a month agoWest Ham boss Pellegrini talks ‘value’ of Man Utd target Rice

first_imgWest Ham boss Pellegrini talks ‘value’ of Man Utd target Riceby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini insists midfielder Declan Rice is fully committed to the cause.Rice has been linked with their next opponents Manchester United.”It is important that he continues with what he is doing so far,” Pellegrini said.”He always listens, improves when he makes mistakes. “His value will depend what happens this season but his mind is not thinking about that.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Mealkit trend grows into 120M industry in Canada

first_imgMatthew Richardson decided it was finally time to change his cooking habits.After moving in with his girlfriend this past summer, Richardson, 36, figured they should put a stop to their frequent eating out and make a real effort to prepare their own meals at home.But he didn’t know where to start. Elaborate recipes felt intimidating and he had no clue where to look for easy, healthy food that would appeal to both of their tastes.“She’s a vegetarian, I am not a vegetarian,” says Richardson, who lives in Saint John, N.B.“I was looking for ways to learn some recipes, and figure out how to prepare things I don’t know how to prepare.”So he turned to home-delivered meal kits, a phenomenon that has quickly grown into a $120-million industry in Canada, according to the market research company NPD Group.Meal-kit companies offer consumers a menu of ready-to-prepare dishes that are typically marketed as easy to make, healthy and delicious. Meal ingredients arrive pre-portioned with a recipe for consumers to follow.The meal-kit industry started in Sweden, according to Robert Carter of NPD Group, and has spread globally over the last five years. The industry has roughly doubled in Canada since 2014, Carter added.“It’s grown fairly aggressively in the U.S. marketplace, and kind of filtered here into Canada,” he said, adding that meal kits are “now one of the fastest-growing food segments in the Canadian marketplace.”On a friend’s recommendation, Richardson first signed up for Goodfood, a meal-kit company founded in Montreal in 2015. The largest family-sized meal-kit boxes start at $8.75 per person per meal and recent options have included whisky rubbed pork chop with scalloped potatoes, red lentil stew with sweet potatoes, and acorn squash tacos.One of Richardson’s favourite meals — quinoa-stuffed peppers — arrived boxed with portions of poblano peppers, corn, spinach, cilantro, quinoa, cheese, tomatoes, an onion, panko crumbs and a spice blend. It took Richardson and his girlfriend about 45 minutes to make.For Jayne Zhou, an HR co-ordinator in Vancouver who’s been on maternity leave since early in the year, meal kits have made life a little simpler.She says it initially took some trial and error to figure out how much food to order for her family of four. She started getting weekly meals delivered but found some food would get wasted if her family met up with friends or went out to dinner.They now order meals for two people every other week. Zhou says she loves that as a self-described “newbie cook” she’s built confidence in the kitchen.“We had ginger pork meatballs and I was like: ‘That wasn’t too hard, maybe I’ll be able to make this recipe again,’” she says.Richardson also believes his kitchen chops have improved. In the fall, a few months into his flirtation with meal kits, he visited his family’s farm in Nova Scotia and decided to pick some chanterelle mushrooms to make a risotto.“A year ago, I wouldn’t even consider making a risotto,” he says. “It would seem like this huge, intimidating task that I would never tackle. It definitely gave me more confidence, to go out and try dishes that I normally would be like, ‘That’s something that somebody who’s a professional would make.’”Both Zhou and Richardson say meal kits have been a cheaper alternative than ordering in or going to a restaurant but they’ve definitely been more expensive than doing their own grocery shopping.Graham McDonnell, a stylist from Dartmouth, N.S., was lured by the convenience of having meal kits delivered to his door but has gone back to doing his own grocery shopping.He and his partner used to shop for groceries often but would end up throwing away a lot of food since they didn’t plan properly. Now they’ve refocused their energy on meal planning.“If you take the time to plan your meals and not over-shop … you can kind of organize (a meal-kit type experience) yourself, basically,” McDonnell says.While meal-kit companies often market their food using buzzwords like “farm-fresh,” “sustainable,” and “antibiotic- and hormone-free,” one nutritionist says it’s too early to assess the health benefits of buying into a meal plan given few real studies have been done on the subject. But University of Guelph Prof. Jess Haines does see the appeal of the service, particularly for people who work long hours or don’t have a lot of time to think about shopping for food. And some of the meal kits she’s seen “appear to have very healthful options,” Haines says.After about three months of using Goodfood, Richardson and his girlfriend decided to try some of the competition. Richardson heard others swear by Toronto-based Chefs Plate but personally found the ingredients to be a little less fresh than what he was used to. He liked German company HelloFresh but found the vegetarian options lacking.The couple continues to try meal kits from new companies looking to cash in on the trend, especially since social media ads targeted to them are often offering a few free meals.“Apparently I’m looking at these things enough that the advertisers know that that’s what I’m into,” he says.last_img read more

Pipeline protesters defy eviction order say theyll meet with officials

first_imgBURNABY, B.C. – Protesters at an anti-pipeline camp in Burnaby, B.C., say they will meet with officials to discuss safety measures, but they will not comply with a city-issued evacuation order.The City of Burnaby says there are safety concerns surrounding “Camp Cloud,” including a two-storey wooden watch house and a fire that protesters describe as sacred and ceremonial.Protest organizer Kwitsel Tatel says the participants will not leave, nor will they extinguish their fire. Tatel suggests the structures around the camp’s sacred fire could be modified if only to refocus the attention away from the physical camp and back to the anti-pipeline protest.She adds that snuffing out the fire would constitute a breaking of both B.C. Supreme Court and Coast Salish law.The protesters say the city’s notice, which was issued on Wednesday and expired early Saturday, was written without adequate consideration of a recent court decision or consultation with camp residents.The B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March that both the camp and a nearby watch house could remain in place in response to a court injunction filed by Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd., the company behind the Trans Mountain expansion project.Tatel said the residents of the camp have had conversations with the City of Burnaby about the demands set out in the eviction notice, and they are willing to negotiate in good faith. But she said the city has not engaged in those discussions.“The executive assistant to (Burnaby Mayor) Derek Corrigan came many times with orders instead of questions and concerns. I’m respectfully announcing that is not good faith discussion or negotiation,” Tatel said Saturday. She added that they spoke with the City of Burnaby fire department overnight about the sacred fire, and that a load of timber would be dropped off by the department.Tatel said she will request federal intervention if need be, citing the protesters’ charter right to peaceful demonstration.“I’m asking for (federal Justice Minister) Jody Wilson-Raybould to step up and assist, to pull her goons and her dogs,” said TatelShe and several other camp residents said they saw between 30 and 60 “paramilitary” individuals in and around “Camp Cloud” and the woods around the Kinder Morgan tanker terminal late Friday night, and said additional audio and video surveillance near the entrance to the terminal had recently been installed.center_img Demonstrators are angry over the expansion of the pipeline between Alberta and B.C. that would triple its capacity to carry bitumen destined for export.In May, the federal government announced it would buy the pipeline in an effort to see the expansion completed.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State stuns No 1 Michigan State with 8064 upset

Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop drives to the basket in the first half of Ohio State’s 80-64 win against No. 1 Michigan State. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State and its sixth man showed up in the Schottenstein Center Sunday.The crowd of 17,599 was as loud as it has been in years and the players did everything they could to keep the fans energized as the Buckeyes (13-4, 4-0 Big Ten) stunned No. 1 Michigan State (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) in an 80-64 upset. It was Ohio State’s first win over a top-ranked opponent since Feb. 25, 2007 when it beat No. 1 Wisconsin 49-48. After the game had ended and all the fans who had stormed the court began making their way to the exits, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann had a moment to reflect on the game that had just unfolded.“Whoa. That was quite an afternoon,” Holtmann said Sunday. “We’ll enjoy this one today here. I can’t say enough about the crowd. The energy was outstanding. Obviously to be expected, we played an incredible team and incredible program, but wow, they really lifted us and lifted our guys.”Buckeye fans celebrate following the game against Michigan State on Jan. 7 in Value City Arena. Ohio State won 80-64. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State ended the first-half on a 16-2 run, capped off by an improbable buzzer-beating 3 from Youngstown on the half-court image by redshirt senior guard Andrew Dakich to take a 41-29 lead, the largest halftime deficit the top-ranked Spartans have faced this season. “That really was a critical stretch. It was all things kind of went in our favor at our point,” Holtmann said Sunday. “All that kind of played into it and it broke open what was a really close game.”The Spartans appeared to seize momentum early with forward Miles Bridges making a mid-range jumpshot and forward Jaren Jackson making a 3 to put them up 5-0 just 36 seconds into the game. About a minute later, Jackson made another athletic layup, spinning while in the air to put his team up 7-2. Bridges finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Jackson had 11 points before fouling out with 9:49 left in the game.But Ohio State remained in the game and progressively began to take over momentum. With every make by Ohio State and miss by Michigan State, the Schottenstein Center was brought to life.A mid-range jump shot by Tate to bring the Buckeyes to within two and subsequent make by redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop sent the crowd into a frenzy as the Buckeyes took a 12-11 lead. A 3 by Bates-Diop gave his team some breathing room and extended its lead to 15-11. He led the game in points with a career-high 32 and added seven rebounds.Bates-Diop caught a pass from Dakich in stride as he raced towards the basket, slamming it home for a one-handed dunk to give Ohio State the 31-29 lead with 1:05 left and forcing the Spartans to call a timeout.Tate took over the game for Ohio State in the final minute of the first half, making a layup to put Ohio State up 33-29. He blocked a layup attempt on the other end of the court by Jackson, dished it over to redshirt senior guard Kam Williams back in the Buckeyes’ offensive side of the court who knocked down a 3 to push the team’s lead to 36-29. Bates-Diop then made two free-throws resulting from a technical foul on Michigan State’s bench.The Buckeyes resumed their roll right out of the gate in the second half. Just 11 seconds in, Williams caught a pass from freshman center Kaleb Wesson and threw down a thundering one-handed dunk to put Ohio State up 43-29. After a Spartan possession, Williams knocked down a 3-pointer to go up 46-31. Ohio State junior guard C.J. Jackson made a defender fall to the ground with a crossover to the left and drove to the basket for a short-range jumper in the paint to put the Buckeyes up 65-42 with 12:23. Tate followed that up with a layup to give Ohio State the 67-42 lead, its largest lead over the Spartans.Ohio State junior guard C.J. Jackson (3) brings the ball down the court in the second half in the game against Michigan State on Jan. 7 in Value City Arena. Ohio State won 80-64. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorMichigan State began to regain some momentum, going on a 10-0 run to cut Ohio State’s lead down to just 69-55. But a dunk by Bates-Diop ended the run and shifted momentum back in the Buckeyes’ corner as the team went on a 8-2 run. The run brought back memories for several of the Ohio State players to last season when the team often blew leads late. And those memories proved fuel for the team to try and avoid letting up at the end.“We’ve been in situations where we’ve been up 20 and we’ve lost in the last one minute. It happened multiple times last year,” Tate said. “I think me, Keita and the guys that were here last year just continue to have those flashbacks in our mind. We call it, ‘Don’t fold. Like don’t fold like a lawn chair.’ And that’s all we kept saying was we are not folding today. And we got it done.”The Buckeyes shot 53 percent from the field — 47 percent from the 3 — while Michigan State shot just 39 percent from the field and 28 from beyond the arc. Ohio State outscored Michigan State 30-24 in the paint and 10-4 in points off turnovers despite losing the turnover battle 12-6.Ohio State will celebrate its upset victory today, but the players and coaches both said after the game thoughts will quickly turn to facing Maryland, which comes to the Schottenstein Center Thursday at 7 p.m. read more

Canon Bucks Trade Show Slide Plans Two New Events for 2010

first_imgWhile overall trade show revenue for b-to-b publishers fell 20.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to American Business Media’s Business Information Network, Los Angeles-based Canon Communications continues to see growth from medical events and plans to launch two more, targeting orthopedic manufacturing, in 2010.  Canon will debut the OrthoTec Conference and Exhibition in Warsaw, Indiana in May and take the event to Switzerland in September. The locations represent the orthopedic manufacturing capitols in the U.S. and Europe.  Trade show revenue now accounts for 55 percent of Canon’s overall revenue. Earlier this year, Canon saw attendance grow 4 percent for its Medical Design and Manufacturing West conference and 20 percent for MEDTech Europe.last_img read more

