take extra precautions during the hectic Christmas season.In a pamphlet, ‘Safety During the Holidays’, recently published by the JCF, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), persons are urged to begin with safety at home, including checking lights for cracked sockets or bare wires.“Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use”, are among tips the JCF offers.Persons are also advised to fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, walls, or other firm support structures to protect them from wind damage. Importantly, holiday lights should be turned off when retiring for the night, as lights could short-circuit and cause a fire.One should never use lighted candles near a tree, and should always use non-flammable holders, placing candles where they are safe from being knocked over.Adults must also take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or may otherwise pose danger to small children, and should avoid trimmings that resemble sweets or food.Individuals are asked to always lock doors, even during short naps; to immediately report suspicious persons or activities to the police; and to keep items such as cheque books, wallets, cash or jewellery out of sight by securing them in a drawer or other places of safety.It is not advisable to keep large sums of cash at home, and a credit or debit card will replace the need to have cash on hand. Broken windows, window screens, door latches or lights that aren’t functioning should be fixed immediately. Ask for identification from all service personnel and make checks to verity, if possible.Then there is the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which is a particular area of danger for users who do not take proper precautions.“Try to plan your ATM visits during the day, rather than after dark. Choose an ATM location that is in a busy, public place and have your card handy, but not in plain sight, and try to have someone accompany you, particularly at nights,” the JCF advises.Parties and other social events are a must for many Jamaicans during the festive season, but the police are asking everyone to do so sensibly, by drinking responsibly and using designated drivers.“Park in well-lit and busy areas and keep windows rolled up and doors locked. Always remove your keys from the vehicle. Have your keys ready when approaching your vehicle, and look in your back seat before entering,” the JCF cautions.Individuals should also ensure that they have enough fuel; stick to main roads as much as possible during late evenings and night-time; and never pick up strangers, nor go with a stranger who offers help. Do not be afraid to blow your horn if someone approaches your vehicle to attract attention, and drive away immediately and make a report to the police.Stay alert to your surroundings. Be aware of loud commotions that may be staged distractions, and be on the look out for pickpockets at crowded bus stopsThe JCF also acknowledges that the holidays can be quite stressful, and tells persons to allow themselves enough time to go about their business, rather than hurry.The mobile phone is another magnet for thieves, hence these should be kept out of sight when not in use. Also, use a security code to protect data, and put a personal mark on your phone that you could use to identify it if stolen.Phones should not be left in an unattended car, but lock them out of sight, if there is no other option. Citizens may contact their local community safety officer or the JCF Community Safety and Security Branch at: 929-1282, or visit [email protected] JCF Says Take Extra Precautions During Xmas National SecurityDecember 22, 2009last_img read more

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Ministry to Improve Health Information System

first_imgMinistry to Improve Health Information System Health & WellnessNovember 23, 2012 RelatedMinistry to Improve Health Information System FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says the Ministry is seriously addressing the findings of an assessment of the national health information system, and is applying the attention and resources to secure improvements in a realistic and carefully planned manner.            He was speaking at the third annual National Health Research Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on November 22.             The assessment, carried out in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO),  indicated that there is need to improve the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructure, policy and legislative frameworks, related human and financial resources, and overall data management.             “We have secured funding from the World Bank to develop a national strategic plan for national health information systems strengthening and modernization, and we continue to conduct activities to improve the existing paper-based system in preparation for the design and establishment of electronic health records,” Dr. Ferguson stated. He said that attention is also being given to the information governance requirements for the electronic health records, with specific attention to security, privacy and confidentiality.  Turning to HIV/AIDS, the Health Minister told the gathering of local and regional stakeholders that measures to combat the disease are contained within the overall policy initiatives that the Jamaican Government is pursuing, to create an all-embracing health system based on quality care. He said the focus is on providing efficient and effective primary health care characterised by increased community participation; development of a modern health information and communication infrastructure; the integration of services for a seamless referral of patients between the primary and secondary levels; provision of adequate diagnostic,  laboratory and pharmaceutical services; renewal of the ‘health team’ approach to health care delivery; and the necessary logistic and administrative support. The goal, he said, is to bring health services closer to the community. The Minister informed that in the current financial year, the Government has initiated the establishment of four centres of excellence at the primary care level, one in each of the four regional health authorities, through $100 million in funding from the National Health Fund (NHF). “The focus reflects the changes in Jamaica’s morbidity profile over the last 50 years from a preponderance of communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases; economic factors whereby the unit cost for treatment at the primary level is significantly lower than at the secondary or hospital level; and the available epidemiological evidence. This administration’s commits to providing universal access at the primary level of care,” he stated.  The conference was hosted by the Ministry in collaboration with PAHO, the Caribbean Health Research Council, and Population Services International (Caribbean), under the theme: ‘Health Systems Strengthening and HIV/AIDS’. It sought to share the findings of health studies by the Ministry and other institutions and individuals in the island; stimulate greater interest in health research particularly in the public sector; and bring cohesiveness to health research by facilitating discussion and presentations that focus on national and regional health research priorities, partnerships and funding. RelatedMinistry to Improve Health Information Systemcenter_img Advertisements RelatedMinistry to Improve Health Information Systemlast_img read more

