PostTrial Rally for Alex Nieto Talks Police CoverUp

first_imgJust five hours after four San Francisco police officers were cleared of excessive force in the shooting death of Alex Nieto, his parents and advocates crammed into the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and held a post-verdict gathering decrying what they said was a police cover-up.“The city of San Francisco spent millions of dollars on a scam,” said Benjamin Bac Sierra, one of the main spokespersons for the Justice for Alex Nieto Coalition. Standing on a chair and emphasizing each phrase with a pointed fist, Bac Sierra said the physical evidence in the case was on Nieto’s side and that a mostly non-white jury played against him.“The truth is that we are in a skewed racist system,” he said. “Justice is a big ass scam.”Nieto was killed in March 2014 after four San Francisco police officers mistook his taser for a pistol and fired upon him at Bernal Heights Park. Nieto carried a taser for his work as a security guard. Tags: alex nieto Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The four were cleared of any wrongdoing by a jury on Thursday after eight days of trial that saw contradictory witness testimony. The key witness for the plaintiffs — who said Nieto never took his hands out of his pockets — admitted on the stand that he was an alcoholic with difficulty remembering specific details.And the defense presented data downloaded from Nieto’s taser that recorded three trigger-pulls matching the time of the shooting, though that evidence was challenged in court because it required a recalculation by a technician with the taser company.That recalculation was enough for some to claim the police concealed the truth.“This case blew the cover off a police cover-up,” said Adriana Camarena, one of the main advocates for the Nieto family and a daily presence at the trial. Loud applause and shouts of “Lies!” and “Lying!” accompanied her statements on the purported conspiracy.“Another jury, an unbiased jury, a fair jury” could have ruled with the Nietos, she said.While advocates hammered the city, Nieto’s parents were more reserved. They shook hands with and hugged the dozens of people they’ve come to know since the shooting death of their son, giving brief speeches in Spanish after being called up by Bac Sierra.“I don’t know what happened at the end, that everyone was with the police,” said Refugio Nieto, Nieto’s father, of the jury’s decision. He repeated concerns that the jury was not diverse — of the eight jurors, none were Latino or black — and said he could not fathom the jury’s verdict.“That’s what I don’t understand,” he said with wet eyes before handing the microphone to his wife.“With this whole process I discovered how my son died,” said Elvira Nieto, Nieto’s mother. She said the trial brought a sense of closure and expressed gratitude for new friends made in the two years since the shooting.“For me I’ve gotten to know all of these beautiful people,” she said. “We have here a victory because we’re all together. That is a victory, that we are all here together.”Retaking the microphone after his wife’s words, Refugio Nieto spoke about seeing pictures of his son’s autopsy during the trial and pointed to the places Nieto had been shot — in the temple, through the lip, in his torso.“It’s a shame,” he said. “It’s a shame on the city.”More than a hundred people filled the atrium of the center and spilled out onto Mission Street for the event. A “blessing to the four directions” squeezed dozens of people against the walls as they circled up, turning to each of the cardinal directions between short prayers and blows of a conch shell. Dozens more huddled outside in the rain, where drummers performed and dancers danced.Christopher Muhammad, a minister of the Nation of Islam involved in the Mario Woods, gave an impassioned speech pledging to strengthen partnerships between minority communities in the city.“We have to now come together and force consequences,” Muhammad shouted at the packed room, some of whom raised their fists in the air. “This moment must lead to a movement.”The shooting death of Woods sparked immediate protests in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point and citywide, prompting the mayor and the police chief to announce use-of-force reforms and a federal investigation into racism within the police department.But supervisors like David Campos and John Avalos have said the reforms come two years too late and that they should have been instituted when Nieto was killed.Speaking before the speeches on Thursday, Campos said that as a lawyer he respects the jury process but that “there are still many questions that remain open about what happened here” and that the Nieto verdict does not erase the need for use-of-force reform.“This verdict does not change the need to reform the San Francisco Police Department,” he said. “Every aspect of operations of the police department needs to be reformed. We don’t need a verdict to tell us that.” center_img 0%last_img read more