GOP Leaders to Discuss TwoYear Budget Deal with White House McConnell Says

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Republican leaders plan to enter budget discussions with the White House shortly to reach a deal over topline spending for fiscal 2016 and 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday.“I hope that we in the fall negotiation can get some kind of an agreement on a top line for next year so we can finally, at long last, get back to acting on each appropriations bill separately,” McConnell said, reported CQ Roll Call. The Senate leader also revealed that he and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke with President Obama last week about launching budget talks.“I would expect them to start very soon,” McConnell said.An effort to reach a two-year budget deal would mirror the agreement reached in late 2013 that provided relief from the discretionary spending caps in FY 2014 and 2015 for defense and non-defense agencies.Meanwhile, the Senate is scheduled to vote this morning on a short-term continuing resolution that keeps the government open when the new fiscal year begins Thursday. The stopgap runs through Dec. 11 and does not strip Planned Parenthood of funding. After the Senate approves the CR, the House is expected to take it up before the end of the day to avert a federal shutdown.The House will only have a matter of hours to act before the midnight deadline, but House Republicans widely believe the chamber will pass the CR in time, according to CQ.Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) applauded the news that McConnell favors a two-year budget deal and stressed the need to combine negotiations over spending with an effort to extend the nation’s debt ceiling.“They have to be handled together. It’s the only way to intelligently do this,” Reid said.When asked about raising the debt ceiling before he steps down from his post at the end of October, Boehner on Tuesday did not rule it out. “We’ll have to see. There’s a number of issues we’re going to try to deal with in the coming month,” he told reporters.last_img read more

Aishwarya Rai to be roped in for Koratala Shivas next movie with

first_imgThe first look teaser of Chiranjeevi’s Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy is unveiled. It hints the life of Indians during the British rule and the rise of a hero who led a revolutionary movement against them.Finding a heroine for Megastar Chiranjeevi is definitely a big task for any director nowadays. The actor is too old for any young heroine in the industry now and not all the actresses with whom he was worked are not in acting anymore.For Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, he has teamed up with Nayanthara and in Khaidi No.1, he was seen shaking leg with Kajal Aggarwal. Well, it is known that Chiranjeevi is going to team up with director Koratala Shiva, who made films like Mirchi, Janatha Garage, Srimanthudu and Bharat Ane Nenu. All these films have been huge hits at the box office and the director has nothing but back to back hits in his kitty now.So his upcoming film with Chiranjeevi is said to be going on the floors next year and it is expected to be launched on Ugadi.As per the source, after getting in touch with all the possible heroines for this film, it is said that the director is now in the process of getting in touch with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to play the leading lady in this film. If this news is true, there’s no wonder why he has approached the Bollywood diva.The senior most actresses down south are Nayanthara, Shriya Saran, Trisha, Tamannaah Bhatia and Anushka Shetty. But it looks like none of them has given nod to this project.Well, bringing Aishwarya Rai to act with Chiranjeevi is definitely not a bad idea. “The makers are trying to bring the best actress on board and they are not going to compromise with the budget. Because it is still in the pre-production stage and hasn’t been launched, the producers do not want to make any official statements about the cast,” said a source close to the direction team. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on the Cannes 2019 red carpet.Twitter / RCFAOn the work front, Chiranjeevi has even completed dubbing for Sye Raa and as per the reports, the film is going to hit the screens on October 2.last_img read more

Militant attack in Kashmir kills 4

first_imgThree soldiers and a civilian were killed on Thursday when security forces were attacked by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said.The forcers were returning from a search operation in Kungnoo village when they were attacked.“The victims included a lieutenant colonel and the civilian, a woman, was inside her house when a bullet hit her during the firing,” the police said.Seven soldiers were also injured in the attack.“Reinforcements were immediately rushed to surround the area and track the militants,” the police added.last_img read more

Ramaphosa elected South Africa president

first_imgActing president of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at the parliament, in Cape Town, South Africa, 15 February, 2018. Photo: ReutersSouth African lawmakers on Thursday selected Cyril Ramaphosa as the country’s new president after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under pressure from his own ANC ruling party.Ramaphosa was chosen without a vote after being the only candidate nominated, chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng told assembled lawmakers at a special sitting of the parliament in Cape Town.The announcement brought loud cheers from ANC lawmakers, with Ramaphosa due to address the parliament later during proceedings.Zuma resigned on Wednesday as the ANC finally turned against him after a nine-year reign dominated by corruption scandals, economic slowdown and plummeting electoral popularity.Zuma railed against the ANC for “recalling” him from office and — when he at first refused to resign — then threatening to oust him via a parliament no-confidence vote.In an earlier TV interview on Wednesday, Zuma said he had received “very unfair” treatment from the party that he joined in 1959 and in which he had fought for decades against apartheid white-minority rule.Zuma had been in a power struggle with Ramaphosa, his deputy president.Zuma’s hold over the ANC was broken in December when his chosen successor — his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma — narrowly lost to Ramaphosa in a vote to become the new party leader.last_img read more

