The Canadian Press Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, January 5, 2017 Garneau asks Canadian airlines to confirm fitness to fly measures OTTAWA — Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau is seeking assurances from passenger airlines that they have up-to-date measures to confirm pilots’ fitness to fly and are rigorously enforcing them.Garneau’s move follows an incident last weekend in which a Sunwing Airlines pilot was accused of being so drunk that he passed out in the cockpit shortly before scheduled takeoff from Calgary.Miroslav Gronych has been charged with one count of having care and control of an aircraft while impaired and one count of having control of a plane while his blood alcohol level was above .08.Gronych, a Slovakian national in Canada on a work visa, is to appear in court Thursday – the same day Garneau is expected to send a letter to all passenger airline companies operating in Canada.A spokesman for Garneau, Marc Roy, says the letter will ask the airlines to provide confirmation that their protocols and safety management systems are up to date and are being enforced “with all required resources, including measures designed to confirm pilots’ fitness to fly.”Roy says the objective is to “ensure the highest safety standards.”More news: Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backAccording to Transport Canada, Canada’s largest passenger airlines have safety management systems in place, intended to help them identify safety risks before they become bigger problems to ensure that safety is part of their everyday culture. That includes having proper procedures in place to ensure pilots are competent and fit to fly.The department has said it is reviewing Sunwing’s protocols to ensure the airline’s handling of the Gronych incident complied with its safety management system and Canadian regulations. It has also said it “will not hesitate” to take enforcement action if necessary, including issuing fines and revoking licenses if appropriate.Under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, members of a flight crew are prohibited from working within eight hours of consuming alcohol or while under the influence of alcohol. It is up to each airline to ensure those regulations are followed.Sunwing has said it has a “zero tolerance” policy on crew members consuming alcohol within 12 hours of going on duty. The company says it also trains all employees to look for and report any unusual behaviour.More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyPolice have said that last Saturday the crew of one of Sunwing’s Boeing 737 passenger jets noticed the pilot acting oddly before finding him allegedly passed out in the cockpit shortly before departure from Calgary. The plane, with 99 passengers and crew on board, was to make stops in Regina and Winnipeg before continuing on to Cancun, Mexico.The pilot was escorted off the plane. Police subsequently alleged that Gronych’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.Gronych has been released on $1,000 bail and ordered to surrender his passport. He has also been banned from flying a plane in Canada while on bail. None of the allegations against him have been proven in court.Sunwing has said it employs about 350 Canadian pilots but contracts up to 60 foreign pilots during peak holiday seasons.To fly in Canada, foreign pilots must either obtain a Canadian licence or obtain Canadian validation of their foreign licence. Tags: Canada Posted by
Johnson, who has now been with the team for a little more than a week, noted the situation does have a silver lining. The time off has helped him focus on learning the team’s playbook.But nothing can replace on-field reps, and Johnson said he’d like to get some in during the preseason in order to feel ready for Week 1.“I feel like I need preseason games,” he said. “I always like — every preseason I like to get in there, get a couple carries in, and just get the feel for it.” – / 30 Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arians called Johnson’s status day-to-day and Wednesday said it’s possible he will return by the end of this week. Following practice, which Johnson did not take part in, the running back said his hamstring is feeling pretty good.“We’re working towards getting back out there this week,” he said. “One of these days this week.”The Cardinals are scheduled to have two more days of practice — Thursday and Friday — before hitting the road for a Sunday preseason matchup with the Oakland Raiders.Johnson said it is frustrating that he suffered the injury on the final play of practice. He said it happened while he was making a move during a run. He stopped running as soon as he felt the pain.The running back doesn’t feel like he needs to be on the field to prove what he can do, though as a player who has missed just one game in seven NFL seasons, missing time doesn’t sit well with him.“I think they know what I can do already, but it’s just the type of player I am, I want to be out there practicing with my teammates,” he said. “I’ve never been a guy that really missed games or practice or anything like that. It’s a situation where it’s just frustrating just watching practice, like, I know I need to be out there practicing.” GLENDALE, Ariz. — Leading into last Saturday’s preseason contest with the San Diego Chargers, many were excited to see new Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson.Signed to a one-year deal earlier in the week, head coach Bruce Arians talked about how the former Tennessee Titan and New York Jet would get roughly five to six carries in the game. Unfortunately, Johnson hurt his hamstring on the final play of Thursday’s practice and has not been on the field since. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments Share
Liberty Global’s Czech DTH platform FreeSAT has added the Fanda channel to its line-up.Operated by TV Nova, Fanda offers a range of movies, drama series, sports and documentaries. The channel is available to FreeSAT’s medium and higher package customers.UPC DTH marketing and sales director for Czech Republic, Jiri Kraval said ”We are pleased to enriching our medium line-up further which already has the most comprehensive lineup through the addition of the Fanda channel in the Czech Republic. This will further enhance our already diverse package of channels giving our customers more choice without additional costs”.
Polish triple-play service provider Netia has teamed up with local mobile provider P4 to deliver mobile services to its customers. Netia chose to team up with P4, which operates the Play service, after several months of negotiations with both P4 and rival operator Polkomtel.Netia CEO Adam Sawicki said that Play was “the most attractive partner” for Netia thanks to its attractive pricing packages and simple and flexible settlemet rules. He said that the deal would enable to Netia to offer attractive and innovative mobile services to both individual clients and companies.Jacek Niewęgłowski, board member of P4, said that the partnership would strengthen his company’s position in the MVNO market.The pair have been testing some joint products with customers for some time. Netia plans to present a range of converged solutions in the second half of this year.