Public Defenders immigration team hits a milestone — but there are so many

first_imgLast week, for the first time, every potential deportee on the local immigration team’s docket was represented by an attorney. Email Address Tags: deportation • immigration • jeff adachi Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Now, winning the lottery is pretty nice. And pretty rare. But, in a manner of speaking, it’s something Rodezno gets to have a hand in every working day now. She is one of four young attorneys hired by the Public Defender’s office on June 18, 2018, to staff its growing immigration unit, now eight lawyers strong. Because the law of the land can be bewildering, a person accused of spitting on the street and facing a minimal fine is entitled to legal representation, but a person embroiled in deportation proceedings and facing expulsion from the country is not. That’s the difference between criminal or administrative proceedings.But that’s where Rodezno and her colleagues come in. The public defender’s immigration attorneys offer their services to unrepresented men and women in the process of being deported. Like winning the lottery, it’s a wholly random process — and, often, an unexpected and out-of-the-blue stroke of luck.“We debated: How should we take cases? Intakes? Referrals? Screenings? Or should we simply go to court and offer representation?” recalls Francisco Ugarte, who leads the immigration unit. “We opted to do the latter. We don’t want to be the judge and decider of whether someone has a good case or not. Why should we be making those decisions? Once we’re deciding someone is unworthy of an attorney, we’re making moral decisions to deprive someone of their rights. We just want to offer representation to anyone who’s making an appearance.”So, yes: Men and women slipping down the greased skids of the nation’s deportation machine are asked, randomly, if they’d like to be represented by a top-notch immigration attorney. For free.You’re not going to believe this, but people tend to say yes. And, on June 26, for the first time in the brief existence of the city’s expanded immigration team, every last person on an immigration court docket was represented. It was, for Ugarte, an exhilarating sight. The clients, several of whom appeared via video from the West County Detention Center in Richmond, were notably more at ease than usual, with attorneys sitting beside them in the East Bay jail.Those attorneys were feeling pretty good, too.Hector Vega, a 30-year-old from San Jose, was also hired last month. He’d spent years representing immigrants as a private attorney, which was satisfying — until it wasn’t.“Sometimes,” he says, “in the private sector, you cannot help the people who are truly in need because of resources. If a family doesn’t have enough money or management above you says ‘no,’ that’s it.”This resonated with Genna Beier, 32, who also found her way to the public defender’s office after a stint at a prestigious immigration firm. “This is a totally different model of representation,” she says “You can do a lot more for your clients. When you’re not billing your time down to the six-minute increments, there are just a lot more opportunities.”The client could be a grandma or a gang member (or both). It doesn’t seem to matter to the defense attorneys. Actually, what matters is that it doesn’t matter. “I don’t have to consider whether this person has no criminal history or a lot of criminal history. I don’t have to consider if it’s a strong case or a more difficult case. I don’t have to consider whether he or she has sufficient resources,” rattles off Vega. “All I have to consider is that a person needs representation and merits representation. The fact we are able to help someone in need, regardless of what they have to offer” — he pauses and shakes his head a bit — “that gives us a lot of power.”When Public Defender Jeff Adachi made his initial ask for an immigration unit to protect vulnerable would-be deportees in Donald Trump’s America, skeptical members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors sniped about how he brought along a documentary filmmaker with him.Well, that sounds about right. Adachi can be theatrical, if need be. He is not shy. And he is not about making pals. He’s about getting the money to hire lawyers to represent clients and that’s what happened. In 2017, his office secured $872,000 for an immigration team, and, this year, received $1.9 million (that’s enough to bring in a cadre of lawyers and paralegals but, don’t forget — San Francisco spends some $1.19 million a year on toilet paper).The city now has more boots on the ground in this fight — but the Jeff Sessions Department of Justice has altered the terrain, and it’s now more of an uphill battle. Prosecutors now no longer have the discretion to close even a weak case, forcing defenders into lengthy proceedings. Immigration judges have been given quotas, encouraging rapid proceedings. Judges also are no longer permitted to delay a deportation case while a separate visa petition is proceeding — leading to the very real possibility of a visa being awarded to a man or woman who has already been 86ed from the United States.Ugarte estimates that between his team and the consortium of private immigration attorneys in the Bay Area, perhaps 50 percent of detainees in deportation proceedings are now represented. This is a figure that is simultaneously better than you’d think and worse than you’d hope. The dream of universal representation is both further along than it ever has been — and far, far from reality. His team, since last May, has taken on nearly 120 cases. That doesn’t sound like a lot, especially considering the ludicrous workloads public defenders routinely subject themselves to. But, Ugarte notes, you can’t really plea-bargain a deportation case. Just about everything is going to trial.And, in the meantime, the unit has thus far gotten 58 detainees out of stir and back with their families.Well, jackpot.The word is getting around, on both sides of the bars, that help is available. “I got three or four calls just today” from detainees, confirms Vega. “My number is spreading.” So is everyone’s. “It’s one of the gifts of this job,” he continues. “It’s not about the merits of the case. It’s about defending the people.” 0% In recent weeks, Gabriella Rodezno passed the bar, got a job, and watched an NBA finals game in person. “I died and went to heaven,” says the 32-year-old Mission native. “I won the lottery.”Well, jackpot.last_img read more