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Education Minister Says NEI Report Shows That Gaps Need To Be Filled

first_imgMinister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) Report, which has identified deficiencies in the sector, is an indication that gaps need to be filled in the system.The Report, which assessed the operation of nearly 1,000 schools, found glaring weaknesses in school leadership and management, and faulty teaching/learning methods.It also found that strong security and wellness programmes exist at many of the nation’s secondary educational institutions, as well as a high level of awareness among students on relevant issues.Speaking at the launch of the Report, held on Tuesday, September 15, at the Overseas Examinations Commission, in St. Andrew, the Minister said no time should be wasted in casting blames for deficiencies in the education system, as all efforts must be made to deliver results for students.“That is why we have to take these reports very seriously; that is why we don’t want any argument that it is not my fault as teacher, or my responsibility, because the home is not right,” the Minister told the audience.He argued that although challenges at some homes might affect the learning of children, there is a responsibility for teachers and Ministry officials to give of their best.“We still have to do our duty, we have to stop making excuses, and we have to stop finding a problem for every solution. Our task is to add value. We now have the empirical tool to do so, there is no excuse,” the Minister emphasised.Meanwhile, Chief Inspector, Maureen Dwyer, said her team of inspectors found that where school leadership focus on the core business of education, staff was inspired, and children eager to learn.“Those leaders were the ones who made the balance between the social side of things, and the academic learning,” she said.The mandate of the NEI is to assess the standards attained by the students in primary and secondary schools at key points in their education, and to report on how well they perform, or improve.The NEI makes recommendations to the Ministry of Education to support improvement in the provision of quality education. The full Report can be obtained at: www.nei.org. RelatedTwo Honoured With Spanish Order of Civil Merit RelatedEvery School To Have Literacy Coordinator FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Education Minister Says NEI Report Shows That Gaps Need To Be Filled EducationSeptember 16, 2015Written by: Garfield L. Angus RelatedTeachers To Be Trained To Improve The Way Boys Learncenter_img Photo: JIS PhotographerMinister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites (left), is joined by public and private sector officials in perusing the 2015 National Education Inspectorate (NEI) Report, at its launch, today (September 15), at the Overseas Examinations Commission, in St. Andrew. From second left are: businessman, R. Danny Williams; Chief Inspector, Maureen Dwyer, and Director General at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Colin Bullock. Story HighlightsMinister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) Report, which has identified deficiencies in the sector, is an indication that gaps need to be filled in the system.The Report, which assessed the operation of nearly 1,000 schools, found glaring weaknesses in school leadership and management, and faulty teaching/learning methods.It also found that strong security and wellness programmes exist at many of the nation’s secondary educational institutions, as well as a high level of awareness among students on relevant issues. Education Minister Says NEI Report Shows That Gaps Need To Be FilledJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay Advertisementslast_img read more

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County partners with international nonprofit to place solar-powered trash harvesting device in Ballona Creek

