More than 200kg of drugs found in prisons last year

first_img“These figures highlight the determination of prison staff to disrupt this behaviour, whilst at the same time sending a clear message that we will push to prosecute anyone who involves themselves in this kind of activity. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “The issues within our prisons will not be resolved overnight, but we must make progress in tackling these problems. Bringing in more frontline staff is an integral part of that.”The number of prison officers in post is on the rise, meaning we are on track to achieving the recruitment of 2,500 officers by 2018.” Employees clear debris after riots at HMP Birmingham in JanuaryCredit:