Black Bloggers Network Advise Peers at Annual Festival in Washington DC

first_imgJoi-Marie McKenzie offers tips to participants on how to find their niche as bloggers during the Blogger Week Unconference. (AFRO/Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman)Black bloggers from around the country converged on Washington, D.C., for the annual Bloggers Week festival, a multicultural gathering of bloggers, journalists and social media gurus.  Hosted by Black Bloggers Connect, the three-day event included Twitter parties, Google Hangouts, workshops, panels and networking events.Supported by more than 7,500 bloggers through features, published news, contests, and campaign opportunities, the Blogger Week UnConference brought together hundreds with one goal in mind: finding more concrete methods of sharing the African-American experience across the globe.Blogging participants captured the event in real-time for their own audiences throughout the various Blogger Week Unconference panel sessions. (AFRO/Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman)“I just started writing for my blog and I wanted to connect and be inspired by the many young, Black women who participate,” said Nia Phillips, who, along with Linda Joseph, manages the blog Glamsavvylife. “When we create our own spaces and our own stories, we have a certain level of control that is often missing from mainstream media and popular culture.  That control is beautiful.”With Black women making up the majority of participants and facilitators, the blogging festival took on a tone of double-consciousness reminiscent of activist-publisher Ida B. Wells’ efforts to advocate for the race, and also for Black womanhood.“As Black women, too often we are overlooked or confined within stereotypical spaces, so it is great to be a part of a movement to bring our voices to the forefront, Joseph said.  “I think it is amazing to see so many Black women using blogging to express themselves and as a tool for engaging our communities.”Panel discussions included “Don’t Quit your Day Job, Yet: Building a Successful Blog While Maintaining a Full-time Gig,” “How Bloggers Can Help Each Other Drive Traffic,” and “Tap into Your Authentic Voice: Purposeful Blogging.”Bloggers Tyece Wilkins, Erica Nichole and Shefon Nachelle field questions presented by facilitator G.G. Renee Hill and audience members about increasing and maintaining a loyal blog following. (AFRO/Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman)Troy Johnson, founder of the African-American Literature Book Club (AALBC), encouraged bloggers to support each other’s efforts, noting an increase in writers of African descent with fewer platforms for reviews, discussions, or exchanging information about books.Finding the courage to present divergent narratives was a consistent theme within panel discussions presented at this year’s festival.  Many participants told the AFRO that creating a network of support for emerging talent, even as they learned new techniques and disciplines themselves, was key to the success of Black bloggers.“It was important for me to gain insight from people whose goals include trying to make better social media platforms, regardless of what stage the individual attendees find themselves,” said Buddah Desmond, who attended last year’s sessions as well.  “We’re finally taking advantage of this media in order to express our stories and tell our truths for our communities.  Particularly for younger people, it is a way of being heard and being seen without the filters or misinterpretations of others,” Desmond said.BlackBloggersConnect.com was launched in June 2011 as the brainchild of community relations guru Jessica Ann Mitchell to provide a social network specifically for Black bloggers to address issues within the Pan-African world.last_img read more

IABs NewFronts LA Edition to Feature Streamy Brand Awards for Advertising

first_imgWhen the Digital Content NewFronts West makes its debut this fall in L.A., it will include an additional element the content-pitchfest organizers hope will lure more attendees: the Streamy Brand Awards, recognizing branded content and digital-video advertising.The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the trade group that runs the NewFronts, has entered into a pact with Streamy Awards organizer Tubefilter to present the awards for digital brand advertising innovation at the L.A. NewFronts separately from the main Streamys event.The Streamy Brand Awards are scheduled to be given out at the end of the first day of NewFronts West, slated to run Oct. 9-10, 2018 at NeueHouse Hollywood. IAB announced plans for an L.A. version of the NewFronts after cutting the original New York series from two weeks to one this year. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Submissions for the Streamy Brand Awards (and the main Streamy Awards) are due by July 27. The fee for Streamy Brand Awards entries is $395 per submission through July 20, while the “last-chance deadline” fee is $495 per submission.The winners of the Streamys Brand Awards will be picked by a panel of industry execs (selected by the IAB and the Streamys) for six categories: branded content – video; branded content – series; emerging platform (e.g., advertising on new and emerging platforms like VR, voice and AI, podcasts, and social video platforms); influencer campaign; native video ad; and 6-second video ad.“We are doing this because we think it’s really important to showcase and recognize best-in-class marketing in video and other emerging arenas,” said Anna Bager, IAB’s EVP of industry initiatives. “We’re going to celebrate brands on stage.”NewFronts West is slated to include presentations by up to 16 digital-video content companies. IAB hasn’t announced any presenting partners yet, but Jukin Media (which backed out of this year’s NewFronts in NYC) has said it plans to be at the L.A. event.IAB created NewFronts West after getting feedback from members and agencies that they wanted more than a once-per-year confab, according to Bager. “We wanted to create a narrative that runs throughout the year,” she said. Plus, she added, “L.A. is the epicenter of content.”More info on the NewFronts West is at iab.com/newfronts-west. Submissions for all Streamy Awards categories, including the Streamy Brand Awards, are being accepted at streamys.org/submissions.center_img Popular on Variety last_img read more

September 2 2016The Living Theatre visited Arcosa

first_imgSeptember 2, 2016The Living Theatre visited Arcosanti on Monday to perform one of their most significant pieces -“Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism” – which has been described as a “visceral examination of the social contract between the governed and the government”. The Theatre arrived at 3 pm to perform a matinee in the North Vault before continuing on their national tour.[photo by planning intern Victor dos Santos, text by Sean-Paul VonAncken]The Arcosanti audience knew that the themes would be somber and hard-hitting, but nothing could quite prepare us for the earnest delivery, emotional precision, and unwavering authority of a truly relevant and revolutionary performance.[photo by Sue Kirsch]Seven Meditations awakens our civic senses, orienting us in relation to our oppressive governing structures and economy of alienation. It frames the human condition, confronting themes of violence, slavery (both ancient and contemporary), property, warfare, police brutality, and death in a 21st century context.[photo by Sue Kirsch]The piece was both activating and provocative. In the end, the group – bound in chains and in agonizing pain – asks how their pain can be remedied, how their chains can be removed, and how their minds can become truly free.[photo by Sue Kirsch]As an audience we rose to the occasion, jumping to the aid of the actors and embracing them, helping our fellow men and women to their feet. As a whole group we made a circle in the vaults and concluded with a powerful hymn.[photo by Sue Kirsch]We send out a huge thank you to the living theatre and wish them well along their tour. It was an honor to host their sentiments of revolution, awareness, and hope.[photo by Victor dos Santos]It is rare to witness a performance that confronts our most deeply embedded socio-economic concerns with such poignancy and realism.[photo by Sue Kirsch]last_img read more