POLICE are jubilant after two juvenile crooks have face a court in Derry for their crimes.One has been carted off to Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre to start his prison sentence while another is awaiting his fate.PSNI Foyle say on their Facebook page. “Good news!“Two priority offenders from the City were convicted at Derry Youth Court yesterday.“An 18 year old was sentenced for some ten offences which included, theft, possession of drugs, possession of an offensive weapon, disorderly behaviour, criminal damage, motoring offences and a burglary.“He will be spending some time in custody for his efforts. “A second 15 year old pleaded guilty to two burglaries and driving offences.“e will be sentenced at a later court date.“The Reducing Offending Unit based at Strand Road continue to work with other statutory agencies to reduce crime and re-offending by prolific offenders.TWO WELL KNOWN CRIMINALS CONVICTED AT DERRY YOUTH COURT was last modified: February 21st, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: DERRY YOUTH COURTFacebookPSNI FOYLEREDUCING OFFENDING UNITSTRAND ROAD POLICE STATION ShareTweet
Across the U.S., 6,227 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2018, the highest number in nearly 30 years. The findings from a Governors Highway Safety Association report show that many of these deaths occurred in big cities like Houston and Miami.The signs are all over most cities — stretches of road without crosswalks and people needing to walk on roads built for rush-hour traffic. But the real increase, experts say, comes from larger trends: drivers and pedestrians distracted by their phones and a growth of larger vehicles on the road.Macon, Ga., isn’t immune to any of these problems. Home to 110,000 residents, one in every 8,000 died in a pedestrian accident last year. Violet Poe lost her friend Amos Harris, 62, in 2014.”Amos was a good person. He was really kindhearted,” she said. Walking between traffic cones and the curb of a five-lane highway, she pointed to the street he would have walked down that night. Harris had been out after dark, searching for his nephew, when he crossed Riverview Road at a blinking light. “He came down and crossed here and was hit,” she explained. His body was thrown 100 feet.Georgia is one of five states that made up nearly half of all the nation’s pedestrian fatalities in 2018. The others were Texas, Arizona, Florida and California. In California, 432 pedestrians were killed in just the first half of 2018. Several of these states also had a significant increase in population, which the report finds is a contributing factor in the fatalities.”Designed for cars and not for people”But population growth, like jaywalking, isn’t central to the problem, according to Tom Ellington, chair of Macon’s Pedestrian Safety Review Board. The county created the board to address the city’s long-standing problem with pedestrian fatalities. Ellington said blaming jaywalkers for the problem ignores the big picture. “We’ve spent decades building a transportation system that’s designed for cars and not for people,” he said.In Macon, many thoroughfares are also state highways, one of the types of roads where pedestrian fatalities are common. “We have an awful lot of people who don’t have their own vehicles who are dependent either on transit or on their own foot power to get around,” Ellington said. That makes them particularly vulnerable to roads that were designed for fast-moving semitrailers and rush-hour traffic.”I could point you to places that have as much as a two-mile gap between crosswalks. It’s great advice to tell people to use a crosswalk, but that’s not very useful if the crosswalk doesn’t exist.”Even when there is one, it is often too far. Research has found that most people will walk only 300 feet to the nearest crosswalk. Amos Harris would have had to walk 600 feet out of his way in one direction or a mile in the other.Richard Retting, the author of the Governors Highway Safety Association report, said this is an underlying problem, but the spike in deaths can’t be blamed on the sidewalks. “There wasn’t a 10 percent reduction in sidewalks from one year to the next,” he said in a phone interview.Something else accounts for the 30 percent jump in pedestrian deaths in just the last 10 years. “Looking at the various metrics available, the ones that pop out to me are distraction related to smartphone use and the market share increase in SUVs.”Since 2013, the number of consumers buying light trucks has far outpaced those buying cars. “There’s no question that pedestrians hit by SUVs are more likely to die than those hit by a car,” he said. SUVs are bigger, heavier and deadlier for pedestrians.Compounding that problem are smartphones. Both walkers and drivers use cell data 4,000 percent more than they did in 2008, which means they aren’t watching the roads. Retting said he would like to see autonomous pedestrian sensor technology added to more vehicles. The technology does exist but isn’t widespread, and it won’t be in most cars anytime soon since most vehicles on the road today are at least 10 years old.Achilleas Kourtellis, assistant program director at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, said another approach to the problem is dealing with bad driving. “No matter what you put out either on the road or in the car, you still have people involved,” he said. “We know that the human is the cause of most crashes — actually 94 percent of most crashes — meaning there is room for improvement in behavior.”In Florida, for instance, the majority of crashes involve local distracted drivers — not tourists. Distraction can mean a lot of things too, he said. “It’s not just the phone. You’re putting lipstick on or you’re eating or things like that that distract you from driving.”Florida is considering legislation that would allow police to ticket drivers for any type of distracted driving, including petting your dog or yelling at your kids. That type of law exists in five out of the six New England states, which saw, overall, a 36 percent drop in fatalities last year. Rhode Island alone dropped from 10 fatalities in 2017 to just four last year, a 60 percent decrease.Kourtellis said that this points to the effectiveness of enforcement in changing behavior. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Sequencing a person’s DNA is now a routine task. That reality has left doctors looking for ways to put the technology to work.A decade ago, a top federal scientist said, “Whether you like it or not, a complete sequencing of newborns is not far away.” Dr. Francis Collins, who made that statement, has been head of the National Institutes of Health for the intervening decade. But his prophecy hasn’t come to pass, for both scientific and practical reasons.Scientists have found that, so far, a complete genetic readout would be a poor substitute for the traditional blood test that babies get at birth to screen for diseases.Even when genetic testing provides useful information, it also can raise unsettling questions.One of the big concerns about running gene scans on newborns is how families will receive and make sense of the results.Christine Kim, a graduate student who studies international health, volunteered for a study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to explore that issue.”I think when it’s your first [child], you want to be as prepared as possible, even though there’s no way to actually prepare for the experience,” she said.After her baby girl was born, the infant had the standard blood test to screen for rare genetic disorders. The baby got a cheek swab as well, so researchers could sequence all her genes. (This test is called exome sequencing, which decodes about 2% of a person’s DNA, the part that contains the actual genes but not, for instance, the code that regulates gene expression.)Both the blood test and the gene scan gave the baby a clean bill of health. But the next question was trickier: Should Kim and her husband learn about genes that could affect their child later in life?”On the chance they did identify something, would we need to put it in her medical records?” Kim wondered. “What does that mean for future health insurance?”It’s currently illegal to base health insurance coverage on genetic information, but Kim and her husband worry about efforts to weaken those protections. Life insurance and long-term care insurance could also be at risk.They thought about the ethics of prying into another person’s genes. “Should we have access to that information?” she wondered. On the other hand, learning about their baby’s genes would also tell them something about their own. “Maybe that’s selfish, but I was very curious about that too,” she said.And that information