7 Nov

QLD JUNIOR READY FOR SCHOOL SPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS

first_imgPETE’S PLAYGROUND Football commentators used to say that Wally Lewis knew every blade of grass on Lang Park. His consistent knack of terrorising opposition defences with uncanny kicks that would take outrageous bounces and turns confirmed the belief that only a ‘King’ knowing every inch of his kingdom could conjure such magic. Just as Lang Park was the `King’s’ backyard, thirteen-year-old Surfers Paradise student Peter Norman has a similar affinity with Owen Park Southport, the home of Gold Coast touch. When Peter Norman runs out as a member of the Queensland U 15 Schoolboys team next Tuesday in the opening round of fixtures in the School Sport Australia Combined Touch Tournament, The Southport School (TSS) Year Eight student will be relying on more than just a little knowledge of the hometown surface. The son of former Australian Open Touch Representative Greg, and ATA Hall of Fame member and current Australian Open Women’s Coach, Kerry Norman, Peter has spent more night’s at Owen Park than most of us have had hot dinners. For the Touch community, the familiar sight of the baby blonde tyro riding his tricycle around Owen Park, resplendent in a fluorescent yellow Tigers Touch club jersey was confirmation you were at the home of Touch on the Coast in the early `90’s. Greg and Kerry, who have always been heavily involved in playing, coaching, refereeing, and administration, would dress Peter in the fluoro shirt, so he’d be easy to keep an eye on. Wednesday night touch at the Coast wasn’t the same until you heard Gold Coast Administrator Henry Lesniewski over the PA system making his weekly impassioned plea for “Peter Norman to please come to the canteen, your parents want to go home.” Everyone would laugh and Pete would amble in eventually, usually with a sheepish grin, mostly with his shirt now fluoro dirt and minus the shoes, often with the remains of a banana paddle pop on his face, and always with a thousand stories to share about his adventures in `Pete’s Playground’, the biggest backyard in the world that seemed to belong to him. Peter was inspired by the speed, fun, and skills on display and took up the challenge of playing by beginning in the Gold Coast junior competition with a bunch of friends when he was five years old. He has grown quickly from a small boy climbing trees and playing with his `brother’ (his Bart Simpson doll, who incidentally, still covets the top bunk in Pete’s room) riding skateboards and clocking the asteroids machine in the Gold Coast club house, to a young man who is considered by many to be one of the brightest young talents in our sport. In a short time, Peter impressed his early coaches as a player with great vision, good basics, and excellent commitment in defence. With those sorts of credentials it wasn’t long before representative touch would call his name. Firstly at South Coast schoolboy level, and for Gold Coast in the QTA Junior State Cup team. Peter represented Qld at Primary school level for three successive years from 2001-2003, firstly as a ten year old, then captaining the team last year in his final year at Primary school. Previously, only one Queensland Schoolboy Touch player, former Qld Rugby League State of Origin star, PJ Marsh has been successful in gaining selection in the Qld U 15 Schoolboys Touch team straight out of Primary school… That was until Peter Norman came along. He produced such a mature and outstanding display at the Qld U15 Secondary championships in Ipswich in June that Coach Danny Parker and selectors had no choice but to pitch the Gold Coast Falcons Division One player into the State U 15 Schoolboys team for the Schools Sport Australia Combined Touch Tournament. The hard working middle has no reservation in saying his selection in the U 15 State team is the best moment of his short career “It’s pretty awesome, no way was I expecting to be selected. There are so many good players in the Qld team, I’m just happy to be there” the typically modest Norman added. “The PJ Marsh thing is pretty special, but it won’t mean much if I don’t get out there and do my job for the team.” Norman believes a training camp in the recent September holidays went a long way to bonding the team and sorting out a running style of touch that will prove to be fun to play and execute. He believes the calibre of players in the Qld side under the shrewd coaching of Dan Parker will allow the Queenslanders to mount a strong charge for the National crown against arch enemies and defending champions NSW. Both his parents have coached Peter at various stages of his career and in various teams, though they try to avoid the scenario as much as possible to allow Peter to experience other coaching ideas and skills and to enable him to make his own pathway in the sport. “Occasionally, we’d have a few bumps, more so when he was younger, he would think that that’s Mum or Dad talking, not the coach, and he’d react like a son, not a player, and we had to bring him into line a few times…maybe you are harder on your own kids as well, and that’s probably been tough for him on occasion,” Greg said. Greg recalls refereeing Pete in his early days, when both Kerry and himself would send their son for substitutions because he would argue with their calls. Kerry believes Pete is a good student of the game and has been impressed with his willingness to listen and apply new knowledge from his coaches and mentors of late. “He’s learnt plenty from Danny already and Corey Foster has been fantastic for him at Falcons, taking him under his wing and helping bring him along – Pete just respect him so much.” “It’s good because he can play with the Division One players at the Coast Wednesday, then still go up and play with his mates in the BMTA junior competition Thursday night and really have fun still.” Peter is also very appreciative of the guidance his parents have given him and reckons he inherited his Mum’s talk on the field and good defensive skills, and his Dad’s flamboyance in attack. “They’ve been good, not pushy or anything – they just say try your hardest, listen to the coach, have fun and be a good team man.” Greg jokingly offered that each parent contributed the following to Peter’s development, “Peter received good looks from his Dad and his temper from his Mum…” “Kerry’s brain and speed, and from me – creativeness in attack,” he was quick to add. Both parents have been fully supportive of Peter’s Touch career, but not to the exclusion of anything else. Greg believes giving Peter the opportunity to experience a wide variety of activities has been a big factor in the balanced approach Peter has towards life. He is a budding beach flags champion and trains on the sand to help his speed and technique. At school this year he performed with distinction in Cross Country, Athletics, and Swimming, and was awarded Best Back for Rugby in the U13 age division. Being a Coast kid, `Normo’ as his mates call him, loves body boarding and spends a lot of time with the boys from Touch and school at the beach or kicking back at the movies. Oh, and did I mention that he made the Dean’s list at TSS for academic excellence? Typically modest, I had to dig deeper than Damian Martyn on a dodgy pitch at Chennai, to get that piece of information out of him. So next Tuesday, when the Queenslanders run out onto the Owen Park fields in the U 15 Boys, look for Peter Norman- he’s not wearing fluoro yellow anymore, but he’ll be sporting the # 3 on his Maroon back, a tribute to his Touch hero Corey Foster, and hopefully he’ll keep his shoes on long enough to have his name over the PA system for giving defenders the slip in the race to the scoreline, not his parents. Games at the School Sport Australia Combined Touch Tournament will be played in two age divisions U 12 and U 15 Girls and Boys respectively, featuring State teams from all over Australia from Tuesday 26th October at Owen Park through to finals day on Saturday 30th October. Written by Karley Banks, SQBD Development Officer, 19th October 2004last_img
17 Oct