Richmond City Council and state Rep Yaroch honor Dr McClellan for his

first_img25Oct Richmond City Council and state Rep. Yaroch honor Dr. McClellan for his 50 years of service on the Planning Commission Categories: News,Yaroch News Richmond Mayor Tim Rix presents the Richmond City Council resolution to Dr. Patrick McClellan.center_img Dr. Patrick McClellan, chair of the Richmond City Planning Commission was recently honored by the Richmond City Council and state Representative Jeff Yaroch.Yaroch presented a special tribute to planning commissioner, Dr. Patrick McClellan for his 50 years of service to the residents of Richmond.“Dr. Patrick McClellan has helped the city of Richmond for over 50 years on the planning commission,” said Yaroch, of Richmond. “This special tribute recognizes his loyalty and devotion to public service.”The City Council recently passed Resolution 2018 to recognize McClellan for his 50 years of service to the City of Richmond’s Planning Commission.  McClellan was appointed to the City of Richmond Planning Commission in March of 1968 and has served as the Chair of the Planning Commission since September of 1975.According to the resolution, Dr. McClellan, through his leadership on the Planning Commission, has played an important role in land use decisions in Richmond for the last half century which have had a great impact on the orderly growth and development of the community.  The City Council stated that Dr. McClellan not only played a vital role in the City of Richmond’s quality of life, but set an example for all citizens to follow through his service on the Commission.In addition to Resolution 2018-6, the City Council also named Dr. McClellan the City of Richmond Volunteer of the Year for 2018.  The award is given in memory of longtime community volunteer Doug Pentzien.  The Pentzien family provided funding to create the award, which will be given annually by the Richmond City Council.Dr. McClellan has a long history of volunteering in the City of Richmond.  He is currently active in the Richmond Area Historical & Genealogical Society and he and his wife Sandra volunteer with the Backpack Blessings program that provides food to families in need.  In addition to the many ways in which Dr. McClellan volunteers in the city, the City Council felt it was appropriate to name him as the first recipient of the award based on the number of years that Dr. McClellan and Doug Pentzien served together on the Planning Commission.###State Rep. Jeff Yaroch (right) presented a special tribute to Dr. Patrick McClellan for his 50 years of service on the planning commission.last_img read more

Dr ODea has a track record of creating strong w

first_imgDr. O’Dea has a track record of creating strong, well-financed companies built on high-quality projects and run by technical leaders. As President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Fronteer Gold (2001 to 2011), Dr. O’Dea grew the company from a $2-million start-up into a well-funded, high-profile, development-focused gold company acquired in 2011 by Newmont Mining Corp. for $2.3 billion. Over the past decade, Dr. O’Dea has raised more than $750 million through equity financings, equity investments and asset divestitures, providing strong returns to his shareholders and bringing financial strength and stability to his companies. Importantly, Dr. O’Dea and his team have a proven track record of discovery, having been integral in advancing and/or discovering five large gold and gold/copper deposits located in Nevada and Turkey and two world-class uranium deposits in Labrador. Dr. O’Dea is the Founder of Oxygen Capital Corp. and plays leadership roles in all Oxygen companies. He is the Founder and Chair of Pilot Gold, Executive Chair of Riverstone Resources,  and Founder and co-Chair of True North Nickel.  He was also Founder and CEO of Blue Gold Mining, which merged with Riverstone Resources in December 2012.last_img read more

•  Switching gears Brazil is in its worst recessi

first_img •  Switching gears, Brazil is in its worst recession in decades… The country’s economy is a total disaster… The national unemployment rate doubled from a record low of 4.3% last December to 8.6% in July. The São Paulo Stock Exchange has dropped 16% over the past twelve months. And the real, Brazil’s currency, has fallen 40% against the U.S. dollar over the past year. •  Brazil’s crumbling economy is even threatening the 2016 Summer Olympic Games… Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in 2009, when Brazil’s economy was in much better shape. Hosting the Olympics usually gives little, if any, long-term economic benefit to the host city. Many host cities actually lose money. Ultimately, the 2016 Summer Games will likely do more harm than good to Brazil’s battered economy. Right now the 2016 Summer Games are expected to cost $13.2 billion, according to Reuters. Last week, International Business Times reported that Brazilian tax dollars will likely fund 75-85% of the total cost. Despite all the taxpayer money being spent, the International Olympic Committee has called Rio’s preparations the “worst ever.” •  The upside is, Brazil’s beaten-down economy could be hiding excellent investing opportunities… Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Speculator, is closely following the situation in Brazil. In the latest issue of Crisis Speculator, Nick said Brazilian stocks are starting to look attractive: It’s adding up to a lovely train wreck. If it hasn’t actually hurt you, it’s time to think of the real’s woes as a gift…Brazil is right in the sweet spot…but it’s not quite time to jump in. Nick is watching from the sidelines until something sends investors running for cover: I’d like to see a messy event that drops Brazil’s troubles onto the front pages of first-world papers. Something that leaves investors singing, “They’ve got an awful lot of muck in Brazil.” Something that sets off the “Sell” alarm for anything Brazilian. Something with the emotional power of the Greek debt drama this summer or the Cypriot bank implosion in 2013. Then the markets will be begging us to pick up quality, consistently dividend-paying Brazilian companies on the ultra-cheap. Nick will let his readers know as soon as it’s time to bargain hunt in Brazil. You can hear about these opportunities first by subscribing to Crisis Speculator. You’ll also learn about other exciting investing opportunities popping up on Nick’s Value Radar, “a tool for pinpointing the richest crisis markets.” Click here to learn more and start your risk-free trial. Chart of the Day Brazilian stocks have tanked this year… Today’s chart shows the performance of iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) over the past year. This ETF tracks 85% of the Brazilian stock market. EWZ has fallen 47% since last October. Regular readers know crisis breeds opportunity…and Nick Giambruno says Brazilian stocks are starting to look attractive. According to Thomson Reuters, stocks on the São Paulo Index are trading at a price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of 10.7. These Brazilian stocks are also paying a 4.8% dividend yield. Meanwhile, stocks on the S&P 500 are trading at a PE ratio of 18.9. They’re yielding just 2.5%. Streaming LIVE From A Multi-Millionaire’s Secret “Bunker” In Delray Beach Few people get invited to Mark Ford’s secret, Delray “bunker”… It’s where he seals million dollar business deals. And writes New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books. But next week, he’s personally arranged a way for you to view a LIVE online wealth-training session in his Palm Beach “hideout”, pictured here. Not only that… Mark had our customer service team package up $100’s in digital wealth building resources and gifts. They’re ready to deliver them to your personal e-mail, for free. To accept your invitation and claim your FREE gifts now, click here. — Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida October 16, 2015 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. Ferrari thinks it’s worth $12 billion… The Italian luxury carmaker plans to hold its initial public offering (IPO) next Wednesday. An IPO is when a company sells shares to the public for the first time. Companies “go public” to raise money. In this case, Ferrari is hoping to raise around $900 million. Ferrari’s owners hope investors will value the company at around 11 billion euros ($12.4 billion). Last week, Bloomberg Business explained why Ferrari is seeking a rich valuation: Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, who’s also Ferrari’s chairman, has insisted for months that the brand should be valued as a luxury-goods maker, such as clothiers Prada SpA or Hermes International SCA, and not as an auto manufacturer. Those companies trade at over 20 times operating profit, more than twice the average valuation of carmakers. •  Ferrari hopes its IPO will go better than First Data Corp.’s IPO did yesterday… Global payment processing company First Data Corp. (FDC) went public on Thursday. It was the biggest IPO so far this year. The company originally hoped to raise $3.2 billion. It planned to price shares between $18 and $20. But First Data lowered its debut share price to $16 on Wednesday because of weak investor interest. Even with the lower share price, though, the IPO didn’t generate much excitement. The company’s stock closed Thursday down 1.6%, at $15.75. First Data isn’t the only big company to have problems with its IPO recently… On Wednesday, supermarket chain Albertsons postponed its IPO because of recent market volatility. The company was hoping to raise $2 billion. It would have been the year’s second-biggest IPO. Digicel Group Ltd., the biggest mobile provider in the Caribbean, also canceled its IPO last week. This is an ongoing trend. The number of IPOs in the U.S. is down 20% from last year, according to Renaissance Capital. The amount of cash raised is also down by 44%. Still, Ferrari is hoping for a better outcome. It likely wants to go public right now because, in general, investors are paying good money for shares of public companies. U.S. stocks are 49% more expensive than their historical average, according to a popular long-term valuation metric called CAPE. •  Speaking of Ferraris, Casey Research founder Doug Casey just went to Canada to buy one… E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, went along with him. E.B. explains why they went so far out of their way to buy a car: As you likely know, natural resources are in a historic bear market. This has caused a flight out of Canada’s currency, the loonie (aka the Canadian dollar). Canada is bringing in less money exporting natural resources. The loonie is at its lowest level in over a decade. So we thought this would be the perfect time to buy a Ferrari in Canada. But E.B. says the dealer refused to sell them a Ferrari: The F12berlinetta cost about $400,000… If we’d been able to buy it with U.S. dollars, it would have cost $320,000 out the door… But Carlo, the dealership owner, wouldn’t allow it. Doug says Ferrari dealers only want to sell to locals: There’s such demand for Ferraris—waiting lists dozens of people long—that the dealers only want to sell to people in the area, so they can buy them back and make a market in them. And perform the service on them, which is actually the most profitable part of the business. As for Ferrari’s upcoming IPO, Doug says the company’s owners are getting out at the right time: Ferrari is going to have an IPO on its stock soon. A smart move on their part—when the ducks are quacking, you should feed them. I wouldn’t touch it if your broker offers you some… Regular Casey readers know that Doug and E.B. travel a lot. This weekend, they’re at the Casey Summit at a luxury resort in Tucson, Arizona, along with multi-millionaire entrepreneur James Altucher, famous trend forecaster Gerald Celente, and other world-class investing experts. Unfortunately, it’s too late for you to jump on a plane and join them. But you can still get full access by pre-ordering the Summit Audio Collection…click here to learn more and lock in the special, discounted price.center_img – Goldsmith: Why I Work For Doug Casey Now—Eye-Opening Report from Former Stansberry Director Sean Goldsmith recently left Stansberry to work alongside one of the most influential economists in the world today, Doug Casey. There’s probably not another American alive today who has done as many international deals and learned as much about global economies, currencies, and the inner workings of foreign governments. “Now,” says Casey, “we’re on the cusp of a new and major crisis here in America, one that’s going to be much more severe, different, and longer lasting than what we saw in 2008 and 2009…” Goldsmith explains the full details here. Recommended Linkslast_img read more

