As few as one per cent of the employees working fo

first_imgAs few as one per cent of the employees working for some UK broadcasters have described themselves as disabled people, according to new research by the industry regulator.Ofcom’s Diversity And Equal Opportunities In Television report says disabled people appear to be “significantly under-represented” across the television industry, at just three per cent.The Ofcom report – which focuses on the five main broadcasters, but also looks at another 342 smaller organisations – found that only one per cent of staff working for ITV and Viacom (which owns Channel 5) describe themselves as disabled.Sky is only slightly better, at two per cent, while Channel 4 performed best with disabled people making up 11 per cent of its workforce.Although the report says that only four per cent of BBC staff say they are disabled, this figure represents the calendar year 2016 and new figures, following a diversity and inclusion census carried out towards the end of last year, show a much higher proportion, at 10 per cent*.The Ofcom report says there is a “worrying” lack of data on disability, with no information on 30 per cent of staff across the television industry.ITV provided disability data on fewer than half of its employees, while Sky provided disability information on just two per cent of its staff.Ofcom also says it has now started enforcement action against 57 broadcasters, because of their failure to provide any data on gender, race and disability.Simon Balcon, a member of the deaf and disabled members committee (DDMC) of the performers’ union Equity, welcomed the Ofcom report.He said: “I think that it’s great that reports like this actually exist, and that attention to the issue of casting actors with disabilities is getting more attention.“I also think that more can be done, though. While the BBC is doing more than other channels to be progressive with its casting, actors with disabilities are less visible than on other channels, strange as this may seem.“I would echo the report’s concern… that there is a worrying lack of data for disabled people, as this does not give us a full picture.“However, I am glad the Ofcom is taking action against those who refuse to supply information.”Balcon said the report showed there was “certainly more that broadcasters can do for freelancers with a disability [particularly actors and other artists], as only one per cent are in this category.”And he said he agreed that “more monitoring needs to be done, as the picture may not be accurate at present.“More organisations must monitor their employees and those employed as freelancers, and then we can get a clearer picture.”Sharon White, Ofcom’s chief executive, says in the report: “Disabled people are particularly poorly represented at all levels of the industry.”The report concludes: “Broadcasters have an obligation, as a condition of their licences, to take measures to promote equality of opportunity in employment.“Without accurate monitoring, it is unclear how some broadcasters can identify any gaps, ensure the relevance of their equality and diversity policies, and plan engagement with their employees to promote these policies.”The report is Ofcom’s first from its new Diversity in Broadcasting monitoring programme, which will reveal how well broadcasters’ employment policies are promoting equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion.*The BBC data includes both television and radio staffPicture: Disabled actor Liz Carr as Clarissa Mullery in BBC’s Silent Witnesslast_img read more

Eleven SF bookstores get cash assistance from city

first_imgNearly a dozen local bookstores received a special gift from the city Tuesday morning — $103,000 in total grant money to help them through a time when books can be delivered to one’s door at the click of a mouse.And that’s exactly why the funding is so important, says Joaquin Torres, the director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “There’s nothing online that can recreate the experience of walking into a bookstore — the art you see on the walls, the performances that take place, the cultural conversations,” he said.The city, in partnership with the nonprofit Working Solutions and the Small Business Development Center, awarded 11 bookstores grant money, including five in the Mission: Dog Eared Books, Bolerium Books, Mission: Comics & Art, Adobe Books & Art Cooperative and Alley Cat Books.The money is part of the Bookstore SF Program, a pet project of the late Mayor Ed Lee, aimed at funding bookstore “revitalizations” that emphasize their roles as social hubs rather than simply places to purchase reading material. Email Address At 24th Street’s Adobe Books on Tuesday morning, about 25 people — including many of the grant recipients — gathered in the small space whose shelves brimmed with books. They commingled and ate breakfast burritos and, when receiving their checks, they expressed their gratitude and told their stories.“Last year was very difficult,” said Leef Smith, the owner of Mission: Comics and Art, whose storefront sits on Mission Street between 18th and 19th.Smith told the small crowd that he was considering closing his store in January. But, in the end, he decided to stick it out, and did so with the help of loyal customers. Smith, in fact, started a Patreon drive and apparently received enough to keep him going. For him, the city grant only added to his customer support.“Some of my customers have been with me for the entire nine years (I’ve been in business),” he said. “That sort of loyalty and interest in reading on a regular basis is really powerful.”Adobe Books had its own existential threat in 2012 when it first received a major rent hike and was subsequently evicted from its space on 16th Street between Valencia and Guerrero. The bookstore known for its community events had enough financial support from its customers to move onto 24th Street and become a co-op.“We don’t want to just be a thing that exists — we’re not an island,” said Rebekah Kouy-Ghadosh, an Adobe employee who owns a share of the business. She explained that the bookstore is constantly hosting events, and the grant would help the store continue to do that.Holding the bookstore’s check, she added, “I’m going to go out and make it rain books!”Kate Razo, the owner of Dog Eared and Alley Cat books, received multiple checks that afternoon — for Dog Eared’s Valencia and Castro locations, as well as Alley Cat books on 24th Street.A believer in the small bookstore, Razo said that growing a book business is not easy. She announced that the Dog Eared had recently secured another 10-year lease at its Valencia location, but a deal was far from certain.“I had many sleepless nights hoping to get that lease,” Razo said.Razo had other exciting news: that Dog Eared would be opening yet another location — albeit a very small one — within the new social-justice-oriented cafe, Manny’s, soon opening at 16th and Valencia.Speaking about the grant money, Razo, who has been running bookstores in San Francisco since the ‘80s, said: “I never thought I’d see the day where the city says, “‘Hey, here’s a check.’” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter In addition to the funding, the bookstores will receive city services, including technical assistance on marketing, human resource consulting, and help negotiating long-term leases.According to OEWD, there are 57 independent bookstores in San Francisco that together generate more than $9.8 million in sales, create and retain more than 100 jobs, host more than 40 free community events each month, and have been in business for an average of 21 years.Comix Experience in NoPa, Dog Eared Books in the Castro, East Wind Bookstore in Chinatown, Just a Touch Christian Bookstore in the Bayview, Green Apple Books in the Richmond, and Stevens Books in the Excelsior also received grant money.last_img read more