first_imgHomeNewsEnvironmentCounty partners with international nonprofit to place solar-powered trash harvesting device in Ballona Creek Nov. 16, 2019 at 11:00 amEnvironmentFeaturedNewsCounty partners with international nonprofit to place solar-powered trash harvesting device in Ballona CreekBrennon Dixson2 years agoNo tags1234567 As it weaves and winds through the concrete jungle of western Los Angeles County, the Ballona Creek flood channel collects many types of pollutants, including trash, oil, pesticides and industrial chemicals.It’s not unheard of for one to find a shopping cart dumped in the creek, according to the Ballona Creek Renaissance — an organization of volunteers who have hand-collected more than 1.3 tons of trash in the river since its founding.Ideally, there would be no garbage finding its way into Ballona Creek, “but too often we do have trash,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said Friday, mentioning Ballona Creek used to be one of 1,000 waterways worldwide that were responsible for 80 percent of the plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.This has become a major challenge for local county officials, but Hahn believes a new trash harvesting device created by international nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup may be the answer to the problem.The device is called the InterceptorTM, and Joost Dubois, The Ocean Cleanup’s head of communications, said during Friday’s press conference that the solar-powered trash removal system will use a conveyor belt to extract harmful debris from waterways and complement the trash collecting mechanisms that are already in place throughout the county.“Rivers are one of the biggest contributors to ocean plastics. They are the arteries that carry the plastic to the sea,” Dubois said. But after years of research, The Ocean Cleanup has developed the world’s first fully autonomous scalable solution for tackling river pollution, “and like our ocean cleanup technology, it utilizes natural forces like solar power and river currents to operate.”Ballona Creek’s system will be the first deployed in the Americas or Canada and the sixth one worldwide if the targeted fall 2020 deployment date is met. Officials said they will design it to specifically meet the unique conditions of Ballona Creek.An unnamed beneficiary contributed the funds to make the project possible, according to Dubois, but The Ocean Cleanup will be responsible for manufacturing, assembling and installing the system while LA County’s Public Works department will be responsible for operations, including the collection and recycling of waste.“This interceptor is part of a pilot program,” Dubois said, which will cover two storm seasons and allow both the county and nonprofit the opportunity to test the InterceptorTM’s technology and its capacity for the environmental conditions that are present in the local river.“What we hope to have happen is that we look at it and see that it works here,” said Mark Pestrella, director of Los Angeles County Public Works. Depending on the results, the county could receive the device for free and also may consider installing a similar system in the Los Angeles River.While seals below the beach house barked and “cheered them on”, Hahn, Dubois, Pestrella and Roald Lapperre, the Netherlands’ vice-minister for the Environment, posed for pictures while they signed the documents necessary to put their plan in action.“The buildup of plastics in our oceans is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time,” Hahn said, adding she hopes the new partnership will not only stop trash flowing from Ballona Creek into the Santa Monica Bay, “but will be part of a global project to prevent the flow of plastic pollution into our world’s oceans.”[email protected] on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCrime Watch – You got stool’edSMMUSD Announces Special Meeting on Nov. 19 and a Late Start to the Nov. 21 MeetingYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall7 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson18 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter18 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor18 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press18 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press18 hours agolast_img read more

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New service from Vodafone replaces physical loyalty cards

first_img Starting this month, Vodafone will rollout across Europe a mobile alternative to the physical loyalty cards used by millions of users in supermarkets, coffee shops and gyms.The app will enable users of Vodafone’s mobile wallet to load their plastic cards onto their smartphones either by scanning or entering the card details manually.The new service will be introduced in those markets where the operator’s NFC-based wallet is already present, starting in Germany, Netherlands and Spain.Other countries are expected to follow later in 2014.Vodafone is whitelabelling an existing app called Mobile Pocket developed by Austrian firm Bluesource. The app has already been downloaded by more than one million users, said the operator.It works with Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.The new loyalty app will sit in Vodafone’s wallet next to its NFC-based SmartPass payments app but does not appear to use NFC technology itself.According to an entry for the app in the Google Play store, where it scores a 4.2 rating, subscribers have their smartphone screens scanned for loyalty points at the point- of-sale, rather than use a tap-and-pay system.But some retailers use scanner technology that does not read smartphone displays, in which case the cashier must type in the loyalty card number manually, said the Google Play entry.Vodafone hopes the app’s practicality will attract users.Stefano Parisse, group consumer services director of Vodafone, said; “Our customers want to take advantage of as many club, retail and membership offers as possible, but the number of plastic cards often exceed the capacity of their physical wallets”.To add a new loyalty card, users search on their handset for an existing template. About 1,500 retailers, event organisers and transport companies are already present. If a card is not available then users can create a new template.And Vodafone hopes companies will want to sign up because they can identify and target repeat customers, said Parisse.“Participating retailers also benefit since they will be able to send vouchers and special offers directly to the Vodafone mobile wallets of their regular customers,” he said. Vodafone pulls out of Facebook currency play Money Tags HomeMoneyNews New service from Vodafone replaces physical loyalty cards Related Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including… Read more Richard Handford center_img Vodafone chief backs m-Pesa expansion plan UN highlights Afghan money stumbling blocks AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 08 MAY 2014 Author Previous ArticleKing shows signs of slowdown in Q1Next ArticleTelekom Austria’s domestic mobile business casts shadow over Q1 Vodafonelast_img read more

