Its nearly four years since Natasha Baker claimed

first_imgIt’s nearly four years since Natasha Baker claimed two gold medals at London 2012, but the “fantastic” memories she has of her home Paralympic Games means it feels to her as if it was only last year.And she says her preparations for next month’s dressage competition in Rio – she is competing again in three events, with her “special boy” Cabral, known as JP – could not have gone better.She told Disability News Service: “It’s been a really fantastic year. I have won every one of the selection competitions. It couldn’t have gone better.”And despite helping her win three golds in London, JP’s performance has even improved.“He’s going better now than he was in London, which is fantastic,” she says. “He seems softer, more connected.”She places much of the credit for this down to a change of trainer since London.She says: “Everything seems to kind of slot into place; we are in a really good place at the moment and I’m feeling really excited about it.”JP has flown before, when Baker visited the Middle East last year for a competition, and she also believes they are ready for any weather conditions that Rio might throw at them.She says: “He’s used to the heat, he actually goes far better in the heat than in the cold. So I feel pretty prepared.“We only ride outdoors at home, so if it pours down with rain I think we will be used to that as well.”As for her hopes from the games, she says: “Obviously, three medals would make me have a grin from ear to ear like a Cheshire cat, but with horses you just never know what can happen, especially when we are travelling halfway around the world.“To come home with some medals would just be amazing, [but] as long as I go out and do my best and he does his best I will be a happy girl.”But she warns that other countries are “catching us up. They are chasing us at quite a rapid pace so to go out there and contend for a gold medal would be amazing, and hopefully we can do enough to bring it home.”She is due to compete on 13, 15 and 16 September.Baker was one of the Paralympians who spoke out to DNS before London 2012 about the importance of disability living allowance (DLA) to her and other athletes, and who spoke of their fears that government spending cuts could jeopardise their independence and that of other disabled people.Since then, the hugely controversial process to reassess working-age DLA claimants for the new personal independence payment has begun, with tens of thousands of disabled people already having their support cut or removed completely.Four years on from London 2012, Baker has decided not to speak about the reassessment process.Asked how she had been affected, she says only: “Yes, I’m all sorted. No change.” She declines to comment further.Speaking before the revelations of the Rio 2016 organising committee’s funding crisis, she says London 2012 “really propelled Paralympic sport forward”, and hopes that the Rio games will “do that even more so”.And she says she was not put off by health concerns about the Zika virus. “I’m not planning on having children any time soon.“Obviously it can be a concern but we have been given the best possible advice by the BPA [the British Paralympic Association], and they are updating it constantly on what’s going on and the latest medical advice, so I know we are in safe hands.”last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA 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… The police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are facing questions over why an “utterly barbaric” campaign of violence and abuse directed at a disabled mum and daughter was not treated as disability hate crime.A family of four were jailed last week for a total of more than 46 years for imprisoning the two disabled women and treating them as slaves as they forced them to work in two flats in Coventry.The mother and daughter were repeatedly beaten, and had to eat dried pasta, while the younger woman was so hungry she resorted to eating scraps of food from a bin.The court heard that the family knew the two women had learning difficulties but treated them in an “utterly barbaric manner”, preventing them accessing their own home, and restricting their access to food, heating and their ability to clean themselves.But despite the apparent evidence of disability-related hostility, the offences were not treated in court as hate crimes, so no attempt was made to seek stricter sentences under section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act.The court had heard details of a campaign of bullying, intimidation and repeated violent assaults, led by ring-leader Jean Kelly.One of the two women was made to clean and carry out other chores at Kelly’s flat, while the other had to work at Kelly’s daughter’s flat in another part of Coventry. They were each paid one cigarette a day for their work.Jean Kelly was found guilty of two charges under the Modern Slavery Act (MSA), as well as offences of grievous bodily harm (GBH), actual bodily harm and conspiracy to falsely imprison, after a trial at Warwick Crown Court in September.Three other members of her family also received prison sentences, with her husband Michael jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to falsely imprison and GBH, their daughter Anastasia Hitt jailed for four-and-a-half years for conspiracy to falsely imprison and an MSA conspiracy charge, and her partner Ian Healy jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to falsely imprison and GBH.Media reports state that Jean Kelly, herself a wheelchair-user, assaulted one of the two women with a baseball bat she called “Bob”.She had previously been jailed for 18 months for pouring boiling water on her step-brother, who also had learning difficulties.The judge reportedly told Jean Kelly that her behaviour “demonstrates a sustained interest by you in taking advantage of those with learning difficulties and maltreating them”, while he said the other three members of the family had sought to exploit the pair for their own gain.But despite his comments, a CPS spokesman confirmed this week that prosecutors had not treated the offences as disability hate crimes.He said: “The CPS takes prosecution of all kinds of hate crime, including against disabled people, extremely seriously.“In order to prosecute a case as a hate crime there must be evidence the criminal actions are motivated by hostility towards the protected characteristic.“In this instance prosecutors felt the facts did not allow the case to be prosecuted as a hate crime but very serious charges were brought against the defendants who ultimately received prison sentences totalling almost 50 years.“Our thoughts are with the victims in this case and we hope the outcome offers them some comfort as they rebuild their lives.”West Midlands police refused this week to confirm its officers’ apparent failure to treat the offences as disability hate crimes, and why they failed to do so.The latest failure of the criminal justice system to recognise disability hate crime came just days after the CPS annual hate crime report showed that the number of disability hate crime cases referred to prosecutors by police forces in England and Wales plunged last year by nearly a quarter.The number of disability hate crime convictions also slumped, from 800 in 2016-17 to 564 in 2017-18 (a drop of 29.5 per cent).Earlier this month, a report by two watchdogs found that the work of police officers on more than half of the disability hate crime investigations examined across six sample police forces – not including West Midlands – had been found to be “unacceptable”.last_img read more