Strong wind doesnt stop Orton Plantation from control burns

first_imgSmoke from a prescribed burn at Orton Plantation in Brunswick County could be seen at least as far away as the Pine Valley area of Wilmington on March 10, 2016. (Photo: Jessica Viox) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — With extreme dry and windy conditions around the Cape Fear today, the National Weather Service as issued a Red Flag Warning. This means outdoor fires would likely spread quickly, and experts say burning is not recommended today.Orton Plantation in Brunwick County says the warning will not stop it from continuing its plans for a controlled burn Thursday.- Advertisement – Brunswick County Ranger Bill Walker says he is not, concerned because the plantation has experienced professionals doing the burn.According to a news release, the plantation planned to burn around 190 acres.The plantation says its controlled burn season will take place until May 1.last_img read more

Wilmington film officials rally to save TV project post Florence

first_imgThe logo for DC Universe’s upcoming live-action drama series “Swamp Thing,” which is eyeing Wilmington as a possible filming location. (Photo: StarNews) WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — Hurricane Florence may have turned portions of the region into a swampy mess, but it almost claimed the local film industry’s biggest TV project in years — “Swamp Thing.”As Hurricane Florence drenched the region in rain and wind, national news coverage sent images of local towns and homes under water across the country, catching the eye of executives from Warner Bros. Television and DC Universe, who were prepping production on the new series “Swamp Thing” in Wilmington.- Advertisement – Mayor Bill Saffo said, in the days after Florence, he participated in talks with those TV officials fearful their future filming location was no longer viable.“When they were looking at intense flooding in Burgaw and Lumberton on national news programs, they thought Wilmington was flooded,” Saffo said. “The perception was that Wilmington was underwater and that we were cut off from the rest of the world for good.”Read more here from StarNewsOnline.last_img read more

Options expand for potential Williston High

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Following several school board and one community meeting, the fate of Wilmington’s Williston Middle School may change.School board leaders still want to turn it back into a high school, but with a different focus.- Advertisement – New Hanover County School Board vice chairman David Wortman says the exploratory committee is looking to expand the focus of a potential Williston High School to not be only about the arts, but also carry a vocational curriculum.Wortman adds it would differ from Sea Tech, a technical high school in Castle Hayne.Tuesday night at a school board meeting, community members shared their thoughts on this proposal, including one man who went to Williston Middle.Related Article: New Hanover Co. School Board continuing talks on Williston transition, school staff speak out against it“Where are you going to send those middle school kids? And furthermore, I think it’s just, it’s a ditch,” said Kevin Spears. “You’re ditching the real problem. Let’s fix what the problem is as it relates to schools in these types of neighborhoods.”If approved, it would be grades 6 through 12, and enrollment would be application based to not compete with nearby New Hanover High.last_img read more