turned out to be eye-opening. Kim said the couple’s baby carries a genetic variant that puts her at elevated risk of a disease as an adult. For privacy reasons, she didn’t want to be more specific. And Kim learned if the baby has that variant, then she has it too. That has made her more vigilant about her own health.”I have given that information to my family, and it was suggested that my sisters and my mom also get tested,” she said.This wasn’t the point of the newborn genetic screening, but it’s certainly a consequence. And it plays into the conversation over whether to make DNA sequencing of newborns routine.Dr. Cynthia Powell at UNC helped run the study, whose results were published in June in The Journal of Pediatrics. She concluded that parents must get a chance to make an informed choice about how much information to receive — just the basics relating to their newborn or everything that could be actionable in the coming years. (Parents didn’t learn about genetic variants that are difficult to act on, such as those that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.)”We found that most people who were allowed that choice, about 70% of individuals, wanted information in all of the categories that we offered,” Powell said. That proportion may be high because the research team recruited people who were curious to begin with, but it’s clear there is a hunger for this information.But Powell’s study and others show that, despite their high-tech gloss, genetic tests are actually much worse than the standard heel-prick test at picking up metabolic disorders like phenylketonuria. Those conditions are the main reason newborns get a blood test at birth.The simple and inexpensive blood tests detect the actual biochemical defect that is a sure sign of these metabolic disorders.In many cases of genetic testing, it’s not that straightforward to identify the underlying genetic flaw. A disorder can be caused by any of a number of genetic variants, and those variants can be on different genes. Many have yet to be cataloged.Scientists discovered an even deeper problem. Just having one of these problematic variants isn’t necessarily enough to determine whether a child actually develops a metabolic disease.It turns out that other variants can sometimes come into play in ways that scientists have yet to understand. “It really opens a new can of worms,” said Dr. Jennifer Puck at the University of California, San Francisco.So DNA tests aren’t going to replace the standard testing without a lot more research.Still, there are reasons to consider the DNA test as a routine add-on.”There are other conditions that we have no screening test for,” Powell said. “Conditions that could predispose a child to cancer or other neurological conditions that are potentially treatable.”Powell and Puck spoke at a meeting in late June organized by the NIH to review the prospect of genetic screening for newborns.Dr. Robert Green, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, voiced one view about doing that: “If sequencing reveals health risks at any point in life, and if that’s good, then it’s better to do it early.”Why wait to find out potentially useful information, he asked his colleagues.One reason not to go all in for genetic testing at birth is that, unlike the blood tests, these genetic tests can be freighted with worries about privacy and personal preferences, as Kim discovered.And Puck said it would be a mistake to bring all those thorny issues to newborn screening programs that are now so widely embraced that parents aren’t even asked about them.”The newborn screening programs we have enjoy a huge amount of public trust,” she said at the NIH meeting. “And we have to preserve that trust.”Supplemental DNA screening would also be discriminatory, she argued, because it is not covered by government health insurance for the poor.”We can’t now follow up everyone,” she said, “and I don’t think it’s right to have only wealthy people followed up and have the rest of our population left behind.”Scientists at the meeting did agree that there can be good reasons to sequence genes if a child is sick and doctors don’t know why. That’s the story Patricia Bass of Greensboro, N.C., told me about her son, Aiden.”For the first eight weeks of his life, he wasn’t gaining weight correctly, and we kept going back to the doctor,” she said. “And finally my husband and I kept looking in his eyes, and we noticed a white opaqueness. We knew it would probably be cataracts.”That condition required emergency eye surgery. Aiden also had other troubles, including hearing loss and poor muscle tone. At age 2, it seemed he might have a rare disease.”So we had him seen by a geneticist locally, and they didn’t find anything,” she said.The Basses learned of the genetic testing study over in Chapel Hill, and they signed up.Aiden’s test revealed that he has a serious genetic condition called Lowe syndrome, which could have a potentially devastating effect on everything from his kidneys to his intellect.It’s not clear why his previous genetic test missed the diagnosis.The diagnosis was bad news, but at least they had an answer.”You grieve a life that you thought was going to be something different than what it is,” Bass said. “So that was very hard. Very hard.”As a result of the diagnosis, she has added more specialists to Aiden’s list of doctors. But more significantly for the family, the diagnosis has changed her outlook.”I decided to say it happened for us instead of to us,” she said. “And that one powerful word has really changed my life. Because I think of it as I was blessed and given an opportunity to love such a special soul, who has changed so many people that he’s met with such positivity.”Aiden lives his life with so much joy, she said.”I think I used to worry more,” Bass said. “Now I’m just living in the moment every day.”That revelation is a far cry from the aspiration that genetic testing will transform care of children, but it is a step in that direction.You can contact NPR science correspondent Richard Harris at email@example.com. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Eric HaberichterLast updated on June 18th, 2019 at 12:39 pmMilwaukee-based health care startup Access HealthNet announced it has partnered with Waukesha-based commercial insurance and employee benefits agency Integrated Risk Solutions Inc., a division of Chicago-based Hub International Ltd. Access HealthNet has developed a virtual marketplace that allows hospitals and medical providers to name a flat price for services that are delivered to employees of self-funded companies as “bundles” or episodes of care. It has become an attractive option as employers and employees, having experienced escalating costs for decades, seek greater transparency around how much they are paying for their health services. The companies said the new partnership offers local employers a new option for controlling health care costs by making a direct connection between employers and local providers. Hub International, the world’s sixth-largest brokerage, earlier this month acquired the assets of Integrated Risk Solutions, a commercial insurance and employee benefits firm serving the construction, manufacturing, transportation, hospitality, retail and public entity sectors.“When providers are given the chance to offer value, many of them will and the savings to date have been impressive,” said Eric Haberichter, chief executive officer of Access HealthNet. “Employers are demanding change in the form of transparency, access to their data and value. Together we are providing more options and choices for quality care, at guaranteed prices.”In 2018, Access teamed up with Wisconsin-based Trilogy Health Solutions on a workers’ compensation program called WC Bundled Payments, which allows self-funded employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies to access fixed-rate episodes of care for injured workers.“A creative approach to medical cost savings is way overdue,” said Pete Aisbet, executive vice president of IRS and Hub International. “Employers are seeking cost effective ways to manage costs associated with health and benefit plans as well as workers’ compensation where medical inflation continues to rise with no fee schedule in Wisconsin. The bundled medical program offered by Access HealthNet and Trilogy Health Solutions provides employers significant cost savings opportunities while improving the experience employees have when accessing medical services.”Access HealthNet is currently working to raise a $1.65 million debt round. Access, which was founded in 2014, has raised a total of $4.7 million in three previous equity rounds, backed by local investors John Torinus and Tom Schuster of Wisconsin Super Angel Fund, as well as Howard Frankenthal, president of Mequon-based food distributor Frankenthal International Ltd. Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