When patients come to Dr Molly Quinn for infertil

first_imgWhen patients come to Dr. Molly Quinn for infertility treatments, they usually aren’t too interested in hearing about the possible downsides, she says. They just want to get pregnant.Still, she always discusses the risks. For example, there’s an increased likelihood of twins or triplets — which increases the chances of medical complications for both moms and babies. And stimulating the ovaries to ripen extra eggs can, in a small number of cases, cause the ovaries to rupture.Quinn, an infertility specialist and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles, now has a new hazard to consider. According to research published this month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, children conceived through certain infertility treatments may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Parents shouldn’t panic, the study’s authors say: The findings are preliminary, and the study cohort was fairly small. Still, they say, it means that families who used infertility treatments should be particularly vigilant about screening for high blood pressure in their children and help them avoid other cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.”Fertility clinics should really … counsel about potential risks for their kids,” says Dr. Urs Scherrer, a visiting professor at the University of Bern in Switzerland and a senior author of the study.Scherrer and his colleagues followed the health of children conceived through assisted reproductive technology for more than a decade. ART is an umbrella term that covers a number of different types of procedures, including in vitro fertilization, in which sperm and eggs are mixed in a lab dish, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which sperm are inserted directly into eggs. Today, roughly 2 percent of all births in the U.S are conceived via ART.In 2012, the same team of scientists published a major paper showing that 65 healthy kids born with the help of ART were more likely than their peers to have early signs of problematic blood vessels. The current study, comparing 54 of those original children with 43 age- and sex-matched peers, shows those early irregularities — signs of “premature vascular aging”, the scientists say — persist into adolescence and young adulthood.Kids in the study who were conceived via ART are now 16 years old, on average, but have blood vessels resembling those of middle-aged adults, the scientists found.And those differences seemed to be enough to boost the teens’ blood pressure. Everyone in the study underwent round-the-clock blood pressure monitoring for 24 hours, and the differences between a group conceived by ART and teens in the control group were significant. The ART group had markedly higher blood pressure; about 15 percent met the criteria for hypertension.The study adds to a small but growing body of research suggesting that children conceived this way may have an elevated risk of hypertension and its health complications.Scientists say they don’t yet know why that would be true, but they hypothesize that epigenetics — the interplay of environment and genes — plays a role. Something about the manipulation of the eggs and sperm in the lab might affect which genes are turned on or off as embryos develop.Medical specialists who study high blood pressure in kids called the research striking.”The fact that these kids already have abnormal vasculature is quite concerning,” says Dr. Joseph Flynn, a pediatrician who helped write the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines about blood pressure management. “I think the fact that they saw these changes at an early age and that they’re still persisting into adolescence is worrisome for these kids.”Still, he says, it’s unclear what the long-term effects on their cardiovascular health will be. Conception through ART, Flynn says, may confer the same amount of risk as, say, teenage smoking or alcohol use.Quinn says she would like to see more longitudinal research that tracks long-term consequences of infertility treatments.”We need to connect these kinds of studies,” she says. Such research can be more difficult to do in the United States, she notes, because there is no unified medical record, so it’s hard to track the babies who are conceived through ART.Still, she says, it’s important for all doctors working in the infertility field to acknowledge that the techniques they use are still evolving.”We appreciate that there is quite a bit unknown about we do on a day-to-day basis,” says Quinn. “We have to be humble.”For now, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every child over the age of 3 get a yearly blood pressure test at the doctor’s office — whether or not their parents underwent infertility treatments. Mara Gordon is a family physician in Washington, D.C., and a health and media fellow at NPR and Georgetown University School of Medicine. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Rural hospitals close when they dont have enough