El Farolito soccer club wins its firstever National Premier Soccer League playoff

first_imgAfter racking up nine San Francisco Soccer Football League titles, El Farolito will attempt to do the same in a higher league Email Address Tags: el farolito • soccer Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% El Farolito this year jumped from the local semipro San Francisco Soccer Football League to the NPSL — an actual rung on the ladder of American professional soccer, three slots below Major League Soccer. In its first year at a higher level, the restaurant- and bar-affiliated club excelled, winning nine games and drawing five in the regular season. But for the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s contest, the outcome was in doubt. Both teams were at each other’s throats; El Farolito couldn’t land a cross, and Sonoma, to its credit, maintained its backline and pestered El Farolito in the midfield.The home side broke through in the 37th minute, when a shot from Arnhold Rivas hit the crossbar and ricocheted down into the goal. The score was contested by Sonoma, but ultimately given by the officials. This was the sole tally in the first half. The second half proved to be even scrappier. A number of fouls, hard hits and scuffles between the two teams culminated with a red card issued to El Farolito’s Ademar Rodriguez around 17 minutes in. Down a man for the remainder of the second half, El Farolito not only maintained its lead over Sonoma with just 10 players, but added a short-handed goal from Camilo Campos.El Farolito’s head coach and general manager Santiago Lopez said winning the club’s first playoff game was great, but came at a heavy price. Between Rodriguez’s mandatory suspension for the red card, and injuries incurred today, Lopez figures to be at least two starters down for the next match. But all the team can do is adapt and study film, he said.The El Farolito team was founded in 1985 and won nine championships on the city level; its impressive array of trophies is displayed at the Farolito Bar at 24th and Mission.The next playoff contest has yet to be scheduled, but will likely be next weekend.   Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter 0% In a do-or-die playoff match, El Farolito Soccer Club will live another day after defeating Sonoma County Sol FC Saturday in the opening match of the lengthy National Premier Soccer League playoffs. The San Francisco-based soccer (and burrito) dynasty managed to score two goals on its NorCal opponents, and kept the game moving — even while down a man in the last half of the game.The match kicked off at noon and was held at the Eisenhower-era Boxer Stadium in Balboa Park, next to the BART tracks; train noises occasionally overpowered the incessant yelling of the teams’ head coaches. last_img read more