Oh baby Pender mom gives birth in car outside hospital

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Pender County mom has quite the story to tell after giving birth inside her car in front of New Hanover Regional Medical Center Tuesday night.Kelly Lanier was 38 weeks pregnant, but ready or not her baby girl was coming into the world.- Advertisement – She says the labor lasted 38 minutes, which was barely enough time to drive to the hospital from Burgaw.“[We] almost made it… almost,” Lanier said.With her husband Lantz by her side, Kelly gave birth to a baby girl at 11:05 p.m. under the awning at the Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Wilmington. Both are doing fine.Pender County mom captured giving birth to baby outside NHRMC on Feb. 13, 2019. (Photo: De’Maya Berry)Related Article: Ports exploring purchase of Wilmington’s Optimist ParkIt wasn’t just a wild experience for the Lanier family and the hospital team, but also for De’Maya Berry.Berry was walking out to her car when she saw Kelly in labor.“By the time he opened the passenger door she had a baby coming out of her,” Berry said.“I had no idea I had an audience. And I sat up, and they started clapping and cheering,” said Kelly.But for this now mom of 3, it wasn’t her first delivery in a car. She had her 2nd child on the side of US 421 a few years ago.“It was déjà vu. It was the exact same thing. ‘We’re going to make it. We’re going to be fine. You’re going to get your epidural,’ and she kept saying, ‘I’m way past my epidural, I’m not going to make it,’” said Lantz.The Laniers say while they definitely do not want to go through this a third time, it was an experience that changed them for the better.“Your significant other is always there with you through childbirth most of the time. But when they actually deliver your child, and they’re the ones that are actually in the moment, it just changes the way you kinda look at each other,” said Kelly.“It makes you think if you can do this, you can do anything together as a family,” said Lantz.last_img read more

Loggers from all over NC gather at annual Carolina Loggers Association meeting

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Loggers Association held its annual meeting this weekend.Each year, the CLA meets to discuss their current affairs. Logging in North Carolina is $32.7 billion industry, and is vital to our economy.- Advertisement – This year’s meeting had a specific topic to discuss; Florence.Executive director Ewell Smith says that Florence impacted their industry heavily, but that they always pull through.“Overcoming a crisis like Florence sets us back but this is the important part: we always come back stronger after a crisis. It may seem horrible going through it. It is. It stinks— going through it but we know we can come back stronger on the other side,” Said Smith.Related Article: Habitat for Humanity holds CEO BuildAnother topic of conversation is a program CLA started called Logs for the Cause, working with loggers and other organizations in Wilmington helping first responders and veterans get back to their homes. Smith says that “rising tides raise all ships.”last_img read more

Bill on separating AGs role is a parody of the Venice Commission

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Former Law Faculty Dean Professor Kevin Aquilina has described the bill proposing the constitution of the Office of State Advocate and the separation of functions of state prosecutor from those of legal advisor to government, as a parody of the December 2018 Venice Commission’s Report.READ: Venice Commission suggests creation of independent prosecutorIn a paper published on GħSL’s online journal titled The State Advocate Bill No. 83 of 2019: Acting in Breach of Malta’s International Obligations, the former Dean criticised the bill as it was put forward saying it is ‘shabbily drafted’ adding that it is “legislative drafting mediocrity at its best” and vehemently argued against its adoption by Parliament. He explained how the bill runs counter to the doctrines of the separation of powers and rule of law, thus making a parody of the Venice Commission recommendations.‘Government acting in bad faith’Law Professor Aquilina questions whether the Government’s intention to legislate that part of the Venice Commission Report on the separation of the office of legal advisor to the government from that of the Director of Prosecutions, is reflected in the Bill proposed. He further argued that on analysing the Bill and the Report, one finds inconsistencies between both documents. Adding that it indicates that “the government is in bad faith when it claims it is implementing the Venice Commission Report and complying with its international law obligations”.READ: AG draft legislative amendment discussed in ParliamentAmong the examples cited by Aquilina, he points out that the Venice Commission questioned the various roles which the Attorney General carries out however the bill addresses only one such conflict. The Bill falls short of addressing the Venice Commission criticism of the role of the Attorney General as the chair of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. Further, Aquilina observed that the Bill not only does not address the ‘absolute and unfettered discretion’ by which the Attorney General can decide on criminal proceedings, but increases more power in the hands of the AG contrary to what the Venice Commission has said in its opinion on the Maltese legal system. Thus, Aquilina remarked, the current bill is in line with the “Prime Minister’s current autocratic concentration of powers heavily criticised by the Venice Commission report”. Aquilina further added that by not providing for judicial review of the AG’s unfettered discretion in the institution, undertaking and discontinuing criminal proceedings which is found in the proposed Bill is in breach of the rule of law.‘The government seems to have no difficulty with breaching the rule of law’After enlisting eight points and explaining clearly what the Venice Commission has said and what was actually put down in the draft, the law professor concluded that “the government seems to have no difficulty with breaching the rule of law”. He further added that the only legitimate conclusion is that the government is “deliberately acting in bad faith”.More on this:Venice Commission calls for revision of constitutional rolesWhatsApplast_img read more