A minister has been urged to resign, after he threatened a traumatised child abuse survivor – who is waiting to give evidence about the abuse in court – that his benefits would be stopped if he failed to co-operate with an Atos reassessment.David* is a key witness in the trial and has been told by police not to discuss his case with anyone, or to allow DWP or its assessment contractor Atos access to his medical records, because the court proceedings are now live and the case is sub judice.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) finally agreed earlier this month to stop contacting David until after the end of the trial, after Disability News Service (DNS) and his local MP drew its attention to his case.But despite this agreement, Atos sent him a further letter, while Justin Tomlinson (pictured) – the minister for disabled people – wrote to his MP threatening that David’s benefits would be stopped within just two days if he did not submit to a reassessment of his personal independence payment (PIP) claim.David has severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), caused by the horrific child abuse he suffered as a child, and which has led to several suicide attempts.Even though the toll of the criminal investigation on his mental health has been harrowing, resulting in a series of self-harm episodes, DWP has continued its attempts to force him to submit to a PIP reassessment, even though it has been told repeatedly that his health records are part of the court case.David only found out about Tomlinson’s threat this week, when the minister’s letter was forwarded to him by his MP.In a covering letter, David’s MP told him: “I do not normally comment on ministerial responses, as they are quite capable of speaking for themselves, but I will say that in this case I feel Justin displays a lack of humanity and understanding that does himself and you a great disservice.”David said Tomlinson’s behaviour was “a disgusting, vile attack” on a vulnerable witness by a government minister, and called on him to resign.He said Tomlinson “should not be anywhere near” vulnerable disabled people after his “insensitive, demeaning” actions, and added: “I wouldn’t put this guy in charge of a broom cupboard.”David had already forced an apology from DWP after he received a letter last week – which apparently was “generated by Atos in error” – warning him the contractor had requested evidence from people involved in his care, and that he may have to attend a face-to-face benefits assessment.Both letters – from Tomlinson and from Atos – were sent several days after DWP and Atos agreed that there should be no further contact with David until his trial was finished.DNS has already revealed that DWP contacted the police force investigating the abuse allegations to ask about his evidence, and had to be told twice by officers that its actions were causing David “considerable stress and distress”, that he was a witness in their investigation, and that details of his abuse-related health condition were sub-judice.The force is not commenting on these claims – while Tomlinson has denied any DWP contact with the police – but DNS has established that there have been several communications between DWP and the force, whose officers have continued to tell the department that it cannot release information about the case.David’s treatment throws a harsh light yet again on DWP policies and procedures for dealing with vulnerable people, an issue highlighted last month when the department was finally forced to publish redacted versions of 49 secret “peer reviews” into the deaths of benefit claimants.Those peer reviews showed that ministers were repeatedly warned by their own civil servants that their policies to assess people for disability benefits were putting the lives of vulnerable claimants at risk.David’s MP had written to work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb to ask him to review how his department had treated him, and it was that letter that Tomlinson was responding to.The MP said in the letter that he/she believed DWP had failed in its duty of care towards David.The letter added: “Sometimes intentionally, sometimes because of mistakes, errors or miscommunication within DWP they have continuously harassed him, reviewing his case unnecessarily, suspending benefits on a number of occasions, seeking details or interviews which could prejudice the criminal case and have in any case contributed to high levels of anxiety and distress being suffered by [David].“Whilst I am only aware of [David’s] experience I would be surprised if others had not suffered similar treatment.”The MP also asked Crabb to ensure that David continued to receive PIP and be exempt from any further medical assessments until after the trial.David, who is currently recovering from an operation, said his treatment at the hands of DWP and Atos had been “dehumanising and humiliating”, a “grotesque breach” of his privacy, and “the most outrageously obscene way to treat someone”.He refused to accept DWP’s apology about the Atos letter, and noted that the department had apologised via DNS, and not to him, and that he wanted an apology from a work and pensions minister, rather than a press officer.David also said he had no idea whether his PIP and his employment and support allowance (ESA) were still being paid, and that he was “fearful of contacting them over this”.He was appalled when, a day after a DWP press officer confirmed to DNS that he was still receiving PIP and ESA, he received a payment into his bank account that suggested that he was no longer receiving ESA and had instead been placed on jobseeker’s allowance.He then received a call yesterday (Wednesday) from a GP from his local surgery, apparently attempting to assess his state of mental health over the telephone on behalf of DWP.A DWP spokesman claimed that Tomlinson had been trying to underline in his letter that David needed to be reassessed, although he was also “trying to communicate in every way possible… that we were going to try and leave [David] alone and not contact him, in acknowledgement of the fact that he is a vulnerable person and he is going through a trial”. When asked why DWP and Tomlinson appeared intent on harassing and persecuting David, the spokesman said: “In no way is this persecution, in no way are we trying to hound [David].“What we are trying to do is follow what we have to do with PIP, which is assess people so we can make sure they are getting the benefits that they need to be getting.”He said in a statement: “In the minister’s letter he says that wherever possible in these situations PIP reassessments can be carried out in consultation with the patient’s GP and using other medical evidence provided.“However, if there is not enough information available, a face-to-face assessment needs to take place.“The assessment process is key to ensuring that the benefit is fairly distributed, so that it can fulfil its purpose of supporting people who have extra living costs due to their disability.”He added: “When a claimant states that they do not wish to be contacted about their case or reassessment, they are advised that wherever possible we will do this in discussion with their GP without their involvement. This is always made clear to the claimant.”But David said he believed his life was now at risk as a result of Tomlinson’s actions and those of his department, while he felt that he had been “utterly abandoned to this vindictive violation of my human rights”.He said: “Every day is a struggle to live, robbed wholly of my dignity by the criminal process and further humiliated by the DWP’s utter inhumanity and failure to grasp my harsh predicament.“The original PIP assessment indicated that I required additional support. I don’t currently receive any support from any service and life’s bleak.“It’s not simply a question of money, but of life, living in guilt and fear, struggling with the horrors of childhood, and its impact upon one’s working life.“I do not accept their apology, and thus again seek further discussion as to why they treated me in this manner and how they will assure me of my welfare.”He is hoping that Crabb will agree to meet him to discuss his treatment.He added: “In the Irish Republic they have a small government agency that specifically assists abuse survivors. Here we are alone and it’s not acceptable.