THE Saints Girls Section has just passed a major m

first_imgTHE Saints Girls Section has just passed a major milestone by reaching its first birthday and pictured are just some of the Saints Girls with their birthday cake.From its Taster Day launch with Paul Sculthorpe and Boots, the team has steadily grown to now number 20 players, and is gaining in strength, month by month.Thanks, very much in part, to its dedicated band of volunteers.Training is based on games of skill and fitness, with contact (tackle) work done for those that want.By player demand, the number of sessions has increased from weekly to twice a week and always with a smile on their faces.Over the year, commitment from the girls has shown through as the Section has taken part in a number of festivals, both touch and contact.They have put the skills learned in training to good use, putting increasingly competent performances on show with each festival.Some of the girls have been pointed out by the RFL Talent spotters for the new Player Pathway scheme for Regional and National players – a cracking achievement considering the standard of girls rugby at some of the Yorkshire and Cumbrian clubs, as well as that in the North West area.Congratulations to all the Saints Girls, and the support team.Any girls wishing to play under 12s, 14s or 16s Saints Girls and in their famous red vee or just to get fit, enjoy training for rugby league and make new friends, then just come along on a Wednesday evening or Saturday morning to Thatto Heath Crusaders, Close St., Thatto Heath and ask for Geoff Alford.You can also e-mail info@thattoheathcrusaders.orglast_img read more

SAINTS will take on Wakefield Trinity Wildcats thi

first_imgSAINTS will take on Wakefield Trinity Wildcats this afternoon in Jon Wilkin’s Testimonial Match.The game kicks off at 3pm and tickets are priced at £20 adults and £10 concessions (Solarking South Stand allocated and unallocated), and £16/£8 for the Hattons Solicitors West Stand.Family ticket prices are £50 for two adults and two kids (seating) and £40 for two adults and two kids (standing).They are available from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or via the turnstiles.last_img

A brace from Tommy Makinson either side of the hal

first_imgA brace from Tommy Makinson either side of the half gave Justin Holbrook’s side hope after being 14-0 and 18-4 down.But the Warriors converted their chances to hand Saints their first derby win of the season.Wigan got off to a good start when Dan Sarginson crossed following Morgan Escare’s break after just four minutes.Both sides then had a try chalked off before James Roby went close in the 20th minute.More chances were to come for the home side but each followed a similar pattern – and Wigan duly punished that profligacy to increase their lead.Joe Greenwood did the damage again, finding a gap on the left hand side to give Gildart some space.The winger looked wrapped up but he found Sarginson on his outside for his second.John Bateman slipped out of tackles for 12-0 as the half came to a close but a piece of brilliance between Danny Richardson and Tommy Makinson as the hooter sounded gave Saints a lifeline.Richardson sent over a pinpoint kick to his winger who out-jumped Gildart, span around and put down in the corner.It went without saying that Saints needed to score first in the second half – so the last thing they needed was for Tom Davies to stretch out under some weak tackling to extend the Warriors’ lead.But Saints hit back with Makinson’s second.Attacking the right hand side LMS hit a pass at pace and produced a wonder offload, under pressure, for his winger.But after Saints lost the ball in Wigan’s 20, Oliver Gildart went the length of the field to take the lead out to 24-10.Sean O’Loughlin then scored after he caught a short pass – Williams converting – to hand Wigan the spoils.Match Summary:Saints: Tries: Makinson (2) Goals: Richardson (1 from 2)Warriors: Tries: Sarginson (2), Bateman, Davies, Gildart, O’Loughlin, Goals: Escare (0 from 2), Williams (3 from 4)Penalties Awarded: Saints: 5 Warriors: 4HT: 4-14 FT: 10-30REF: C. KendallATT: 14,061Teams:Saints: 23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 16. Luke Thompson, 9. James Roby, 14. Luke Douglas, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Zeb Taia, 15. Morgan Knowles. Subs: 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 20. Matty Lees 21. Jack Ashworth.Warriors: 20. Morgan Escare; 2. Tom Davies, 19. Willie Isa, 3. Dan Sarginson, 4. Oliver Gildart; 6. George Williams, 9. Thomas Leuluai; 25. Romain Navarrete, 7. Sam Powell, 10. Ben Flower, 40. Joe Greenwood, 14. John Bateman, 13. Sean OíLoughlin. Subs: 8. Tony Clubb, 15. Ryan Sutton, 30. Gabriel Hamlin, 35. Ollie Partington.last_img read more