The Church in Singapore celebrates Catholic Youth Day

first_imgYouths participating in a workshop during Catholic Youths DayYouths participating in a workshop during Catholic Youths Day The Archdiocese of Singapore celebrated Catholic Youth Day 2019 on July 20 and 21. This year’s theme was “Jesus’ Name Above All Names” to celebrate the gift and centrality of Jesus Christ in the Catholic faith.The initiative was an invitation to all young people aged 16 to 35 to experience what to be part of the Church means – One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic -, alive in Jesus Christ.Gabriel is a young Catholic who took part in this celebration. In 2016, he witnessed over 2,000 young people pray together, which led him to desire a “deep passion for the Lord”.“I witnessed a deep yearning for the Lord as one united body of Christ … as everyone bowed down in silent Eucharistic adoration as the Blessed Sacrament was being exposed,” he told Fides News Agency.Church centered on Jesus ChristThrough this gathering of young people in the Archdiocese, Gabriel began to appreciate the reality of the Church: “The Church is much more than just a physical structure, it is made up of individuals with hearts united through prayer, worship, and communion, centered on Jesus Christ.”The Catholic Youth Day was also a call to young Catholics to proactively evangelize by inviting at least one other young person who does not know Jesus or who has been away from Church to come for the event.“CYD is for us a time to celebrate our faith among young people and also to share Jesus Christ with others, as a source and meaning of life”, said Father Brian D’Souza, OYP chaplain, to Fides.Youth challengesThe program of the Day was divided into two distinct segments. The first part began with prayer and adoration, followed by the preaching of Father Brian, and workshops on a variety of topics. In the evening, Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Singapore, Mgr. William Goh.After dinner, there was a brief contribution concerning the struggles that young people face, followed by the preaching by Fr. Jude David, OYP chaplain. At 10.30 pm the night vigil began in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Prayer ministry and the Sacrament of Reconciliation was available till midnight.The population of Singapore is 5.6 million inhabitants, of whom about 383 thousand are Catholics – 9 percent of the population.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Games you must play on Sonys newly launched PS4

first_imgDriveclub Advertisement Electronic Arts (EA) recently unveiled Sony’s PlayStation 4 at E3.The PS4 will go on sale the U.S. and Europe in time for the year-end holiday season and cost US$399. Gamers all around the world are exited about which games are going to make their expeerience worthwhile on the new console. We have compiled a list of PS4 we think are a must play. Killzone: Shadow FallKillzone: Shadow Fall is a first-person shooter from Guerilla Games set thirty years after the events of Killzone 3. You take on the role of a Shadow Marshal, a special force tasked with maintaining the delicate balance between the two rival factions known as the Helghast and the Vektans who live side by side in a futuristic city, divided by a vast wall. Killzone: Shadow Fall will be released as a launch title for the PlayStation 4. – Advertisement – Killzone: Shadow FallKnackKnack is that rarest of items at the launch of a new console – an all-new series that promises originality. It’s a quirky third-person action-adventure game, clearly designed to appeal more to the young than to hardcore gamers. You play Knack, an odd-looking, vaguely robotic glass character with the ability to surround himself (using a force-field) with a cloud of detritus picked up from his surroundings, and thereby to grow in size and change shape. Killzone: Shadow FallInFamous: Second SoninFamous: Second Son is a PlayStation 4 exclusive and the third entry in the inFamous franchise by Sucker Punch. The game is set seven years after the events of inFamous 2 and follows the story of Deslin Rowe, a 24 year-old who gains the ability to direct, manipulate, and even transform into smoke after he rescues occupants from a fiery bus wreck.InFamous: Second SonDriveclubDrive Club is a racing sim for the PlayStation 4 focused on highly detailed cars and social racing teams.It consisted of one track – a custom-designed effort in countryside surroundings – and four cars, including the Audi R8 V10, Pagani Huayra and McLaren MP4-12C. There was a glimpse of its social networking-style attributes on show, in the form of mini-challenges that you encountered at various parts of the track (average speed, cornering tidiness and drifting), in which you faced off against another car – the PS4 pods at the show were networked up to each other. You would either win or lose points for your Drive Club, and everything was totted up at the end of the race. The game also used the PS4 camera to take a snapshot of its participants before the race, and you could see thumbnails of your competitors’ photos on the backs of their ghost-cars.DriveclubWhile Driveclub was tidy enough – handling seemed fairly realistic, although skewed more towards arcade-style than simulation – the E3 demo didn’t inspire. Visually, it wasn’t that impressive, and what was on offer didn’t seem vastly different than anything we’d seen before. Evolution Studios has a lot of work to do between now and Christmas if Driveclub is to achieve must-have status. Credit: TPlast_img read more