Statistics Canada unfounded change drives up crime numbers in Surrey BC

first_imgSURREY, B.C. — Mounties say a significant increase in violent crime in the first quarter of 2019 in Surrey, B.C., is partly due to a new Statistics Canada reporting requirement, and the change is likely to affect police data across the country.The federal agency announced revisions to its Uniform Crime Reporting Survey last year, following national media attention and police reviews of the use of the “unfounded” designation for sexual assaults.The changes took effect Jan. 1 and mean that “founded” occurrences now include offences where there may be no evidence to substantiate that an incident took place, but there is also no credible evidence to confirm it didn’t happen.Previously, offences that could not be substantiated with evidence were not included in a city’s crime statistics.Surrey RCMP say it’s too early to fully assess the impact of the changes on crime statistics, but its analysis shows that some crime types are impacted more than others including assaults, uttering threats and shoplifting.In the first quarter of 2019, total Criminal Code offences increased four per cent in Surrey compared with the first quarter of 2018, while violent crime jumped 43 per cent with notable increases in robberies, sexual offences and assaults.The large Metro Vancouver municipality appears to be among the first jurisdictions to release first-quarter statistics for 2019. Not all police departments release detailed quarterly numbers, says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko.She says Mounties are taking a hard look at the data. Some of it is not attributable to the data-collection change — for example, a 48 per cent increase in robberies reflects a genuine theft spike that occurred in the city earlier this year.“We don’t want to completely write off everything and just say, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s because of the change,’ ” she says.“Violent crime in Surrey is something that is a priority and is remaining a priority for us. But understandably, some of this is as a result of the (Uniform Crime Reporting Survey) changes.”Sexual offences jumped by 48 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same time period last year, while assaults increased 40 per cent.It’s difficult to say exactly what portion of the violent crime jump was caused by the Statistics Canada change and it’s going to be hard to directly compare 2019 data with previous years, she adds.Surrey RCMP “fully support” the change, Sturko stresses.“The reasoning behind making this change is a really important one, I think. It’s giving statistics that are more victim-centred,” she says.“Hopefully, as a result of these important changes, we’ll be able to eliminate the under-reporting of these serious crime types.”Statistics Canada has said that a victim-centred approach to recording crimes is emerging. The approach puts forth that, unless there is concrete evidence to prove the crime did not happen, it should be believed that the crime occurred.The statistics agency likely won’t release the Canada-wide 2019 crime data until spring 2020, says Robert Gordon, a Simon Fraser University criminology professor. It will be impossible to compare it to previous years, he says.“Basically, the clock stopped Dec. 31 and it restarted under a new reporting and categorization regime Jan. 1,” Gordon says.He says the changes reflect a major revision to the way police forces count crimes. Sexual assault and family violence have long been considered to be under-reported, and this change aims to address that, he says.For example, a complainant who tells police they were assaulted but refuses to proceed with the investigation will now be included in the crime numbers, as will a third party who reports child abuse but the child can’t or won’t report the crime, he says.“All these things where the victim says, ‘Ah, I don’t want to bother,’ you should still be recording them because they are actually crime incidents. It’s important to keep an account of those.”The change moves Canadians closer to understanding the extent of crime in our communities, but there is still an unknown number of offences out there that never get reported to police, he notes.“This new approach won’t change that one bit.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

18 Sep

Harewood swapped football pitch for tweaking supercars

first_imgFormer West Ham United player Marlon Harewood has revealed he is in the business of tinkering supercars.The ex-Aston Villa striker is pimping up the motors of England and Premier League stars now that he has hung up his boots. His customers include England players like Harry Kane, 25, John Stones, 24, Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph, both aged 28.Harewood, 39, said, according to Daily Star:“We have fitted PlayStations, printers and coffee machines into clients’ cars. We recently did a makeover on an Audi Q7 for a Man United player.”“We gave the car a respray and added a body kit before completely changing the interior, including the seats and dashboard. When you see what the car looks like before and after, it’s exciting. It gives you a buzz.”“There are plenty of other companies who provide similar services, but a lot of footballers struggle to find someone who they can trust.”declan rice, england, West ham UnitedReport: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“But because I’ve played the game, they know I’m not going to try and rip them off.”“There is so much competition between the young players these days. They all want to be seen driving something better than their team-mates.”“Social media plays a huge role. They see flash cars on Instagram and want the same thing.”“Some get bored very quickly and change it after 12 months. I believe Jack Butland has had his car wrapped in six colours over the years.”“I wanted to start a car business so players could avoid losing money. It’s a short career, and when you get to a certain age, you want that money you wasted on that car.”“Hopefully with our help, players will avoid paying over the odds.”last_img read more

18 Sep

Official Southampton sack coach Mark Hughes

first_imgSouthampton have announced the dismissal of Mark Hughes as manager after just eight months in the dugoutThe Manchester United legend was recruited by Southampton on March 14 and helped them avoid relegation from the Premier League last season.Afterwards, Hughes was awarded a three-year contract to continue coaching the club he once played for himself.But the Saints’ 2-2 draw with United in the Premier League on Saturday proved to be Hughes’ final game in charge with the club only 18th in the table.“Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has parted company with First Team Manager Mark Hughes,” read a statement on the club website.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“The search for a new manager to take the club forward is already underway.”Hughes’ assistants, Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, have also departed the south coast.The Welshman has now been fired twice in the space of a year following his dismissal from Stoke City in January.Southampton, who have only won once in the Premier League this term, will next face Tottenham away on Wednesday at Wembley.last_img read more