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Why Scientific Polarization? A Case Study

first_imgJane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Intelligent Design Why Scientific Polarization? A Case StudyDavid [email protected]_klinghofferDecember 7, 2018, 10:01 AM Evolution Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour TagsAlex BerezowAllen Steerealternative universeschronic Lyme diseaseclimate changeCNNEuropean Journal for Philosophy of ScienceevolutionFox Newsintelligent designLyme diseasemathematical modelneo-Darwinian theorypolarizationPoliticsscientistsstrengths and weaknessestheistic evolution,Trending Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Recommendedcenter_img Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Share “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Here’s a scientific war that’s rending the fabric of polite disagreement. Scientists are divided against themselves, choosing sides in a highly polarized environment, charging each other’s “lobby” with denying or distorting evidence.As the European Journal for Philosophy of Science summarizes, “The two sides of the controversy have never seen eye to eye, but over the past decade, the accusations and counter accusations have become increasingly belligerent and entrenched.” It’s not merely a scientific but a “legal and political battleground.”Yes, it’s the bitter scientific dispute over…evolution? Nope. Climate change? No, silly, over Lyme disease! Debate and Death ThreatsThe specific issue is the existence and treatment of “chronic Lyme disease.” Our friend Alex Berezow at the American Council on Science and Health notes, “The man who discovered Lyme disease, Allen Steere, was skeptical of the chronic Lyme diagnosis as well as long-term antibiotic therapy. So, he started receiving death threats from patients who were convinced he was wrong.” The aforementioned journal article takes this debate, previously unknown to me, as a model of how disagreement arises even among scientists — you know, those models of cool, rational deliberation — and tends increasingly toward irrational polarization. Berezow writes:The authors employ a mathematical model to show that, even when scientists are acting in good faith over the correct interpretation of evidence, polarization is still a likely outcome. How so?Suppose a scientist believes that Hypothesis X is more likely to be correct than Hypothesis Y. He may perhaps come to believe that other scientists who also accept Hypothesis X are slightly more reliable than scientists who accept Hypothesis Y. Over time, this slight initial bias against data provided by scientists who believe Hypothesis Y can morph into outright distrust. Once that happens, a stable state of polarization develops, in which neither side can “win” the debate, even if the facts clearly support one hypothesis over the other.The authors reach a rather disturbing conclusion:“We do not need to suppose that anyone is a bad researcher (in our models all agents are identical), or that they are bought by industry, or even that they engage in something like confirmation bias or other forms of motivated reasoning to see communities with stable scientific polarization emerge. All it takes is some mistrust in the data of those who hold different beliefs to get scientific polarization.”In other words, everybody acting in good faith can result in a society in which we cannot agree on a common set of facts.Berezow cites the parallel of our contemporary political scene where Left and Right often appear not just to hold different opinions but to live in alternative universes. You can compare these, dizzyingly, by switching rapidly back and forth between Fox News and CNN.Strengths and WeaknessesI would add that the evolution debate presents another illustration, equally stark. Berezow again: “Over time, this slight initial bias against data provided by scientists who believe Hypothesis Y can morph into outright distrust. Once that happens, a stable state of polarization develops, in which neither side can ‘win’ the debate, even if the facts clearly support one hypothesis over the other.”I honestly don’t think that most advocates of intelligent design are unable to recognize merits in the other side’s case. If we were unable, we wouldn’t speak of the alternative neo-Darwinian theory’s “strengths and weaknesses.” Yes, it has strengths. In explaining the emergence of biological novelties, the choice between Darwin and design is not a no-brainer.This most sound unfair if you know little about the evolution debate. However, from long experience, I do believe that many evolution proponents are so committed to their view with its unacknowledged philosophical underpinnings, so mistrustful of other interpretations, that arguing with them is likely a waste of time. A friend explained recently that this appears to be so, not least, with theistic evolutionists of a certain profile. See “No Escape from Theistic Evolution?” When we do argue with these people, the purpose is not to convince them, which is probably hopeless, but to persuade the unpersuaded who, we know, are listening or reading.Photo credit: Brian Stansberry [CC BY 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons. Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more

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