Neighborhood notes Flour Water Creativity Explored Be Democratic

first_img Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Let’s hope this upscale pizza joint does better than the last. Creativity Explored loves you Creativity Explored (3245 16th St.), an art gallery that features work by artists with developmental disabilities, will host a Valentine’s Day sale of its artwork from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 14. Show up from 1 to 4 p.m. for the complimentary Valentine Craft Table hosted by Thank You Thursday, an ongoing project encouraging everyone take the time to hand-write notes and cards expressing gratitude to anyone and everyone you love.While you’re there, don’t miss Marilyn Wong’s Catching Spirit solo exhibition, which runs through March 7. Mark your calendar!Untitled by Marilyn Wong, 2013 © Creativity Explored Licensing, LLCReform the Democratic Party!Yes, the mayor, supervisor, and school board elections are over — but there’s plenty more democracy to be had! Tomorrow, Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Women’s Building (3543 18th St.), show up to vote for the state’s District 17 delegates, whose ideas will eventually form the new platform of the Democratic Party. We can all agree that some things need changing. In other news … Want Tartine bread? You might just have to start waiting in line again. While the famed bakery is opening its new locations at SFO and on Ninth Avenue in the Inner Sunset, it has temporarily suspended its wholesale distribution at grocery stores like the Bi-Rite. The Chronicle has more. center_img Flour + Water, the acclaimed Italian joint that opening on 20th and Harrison 10 years ago, may soon open another location at the corner of 18th and Valencia that focuses on pizza. The space’s new occupants will likely have to perform some manner of spiritual cleansing in the space to chase out a few demons: Farina, the space’s previous tenant, had to shutter both of its locations, as its management owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid employee wages, parking taxes and invoices.It also had allegedly violated the terms of its lease at 700 Valencia, where two deputy U.S. Marshalls served an eviction notice in November 2017. The site has largely remained empty since then. Flour + Water representatives did not immediately return our inquiries, and it’s unclear when the restaurant will open its doors — although a Flour + Water Pizzeria Instagram page is live. last_img read more