17 Sep

Best and worst days of the week to buy gas

first_img May 2, 2018 Updated: 5:03 PM SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — According to a study conducted by GasBuddy, “Gasoline prices are at their highest levels since 2014 and will continue to rise through Memorial Day.”Many metro areas are already seeing prices well over $3 a gallon, many places in San Diego County are even seeing prices higher than $4 a gallon.The new study  by GasBuddy has found the best and worst days of the weeks to buy gas to maximize savings at the pump and avoid the lines during the busy summer travel season. “The case of the Mondays” is not a thing when it comes to pumping gas. The study states, “Monday offers the lowest average gas price in 21 states, making it the best day to fill-up. Friday has the most expensive average and is the worst day to buy gas in 19 states.“Though there is variation in daily gas prices across different states, the consensus is that the earlier motorists fill-up during the week, the better,” says Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Following Monday, Sunday is the cheapest day to fill-up. Conversely, Thursday follows Friday as the most expensive day to fill-up.”Furthermore, the study found that “gas stations across the country are least busy on Sundays, followed by Mondays. And Friday is the busiest day to fill-up your tank. Posted: May 2, 2018 Best and worst days of the week to buy gascenter_img KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Categories: California News, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

14 Sep

Soldotna Man Arrested Following Trooper Pursuit Off Gaswell Road

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska State Troopers arrested a Soldotna man following a vehicle pursuit off Gaswell Road on April 11, at 8:50 p.m. McAdoo was remanded at Wildwood Pretrial Facility and held with no bail pending arraignment. According to the online dispatch, McAdoo failed to stop for troopers and a pursuit ensued.  He was stopped after spike strips were deployed. The outstanding warrant was for fail to appear at arraignment, the original charges being theft 4th and violation of conditions of release.center_img Troopers attempted to stop a black 1999 Volkswagen off Gaswell Road to serve an outstanding arrest warrant on the driver, Dakota Lynn McAdoo, age 25. McAdoo was arrested for Fail to Stop at the Direction of a Peace Officer 1st and Assault 3rd, for placing his passenger in fear of serious physical injury by his reckless driving.last_img read more

14 Sep

Minna Rhee Is Out at SourceMedia

first_imgA little over a month ago, CEO Doug Manoni informed staffers that he intended to step down and transition to executive chairman after eight years at the company helm. Minna RheeSourceMedia’s chief product and audience officer, Minna Rhee, has left the company after four-and-a-half years, a company spokeswoman confirmed to Folio:.Rhee joined SourceMedia late in 2103 as chief digital officer, at the time a new role created amid the company’s ambitious and subsequently well-documented digital expansion.She served for a time as chief digital and marketing officer, overseeing initiatives like the company’s relaunch of its digital platforms under a unified CMS before shifting to chief product and audience officer, her most recent title, around the time Matt Yorke was brought in from IDG as chief marketing officer, in January 2017.Representatives for SourceMedia didn’t go into detail on the circumstances surrounding Rhee’s departure, and Rhee declined to comment, but her name and title appear to have been removed from SourceMedia’s corporate homepage as well as the mastheads of its various brands, including The American Banker and Financial Planning, at some point over the last three weeks.last_img read more

5 Sep

China vows to safeguard its companies after US blacklists Huawei

first_img US Justice Department Files Criminal Charges Against Chinas Huawei Huawei 5G TVHuaweiChina has warned against further retaliation after telecom giant Huawei was barred by the Trump administration from the US market. Taking strong note of the decision taken by the US President Donald Trump to bar American companies from installing the foreign-made telecom equipment posing a national security threat, Beijing has vowed to safeguard the rights and interest of its business firms.On Wednesday Donald Trump signed an executive order to bar US firms from installing the foreign-made telecom equipment which poses a national security threat. China has accused the US of taking the decision to purposely ban Huawei from US networks. Reacting sharply to Trump’s decision, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: “China will defend its business’ rights and interests. As for China’s view on the executive order (of Trump), we can say that nobody says this as a constructive and friendly gesture.” The US has raised apprehensions on Huawei-the world’s largest provider of telecommunications equipment for a possible spying risk to Western infrastructure networks. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang speaks during a briefing in BeijingGREG BAKER/AFP/Getty ImagesThe decision to restrict Huawei comes amid a fresh round of trade war between two of the world’s largest economies. The effect of the trade war can also be felt in the Indian markets, as the overseas investors offloaded over Rs. 1142 crore local shares on Wednesday trade. Lu said: “We have noted the US Department of Commerce decision. China always asks its business to comply with laws and regulations in export control and fulfill its international obligations. We always ask them to abide by other country’s laws regulations in their overseas business.”He further went on to add: “But we are against other countries’ unilateral sanctions based on domestic law and practices that abuse export control measures. We urge the US to stop such practice and create favorable conditions for business cooperation. China will take necessary measures to safeguard Chinese business’ legitimate rights and interests.” Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:20Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:19?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Apparently, Huawei is fighting a major legal battle against the US to restrict the extradition of its CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada for violating American sanctions against Iran. Meng, the daughter to Huawei owner Ren Zhengfei, has been put behind the bars for her role in misleading banks about the company’s business dealings. However, Huawei has argued that the Trump administration is purposely targeting the company as it has emerged as a major challenge for the next generation 5G telecom technology.last_img read more

5 Sep

Vijay Devarakonda even more tensed about his brothers career after watching Dorasani

first_imgVijay Devarakonda with his brother Anand DevarakondaTwitterActor Anand Devarakonda, who is making his acting debut with Dorasani (Dorasaani), has revealed that his brother Vijay Devarakonda is very tensed about his career even after watching the film.Dorasani is slated for its theatrical release on July 12. Its promos have grabbed many eyeballs and generated a lot of curiosity about the film. Anand Devarakonda, who has pinned a lot of hopes on the movie, is currently busy promoting the flick, which is expected to get him the big break of his career.”Dorasani is a periodic love story set in the rural areas of Telangana. The film is a very realistic approach towards filmmaking and none of the roles are forced. The happenings are real and we have shot the film is some real locations to get the authentic vibe. The hard-hitting proceedings will surely shock the audience,” Anand Devarakonda told 123Telugu.What has raised more curiosity about Dorasani is that Anand Devarakonda is the brother of Vijay Devarakonda, who is the most successful actor among the younger generation of stars. Until its pre-release event, the Geetha Govindam star did not talk about Anand’s career and Dorasani.When asked about his brother’s reaction, Anand told, “Vijay was super tensed before watching the film. He had no hopes on the project and watched it with an open mind. Once he saw me perform, he was very happy. There is no denying the fact that he is even more tensed now as the film is ready for a release.”However, Anand Devarakonda has quit his engineering job at a reputed company like Deloitte in the US to pursue a career in acting. His brother Vijay Devarakonda was very upset with his decision and he stopped talking to Anand. The actor himself revealed it at the pre-release event of Dorasani, where he was a chief guest.Addressing the event of Dorasani, Vijay Devarakonda said, “I didn’t like Anand quitting his job at Deloitte in the USA. I told him that acting is not an easy job. Since that day, I didn’t inquire about how Dorasaani was progressing. I watched the film before coming to the event and I must say, the entire team has made me proud.”last_img read more

