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… A police force has admitted passing video footage and other information about disabled anti-fracking protesters to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Disability News Service (DNS) reported last week that forces including Lancashire police had been accused of repeatedly targeting and assaulting disabled people involved in peaceful anti-fracking protests.Many of the allegations concern the policing of peaceful protests about the drilling activities of the energy company Cuadrilla near Preston New Road, on the edge of Blackpool.But DNS has also spoken to disabled protesters who say Lancashire police has passed information about their involvement in the protests to DWP, in an apparent attempt to have their disability benefits removed.Lancashire police this week confirmed to DNS that it had passed on information and footage of disabled protesters at Preston New Road to DWP.Despite this admission, DWP would only say that it had no “formal arrangement” with any police force to pass it information about disabled protesters, and it refused to say if the department had received material from Lancashire police.Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green party, and John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, have described the police force’s actions as “shocking” and “unacceptable”.Nick Sheldrick, a wheelchair-user with a spinal cord injury, was astonished to be called in for a reassessment of his industrial injuries disablement benefit just two months after he began attending protests at Preston New Road early last year.Sheldrick, who used to work in the merchant navy and was injured while working on a ship, had received a lifetime award and said his doctor could not understand why he had been sent in for a reassessment.He said: “The doctor wrote on his notes that I shouldn’t need to be assessed again because spinal cord injuries do not repair themselves.”He said he had heard of “quite a few” fellow protesters who had been called in for benefit assessments.Another of the Preston New Road protesters, a disabled woman with a fluctuating condition, had her Motability vehicle removed after her claim was suspended by DWP.She is being told to repay months of disability living allowance and now faces the possibility of court action.She was told that police had sent footage of her at a protest to DWP, and she was even told by a police officer who stopped her while she was driving to a protest in her Motability vehicle that they were “duty bound to tell Motability that you’re using your car for illegal purposes”.She later received a letter from DWP saying that her claim had been suspended, which led to her losing her car, and she was then interviewed under caution and ordered to pay back £6,000 to DWP, while a file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.She was asked in the interview about footage that showed her walking a few steps forward and then a few steps back, and about being seen leaning on a bicycle as she walked up a hill.She said: “What they were saying was absolute rubbish. Where are the photos of me falling over, me sleeping for 12 to 16 hours?“To get people on benefits they take your benefits away. It’s to stop us from protesting, it’s to deny us our rights from protesting, that’s what it’s about.”Another disabled eyewitness who has spent time at the Preston New Road site and knows this protester said this week: “I weigh up how I am going to spend the energy that is available to me that week and my capacity for [coping with] pain.“It is a conversation that she and I have had about how we both – for any activity we do – will either spend time resting up in preparation to be able to do it or resting up to recover from it and to cope with the pain that has been caused.“Police and DWP are trying to curtail people’s human rights by trying to stop them protesting.“They are making me worry every time I go out to somewhere like that that it is going to cost me my ability to pay my rent, because they are going to say, ‘If you are able to stand at the gates, you should be able to do a full year’s work.’”But she said that she and others make this decision to stand at the gates in pain “knowing it is going to cost [us] a lot of exhaustion later”.She added: “Just because I can do something for a few hours a week does not mean I have the same ability as somebody else who is not disabled.”Bartley, who has visited Preston New Road and spoke to Disability News Service before the police admitted passing the data to DWP, said if it was true that information had been given to DWP about protesters who claim disability benefits it was “absolutely shocking”.He said: “The police and DWP need to come clean and make clear if this is happening.“There needs to be full disclosure if this is the case. That would be an underhand tactic with dreadful consequences. It would clearly be unjust.“It is absolutely shocking if this is happening. It should not be happening.”He added: “Disabled people have as much right to be protesting in their own way as anybody else and in fact more right because we know when things go wrong [with fracking], the impact on local communities and the impact on air quality and of course the wider impact of climate change, it is always those who are most vulnerable who suffer the most and they have more right than anyone else to be there making their voices heard.”McDonnell, who has also visited protesters at Preston New Road, says in a film about the targeting of anti-fracking protesters, produced for Netpol by Gathering Place Films, that the passing of such information to DWP by police was “unacceptable”.He says in the film: “Does this mean disabled people can’t protest? That’s ridiculous.“What we need to do is expose this. We can’t have the targeting of an individual just because they are a peaceful protester.“This idea that just because you’re on disability benefits you can’t actually engage in the rest of society, that’s unacceptable.”Despite McDonnell’s concerns, the police and crime commissioner for Lancashire, Labour’s Clive Grunshaw, defended the force’s tactics and said: “If police have any information to suggest that fraud or any other crime is being committed, they understandably have a duty to do something about it.”Asked what arrangements DWP had with forces policing protests such as the one in Preston New Road to pass on information about the activities of disabled protesters, a DWP spokeswoman said: “There is no formal arrangement in place between DWP and any police force for this or other similar scenarios.”When asked whether that meant that DWP had not received any information or footage from Lancashire police, she refused to comment further.She also refused to say whether DWP accepted that disabled protesters claiming disability benefits had a right to protest.But a Lancashire police spokesman said: “The DWP are a partner agency and where we have information to suggest that fraud may be being committed we have a duty to pass that on, including video footage if we have it.“Do we accept that people with disabilities have a right to protest? Yes, of course we do.“Are we concerned that by passing on information we are setting a dangerous precedent? No we are not.“We will, of course, facilitate the right of anyone to protest lawfully.”Another force spokesman later confirmed that Lancashire police had passed on information and video footage from Preston New Road to DWP, and he said the force had “a duty” to do so.He denied that this was setting a dangerous precedent that was likely to deter other disabled people from exercising their right to protest, and said: “I don’t think there’s any concerns from our end.“Ultimately, if there are people that are found to be claiming benefits down at the site there’s obviously an issue there.”When asked if this meant the force believed people claiming disability benefits should not be allowed to take part in protests, he said: “It’s obviously a case by case basis really, what the benefits are being claimed for in terms of their position down at the site.“That’s a decision for the DWP anyway. We have passed that information on, they will make a decision, an informed decision on the back of that.”Picture by Green party of Bartley (second from left) talking to protesters at Preston New Roadlast_img read more