first_imgRural hospitals close when they don’t have enough paying patients to care for, but they’re also dinged when the same patients show up over and over again. That puts outlying medical facilities in the precarious position of needing to avoid repeat customers.Charlotte Potts is the type of patient some hospitals try to avoid. She lives in Livingston, Tenn. — a town of 4,000, tucked between rolling hills of the Cumberland Plateau.”I’ve only had five heart attacks,” Potts says with a laugh. “I’ve had carotid artery surgery. Shall we go on? Just a few minor things.” She jokes that she’s “a walking stent.”The heart trouble has affected the way Potts deals with her health problems. She spends much of her day in a recliner in her apartment, tethered to a pulsing oxygen machine, and listening to the radio.Fortunately, her apartment sits within spitting distance of Livingston Regional Hospital — a 114-bed facility large enough to have a dedicated cardiac unit. But the hospital doesn’t want to see her every time her heart flutters.So last time she landed in the ER, they helped her connect with a few companies that could provide care at home.”If I’m going to have certain things going on here in my chest, I call for help, and they’re there,” Potts says of the home care team she chose.A new era in hospital managementThere were days when the hospital might have viewed a home health agency as a competitor. Not anymore.”When I started this almost 40 years ago, the mission was different,” says Tim McGill, CEO of Livingston Regional. “We wanted patients in the hospital. That was the incentive. We were paid for it. Now you’re not.”Hospitals used to run on a so-called fee-for-service model with virtually no limit to how many times they could see a patient. But, under pressure from private and government insurance programs, that model is transitioning to one in which hospitals are rewarded for safety and efficiency — which often results in a patient spending less time in the hospital.Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare began to ding hospitals if too many patients are readmitted to any hospital within 30 days of discharge. The measure is broadly unpopular with the hospital industry, since so much falls outside a hospital’s control. Medicare has even walked back the rules for safety-net facilities, which tend to treat a sicker population.The penalty is meant to encourage hospitals to get it right the first time. In Livingston, the hospital operates on the thinnest of margins — just 0.2 percent in the most recent figures. And “readmissions” have been a drag on the bottom line.One in five patients with heart failure was back within the month. The hospital has paid the maximum penalty in some years — nearly $200,000. So leaders started asking a basic, unifying question of other providers in town, McGill says: “What can we do together so they’ll stay out of the hospital and stay healthier in their home setting? That’s where the work is.”Collaborating instead of competingThe work took the form of quarterly lunch meetings at the local library.Mary Ann Stockton, a nurse at the hospital, invites all the home health agencies as well as hospice providers and the leaders of nursing homes.At one meeting, she applauds the other providers for increasingly meeting patients inside the hospital before they’re discharged. She says it helps patients and families accept these home health workers.”We know in our area, people don’t like to have a total stranger come into their home,” she says.The group brainstorms how to generate the same kind of acceptance for hospice care, which — as one doctor in the meeting puts it — some families view as assisted suicide.And on this day, the groups spends much of its time reviewing the value of flu shots, especially for the staff in nursing homes. Stockton says elderly patients with bad lungs become a hospital emergency room’s “frequent fliers.””Flu starts off, goes into pneumonia, COPD exacerbation — and they are a revolving door in our hospital,” Stockton says. “They’re hitting that ER a couple of times a week.”Advance directives are on the agenda for next time — another way to keep people near the end of life from becoming ER regulars.Livingston’s parent company, LifePoint Health, is launching this community approach in many of its 80-or-so markets, which are primarily in the Southeast and almost all rural. LifePoint vice president Cindy Chamness helps hospitals find willing partners.”We were very frustrated for many years,” Chamness says, “because we weren’t able to impact readmissions just working on it by ourselves, as a hospital.””Are we saving ourselves right out of business?”The solution looks different from one town to another. In Lake Havasu, Ariz., paramedics now visit discharged patients to make sure they’re following doctors’ orders. The house calls also cut down on government-funded ambulance rides.It’s not just rural hospitals — all hospitals can be penalized for readmissions now. And threatening the bottom line in that way does seem to be effective. Readmissions have been falling across the board, according to the latest research.But rural hospitals, which already treat fewer patients than urban hospitals, wonder if they’ll have enough patients to survive, says Michael Topchik of the Chartis Center for Rural Health.”[A] CEO from Montana said to me, ‘The problem is, when we do the right thing, are we saving ourselves right out of business?’ ” says Michael Topchik of the Chartis Center for Rural Health.The focus on cutting readmissions — by definition — cuts overall admissions too, he notes.”So, this is the real inherent tension and challenge: Hospitals get reimbursed for doing ‘sick care,’ ” Topchik says. “But more and more they’re being asked to do population health, and really focus on ‘wellness.’ “To make up the volume, the Livingston hospital is expanding its maternity ward and general surgery offerings.There is also some immediate financial upside to reducing readmissions: Livingston Regional has cut readmissions more than any other rural hospital in Tennessee and even the nation, according to data compiled by Chartis.As a result, the hospital’s Medicare penalty in the coming year will be reduced to 0.3 percent of its reimbursements — down from the maximum of 3 percent, which was roughly $200,000 a year.That’s all because patients like Charlotte Potts now can safely stay home.”I got a real bad tightness in the chest,” Potts recalls about a recent episode. She’d questioned whether to call an ambulance. “I was very uncertain about what was going on.”But she phoned her home health agency, took a nitroglycerin pill as the agency advised, and instead of going to the ER, was able to get back to sleep. Copyright 2018 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit Nashville Public Radio.last_img read more