5 Sep

Kapil Sharma Show Akshay Kumar reveals hilarious reason behind not partying

first_imgTrust The Kapil Sharma Show to bring out the most candid and scandalous confessions from guests on his show. Something similar happened when Akshay Kumar visited the sets of Kapil’s famous show.The 51-year-old actor appeared on the show to promote his upcoming film – Mission Mangal – along with his lady gang from the film. On being asked why he doesn’t party, Akshay had quite a candid reply. He revealed that he doesn’t go out with his friends for partying as he fears he would have to pay the bill. Now, isn’t that just hilarious?Well, this was not the first time when we got to know how serious Akshay Kumar is about financial matters. On Karan Johar’s Koffee with Karan, Ranveer Singh had revealed the advice he got from Akshay Kumar early on in his career. Singh had revealed that the veteran actor had asked him to do anything for money. Akshay had said, “Mujhe paisa barbaad hote huye dekhna achha nahi lagta hai. Mujhe dekho, shaadi hai, main naach raha hoon. Birthday hai, main naach raha hoon. Mundan hai, bacha ro raha hai, main naach raha hoon.”Talking about appearing in Forbes and taking the 33rd rank of highest-paid celebrities, Akshay had told HT, “Surely, it feels good. But I just go through the headline and not the detailed copy [of such articles]. On a serious note, money does matter to me but only in a limited way. And I know it’s my hard-earned money. I work extremely hard for each and every penny. Money doesn’t come easily to you. I have put my sweat and blood for that. So, yes, it does matter to me.”Mission Mangal, which is loosely based on ISRO’s space mission Mangalyaan, stars Sonakshi Sinha, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Nitya Menon in pivotal roles. The film is slated to release on August 15.last_img read more

2 Sep

Mumps Confirmed In 7 Detainees At Houston ICE Facility

first_imgCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)This illustration provides a 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, mumps virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.Health officials said Saturday seven cases of the mumps have been confirmed at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Houston.The Houston Health Department said that the seven adults were detained during their infectious period. Health officials say there’s no evidence the disease was transmitted outside the facility.The health department is working with the facility on infection control.Mumps is contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. Common symptoms are fever, headache, and painfully swollen salivary glands that can cause puffy cheeks. Most people recover within weeks. Outbreaks are rare but have happened in Texas and the Houston region.The mumps vaccine is part of routine childhood shots. U.S. health officials recommend that by age 6, all children get vaccinated for mumps, measles and rubella. Sharelast_img read more

31 Aug

Missing Delhi resident found murdered in Sonipat

first_imgA 23-year-old youth and resident of New Delhi, who had gone missing since April 15 was found murdered in the agricultural fields of Dhundpur village of Rai sub-division, Sonipat on Saturday evening.The victim was identified as Chintan Saini, a resident of Rohini. His highly decomposed body was recovered from the wheat fields of the village. Inspector Savit Kumar, SHO of the Rai police station said that farm labourers spotted the dead body at around 5.30pm. “The body had injury marks on the face. This could have been done to mislead the police about the identity of the deceased. On searching through his clothes, we found his driving license issued from New Delhi. On enquiries, it was revealed that the victim had gone missing from New Delhi and an abduction case has also been registered,” the SHO said.After initiating preliminary investigation, the body has been sent to the civil hospital for autopsy.The victim was jobless and had got married five months ago, the SHO added.Post the filing of report, a police party from Rohini police station of New Delhi headed by an inspector had reached Sonipat. The kins of the deceased too had reached Sonipat to initiate the inquest proceedings.last_img read more

31 Aug

Gangasagar Mela 2019 to be free from inflammable hogla leaf huts

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to avert any incident of fire, the state government is taking all necessary moves to ensure a “hogla pata free” Gangasagar Mela in 2019.Gangasagar Mela in Sagar Island takes place in January every year, in which lakhs of pilgrims from all over the country turn up to take holy dip at the confluence of river Ganga.The state government initiates the necessary planning from September onwards to ensure a safe and secure Gangasagar Mela and a meeting with the Chief Secretary was already held in Nabanna in the last week. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources said that following direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, initiatives have been taken to make the mela “hogla pata free”. Usually, hogla leaves are used in making makeshift accommodation facilities for people who visit the place during the mela.More than 1,000 huts are required to be set up every year for accommodation of the people. But it has been pointed out that the hogla leaves highly inflammable. There was also an incident of a small fire at the Gangasagar Mela in 2017. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe matter came up in the meeting that was held in Nabanna last week and the concerned authorities have started carrying out the necessary work to find out an alternate material, using which the huts can be made.”Engineers of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department, the modal department to organise the mela, are carrying out a study to finalise the material that can be used to construct the makeshift huts,” said a senior state government official, adding that it was initially thought that corrugated tin can be used to build the huts. “But it would not be that safe as it is a good conductor of electricity. Since many wires need to be laid to transmit power to the makeshift structures, using corrugated tin would not be a good option,” the official said. He further added that the PHE engineers are trying to find out a fire retardant material that can be used to construct the huts.Makeshift accommodation facilities are set up for senior administrative and police officers, media persons, volunteers and pilgrims. Hogla leaf huts lined up one after the other had been a common feature of the mela for ages. Now, with the initiative taken by the state government, it would be a safer and more secure mela for the pilgrims.last_img read more