40th annual Azalea Festival Boxing Tournament being held in Wilmington

first_img The tournament will be held over two days at the Wilmington Convention Center.Queen Azalea Beth Troutman and Miss North Carolina Victoria Huggins were on hand Saturday to cheer on the athletes. Two young boxers prepare for their match at the 2018 Azalea Festival Boxing Tournament (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For 40 years, boxers from around the country have converged on Wilmington during the Azalea Festival to compete. This weekend, the tradition is being renewed.Boxers in a wide variety of age groups and weight classes are stepping inside the squared circle to try to win an Azalea Festival champion’s belt.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Opera Wilmington offers behindthescenes look at new production

first_imgMichelle Lerch and her fellow cast members demonstrate a performance from Die Fledermaus (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It didn’t matter if you were an opera fan or a newcomer to the theatre, all were welcome to get a peek behind-the-scenes of Opera Wilmington’s newest production Saturday.Visitors were invited to check out the set, the costume shop and the rehearsal room. Some of the cast members even demonstrated a few of the performances that will be in this year’s production: Die Fledermaus.- Advertisement – Michelle Lerch is playing a maid named Adele in the opera. She hopes that Saturday’s event will spark an interest in some of the young people in attendance.“I think music is a really important part of children’s development,” Lerch said. “It opens up this creativity and I hope some of the kids see this and say, ‘wow, that’s something I can do one day and I hope I can get the training and go there and be an opera singer.”Those who attended also got to meet the winners of Opera Wilmington’s “Dress Your Dog Like A Bat” contest.Related Article: Arts Friendly Foundation to donate thousands to area arts non-profitsThere will be four performances of this year’s opera: July 20, 22, 27 and 29.last_img read more

Florence floods parts of Columbus Co left alone by Matthew

first_imgCOLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – Columbus County officials say the major flooding that has inundated the area since Hurricane Florence has affected areas that did not flood after Hurricane Matthew two years agoThe county also says there have been issues reaching everyone that needs help.- Advertisement – Tabor City, areas along the Lumber River, Fair Bluff, Lake Waccamaw, Boardman, Riegelwood and Delco have all experienced life-threatening flooding the county said in a news release. Evacuations have occurred in all of those areas.The US Coast Guard, the National Guard, Homeland Security and swift water rescue teams have assisted with evacuations and rescues, including 95 people rescued Saturday and 238 more Sunday.Drivers are reminded not to try and drive through floodwater or around barricades.Related Article: Damage to centuries-old Pender church worse than from MatthewThe following are the latest power outages for Columbus County.Duke Energy Total Customers: 16,544Total without power: 12,283last_img read more

All clear after noncredible bomb threat sent to Lower Cape Fear Hospice

first_imgLower Cape Fear Hospice (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington says they received a non-credible bomb threat from a foreign email address Thursday afternoon.According to Chief Marketing & Engagement Officer Craig Wagner, LCFH called 911 and law enforcement searched both facilities.- Advertisement – No suspicious devices were found and operations returned to normal, Wagner said.Authorities say bomb threats sent to dozens of schools, government buildings and other locations across the U.S. appear to be a hoax.last_img read more

OPERATION GRIDLOCK Latest list of road closures due to railroad repairs

first_img Here is a list of closures updated Wednesday afternoon:Henry Street–closed Jan. 21; still closedWestig–closed Jan. 22; still closedRelated Article: Lane closures start next week for section of MLK Parkway in WilmingtonCovil Avenue–closed Jan. 21; still closedForest Hills Dr–closed Jan. 22; still closedColonial Dr–closed Jan. 22; still closedWrightsville Ave–closed Jan. 22; still closed17th St no asphalt, plant down, to remain closedMarsteller St—closed Jan. 22; still closed13th St—closed Jan. 22; still closed12th St—closed Jan. 22; still closed10th St–closed Jan. 239th St–closed –closed Jan. 238th St–closed Jan. 237th St–closed Jan. 236th St–closed Jan. 235th St–closed Jan. 23Martin St–closed Jan. 234th St–closed Jan. 23 Road closures due to railroad crossing repairs by CSX on Jan. 22, 2019. (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Drivers in Wilmington continue to run into delays due to repairs at railroad crossings throughout the city.Get real-time traffic updates from Waze and the WWAY Operation Gridlock team- Advertisement – last_img read more