Distillations Docs Clock a once and future dive stays true to its

first_img“Hey,” Michelle said, stopping and pointing. “That’s dark.” And it was. So even before she said “Isn’t it also a Mission landmark?” we were going in.Doc’s Clock has your basic “long hallway” layout: a long bar with a few tables down just past it. There are a couple of arcade games and a pinball machine, neither of which I ever saw anyone play. It had a big TV, set to FX, which I never saw anyone watch. Down by the tables, just past the bar, there is a very long miniature shuffleboard table against the wall, which I never saw anyone play. I’m not saying that never happens; when people get drunk enough they’ll try whatever games are handy. I’m just saying that the drinking comes first, and a certain threshold must be crossed before anyone’s going to say “Oo! Shuffleboard!”Doc’s Clock’s drink menu has all the class and decorum of prom after-party that the host asked his creepy uncle to supply at the last minute. It consists of a series of lists hung on the wall behind the bar, with names like “Crap on Tap,” “Bottles and Cans,” “Doc’s Clocktails” and “Drinks to Save the World.” Their official “Cocktail Menu,” which is also helpfully listed on their website, reads as follows: Email Address The bar that would become Doc’s Clock opened in the Mission in 1951. When the owners let it go, the story goes, they sold it at a discount to the one woman who promised that, no matter what happened, she would keep it a dive.The bar has had to move since then, but it’s still in the Mission, and that promise still holds. I almost never went to the old Doc’s Clock, which was only about two blocks over on Mission and 22nd. But, from what I recall, the new location on Mission and 20th is a fairly faithful recreation of the prior one.We went in because it was dark. Honestly, that’s the only reason: We wanted to go to a bar, but all the Mission Street bars we passed were well-lit and genteel, too much like boutiques. Some conversations are not genteel, which is why you want booze. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img ‘Barbie Mutilation Night’ is a Halloween tradition at Doc’s Clock. Illustration by Molly Oleson.The point here is that, at a dive bar of this caliber, you don’t actually much care what you’re drinking – you only care how much it costs. And Doc’s Clock has you taken care of. PBR is $3 on weeknights and until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; beers otherwise average around $5. Cocktails tap out at $10, with most hovering at $7 or $8. The drinks themselves, at these prices, are exactly what you’d expect. I ordered a “Ghost of the Mountain” (Snow Leopard Vodka, Sunny D, splash of Campari), which is actually worse than anything I ever drank at a high school party. But it’s not like they promised more. Any lawyer who’d been drinking would tell me it clearly falls under “other shit,” with precedent established by the Supreme Court case of Jim Beam vs. Your Mom. I ordered a Slane Irish Whiskey and Ginger as my second drink. It was much better, and $6. Keep it simple.A typical bustling night at Doc’s Clock’s Mission and 22nd location. The bar has since moved, but this vibe has not.The other point, and this is what makes Doc’s Clock a truly first-rate dive bar, is that it really doesn’t give damn. From the bartenders to the patrons to the drinkers lingering outside on the street, no one here is trying to impress anyone. The very idea is absurd: They do not care what you think. I didn’t get the sense, sitting at the bar, that anyone here had given up exactly, but they definitely didn’t come here to try. Even better than that, though, with almost 70 years of dive bar history under its belt, Doc’s Clock has reached that magical point where it can have a sense of humor about not giving a damn. This is much harder than it looks, because bars that try to be funny actually do end up giving a damn. For a dive bar to pull off what Doc’s Clock does, it has to be funny without caring if you laugh. Perhaps the pinnacle of this is “Barbie Mutilation Night,” Doc Clock’s Halloween tradition, in which every participant gets a willing “victim” to turn into an image of horror, with proceeds going to charity. I mean, that’s totally wrong and utterly hilarious. I was so impressed, and nobody cared how I felt at all. Perfect.As seen at Doc’s Clock.As I drank, someone on my left was complaining about the Burning Man ticket lottery that just happened, and how badly it had gone and how impossible it was to get tickets. On my right, the bartender was talking to patrons about trying to beat San Francisco’s public school lottery, and how impossible it is to get your kids into the school you want. One of the patrons, a tall young woman wearing a backpack, was incensed. “How can it be so hard!” And for a moment I didn’t know which conversation she was in. “There’s no kids left!” she said, ostensibly clearing that up. “Where’s the competition!” She thought about it for a moment. “I think they’re making this up just to get the parents to think there’s a competition,” she concluded. Which is a surprisingly plausible sounding theory.“What are you going to do?” she asked the bartender.“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” the woman to my left said, talking about Burning Man.We all want something, I guess. Down at the far end of the bar, someone had brought in pizza and all their friends were eating it. Nobody batted an eye. Fuck yeah. Michelle and I settled in to have a real talk. WhiskeyBeerTequilaOther shitlast_img read more