ENGLAND Knights coach Kieron Purtill has named a 1

first_imgENGLAND Knights coach Kieron Purtill has named a 19-man squad to compete in this autumn’s Alitalia Cup.The competition will see the Knights travel to take on Ireland in Belfast on Saturday October 20 (6.00pm) before facing Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday October 28 (2.00pm).The squad features a dozen players who have graduated from the England Academy ranks in recent years, including South Sydney’s George Burgess who teams up with brother Tom Burgess as part of a Knights squad captained by Hull FC hooker Danny Haughton.“I’m extremely happy with the squad I have available to me,” said England Knights coach Kieron Purtill. “The players in this side just highlight the strength and depth of talent we have coming through the ranks and there are some very exciting players involved.“The Alitalia Cup gives these players a chance to showcase their talent and put themselves in the frame for World Cup contention and with so many of the squad having been involved in with the England Academy previously, it shows that the pathway between the junior and senior side is working.”Having led the Knights to two consecutive victories over France and Cumbria in their debut outings last season, Purtill is keen to ensure that they keep their unblemished competitive record intact.“We put pressure on ourselves to perform and we want to be successful as a group,” he said. “We got off to a good start last year but our upcoming games present very different challenges as it will be the first time these players have travelled as a group and that brings its own challenges.“But we’re all relishing the task ahead. We have to work hard to get the squad blended together before we begin the tournament but we’re all working towards a common goal of winning and showcasing our talent and I’m confident we can do that.”England Knights Squad:Jodie Broughton, George Burgess, Tom Burgess, Daryl Clark, Chris Clarkson, Mike Cooper, Kieran Dixon, Greg Eden, Rhys Evans, Luke Gale, Danny Houghton, Jack Hughes, Ben Jones-Bishop, Michael Lawrence, Shaun Lunt, Chris Riley, Dan Sarginson, Scott Taylor, Jordan Turner.last_img read more

SAINTS Francis Meli is expecting a desperate Sa

first_imgSAINTS’ Francis Meli is expecting a “desperate” Salford when the two sides meet this Friday.The Samoan winger says the City Reds will want to record another win as soon as possible to kick start their season.“Salford will be desperate to win,” he said, “but we wanted to back up the performance against Warrington at home to Wakefield. Now we need to be stringing games together to be a threat later in the season. It will be a tough match.”Meli’s fine performance against Wakefield was one of the key reasons Saints broke their home duck last Friday as he starred in a 52-18 win.Alongside Willie Manu and Jordan Turner, he terrorised the Wildcats’ left hand side.“It’s always nice to win at home – and let’s be honest you should be winning the majority of your home games,” Meli continued. “Saints fans are an honest bunch and it was good to repay them with a decent win.“The left hand side has had more ball in the last couple of weeks and we have to make the most of it. I am used to adjusting to different centre partners and understanding the personnel inside you is what pre-season is about. You understand who does what as different players will ofer something different.“In tight games when the heat is on you have to know what they are going to do. Whoever plays though, we are confident.”last_img read more


first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — BBQ, mazes, and the Veterans Day Parade in Downtown Wilmington!  Good Morning Carolina meteorologist Stephanie Waldref has some weekend ideas for you in What’s Happening.“What’s Happening” airs every Thursday at 5:30 on your home for positive stories, Good Evening Wilmington.last_img