Three arrested five businesses closed in Bladen County illegal video gaming bust

first_img 1 of 5 Jewels Sweepstakes (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriffs Office) Steven Ray Lovin, Steven Mark Lovin, Cynthia Dawn Duncan (Photos: Bladen Co. Sheriff’s Office) BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A joint investigation between the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and NC Alcohol Law Enforcement into illegal video gambling operations throughout Bladen County has led to several businesses closing and three arrests.The investigation began after law enforcement receiving complaints from the community. According to a news release, agents conducted undercover video gaming plays where the cash payouts were received.- Advertisement – Klix 211 Arcade (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriffs Office) Alladin Sweepstakes (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriffs Office) 701 Sweepstakes (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriffs Office) At the conclusion of this investigation, on Thursday, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, and the Bladenboro Police Department executed a search warrants at Freddy’s on Elm in Clarkton, Klix 211 Arcade on Hwy 211 West in Bladenboro, 702 Sweepstakes on Hwy 701 North in Elizabethtown and Jewels Sweepstakes in Bladenboro. Freddys on Elm (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriffs Office) During the search warrants, over 300 illegal video gaming machines and $10,000.00 in cash.Agents also went to Aladdin Sweepstakes on 3rd Street in Dublin. Pursuant to an agreement with the Bladen County District Attorney’s Office and Jeffery Smith, owner of Aladdin Sweepstakes, this location will cease operations immediately and will not reopen  within Bladen County or anywhere else in the 13th Prosecutorial District, which is Bladen, Columbus, and Brunswick Counties.Related Article: Woman accused of driving drunk into cemetery, damages tombstones“This was a joint operation with ALE and Bladenboro Police Department,” said Sheriff James McVicker. “We have been working with our State Representative William Brisson and other legislators as well as the Attorney General’s Office to shut these illegal operations down for good. There is new, stronger legislation being introduced to address this issue and more clearly define what is and what is not allowed which will make enforcement much easier and strengthen the penalties. I appreciate all the help we received from our partners in this operation.”The following people were arrested:Steven Ray Lovin of Lumberton.Bond: $50,000.00 secureCharges: 2 counts of Gambling, 2 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 1 count of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 1 count of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 1 count of Operating Electronic SweepstakesSteven Mark Lovin of LumbertonBond: $100,000.00 unsecureCharges: 2 counts of Gambling, 2 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 1 count of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 1 count of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 1 count of Operating Electronic SweepstakesCynthia Dawn Duncan of ClarktonBond: $15,000.00 secureCharges: 3 counts of Gambling, 3 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 3 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 2 counts of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 4 counts of Operating Electronic SweepstakesThe following corporation was charged and multiple Criminal Summons’ were served on a member of the LLC.Name: Vapes Enterprises, LLCAddress: Raleigh, NCCharges: 3 counts of Gambling, 3 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 3 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 2 counts of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 4 counts of Operating Electronic SweepstakesThe following defendants have active warrants for their arrest and are currently wanted by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. If you know where they are, contact the Vice/Narcotics Unit at (910) 874-0656. All information will remain anonymous.Name: Daniel James StorieAddress: Mooresville, NCCharges: 3 counts of Gambling, 3 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 3 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 2 counts of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 4 counts of Operating Electronic SweepstakesName: Daniel Paul Storie of AsheboroCharges: 3 counts of Gambling, 3 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 3 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 2 counts of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 4 counts of Operating Electronic SweepstakesName: James Hubert Ross, Jr of BladenboroCharges: 2 counts of Gambling, 2 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 1 count of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 1 count of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 1 count of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 1 count of Operating Electronic SweepstakesAdditional arrests are anticipated.last_img read more