Human rights campaigners have criticised plans for

first_imgHuman rights campaigners have criticised plans for an inquiry that will examine lessons from the deaths of people in mental distress in police custody, because they say the government already knows what action it needs to take.The call came from Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK), which has repeatedly raised concerns about the number of mental health service-users from the UK’s African-Caribbean community who have died in police custody, and has particularly criticised the dangerous and often fatal use of restraint on people with mental illness.The independent review of deaths and serious incidents in custody was announced in a speech in south London today (Thursday) by home secretary Theresa May.It will examine procedures and processes surrounding deaths and serious incidents in police custody, including the availability and effectiveness of mental healthcare facilities, the use of restraint and the training of officers.It will also “identify areas for improvement and develop recommendations to ensure appropriate, humane institutional treatment when such incidents occur”.But it will not reopen and reinvestigate past cases and will not “interfere” with ongoing inquests, investigations or Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) reviews.Matilda MacAttram, BMH UK’s director, said: “What is another inquiry going to do? They know the problems already.“The recommendations have been made in the hundreds. How many more recommendations do we need?”She added: “There is a sense of inquiry fatigue among many in Britain’s black communities as we have seen a raft of  inquiries with supposedly ‘hard hitting’ recommendations after almost every high-profile death of a black man in custody for the past 40 years – but nothing has changed.“What we need to see is justice, and what that looks like is ending the practice of using lethal levels of force with no accountability – do we need another inquiry to tell us that?”She said there were clear problems already identified within the criminal justice and mental health systems, such as police officers – often in riot gear – routinely entering psychiatric wards to restrain patients.And she pointed to a string of inquiries into the use of restraint that have been carried out by the police, the Department of Health, and the IPCC.She said the authorities had been “looking into it” for the last four decades, and that she would rather funding be spent providing community-based places of safety, crisis care or talking therapies.MacAttram said: “The people at the top know how the system works. An inquiry is like kicking something into the long grass for 12 months.”She said there were key measures the government could take instead of holding another inquiry.One is to ensure that the £15 million funding announced before the election to provide new health-based places of safety – to ensure people in mental distress are not kept in police custody – should be ring-fenced, or given direct to charities to resource community-based places of safety.MacAttram believes the new funding will otherwise disappear into the black hole of over-stretched local health budgets.She said: “Right now every provider has a health-based place of safety, but they are not staffed.”Another measure that could be taken is to outlaw the use of police officers on mental health wards, and instead to resource mental health services properly.And every time police officers are called onto a mental health ward, there should be an investigation by the IPCC, she said.Meanwhile, new IPCC figures show the number of deaths in or following police custody in England and Wales rose from 11 to 17 in 2014-15. Eight of the 17 people who died had mental health problems.There were also 69 apparent suicides following police custody, a fall of just one on 2013-14, but an increase of 30 since 2011-12.These figures – released on the same day as May’s speech – do not include deaths where police were called in to help medical staff to restrain individuals who were not under arrest.IPCC chair Dame Anne Owers said that IPCC investigations into deaths in or following police custody “have too often exposed the same issues”, such as inadequate risk assessments; token checks on a person in custody; insufficient handovers between custody staff; and a failure to recognise or properly deal with people with mental health concerns.last_img read more

A regulator failed to find a single nurse not fit

first_imgA regulator failed to find a single nurse “not fit to practise” despite more than 220 complaints about face-to-face disability benefit assessments carried out for government contractors, its own figures have revealed.The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) figures show it dealt with 224 complaints about the way nurses carried out personal independence payment (PIP) assessments and work capability assessments (WCAs) in 2016 and 2017.But not one of those complaints led to the regulator concluding the assessor was not fit to continue to work as a nurse.In 2016, of 88 complaints dealt with, 87 were closed in the initial “screening” process and one nurse was found to have “no case to answer”.The following year, of 136 complaints, 129 were closed in screening, four nurses were found to have no case to answer, while one led to the conclusion that the nurse’s fitness to practise was not impaired, and two complaints had not been concluded.Only two months ago, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) said it had found widespread mishandling by NMC of complaints it had received about the way nurses had carried out PIP assessments.PSA found a string of failings, including a refusal to consider all the concerns raised by complainants.It also found that NMC relied on the findings of government PIP contractors Atos and Capita to justify closing cases about their employees, and failed to consider crucial documentary evidence, often ignoring the evidence of the person who had lodged the complaint, and failing to ask them for further information.NMC also told some complainants that the role of PIP assessor was not relevant to the nurse’s fitness to practise, unless it involved dishonesty.The new figures suggest NMC’s problems extend to complaints about nurses who have carried out WCAs on behalf of the government contractor Maximus.Disability News Service (DNS) spent months investigating allegations of dishonesty by PIP assessors in late 2016 and throughout 2017, hearing eventually from more than 250 disabled people in less than a year about how they had been unfairly deprived of their benefits.It continues to receive such reports today, more than two-and-a-half years after the investigation began.NMC released the new figures under the Freedom of Information Act to Andrew Hill, from Norfolk, who has himself lodged a complaint with the regulator about the nurse who carried out his face-to-face PIP assessment in 2017 on behalf of Capita.An appeal tribunal found the nurse had been “unreliable” and that her “incorrect and inaccurate findings” about his mental health condition contributed to him having his benefits cut.Hill has diabetes, and has had one leg amputated, and has further serious diabetes-related impairments which are “fluctuating and unreliable” and have left him with significant support needs.He had asked for a reassessment of his PIP because his health had deteriorated and he had lost his partner and carer.But the nurse’s assessment instead led to him losing his PIP enhanced rate of mobility, as well as points on his daily living component – for which he had previously been granted the standard rate.A subsequent mandatory reconsideration of its initial decision by the Department for Work and Pensions restored him to the enhanced mobility rate of PIP but left his daily living component unaffected.An appeal tribunal last July allowed his appeal and confirmed his enhanced rate of mobility as well as awarding him the enhanced rate of PIP daily living for the first time.Meanwhile, he has lodged a complaint with Capita and the NMC about the nurse who assessed him.NMC is still investigating his complaint. Capita has not yet ruled on his complaint against the nurse.Matthew McClelland (pictured), NMC’s director of fitness to practise, said: “After the PSA published its report, we acknowledged that our approach to PIP-related cases fell short of what is expected. We didn’t get things right and I am sorry for that.“Since 2018, we have taken action to address these concerns. We have reviewed our processes, improved our quality checks, and enhanced management oversight of cases.”DNS has now asked for NMC’s 2018 figures through a freedom of information request. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more