CONGRATS to Thatto Heath Ladies and their Reserve

first_imgCONGRATS to Thatto Heath Ladies and their Reserve team on their double cup success this weekend!On Sunday a coach filled with the Thatto Heath Ladies first team, the Challenge Cup defending Champions, and their reserve team travelled to the Odsal Stadium, home to the Bradford Bulls, to play in a double header final for the Woman’s Challenge Cup and Shield final, writes Laura Birchall.The first game kicked off at 1pm as the Thatto Heath Ladies Reserves played against the Whitley Bay Barbarians for the Women’s Challenge Cup Shield.The captain for Thatto Heath was Naomi Williams.After Danni Bound’s break down the middle it was Lydia Binstead who got the first try of the afternoon.Further tries in the first half came from Jade Ward and Rebecca Rotheram, who scored two, whilst Taleah Backo added a conversion to make the half time score 18-0.The second half proved testing for Thatto Heath as their defence was questioned by Whitley Bay. However Thatto Heath managed to find some gaps in the Barbarians’ defence, with Danni Bounds scoring a hat trick!Further tries came from Naomi Williams and Alisha Lea, with Backo converting a three tries. The most valuable player was awarded to Kath Organ for her outstanding performance during the game. The final score ended 44-0 to the Thatto Heath Reserve team; the Challenge Cup Shield Champions 2016.The second game kicked off at 3pm between the defending champions Thatto Heath Ladies and the Leigh Miners Ladies. The scoring was opened by Roxy Mura which was converted successfully by Tara Stanley.Superb defence and attack was shown by both sides and the half time score ended 32 – 6 with further tries coming from Captain Jenny Welsby, Tara Stanley, Jodie Cunningham and Sammie Simpson with three successful conversions also from Tara Stanley.The second half was opened by two excellent tries from Emily Rudge. This set the tone for the rest of the match with Thatto Heath Ladies scoring four more tries in the form of Sammie Smith, Jodie Cunningham and further two more from Tara Stanley, making that four tries for her by the end of the match.Tara also converted three more tries, making her the more than deserved winner of the match’s most valuable player. The final score was 62-6 to Thatto Heath Ladies; Challenge Cup Champions for the second year on the run.A huge congratulations to both of the Thatto Heath Ladies teams.Challenge Shield Details:Whitley Bay Barbarians:Shannon Johnson; Jo Brown, Neesha Wood, Jo Hulme, Amie Walker; Sam Hulme, Ellie Taylor; Sarah Harthorne, Zoe Brooks, Jodie Dixon, Matilda Butler, Ceri Storer, Lauren Roberts.Subs: Amy Lakey, Kirsten Lightheart, Emily Howard, Sam Castledina. Thatto Heath St Helens Reserves:Taleah Backo; Rebecca Rotheram, Charlotte Hill, Alisha Lea, Wendy Johnston; Carys Marsh, Millie Cadman; Chloe Richardson, Pip Birchall, Jade Ward, Olivia Miah, Danni Bound, Naomi Williams. Subs: Emma Dobson, Lydia Binstead, Casey Naylor, Kath Organ.Tries: Lydia Binstead, Rebecca Rotheram (2), Jade Ward, Danni Bound (3), Naomi Williams, Alisha Lea.Goals: Taleah Backo (4).Player of the Match: Kath OrganChallenge Cup Details:Leigh Miners Rangers:Rhianne Boag; Naiomh Gill-Ward, Georgia Sutherland, Sarina Tamou, Grace Morley; Emily Mullen, Keli Morris; Megan Eastwood, Rachel Ogden, Nicolette Postlewaite, Celia Farrimond, Laura Bent, Mairead Quinn.Subs: Emma Beaton, Chloe Jolley, Devon Rigby, Clare Thompson, Kerrie Hatton, Rebecca Wilkinson.Tries: Georgia SutherlandConversions: Emily MullenThatto Heath St Helens:Jodie Cunningham; Tara Stanley, Katie-May Williams, Rachel Thompson, Sammie Simpson; Jenny Welsby, Faye Gaskin; Lizzie Gladman, Tara Jones, Chloe Hammond, Roxy Mura, Chantelle Crowl, Emily Rudge.Subs: Dawn Taylor, Rebecca Rotheram, Jade Ward, Kath Organ, Millie Cadman, Naomi Williams.Tries: Roxy Mura, Tara Stanley (4), Jenny Welsby, Jodie Cunningham (2), Sammie Simpson (2), Emily Rudge (2)Goals: Tara Stanley (7)Player of the Match: Tara Stanleylast_img read more