Free dump week at Brunswick County landfill

first_img Metal, tires, electronics, latex paint, and yard debris can be disposed but must be placed in their designated area.The only thing that is needed is proof of residency or property ownership.The last day you can drop off items is April 21.Related Article: Brunswick County Free Dump Week is here BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — If you have some larger things that you need to get rid of in Brunswick County you’re in luck!This week is one of two annual “free dump weeks” that the Brunswick County Solid Waste department hosts. This means residents and property owners can get rid of any items except for household trash and hazardous waste at the landfill completely free of charge.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Health Services offering flu vaccines as 201819 flu season approaches

first_imgBrunswick County Health Services will begin offering flu vaccines on Oct. 1. (Photo: Brunswick County) BOLIVIA, NC (Press Release) — Brunswick County Health Services will begin offering flu vaccines on Monday. Nurses will also be administering flu shots at Brunswick County Schools and various locations throughout the community this season.It is estimated that each year approximately 5 percent to 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu, and more than 200,000 individuals are hospitalized for flu-related complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone six months of age and older. Children younger than five years old and adults 65 years old or older, pregnant women, and people with underlying medical conditions are all at increased risk of severe illness or complications from the flu.- Advertisement – The single best way to help prevent vaccine preventable diseases is to get vaccinated. To help prevent the spread of influenza and other viruses, everyone should cover his or her nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and promptly dispose of the tissue in a trash can. If tissues are not available, people should cough or sneeze into their upper sleeves, instead of their bare hands. Hands should be washed frequently with warm, soapy water for 10-15 seconds, or cleaned with hand sanitizer when water is not available. Household areas should be cleaned with household detergents, such as bleach or alcohol when appropriate, to keep them sanitized. Avoiding crowds, limiting travel and working from home when possible can all also help prevent the spread of illness.“It’s the most important thing you can do to protect both yourself and your family from the flu,” said Health and Human Services Executive Director David Stanley.The flu shot clinic will begin on Oct. 1 at Brunswick County Health Services Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until noon and 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. No appointment is needed. Regular flu shots are $40 while the high-dose vaccine, recommended for people 65 years old or older, is $59.  Health Services accepts cash, checks, credit cards, Medicaid, Medicare, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Medcost, Tricare and United Healthcare.Related Article: Walmart deploys mobile pharmacy to BurgawVaccines will be administered to students at Brunswick County Schools on selected dates. Parents must complete permission forms before the vaccination can be given.For more information, contact Health Services at 910-253-2250.last_img read more

Wilmington church receives donations after Hurricane Florence tries to repay favor

first_img “So of course we called down there. And St. Augustine is on the other side of Florida, so they didn’t need assistance. But we do have other churches, and we know of other people and churches in Tallahassee and of course Panama City, who were hit very hard. So we’re in contact with those congregations to see if they need help,” said Pastor John McLaughlin.McLaughlin says if their affiliates need help they are more than happy to help. Click here to donate to the church’s hurricane relief fund. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Churches from across the Southeast are pitching in to help each other recover after not one, but two devastating hurricanes. A church in St. Augustine, FL airlifted food to Saint Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church in Wilmington after Hurricane Florence left the church’s food bank nearly empty.Now, the pastor of Saint Jude’s says they are trying to repay the favor by reaching out to their affiliate churches in Florida who were hit by Hurricane Michael.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Celebrity ghost hunters visit Battleship North Carolina

first_img Later Saturday night, the team held a ghost hunt aboard the ship.“They get to ask them questions. They watch the shows and they want to know, ‘What’s it like to be on T.V.? What’s the scariest location they’ve ever been to? Have they been here before? What are their best ghost hunting techniques?’ They’re going to be here tonight with the guys and then after that, we’re going to shut off all the lights and do some ghost hunting,” said Chad Morin, the owner of Ghost Hunt Weekends.Morin says they hope to come back to Wilmington for another event this year. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Local thrill seekers had their own chance to do some ghost hunting Saturday at the Battleship North Carolina, joined by some very special ghost hunters.The Ghost Hunt Weekend team held a special meet and greet event for fans in the Wilmington area. Fans got to meet famous ghost hunters, including Steve Gonsalves from the SyFy channel’s “Ghost Hunters.”- Advertisement – last_img read more

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of DDay at USS North Carolina event

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Thursday marks the anniversary of a day that changed history. D-Day commemorates the day allied forces launched the beach invasion of Normandy, France during WWII.Author and Military Historian Capt. Wilbur Jones sat down with WWAY’s Donna Gregory to talk about the U.S. Navy at the Normandy D-Day Invasion – June 6, 1944 event on Saturday, June 8.last_img

18yearold severely injured on construction site in Żejtun

first_img <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> WhatsApp SharePrintcenter_img An 18-year-old was grievously injured after he fell from a high place in a construction site in Żejtun. In a press release, the Police stated that the Syrian man was working on a construction site in Triq Kanonku Giovanni De Domenico in Żejtun at around 7pm.The young man was transported to Mater Dei Hospital for medical assistance. last_img read more