Three PA board resignations after court revocation of controversial permit

first_img SharePrint The minister responsible for the Planning Authority Ian Borg said, in a Facebook post that he had received three letters of resignation from PA board members Ivan Tabone, Matthew Pace and Perit Mariello Spiteri. He said that all three cited personal reasons. “It is not easy to serve in public posts and be exposed to criticism” wrote minister Borg. He added that in such appointments one should always be open to constructive criticism.Minister Borg described as unacceptable the harsh criticism levelled at ERA chairman Victor Axiaq for his endorsement of the loss of nigh on 50 tumoli of arable land and the death of 600 trees. He described the criticism as ‘attacks’. This project was put forward by Ian Borg’s ministry and the Environment regulator’s chairman voted in favour in spite of the massive negative impact which the project will have on the environment in an area of high landscape value.Read Also: We condemn vandalism; We worked to reduce Central link impact – ERAMeanwhile, Matthew Pace, one of the members who resigned was the lynch-pin in a recent court ruling which annulled the decision taken by the Planning Authority to approve a massive development on the ITS site in St George’s bay. The court took this stand because Pace had a manifest conflict of interest. Informed sources told Newsbook.com.mt that the db Group were even considering suing the PA for permitting the decision to be taken with such membership.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Rwanda Displaces Ghana On Fastest Broadband Speed Ranking In Africa

first_imgBased on millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net, the NetIndex compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe. Advertisement Based on millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net, the NetIndex compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe.Rwanda has displaced Ghana to become the country with the fastest broadband Internet speed in the continent, according to latest statistics from Ookla’s NetIndex.Ghana which ranked on top with the fastest broadband speed in Africa in March 2012 has now dropped to the 4th position in the ranking with broadband download speeds of up to 4.42 Mbps, down from 5.14 Mbps about six months ago.From the latest broadband speed results, Rwanda currently has download speeds of up to 7.28 Mbps from 3.28 Mbps six months ago, ranking it 65th in the world. The country is followed by Libya with 5.12 Mbps and Ethiopia with 4.82 Mbps. – Advertisement – Other African countries with the fastest broadband speeds include Kenya with 4.34 Mbps, currently ranked 5th in Africa, dropping from 2nd position six months ago; Morocco with 3.51 Mbps, ranked 8th in Africa; and South Africa with 3.31 Mbps, ranked 10th in Africa and 118th in the world.The table below shows a list of the top 10 African countries with the fastest broadband speeds as at October 2012.According to the the report, Hong Kong ranks number one in the world with 42.08 Mbps, followed by Japan with 37.13 Mbps and Lithuania in third position with 36.81 Mbps.Nigeria ranks 13th in Africa and 138th in the world with broadband download speeds of 2.73 Mbps and remains the second West African country with the fastest broadband speed after Ghana.Ookla is the global leader in broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications. Based on millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net, the NetIndex compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe.Top 10 Countries in AfricaAfrica RankCountryBroadband SpeedsGlobal Rank1Rwanda7.28Mbps652Libya5.12Mbps823Ethiopia4.82Mbps854Ghana4.42Mbps935Kenya4.34Mbps956Uganda3.73Mbps1087Angola3.54Mpbs1128Morocco3.51Mbps1139Namibia3.38Mbps11710South Africa3.31Mbps118Credit: Techloy. Data Source: Ooklalast_img read more

Facebook Acquires Atlas From Microsoft

first_imgAdvertisement The social network company said it hopes Atlas can help advertisers better measure their campaigns.Facebook announced today it has agreed to acquire Atlas Advertiser Suite from Microsoft, in a move that will hopefully help the social media network beef up its online-display advertisements.“We’re focused on improving marketers’ ability to measure how well their ads perform and believe this acquisition will allow marketers greater ability to measure the ROI of their ads for all their digital media spend. Ultimately, Atlas’s powerful platform, combined with Facebook partners Nielsen and Datalogix, will help advertisers compare their Facebook campaigns to the rest of their ad spend across the web on desktop and mobile,” a Facebook spokesperson said. – Advertisement – In a blog post announcing the move, the company said that the Atlas team will remain at its current base in Seattle. Atlas is used already by many Facebook advertisers and has been an approved partner for measurement since June, the company added.Credit: FastCompanylast_img read more