Dozens explore Cape Fear Career Expo for new opportunities

first_img There are dozens of careers to choose from and even interview rooms set up to help job seekers land that new position. One recruiter said this a great opportunity for anyone job hunting to meet employers face to face.“They have all the employers in one spot, so it’s very beneficial and they can make that important first impression,” CFCC Associate Dean of Continuing Education Erica Talbert said.The StarNews partnered with other organizations like Cape Fear Community College, UNCW, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and more for the event. The expo hopes to help businesses and job seekers find that perfect match. People attening the Cape Fear Career Expo (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you are in search for a new job, you might be in luck.The first Cape Fear Career Expo is being held from 11  a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday in downtown Wilmington. The event is being held at The Coastline Convention Center.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Updated 2 Facebook Instagram and WhatsApp return to normal

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a4cc65ca&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> / Tracy Le / Tracy Le Blanc Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were later accessible around 3pm after experiencing a downtime.A spokesperson for Facebook told that earlier today some people may have experienced trouble connecting to the apps. The spokesperson said that the issue has been resolved and apologised for any inconvenience that was caused.Facebook down: Outage affecting various users around the world including MaltaFacebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are all experiencing issues this morning for users worldwide as well as in Malta. Various users found both Facebook and Instagram both inaccessible, with their news feeds refusing to refresh while domain unavailable.READ: Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram down, across the worldOther users have reported that their messages over WhatsApp are not being sent or received.Other news sites reported that the outages appear to have started at around 6.30am this has contacted Facebook on the latest issues.Last month Facebook experienced its worst outage ever.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

Draft construction amendments not acceptable in current form – KTP

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Miguela XuerebMiguela Xuereb Kamra tal-Periti says that the current draft amendments proposed on avoiding damage to third party buildings, ‘in its current form is not acceptable.’This is KTP’s initial response to yesterday’s publication of the government’s Legal Notice of draft amendments to the ‘Avoidance of Damage to Third Party Property Regulations.’‘A manager needs to be on-site for all key decisions’ – construction consultationTheir speedy publication and consultation follows a meeting last week between the government and stakeholders including KTP and the Malta Developer’s Association. During that meeting the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced a temporary suspension on construction, demolition and excavation work.Read more:Update (1): Watch: Residence wall collapses near construction site in ĦamrunProcess of establishing building and construction regulator ongoing – Minister BorgCurrent construction regulations ‘outdated’ and ‘inadequate’ – KTP PresidentThe decision followed a series of building collapses recorded in the previous weeks and months which saw residents narrowly escaping their homes. All of these incidents took place directly adjacent to construction work and excavation.Updated: Demolition and excavation permits suspended until further notice – MuscatPhoto by Miguela XuerebRushed and ill-thought outIn their first initial reaction to the proposals, KTP states that they believe the ‘piecemeal change to the regulatory regime that governs the building industry is ill-thought.’They stress that instead of fractional change there needs to be ‘a complete overhaul,’ of the regulations and laws governing the building industry, something the body says they have been trying to change for over a decade now.KTP says ‘precarious’ looking building appropriately designed; Police, PA unresponsiveHasty consultation eliminates need to check foundations of buildingsKTP goes on to say that enacting the current amendments need to be seen in terms of their impact on current laws, regulations and current shape of the industry. Not doing so only results in creating more confusion that does not address the key safety issues which the amendments are aimed at fixing.‘Even if the purported aim is to address the dangerous process of demolitions and excavations adjacent to existing properties, the Legal Notice proposes to address all other construction activities, but, at the same time, fails to address the other dangerous process of loading party walls, and their foundations, designed to carry two or three storeys, by many more floors.’Role creation ignoranceIn addition to shortcomings over the wider impact of the amendments, there is also the concern over the creation of new roles and competences without considering how they conflict with or ignore existing roles in other legislation.Worse still, KTP says that it does not include already established legal obligations for contractors to be legally registered and thus liable ‘as per Civil Law, jointly with the perit, for the structural integrity of buildings.’Miguela XuerebLack of researchIn their third observation, KTP states that the Legal Notice merely points out the process of carrying out and submitting the Geotechnical reports and designs with little understanding of how these methods are actually used internationally, not just for implementation locally.They put this down to a lack of good research and appreciation for its complexity.Responding retroactivelyKTP finally expresses its concerns over the implementation of these amendments in a retroactive way towards projects which are now happening.‘This will have implications on the capacity of the industry to respond in a meaningful manner.’Credit: Branko StoilovComments from PeritiKTP has said that it has issued its preliminary position to all architects affiliated with the Council and has asked them to submit their comments on Thursday. A final draft of their position would be formulated later on.KTP is also expected to participate in its Extraordinary General Meeting on Friday.WhatsApplast_img read more