19 Aug

Uniworld releases 2018 brochure with The World is Your Canvas campaign

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Brochures, Luxury Travel, River Cruising, Uniworld Uniworld releases 2018 brochure with ‘The World is Your Canvas’ campaign Share Posted bycenter_img TORONTO — Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has unveiled a new brand strategy as part of its 2018 brochure.‘The World is Your Canvas’ encourages travellers to embark on a Uniworld journey to discover both the world and themselves, says the company.“Uniworld has upheld an unparalleled standard of excellence for more than 40 years,” said Ellen Bettridge, President & CEO, Uniworld. “We continue to deliver this level of quality with the new 2018 brochure, which delves deep into the brand’s history and strategically narrates the story behind the design of each ship. These additions to the brochure reflect a new direction for Uniworld in which we place value on identifying the key elements that set us apart.”Programs and excursions are geared to first-time travellers and experienced river cruisers alike.New for 2018 and outlined in the brochure are Uniworld’s Enchanting Danube & Prague, Remarkable Rhine and Enchanting Danube & Munich itineraries, sailing the Rhine and Danube Rivers and offering coinciding multigenerational departure dates with special family programming.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsThe Remarkable Rhine itinerary will incorporate the exploration of Jewish heritage and culture along the Rhine, as well as offer ‘The Choice is Yours’, giving guests alternative ways to discover Germany, France, The Netherlands and Switzerland.Uniworld says the 2018 brochure is designed to serve the needs of travel agents “by illuminating the Uniworld story”, so agents can educate their clients on the brand’s distinguishing qualities.With a portrait orientation to better fit agents’ display racks, the brochure encompasses all of Uniworld’s products, including ships and itineraries in all 26 countries, as well as the themed cruises and multigenerational programs. Monday, March 27, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

7 Aug

Hungarys Office of the National Media and Infocom

first_imgHungary’s Office of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has estimated that the country was home to 3.2 million TV subscriber households at the end of November.The number is based on the figures that show the country’s top 12 service providers had 2.8 million TV subs between them. By the end of the month, the operators had attracted 1.6 million digital TV subs, representing 57.8% of total customers. That number is up from 57.6% a year earlier. The number of digital cable and IPTV subscribers was up to 677,000 from 662,000 the previous month, while digital DTH services were taken by 909,000 customers and 42,000 took DTT services from Antenna Hungary.UPC was the market leader in November, with a market share of 26.1%, followed by DIGI with a 23% share and T-Home with 22.2%.last_img read more

7 Aug

Polish pay TV platform n which is being merged

first_imgPolish pay TV platform ‘n’, which is being merged with rival offering Cyfra Plus, had 929,000 post-paid subscribers at the end of last year, 71,000 up on the previous quarter. Pre-paid pay TV customers grew by 7% to reach 345,000, including 79,000 HD customers.The pay TV platform turned in revenues of PLN198 million (€47.2 million) for the fourth quarter, up 20% on a comparable basis. Full year pay TV revenue was PLN739 million, up 21%. Overall revenue for the quarter on a comparable basis was PLN777 million, up 3% and EBITDA was PLN213 million. ‘n’ achieved full-year positive EBITDA for the full year in line with parent company TVN’s guidance.Reported revenue excluding ‘n’ was down PLN7 million year-on-year for the quarter, reflecting the unfavourable advertising market.TVN recognised a PLN1 billion impairment charge on its investment in ‘n’ holding company ITI  Neovision as a result of the conclusion of its pay TV merger agreement with Canal Plus Group in December.“TVN Group successfully met its targets for 2011, with performance reflecting market volatility in the advertising driven part of operations and strong development of pay TV business ahead of consolidation of satellite TV space,” said TVN Group CEO Markus Tellenbach. On pay TV, Tellenbach said: “The Group has also achieved its strategic objective – participation in the digital satellite pay TV consolidation and securing distribution of its content through significant stake in the merged ‘n’ and Cyfra Plus platform. The announced merger with Cyfra Plus combined with the strategic partnership with TP Group set TVN Group’s shareholders in a very strong position to participate in benefits from creating the leading premium satellite pay TV operator in Poland. Further enhanced by access to the largest in the country set of telecom services and wide spread sales network of TP Group, TVN will significantly improve its risk profile reducing exposure to capital expenditures.”Tellenbach said the outlook for the current year remained uncertain, but that he believed volatility would prevail temporarily. He said the company was likely to benefit from an improving position of the Polish złoty on the financial exchange markets going forwards.last_img read more

5 Aug

ShareTweet

first_imgShareTweet A dissident republican bomb fell off a policeman’s car yesterday morning outside his home.When British Army Technical Officers went to examine it, the device exploded.No one was injured.It has taken over 24 hours for the security forces to make the device safe and carry out a forensic examination of the scene. LATEST NEWS….SECURITY OPERATION IN DERRY HAS NOW ENDEDSAY POLICE THE PSNI has announced that the ongoing incident in Ardanlee, Culmore is now finished.A spokesperson said: “Residents are being informed.“Police would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their patience and understanding during the incident.” Local politicians have condemned those who tried to kill the policeman and cause disruption to residents in the area who had to be evacuated for their own safety.LATEST NEWS….SECURITY OPERATION IN DERRY HAS NOW ENDED, SAY POLICE was last modified: February 23rd, 2017 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more