Interview Meet Done Deal The Ugandan Groupon

first_imgAdvertisement Iliana Björling Lindeberg, Founder of Donedeal.ugToday I had a very exciting interview with the Founder of Done Deal which I consider to be the Ugandan Groupon, I stumbled upon this startup at a tech event in Kampala and due to it’s unique offerings I thought it would be nice to have a chat with it’s Founder.I always want to start my interviews with a fun question, so if you were an animal what (animal) would you be and why?Ah, I would be a Lioness not a Lion because since I came to Africa I learnt about how the actual Lion is Lazy and the Lioness that does all the work and gets the food and then the Lion comes in and enjoys, haha but no I think I would be a Lion because my Zodiac sign is Leo and I definitely relate to being strong. – Advertisement – As a Founder, can you tell me a bit about yourself and may be your background?My name is Iliana and I come from Sweden and I first came to Uganda a bit more than a year and half ago. When I came here I was running the Global Business Labs as the Country Manager and I was here to setup that lab and to recruit startups and coach them and to make sure everything is running smoothly and when I was done, I was supposed to go back to Sweden but I was intrigued by the Ugandan market and Uganda as the country. My background is political science but I also started doing my masters in business management when I wasn’t really the traditional NGO type of person.What Motivated you to come into the startup business. Business development has always been a passion of mine. I have small ventures back at home and I was very intrigued by the market here. I could see how quickly it was moving and I have some good exposure of what is happening the online venture and what is done in other countries, I have seen the development in Europe and I can tell the development here is going the same way.I understand you have a startup called Done Deal, why do you think it’s right startup for Uganda and why did you start it?There is a lot happening in the eCommerce online and mobile sector in Uganda and in sub Saharan Africa, internet and smartphone  penetration are growing rapidly together with the middle income class although it’s a little to early to tap into it. You can see whats been done in different parts of the world and just bring them here. I did some research in the market and how much it would cost us to setup and some of the competition in the eCommerce and we come up with Done Deal which is based on the Groupon Model.How Does Done Deal Work?Done Deal gives you discounts on primarily services in Kampala, we negotiate with restaurants, cinemas, beauty Saloons, cleaning services you name it and our value proposition is to attract more customers to these places and if you give us  a deal with a really good discount you will attract customers who haven’t been to these place. For example you can get a 2 for 1 Burger deal at Piato restaurant when you visit our site, you go to check out and get voucher because you can’t be able to pay right now but we a integrating that and all you have to do now is show up to the restaurant with your voucher and you will receive your discount.How Do you benefit from doing this?Our revenue stream is commissions and we benefit from each deal that goes through our site and from recommending more people to our partners.How long have you been running this startup and what are some of the challenges you have faced? We have been in existence for 2 Months now, the main challenge we have had is the tech part of things, I have no tech background and it’s ridiculous how much have learnt through Google different issues like usability . but we have learnt a lo and we are now looking for a long term tech partner because this is really slowing us down because we don’t want to market a site that is not working very well but we are getting there. We are also ridding on the expert wave and that is people who have used similar systems and we still yet to go out and reach out to the local users and teach them how to use our systems and have them as early adopters.Some last words to our readers.Done Deal is a really amazing concept and some people think it’s too good to be true but we are really giving good  you discounts but my advise to the startups is that there is so much knowledge, team up with business people get out and meet your customer, don’t wait to build a product for 2 years only to find out that you were building the wrong product.last_img read more