“My human rights were violated as a child and since. Both government and wider society need to stop, listen and act accordingly.”An Atos spokeswoman said: “We apologise for any distress caused; the letter referred to was sent in error.”A DWP spokesman said this morning (Thursday) that the review of David’s PIP claim had begun in June 2015 but the department had “made a special decision” to delay his reassessment for a year.He said that procedures had been followed for cases in which a vulnerable claimant had failed to return their PIP2 claim form, and that Atos had contacted one of David’s GPs to gather information about his claim in an attempt to see if it was possible to carry out a paper-based assessment of his PIP eligibility.DWP said David’s entitlement to PIP ended on 16 June and he would receive his last payment on 30 June. He said that David was still receiving ESA.The spokesman added: “In summary [David] is still being reassessed for PIP and the department are accommodating him under additional support procedures.“In order to continue to receive PIP he must be reassessed.“This reassessment is in progress and may not require any contact with [David].“We are awaiting evidence from his GP, and once we receive it we will be able to judge if it provides enough information for a paper-based decision to be made.”Despite promising to do so, the spokesman failed to respond to concerns about Tomlinson’s apparent harassment of a vulnerable benefit claimant, and why DWP was refusing to exempt David from the reassessment process until the end of the trial.*Not his real name
The former civil servant commissioned by the government to review its new disability benefit has refused to accept there is any dishonesty among the healthcare professionals who carry out assessments, despite being shown significant evidence of wrongdoing.Disability News Service (DNS) has twice contacted Paul Gray’s personal independence payment (PIP) review team with evidence collected during a lengthy investigation into allegations of widespread dishonesty by assessors working for the outsourcing giants Capita and Atos.But in his second and final review of PIP for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), published seven days ago, Gray dismisses any suggestions of dishonesty.Although he says in the review that some claimants “assert that the Health Professional has misinterpreted or even deliberately misrepresented what was discussed during the assessment”, he says there could be several explanations for this other than dishonesty.He suggests instead that PIP claimants may hold these beliefs because the assessor: failed to mention evidence they had provided, made “inappropriate assumptions” about the impact of their condition, or “may genuinely have made an error when transcribing their notes”.In early February, DNS passed on detailed evidence to Gray’s review team, which included excerpts from more than 40 cases in which PIP claimants had alleged clear dishonesty by healthcare assessors in the way they had written their assessment reports.The claimants spoke repeatedly of dishonesty, “fraudulent conduct” and “lie after lie after lie” told by assessors in their reports, on which DWP decision-makers based their decisions on their eligibility for PIP.DNS then contacted the review team two weeks later, with further evidence of widespread wrongdoing, including a news story which described how the investigation had by that time collected more than 100 cases of alleged dishonesty.None of that information has been included in Gray’s review.The position taken by Gray, who also chairs DWP’s benefits advice body, the social security advisory committee, mirrors that of the department itself, which has consistently stated that it does not believe there has been any dishonesty by its assessors.Asked by DNS about the dismissal of any suggestions of dishonesty, Gray said in a statement that the review’s role was “to make an assessment of how PIP assessments as a whole are operating, not to investigate individual cases or complaints.“The Review does though emphasise that the assessment process should be more transparent to help improve claimant trust in the system.”He refused to comment further.Elsewhere in his report, Gray says public trust in the “fairness and consistency” of PIP decisions was “not currently being achieved, with high levels of disputed award decisions, many of them overturned at appeal”.He is also critical of DWP’s new mandatory reconsideration process, the internal process that all claimants have to go through before appealing to an independent tribunal.He says in his report that tribunal judges are “sceptical about the thoroughness of the Mandatory Reconsideration process”.He adds: “Furthermore, currently 65 per cent of appeal hearings overturn the initial decision which is clearly eroding the trust of claimants and stakeholders in the system.”Gray says progress made by DWP to improve PIP since his first review in 2014 has been “mixed”, with implementation of his recommendations “either incomplete or slower than the Review had hoped in many areas”.He adds: “Professionals and organisations were asked to comment on progress since the first Review. The majority of feedback regarding this was negative.”In a further blow to the credibility of ministers, he says that tribunal judges told the review that “rather than further written evidence, it is cogent oral evidence from the claimant at the hearing that is by far their most common reason for overturning decisions”.Ministers and Tory MPs – including former disabled people’s minister Justin Tomlinson last week – have repeatedly claimed that the main reason for successful appeals was claimants producing fresh written evidence at their tribunals.Gray also warns that he had been concerned to see that some assessors appeared to assume that if a claimant had a job this was evidence “of limited functional impairment”.In his recommendations, he says he hopes that DWP “re-emphasises and ensures that employment will not disadvantage claimants when they seek to claim PIP and explores ways in which PIP may be an enabler in improving employment retention”.Among Gray’s other recommendations, he suggests DWP should introduce audio recording of assessments to increase claimant confidence, as long as there is an opt-out option.But there are likely to be concerns over another of Gray’s recommendations, that the responsibility for ensuring that further evidence is gathered should “primarily sit with the claimant” rather than DWP or the assessor.He made the recommendation even though more than 87 per cent of the professionals and organisations who responded to the question, following his appeal for evidence, believed claimants faced barriers to providing further evidence.Disabled activists, coroners and Scotland’s Mental Welfare Commission have all linked the failure to secure the necessary further evidence with the deaths of claimants of the out-of-work sickness and disability benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA).A legal case backed by the Mental Health Resistance Network resulted in the upper tribunal administrative appeals chamber ruling that the ESA assessment process discriminated against some disabled people with mental health conditions and learning difficulties.Asked about his recommendation on further evidence, Gray said in a statement: “As the review makes clear, the department should make a concerted effort to improve communication products to ensure accessibility and ensure that PIP claimants understand what evidence should be provided.“The review advises this should be done before the department emphasises that the primary responsibility for collecting evidence rests with the claimant.“The review also emphasises that, although the primary responsibility for evidence provision should rest with the claimant, the department and providers should make use of evidence they hold elsewhere in the benefits system and should also follow up evidence leads that emerge during the claim process.”When asked whether he was aware of the Mental Health Resistance Network WCA appeal ruling, and the links between the failure to secure further evidence for ESA claims and the deaths of claimants, he again refused to comment further.In a written statement, published on the last day before MPs began their Easter recess, Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people, said the government welcomed the review’s publication “and will consider its findings and issue a detailed response in due course”.Meanwhile, a petition on the UK parliament website which calls for all PIP and ESA assessments to be video-recorded because of the “errors and false or inaccurate statements” made in their reports by healthcare professionals, has reached more than 3,000 signatures.The petition, created by Sharon Ann Smith, says that a video recording of the assessment “would assist claimants, the DWP and appeals panels by giving an indisputable record of the assessment”.