4 Aug

Keen eye for good stories and big ideas

first_imgKeen eye for good stories and big ideas Recommended Link Kansas farm boy generates millions from his California “bunker” He’s just an ordinary guy born on a farm in Kansas. He didn’t graduate from a fancy college. He doesn’t have an MBA. Yet he stumbled upon a “secret key” technique that allowed him to retire at 42… and still make more money in 8 hours… than most people make in a month. But Monday through Friday you’ll find him up by 4 am, in front of his computer… using his “secret key” to generate thousands of dollars per week… without touching stocks or bonds. He calls it his retirement hobby. Click here to see it in action. The Job We Need DoneWe’re looking for someone who loves investment analysis. Someone who wants to make a living reading, thinking, traveling, and writing. Someone who can help us share big ideas with the world.If this sounds attractive—and you meet the criteria above—we’d love to hear from you.The compensation will depend on your level of experience. Know this: Dozens of analysts at Agora (our parent company) who write newsletters have become millionaires.What to Do Now Send us a basic resume. We’d like to see where you’ve worked.Write a letter telling us about yourself. We don’t care much about what school you went to. We do care about what you’ve learned doing whatever it is you’ve been doing. We appreciate odd jobs, but we’re also willing to consider Wall Street refugees.Send us an email with the following information… Independent thinker who is passionate, motivated, and eager to overachieve Trustless SystemThe decentralized revolution is about getting rid of “trusted” third parties. Ultimately, coins like Tether will fail if they can’t find a way to become “trustless.”(With trustless technology, you don’t have to know or trust the person you’re doing business with. The blockchain records and verifies every transaction transparently. So the system builds trust by default.)Back to the University of Texas report… It suggests that more Tethers were issued than had backing by actual dollars. The report makes the case that Tethers were used to prop up—and ultimately manipulate—the price of bitcoin.Kessler’s article attempts to use the study to bolster his argument that bitcoin is just another balance sheet-driven bubble, just like every bubble since the South Sea Bubble of 1720.He argues that temporarily shifting assets from one balance sheet to another inflates a bubble. When the money runs out, the bubble pops.It’s the type of argument that initially reads well… But it doesn’t really hold up under scrutiny.For instance, Kessler tries to pin the dot-com crash on America Online’s dot-com-era ad policies. I read his explanation three times, and I still don’t understand how AOL’s ad policies could have caused the dot-com crash.The dot-com boom was a $5 trillion bubble. It seems a bit of a stretch to pin $5 trillion worth of value destruction on one company’s ad policies.Kessler also blames the infamous Dutch Tulip Mania of 1636–1637 on balance-sheet manipulation. But that doesn’t work, either. If he had really done his research, he would have found out that the Tulip Mania was an overblown myth. It had nothing to do with balance-sheet manipulation.(The Smithsonian journal did a great write-up on the Great Tulip Mania and called it more of a fanciful fiction than a serious financial crisis. You can read the essay here.) Teeka Tiwari Editor, Palm Beach ConfidentialP.S. For the first time ever, I have an investment announcement so BIG that I’ve teamed up with media personality Glenn Beck to create a one-off, special event. We’re calling it The Great Cryptocurrency Conspiracy of 2018. It will broadcast online on July 19, live from Glenn’s Dallas studios.When you register for the July 19 event, you’ll get a free copy of my new report, The Crypto Manifesto: Why Cryptocurrencies Are the Smartest Speculation You Can Make Today.Plus, you’ll have the chance to claim your portion of free bitcoin during the first $2 Million Bitcoin Giveaway.You can reserve your seat for this free event, plus get a free copy of my report, by registering right here…Reader MailbagToday, a reader responds to Thursday’s Dispatch—“How to Profit From the Biggest Oil Shock Ever”—where we interviewed Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno on why a potential conflict in the Middle East could trigger the next huge oil shock…The oil prices went up because Richard Nixon was colluding with the Saudis to figure out a way for the Saudis to afford US warplanes because Vietnam was winding down and the American war-mongering billionaires needed to make more billions off the backs of US citizens! —RichardAnd another reader shares his thoughts on our recent interview with Doug Casey on California breaking apart…Well, politics is violence, so this separation of “Corruptifornia” into three states is bit like treating the symptom and not the “disease.” Living in the Fresno area, aside from demographics that are dominantly Hispanic, I don’t see much in common with San Diego, Riverside, and the rest of those included in one of those proposed “states.” I don’t believe “statism” is moral. I believe it is just constitutionalism, and both are wickedness.—JackAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here. Volatile AssetIf Kessler is going to attack the 2017 action as being manipulated, why not attack the 2011, 2013, and 2014 “bubbles”?Were all of those moves manipulated, too?If they were, then those are the most unique bubble manipulations I’ve ever seen.Here’s what I mean…If you bought at the peak of each move, your average “old” peak to “new” peak gain would be 9.8 times your money.How many bubbles do you know of that could make you money if you bought at the peak of every move?I don’t know of any others.I fear Kessler has confused market volatility with market bubbles. Just because something is volatile doesn’t automatically make it a bubble (or mean that it’s been manipulated). Bitcoin is volatile… but it’s also very valuable.Fraudulent assets go to zero. True bubbles don’t continue to make higher highs and higher lows the way bitcoin has done.Bitcoin is a highly volatile asset—not a fraudulent asset.And that’s why I have always recommended that my readers keep their position sizes small.(In Palm Beach Confidential, we recommend that investors with smaller accounts place no more than $200–$400 per trade… and that investors with larger accounts place no more than $500–$1,000 per trade.Cryptocurrencies are volatile. So small position sizes will allow you to keep a cool head during extreme periods of volatility, like we’re seeing in the current crypto market.)It’s the only prudent way to invest in assets like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.But let’s get back to Kessler’s central theme on manipulation…Has the issuance of unbacked Tethers manipulated the market higher? It’s possible. I don’t know if we’ll ever really know for sure.But in the long run, does it really matter? I don’t think it does.The truth is that sometimes, bad people co-opt great companies and great technology.Speculators used to manipulate early railway stocks all the time. In the early days of General Motors, founder Billy Durant routinely manipulated company stock.These short-term blemishes did nothing to diminish the long-term value the rail and automotive industries were ultimately creating.Meanwhile, amid all the manipulation hubbub, we continue to see signs of the mainstream adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If we poke a little more, we can find more holes in Kessler’s bubble theory.If Kessler is right about last year’s crypto market action, how does he explain the so-called bitcoin bubbles of 2011, 2013, and 2014?That’s right, this is the fourth time bitcoin’s “bubble” has popped… — The net gain on 10 shares of McDonald’s stock purchased January 3, 2007 and sold January 3, 2017, assuming all dividends were reinvested. Recommended Link Wanted: Expert Investment AnalystHey, we’re looking to hire an analyst for the Casey Research team. Our team is growing and a new spot has opened up for an ambitious person to research and write about commodities, stocks, crypto assets, and world markets.For this position, you’ll work directly with Nick Giambruno, Chief Analyst for and editor of The Casey Report and Crisis Investing. Nick is Doug Casey’s globetrotting protégé. He writes about geopolitics, value investing in crisis markets, the cannabis market, global banking, and survival techniques for financial crises.If this sounds stimulating, keep reading for more details and how to apply.Who We AreWe’re a fast-growing company with all the opportunities of a small start-up and the stability of a deep-pocketed firm with a 30-year track record.We publish half a dozen advisories covering finance and economics. We have hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. Our business is in providing profitable ideas, explaining how the markets really work, and telling great stories.We’re completely independent and unbiased. We don’t take money from Wall Street or the government. Our revenue comes from selling subscriptions. We make money only if our readers are happy.Who You AreYou’re able to analyze assets from macro, technical, fundamental, and sentiment perspectives. You’re overflowing with investment and trading ideas. And you’re a voracious consumer of information.You have a genuine passion for finance and the investment industry. You’re intensely curious, and live and breathe the world’s markets. And you’re willing to travel anywhere and everywhere. You’re ready to improvise, adapt, and overcome.You’re a good thinker, storyteller, and writer. You’re also good company, and you’re the one your friends say is the smartest person in the room.“Must-haves”: The St. Louis Fed recently announced it has created an index to track the top four cryptocurrencies. 2018 bubble “pops”: $20,000 to $6,500—down 66% so far… Goldman Sachs announced plans to start a bitcoin trading desk. 2011 bubble “pops”: $32 to $2—down 94% Your full name. And there’s more…By 2002, the dot-com crash caused the Nasdaq to drop 80%. In 2002, venture capital (VC) investment dropped by 90%.Contrast that with cryptos.Right now, the crypto market is down around 67% from its high. It seems logical that funding for new VC deals would dry up. But it hasn’t.VC investment has already doubled from last year, and it’s expected to quadruple by year end.The key takeaway is that even with the news of manipulations, government meddling, and massive volatility… institutional money is still flowing into this asset in droves.And what an institution chooses to do with its money will always carry more weight with me than a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece.Let the Game Come to You! Personal philosophy of voluntarism, anarcho-capitalism, or something similar Current Casey Research subscriber (paid memberships to Crisis Investing or The Casey Report win extra points) Weird new “antennas” popping up all over America NASDAQ calls it: “The biggest investment opportunity in years.” These antennas have nothing to do with your cell phone, hiding inside is the biggest hi-tech secret of the decade. Click here to learn more. — 2013 bubble “pops”: $230 to $70—down 70% Exceptional writing ability or a willingness to learn how to write Justin’s note: Today, I’m handing the reins to world-renowned cryptocurrency expert Teeka Tiwari, who has an important update on the crypto space.Below, Teeka responds to a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal that claims bitcoin’s spectacular price run in 2017 was partly due to market manipulation. But Teeka says the author’s missing a major detail… By Teeka Tiwari, editor, Palm Beach ConfidentialAt first blush, Wall Street Journal technology writer Andy Kessler makes a compelling case for why bitcoin’s 2017 meteoric 1,368% rise was not “real.”In an article published on Sunday, July 1, Kessler cites a University of Texas study that argues manipulation was behind half of bitcoin’s 2017 move upwards. The study pins the blame on a crypto coin called Tether (USDT).Tether is a fixed-value, or “stable” coin. It supposedly backs each coin with one U.S. dollar. To be clear, I have never been a fan of Tether because it requires you to trust that there is $1 backing each coin.In the January 2018 issue of my Palm Beach Confidential newsletter, I wrote:[Tether] claims that for every Tether in the market, it has an actual dollar bill in a vault somewhere.Let me be clear: I HAVE NEVER BELIEVED THAT CLAIM. That’s why I never recommended the token.To date, I still haven’t seen proof of Tether’s reserves.Many people share my misgivings about Tether… But that hasn’t stopped it from issuing more than $2.5 billion worth of coins. Does Tether have $2.5 billion in cash reserves to back that up? Or is it just printing its own money at will?Nobody knows. Can governments shut down bitcoin? Explain why or why not. The cause of the Great Depression in the U.S. and why. Japan’s Nomura Holdings (a $100 billion-plus financial firm) just announced it’s creating a crypto custody consortium (an institution that holds securities or assets for safekeeping) called Komainu. The top three biggest risks to the global economy and why. 2014 bubble “pops”: $1,200 to $173—down 85% Why has the average person’s standard of living declined since the early 1970s? Affinity for Austrian economics, monetary history, financial markets, and general history Prepare for conversation and travel. If you have what we’re looking for, you’ll start out with a one-on-one conversation with Nick. If that goes well, we’ll fly you to Delray Beach for a full day of interviews. And if we still like each other after that, we’ll discuss the next steps.Get in touch at jobs@caseyresearch.com. Put “Investment Analyst” in the subject line. That’s your first test. In Case You Missed It…The economy is growing, and stocks remain near all-time highs. But behind the scenes, something strange is happening…The US government and global financial elites are considering implementing a radical new change to America’s money. If passed, the money in your bank account would fall firmly under government control.They call it “The Chicago Plan.”last_img read more