Whatsapp drops 1 annual subscription

first_imgWhatsApp Chief Executive Jan Koum at the DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in Bavaria. Image Credit: WSJ Advertisement Popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp has announced that it will drop its US$0.99 (S$1.42) annual subscription fee, and be made available for free from now on.The Facebook-owned service, which has a user base of 900 million users worldwide, is a messaging service for mobile devices, and can also be used to make voice calls over a phone’s Internet connection. It recently allowed users to access the mobile service on the Google Chrome web browser.WhatsApp Chief Executive Jan Koum announced this at the DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in Bavaria. Previously, the company had offered some users a lifetime subscription for US$1, while the majority of users were offered the service free for the first year. – Advertisement – Some users had their free-use period extended several times in the last few years and have never had to pay for the service. In a blog post, the company conceded that its subscription-based business model had not been entirely successful.“For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well,” noted WhatsApp in a blog post.“Many WhatsApp users don’t have a debit or credit card number and they worried they’d lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we’ll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service.”In an assurance to users, the company also promised that it will not start rolling out third-party advertisements to make up for the loss in subscription fees.Instead, it will look into partnering with companies, to open communication channels with its user base.[related-posts]“Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organisations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight. We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam.”[StraitsTimes]last_img read more

Wetaase Platform Launched in Uganda to Help Victims of Human Trafficking

first_imgWetaase to utilize its data to track and reduce incidences of human trafficking by monitoring domestic and transnational trafficking. (Photo Courtesy) Advertisement Pollicy, a civic technology organisation in Uganda, has joined the fight to combat human trafficking by developing a platform named Wetaase that will provide relevant, timely information to citizens seeking to travel abroad as well as utilize open data to track and reduce incidences of human trafficking in East Africa, as well asWetaase (a vernacular word meaning ‘help yourself’) is an online and mobile platform serving high-risk individuals, victims and survivors of human trafficking from Uganda. The automated toll-free line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in major Ugandan languages and will also be staffed by trained counselors.Wetaase provides vital information, legal advice and aftercare support through different channels and partnerships. – Advertisement – The platform utilizes this data to track and reduce incidences of human trafficking by monitoring domestic and transnational trafficking. Eventually, the platform aims to be available in countries where Ugandans are most often trafficked to serve as a first line of defense.The Wetaase platform has officially opened its online doors to all those who need any information and help related to human trafficking. There will be a main launch at a private event later on this month.Esther Ndagire the Program Manager of Wetaase expressed her optimism in the platform and believes it will create a positive impact on Ugandans seeking opportunities abroad. She briefly remarked upon the launch of the platform.“We are excited to launch this platform which we have been working on tirelessly for the past couple of months to ensure that we launch a service with our end users in mind. We have engaged key stakeholders working on human trafficking to ensure that the platform is well-trusted,” she said in a press statement.“Wetaase has also recruited a team of dedicated youth community champions who will visit different communities across Kampala to educate and empower communities with knowledge on safe migration and access to information, services and resources,” she concludes.Pollicy works with governments and civil society to effectively use data and technology to improve public service delivery for citizens. Along these lines, the organization is also building up the civic technology ecosystem in Uganda by bringing together enthusiasts from different sectors, backgrounds and organizations to share knowledge and network.last_img read more