6 min read David Feldman Media Coverage Contributor Next Article Download Our iOS App Image credit: Francesco Carta fotografo | Getty Images Attorney at Law March 4, 2019 Free Green Entrepreneur App Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Add to Queue Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Blowing smoke? Clearing the haze? Gone to pot? Getting into the weeds? Profits getting higher? It’s all the buzz?With many billions of dollars of business and tax revenue and many jobs at stake, as well as an emerging national debate about legalization, the U.S. cannabis industry has received quite a bit of media coverage. This has been especially true since Colorado and Washington were the first U.S. states to legalize cannabis adult use in 2012, and has morphed into a crescendo of content since California fully legalized in January 2018. And yes, in many cases, in today’s super-competitive world of selling words, at times it seems more about the punny headlines than the substance underneath.Last month I was privileged to moderate a panel at the Cannabis Media Summit here in New York City. It was the first gathering of journalists and media executives to discuss coverage of this emerging and fast-growing industry. The audience and speakers through the day included, among others, reporters from Forbes, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Boston Globe, but also more cannabis-focused outlets like The Green Market Report and High Times (and Green Entrepreneur). The New Yorker covered the event with a piece called, “Don’t Call it ‘Weed’ – and Other Tips from the Cannabis Media Summit.” Sadly they quoted several bad jokes I like to tell along with my comment that “These are not going over well.” Said a colleague after seeing the article, “Stick to your day job.”Related: 6 Secrets to Getting Media Coverage for Your Cannabis BrandThe title of my panel was “Ethics in Cannabis Coverage.” Who knew this needed to be a topic? I was able to question a number of experienced journalists in the space. Several interesting questions, themes and challenges emerged from the discussion. Here are some of the highlights:Positive bias is a challenge.Many who offer to cover the industry at their publication more likely than not are users or supporters of the product. They are less likely, therefore, to write critical or hard-hitting investigative pieces showing the growing pains the industry is facing. Issues like impaired driving, keeping cannabis from children and teens, proper product testing and the like arguably do not receive enough attention.Prioritizing story choices is difficult.Is it better to cover “weed weddings” or the medical benefits of cannabis? Social justice issues or the latest big company to go public? The consensus was that media should cover it all, but some admitted that editors tend to focus more than they should on what cute headline will attract eyeballs.Public company coverage may not be strong enough.The SEC has issued a warning about investing in cannabis companies. Valuations are extremely high compared to other industries and normal metrics. It does not appear that journalists covering these companies are relaying these warnings as strongly as they might as trends, and instead just cover the daily or weekly ups and downs in these fairly volatile stocks.Cannabis is a business story.It has not been clear exactly who should cover this rapidly growing industry. Is it about criminal justice? Pharmaceuticals? The war on drugs? Lifestyle? It appears the media has determined that the business reporters should be the ones focused on these stories. Over time the lifestyle aspects of the path to ending Prohibition likely also will receive more and more coverage.A prominent Columbia journalism professor, Mike Hoyt, has focused on the need for more coverage of the critical trends the industry is facing. A NiemanReports piece on cannabis coverage quotes Hoyt saying, “The country is in the midst of a major cultural, legal, and economic shift on cannabis. What are the implications of this shift — for the economy, for the culture, for our health and safety? How should this stuff be regulated and what are the potential costs of poor or nonexistent regulation? Who is getting rich and who is getting jobs? There are a million stories, many of them complicated, that all cry out for sharp arm’s-length journalism.”What are we seeing at the major news outlets? The NBC News website has a storyline called “Legal Pot.” Its subhead: “Ongoing coverage of states’ legalization of marijuana, marijuana effects and medical marijuana usage in the US.” Most of the stories are positive but some are focusing on the challenges, such as the recent study indicating that developing teen brains could be negatively impacted by using cannabis.Related: Should Your Cannabis Company Hire a Publicist?Fox News, known as a conservative outlet, on the other hand, appears to have consistently pushed an anti-cannabis message. Fox & Friends brought on a Florida sheriff talking about middle schoolers handing out cannabis gummies in school. In the same segment Fox anchor Brian Kilmeade declared THC addictive. Fox commentator Tucker Carlson has also implied that cannabis makes people lazy and even suggested that the Canadian government is distributing marijuana “to keep people passive and compliant.”Against this backdrop remember that Fox’s most ardent viewer, President Trump, has stated he is “100 percent” in favor of medical cannabis and that adult use should be decided by the states.In general, negative stories appearing in the cannabis (as opposed to mainstream) media are run either when a lawsuit is brought and it is hard for them to avoid it, or when something unfavorable happens in the regulatory environment, or when a mainstream outlet runs a negative story. With very few exceptions, we have not really seen any cannabis media moving ahead with investigative pieces dealing with some of the challenges the industry faces. In fact, with the deluge of content hitting industry professionals, the majority of outlets are simply aggregating stories appearing elsewhere.I am no media expert (I know, watching Reliable Sources doesn’t count), though I did own a radio station in Florida when I was a young lawyer. And yes, most are excited to learn that I was editor of both my high school (the Woodmere Academy Echo) and law school (the Penn Law Forum) student newspapers. I am, however, an author, and also an armchair observer of the media and its coverage choices. As a supporter of smart, well-regulated legal cannabis, I still believe it is important for the media covering this pre-K level industry to be unafraid to call out its issues, challenges, troubles, obstacles and yes, of course all the good stuff as well. –shares Or is it all about boosterism and cute puns? Is Cannabis Media Coverage Fair and Balanced?