3 Aug

Want to know what the teenagers in your life reall

first_imgWant to know what the teenagers in your life really think about sex and drugs?Are you sure?Well, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a pretty good idea, thanks to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Every other year, thousands of teens in public and private high schools across the country take this nationally representative survey. The CDC just released results for 2017, and here are a few of the highlights:SexTeens’ experiences with sex are changing, and the news is almost all good, says Kathleen Ethier, director of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.”Fewer are initiating sex,” Ethier says, “fewer are currently sexually active, they’re having fewer partners, and they’re using more effective hormonal birth control methods.”In 2007, nearly 48 percent of teens said they’d had sex at least once. A decade later, it’s 39.5 percent. One change in the data that Ethier’s not happy about is a recent decline in condom use.In 2007, 61.5 percent of teens said they’d used a condom during their last sexual encounter. By last year, that rate had dropped to 53.8 percent. Ethier says this is due, at least in part, to “a decrease over time in requirements that school cover HIV and [sexually transmitted diseases] in health education programs.”According to the report, young people aged 15-24 account for half of the roughly 20 million new STDs reported each year.One more red flag, Ethier says: More than one in 10 young women (11.3 percent) reported being forced to have sex.DrugsWhen it comes to illicit drugs — like cocaine and heroin — teen use is way down, from 22.6 percent in 2007 to 14 percent in 2017.For the first time, though, the survey also asked teens if they have ever misused prescription opioids. Fourteen percent said they had.”We don’t know what this 14 percent number means, but we were quite surprised by it,” Ethier says, adding that CDC has more work to do to understand what these new data say about the opioid crisis and teens’ role in it.ViolenceThe survey also asked high-schoolers about bullying and violence at school. One in 5 said they’d been bullied at school. Fifteen percent said they’d been bullied electronically.The rate of students who said they’d been threatened or injured with a weapon at school has dropped significantly in the past decade. But students of color are still far more likely than white students to say they missed school because of safety concerns at school or in their communities.Mental HealthPerhaps the biggest red flags were in the section devoted to mental health.Roughly a third of teens surveyed said they’d experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.”I think that’s really significant,” says CDC’s Ethier, “and certainly not what we want to see if we’re trying to send our kids into adulthood in the most healthy way.”The news is even worse for students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.Nearly two-thirds reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.In fact, in every category, LGB teens were at higher risk than their heterosexual classmates. They were twice as likely to report being bullied in school or electronically, three times as likely to seriously consider suicide and four times as likely to attempt suicide.”It’s shocking and alarming and tells us that things are terribly wrong,” says Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth & Families program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “We seriously need to address this.”Kahn says these data are a stark reminder of the lack of protections at the federal, state, district and school level for LGB teens and of why, she says, these protections are so sorely needed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