Solvesting launches P2P lending platform in Kenya

first_imgAdvertisement A hybrid peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform,Solvesting  that connects local banks and microfinance institutions with accredited investors in a bid to solve the funding gap for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa has launched in Kenya.The platform describes itself as a hybrid crowdfunding-lending platform that adds a layer above local lenders to resell loans to retail and institutional investors via an online marketplace.Solvesting rates and screens loans using proprietary credit-risk assessment algorithms, while also providing currency hedging. Its goal is to connect retail and institutional investors from around the world to local financial institutions, providing a much-needed source of capital to SMEs in emerging markets. – Advertisement – Solvesting estimates there are 15 million underserved businesses in emerging markets across the world, suffering from a US$850 billion credit gap. Though its initial focus is on Kenya, the company plans to expand elsewhere relatively rapidly.“Considering the P2P lending space is spreading like wildfire, I believe our solution can not only provide strong financial return for the diversifying investor, but also address the much needed problem of lack of credit for SMEs in emerging markets,” Solvesting chief executive officer (CEO) Ron Ben-Chaim told Disrupt Africa.Solvesting was initially developed by Ben-Chaimas as a project while pursuing his MBA at the IE Business School in Madrid, hoping fund local clean-tech ventures in Africa. He said he realised during his research that there was a “massive” hole in the availability of credit for SMEs in Africa. This prompted the redevelopment of the platform.Although there are several competing P2p lending platforms in Africa, most of them are “pure” P2P lending, meaning they connect lender to borrower, as opposed to Solvesting, which works with local financial institutions.Ben-Chaim said Solvesting has already set up a network of highly respected local financial institutions, while it has also developed proprietary technology for its credit risk assessment algorithms. It has also generated lender traction for the first batch of loans through the platform.The company takes a three-four per cent management fee on the principle of the loans issues through the platform, and hopes to reach between US$1 million and US$2 million in loans issued by the end of 2015.Via Distrupt-Africalast_img read more

Instagram is now adding a translate button to the app

first_imgImage credit; google Advertisement Following its parent company Facebook, Instagram is now adding a translation button. Through a post on the image-sharing app, the company announced that within a month, users will be able to translate image captions, comments, and profile bios using a new translate button.It should also be noted that  Photo and video sharing Social network  recently announced that it now has over 500 million users and of these 300 million use the service daily so this addition will be widely embracedWhen you come across a post you want to translate into a language that isn’t your default language, you can hit the “See Translation” button to convert it into the language you’ve chosen in your profile’s language settings. – Advertisement – However this does not mean that  Instagram will support or detect all languages but this is no different to other services out there. The company does explain on its Help website that if a translation isn’t showing up, it might be because the app doesn’t currently support that language or couldn’t detect the initial language being used.last_img read more

West Ham v Liverpool 4pm SKY

first_img[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ll runs comes to an end, eventually.Even for Bayern Munich. Their 53-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga came to an end at mid-table Augsburg on Saturday.Liverpool are no where near that streak but are now on an incredible run of eight straight wins in the Premier League and face West Ham at Upton Park (4pm, SKY) in what could prove a great few hours for football on Merseyside with Everton brushing aside Arsenal in the vital battle for fourth place.The odds say it should be another win for Liverpool and they sent the Hammers home, unhappy, after a 4-1 triumph in the reverse fixture in December.HEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Max last 10 only)Dec 2013 Premier Liverpool 4-1 West HamApr 2013 Premier Liverpool 0-0 West HamDec 2012 Premier West Ham 2-3 LiverpoolFeb 2011 Premier West Ham 3-1 LiverpoolNov 2010 Premier Liverpool 3-0 West HamApr 2010 Premier Liverpool 3-0 West HamSep 2009 Premier West Ham 2-3 LiverpoolMay 2009 Premier West Ham 0-3 LiverpoolDec 2008 Premier Liverpool 0-0 West HamMar 2008 Premier Liverpool 4-0 West HamLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no new fitness concerns and will be fully expecting another three points given that West Ham have only won two of their previous 21 meetings with Liverpool in the Premier League.34 points separate them in the table – and West Ham looked to have done enough to secure their own safety with a vitally important 2-1 win over Sunderland.The odds are a little insulting to West Ham and the fact we can still get 2/1 with a goal start on the three way handicap appeals for small stakes.RECOMMENDED BET (scale of 1-10 points)5 points win WEST HAM (+1 GOAL) on the three-way handicap at around 2/1 with Star Sports RUNNING RETURN (APRIL): PROFIT 39.08 POINTSRUNNING RETURN (YEAR): LOSS 51.20 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Thursday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Thursday 8 JanuaryRACING1.10 CatterickMasterplan 9/2 > 5/23.30 LeicesterEspero 5/1 > 100/30 Lost In New York 9/1 > 5/13.55 MeydanSpeed Hawk 13/2 > 9/2 Caspian Prince 10/1 > 15/25.05 MeydanTrue Story 9/4 > 7/4What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img