Proven Technologies to Empower Businesses in Digital EraAlibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, unveiled more than 10 new products and features at the Alibaba Cloud APAC Summit, as well as a new accelerator program connecting technology partners with the Alibaba ecosystem. The summit showcased Alibaba Cloud’s commitment to building a more inclusive platform with proven technologies that will empower APAC customers and ecosystem partners to win in the digital era.“We are committed to providing the Asia Pacific region with a cloud service that will drive a highly integrated, best-in-class technology ecosystem”“As the largest public cloud provider in Asia Pacific, Alibaba Cloud is speeding up digital transformation in this region by building a world-class cloud infrastructure and we have also been at the forefront of the rapid development of data intelligence. Today, Alibaba Cloud not only provides infrastructure that underpins the entire Alibaba economy from e-commerce and payment, to logistics and supply chain management, but also ensures inclusiveness, so that our cloud technologies can be accessed by companies of all sizes,” said Selina Yuan, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International. “We are committed to providing the Asia Pacific region with a cloud service that will drive a highly integrated, best-in-class technology ecosystem,” added Yuan.Marketing Technology News: True Influence Hires Data Strategist and Marketing Technology Visionary Ray Estevez as Chief Data OfficerNew products and features for an “All in Cloud” futureFor businesses in the region and their pursuit of “All in Cloud” strategies, Alibaba Cloud launched more than 10 new products and features that are available for the first time outside of China and can now be accessed by customers worldwide. The new product and feature highlights include:PolarDB: A MySQL and PostgreSQL – compatible relational database built for the cloud that combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases at a much lower cost. It offers excellent scalability, with the architecture of hardware-software co-design. The solution can also scale up to 100TB in storage which helps customers manage big data development. It can scale up to 88 vCPUs and 710GB of memory and allows customers to pay for usage by the minute, enabling customers to handle peak business traffic while minimizing cost.Alibaba Log Service (SLS): SLS allows customers to automatically collect logs from all your services, applications and platforms, irrespective of whether they are on-premises or in the cloud. SLS allows the log data to be tagged with context derived. SLS also allows decisions to be taken on this data in near real time for trend analysis, alerts or visualization.Support of “Bring Your Own Key” (BYOK): An end-to-end security service which provides customers encryption controls on both hardware and software, protecting customers’ data in transit and at rest. The new BYOK feature now supports ECS Cloud Disk, OSS and RDS.SaaS Accelerator: A platform where technology partners can easily build and launch SaaS applications and leverage proven business and technology know-how in the Alibaba Economy. The accelerator helps SaaS providers quickly deploy and test their applications on the cloud, shorten the implementation lifecycle, and accelerate time-to-market. It enables ecosystem partners, such as enterprises in the e-commerce, lodging, and travel industries, to quickly reach their customers on Alibaba platforms. It also defines three centers for the SaaS ecosystem: the commercial center, the capability center, and the technology center.Smart Access Gateway (SAG) Software: An app that allows endpoint devices such as cell phones, POS and laptops to securely get connected with Alibaba Cloud and on-premises data centers in one click, accelerating access to enterprise applications and cloud resources.Marketing Technology News: DataRobot and Informatica Partner to Accelerate Adoption of AI Across the EnterpriseContainer Registry (ACR) Enterprise Edition: Alibaba Cloud Container Registry (ACR) is a fully-managed container registry that allows developers to easily store, manage, and deploy container images. ACR Enterprise Edition is integrated with the Alibaba Cloud Container Service, simplifying customers’ deployment to production workflows. It eliminates the need for customers to operate their own container repositories or worry about scaling the underlying infrastructure. ACR hosts customers’ container images in a highly available and scalable architecture, where customers can reliably deploy containers and launch applications at a global scale.Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK): A fully-managed service compatible with Kubernetes to help users focus on their applications rather than managing container infrastructure. It provides enterprise-level high-performance and flexible management of Kubernetes containerized applications throughout the application lifecycle. This service simplifies cluster creation and expansion and integrates Alibaba Cloud capabilities in virtualization, storage, network, and security, providing an improved running environment for Kubernetes containerized applications.In line with its commitment to champion small businesses, Alibaba Cloud also launched an upgraded service support campaign designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SME customers will now be able to benefit from greater access to resources and support from Alibaba Cloud. Key benefits of the enhanced support and service include dedicated one-on-one presale consultations, 24/7 technical support, a doubling of complimentary tech support tickets and swifter after-sales support.Marketing Technology News: Teleperformance Groups ‘Praxidia Knowledge Services’ partners with CallMiner to launch TP Interact – a Comprehensive Interaction Analytics Solution Alibaba Cloud Unveils New Products and Features for Global Markets PRNewswireMay 31, 2019, 2:06 pmMay 31, 2019 Alibaba CloudAlibaba Cloud Container RegistryAPAC customersAPAC SummitMarketing TechnologyNewsPostgreSQL Previous ArticleGuidepost Solutions Bolsters Data Management and Governance Capabilities, Welcomes Two Senior Managing DirectorsNext ArticleNimble Named Sales Intelligence Market Leader and #1 in Small Business Customer Satisfaction by G2 Crowd
The study, published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, reveals the importance of the insulin-like growth factor II gene in adult stem cell maintenance in these two organs. The gene provides key support for the existence of two, functionally distinct sets of stem cells in the intestine, whose unregulated self-renewal and proliferation may contribute to colorectal cancers. When the gene was removed acutely, the stem cells in glands in the inner surface of the small intestine could not continue their normal cycle of continued cell replacement, causing organ failure. However, when the gene was deleted slowly, it gave the other stem cells an opportunity to take over for the lost stem cells.”Co-author Teresa Wood, a professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School The role that the insulin-like growth factor II gene plays in adult stem cells has been largely unknown. This growth factor was previously regarded as dispensable in adults. The discovery that there is a factor — this gene product — that is common between more than one adult stem cell population is remarkable.”Co-author Steven Levison, director of the Laboratory for Regenerative Neurobiology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionThe findings indicate that this growth factor is essential for multiple types of adult stem cells, including those critical for cognitive function, sense of smell and for renewing the lining of the small intestine in adults.In the study, the researchers removed the gene from adult mice either rapidly over five days or more slowly over 15 days. In the intestine, the fast deletion