31 Jul

Government plans for a huge expansion of personal

first_imgGovernment plans for a huge expansion of personal health budgets could help to deliver independent living for disabled people, according to a leading disabled peer.Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured), who has been receiving a personal health budget herself for more than a year, said the plans also had “huge potential” for “getting to grips” with the integration of health and social care support.But the government’s plans faced determined opposition from other disabled campaigners this week, with many concerned that they could be part of a planned creeping privatisation of the NHS.They were speaking after the government launched a consultation on the plans to expand the legal right for people to have choice and control over their healthcare through personal health budgets (PHBs).One mental health activist said the plans were about “offloading us to the private sector”, and said she feared that funds would only be made available “as a temporary sweetener” until privatisation of the NHS was complete, when they would be withdrawn.PHBs give individuals a pot of money to spend on their health and wellbeing needs, in agreement with a healthcare professional.Some areas of NHS care will not be covered by a PHB, including GP services, unplanned hospital admissions, drugs and operations.  Currently, only about 23,000 people receive a PHB, but reports suggest that ministers want to increase this to about 350,000.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says the plans would allow individuals “to control and tailor their own health and care, based on their own individual needs, in a manner that abides by the constitutional values of healthcare being free at the point of delivery, based on clinical need, not on ability to pay”.The consultation stresses that PHBs would remain optional.The government is suggesting expansion could focus on five groups who have an ongoing need for NHS services: those with continuing social care needs; those with ongoing mental health needs; people leaving the armed services; people who are autistic or have learning difficulties; and people who access NHS wheelchair services.At present, only those in receipt of NHS continuing healthcare – and children and young people receiving continuing care – have a legal right to a PHB.But the government also wants to give more people the right to combine their PHBs and social care personal budgets into a single integrated budget – so they will only need a single assessment of all their needs – and potentially add other funding streams, such as disabled facilities grants.It also proposes giving some service-users the right to receive their PHB through direct payments, which would enable them to take a cash payment to manage and pay for their own support.But many disabled activists fear the plans are only the next step in a move towards privatising the NHS.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said: “Everyone who loves the NHS should fear the government’s determination to extend personal health budgets massively.”He said PHBs were “the antithesis of the NHS founding principles of universality and needs-led provision”, particularly as the government had based PHBs on the same “failing” model used with social care personal budgets.Under personal budgets, service-users are given an upfront allocation of funding, but that often bears no correlation to what is actually available for the service-user to spend on their support.Beresford believes the same will happen with PHBs.And he warned that “further encroachment of the NHS into social care is no way to bring about integration of health and social care.“The great bulk of spending through PHBs is on social care – PAs, home care, respite, leisure and social needs – with a smattering of spending on fringe or complementary health services that the mainstream NHS will not commission.“In effect, as a strategy to bring about integration, it will fail as it doesn’t grapple with the real problems of integrating clinical health and social care.”He said PHBs were also “morally highly questionable” because they will extend the “anomaly” with NHS Continuing Healthcare, where “some will get free social care via PHBs and the rest will have to pay for exactly the same service”.He said: “PHBs aren’t a gift horse; they are a Trojan horse for privatisation and the commodification of health.”Denise McKenna, co-founder of the Mental Health Resistance Network, said she also feared the plans were part of a long-term government strategy to privatise the NHS and move to an insurance-based system similar to the one that operates in the US.PHBs, she said, would allow the government to separate those service-users who would be “uninsurable” and unprofitable under an insurance-based system, including those with severe and enduring mental health conditions.She said: “I understand people with physical disabilities find PHBs excellent and it is really important to independent living that people are in control of their own lives.“My fear is not in the here and now. It is what is going to happen in the future, what their motives are and what it will lead to.“My fear is that it is a major step towards privatisation.”McKenna said her own experience was that it was “practically impossible” for people with mental health conditions to secure a social care personal budget.For those who were able to, she said, they were unable to benefit from the funding because the scheme was so badly run.Clenton Farquharson, chair of Think Local Act Personal – a national partnership committed to health and care personalisation and community-based support – and a consultant on equality and inclusion, welcomed the government’s plans.He said: “We know from our experience of personal budgets that when implemented well they enable choice, control and improve wellbeing.”He said he was not concerned by claims that the government’s plans were part of creeping privatisation of the NHS.He said: “Personal health budgets are motivated by an underlying principle to humanise a bureaucratic approach to supporting people with long term health and social care support.“They are also driven by a need to effectively integrate health and social care that will help minimise costly, confusing and unsustainable processes that, in my experience, has had a negative impact on my life.  “I am not aware of any evidence that suggests the further expansion of PHBs is changing existing practice whereby clinical commissioning groups commission a range of services from both the NHS, community sector and private providers.  “If done correctly, PHBs can benefit people by offering a choice of affordable, quality, person-centred care that can significantly improve citizens’ health and wellbeing.”Baroness Campbell, who has been working closely on the issue with James Sanderson, director of personalised care for NHS England, also dismissed concerns that expanding PHBs was “privatisation by the back door”.She said that expanding PHBs could “help deliver independent living more effectively, by extending disabled people’s choice and control over the support they require to stay well and less reliant on hospital care and other health interventions.“This is inevitably a more cost-effective approach to supporting well-being – a major principal of the Care Act.”The government plans to outline its next steps in this summer’s adult social care green paper.The PHB consultation closes on 8 June.last_img read more