of the gene led to a rapid loss of fast-cycling stem cells that replenish the gut lining, leading to dramatic weight loss and death within a week. A slower deletion of the gene allowed the mice to survive due to the recruitment of a second, and more inactive, population of gut stem cells, whose existence has been debated. Additionally, the study revealed that half of the stem cells in two regions of the brain that house neural stem cells were lost, causing deficits in learning and memory, increased anxiety and a loss of the sense of smell. Apr 17 2019The organs in our bodies house stem cells that are necessary to regenerate cells when they become damaged, diseased or too old to function. Researchers at Rutgers University have identified a new factor that is essential for maintaining the stem cells in the brain and gut and whose loss may contribute to anxiety and cognitive disorders and to gastrointestinal diseases. Their findings show that the insulin-like growth factor II gene is essential for multiple types of adult stem cells that are critical for cognitive function and renewing the lining of small intestine in adults. Credit: Rutgers University Source:https://news.rutgers.edu/research-news/rutgers-researchers-discover-crucial-link-between-brain-and-gut-stem-cells/20190415
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made several assertions about Facebook’s data collection and privacy controls during two days of hearings on Capitol Hill. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Fact check: Facebook makes shaky data and privacy claims (2018, April 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-fact-facebook-shaky-privacy.html Explore further Facebook CEO defends advertising-supported business model You can turn off such targeted ads with a single option in your Facebook settings. Doing so means, for example, that you won’t get an ad on Facebook for a pair of shoes you just looked at on a shopping website, though you’ll still get generic ads.But that doesn’t stop the data collection. Facebook also adds targeting categories based on your demographic information, such as whether you might have a child, your birthday and age, what mobile device you use and even your political leanings—whether or not you’ve explicitly shared any of that on Facebook.Turning off those categories is a chore, as you have to select them one by one in settings. And if you like a new page, click on a new ad or add your email to a new business’s contact list, the whole thing starts over.—-ZUCKERBERG: “There may be specific things about how you use Facebook, even if you’re not logged in, that we—that we keep track of, to make sure that people aren’t abusing the systems.”At a different point in the hearing, he said: “In general, we collect data of people who have not signed up for Facebook for security purposes.”THE FACTS: Facebook collects data on your online habits wherever it can find you, and very little of it appears to be for security purposes.Facebook pays third-party websites and apps to let it place tracking code across the internet and mobile devices. That code can be embedded in browser files called “cookies,” invisible screen pixels, or Facebook’s familiar “like” and “share” buttons.That code then reports back to Facebook on your surfing habits to help it better target ads. Along with Google, Facebook is consistently among the top three data-collectors in the field, said Reuben Binns, an Oxford University computer scientist who researches these beacons.In February, a Belgian court ruled that Facebook had violated European privacy law with such tracking because it hadn’t obtained consent either to collect or store the data. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Those included claims that Facebook lets you download your data and take it elsewhere; that users can turn off data collection for advertising purposes; and that Facebook tracks users even when they’re not on Facebook itself, but only for “security purposes.”In all these cases, the situation is not as clear-cut as Zuckerberg made it sound. Here’s a look at his statements.—-ZUCKERBERG: “People have the ability to see everything they have in Facebook, take that out, delete that account and move their data anywhere that they want.”THE FACTS: That’s only partly true.You can indeed download a subset of the information it has collected on you. But the resulting file mostly contains a jumble of contacts, messages and advertisers who have been allowed to target you through Facebook.That makes the information mostly useless if you hoped to use it to join a different social network, because it’s incomplete and not organized in a way that another service could easily import.Experts say Facebook has made it technically untenable to take your data elsewhere. University researchers have tried to figure out how to make that data portable, but failed because Facebook keeps changing the public-facing software required.There are other issues that make true data portability vexing. Zuckerberg alluded to one on Wednesday: Who owns material shared across a social network to multiple users? “Let’s say I take a photo and I share it with you. Now is that my photo or is it your photo?” he said.—-ZUCKERBERG: “There is a setting so if you don’t want any data to be collected around advertising, you can turn that off and then we won’t do it.”THE FACTS: There is no such single setting on Facebook.You can limit ad targeting, but it requires several steps, which you may have to repeat from time to time. By default, Facebook shows you ads based on interests you’ve expressed over the years and the companies you have “interacted” with—for instance, by sharing your email or phone number, visiting their website or using their app.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu conducts the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha on Friday – PTI COMMENT Published on The Centre failed yet again to get the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, more commonly known as the triple talaq Bill, passed in the Rajya Sabha. As there was no consensus on the Bill, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the legislation would not be taken up on Friday, the last day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.Later, intervening in a discussion on a private member’s resolution, Ravi Shankar Prasad said had the Opposition agreed, the Bill could have been passed in the Monsoon Session, and it would have helped Muslim women in the country. The Opposition objected to this statement and urged Deputy Chairman Harivansh to expunge the minister’s remarks.The Bill criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq and the Opposition has been maintaining that the Bill brings a criminal angle to a legislation on civil matters. The BJP has been alleging that the Congress and other Opposition parties are against Muslim women in distress, and that is why they do not support the legislation. The Opposition had urged the Centre to send the Bill to a select committee.When the Rajya Sabha reconvened after lunch on Friday, Naidu said he had decided that bills “on which there is some sort of broad consensus” would be taken up for discussion and passage later in the day. He added that the triple talaq Bill would not be taken up as a consensus had not yet been evolved on the issue in the meeting of the floor leaders of various parties.The Centre had added some official amendments to the Act passed by Lok Sabha by including adding a bail provision to it.If cleared by the Rajya Sabha, they Bill will go back to the Lok Sabha with the amendments. In the morning, the Opposition raised the issue of Rafale scam and insisted that the Centre should hold a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the matter. The Upper House witnessed disruptions due to protests from Opposition benches. Rajya Sabha SHARE SHARE EMAIL August 10, 2018 SHARE COMMENTS Consensus elusive, says Chairman; govt blames Opposition triple talaq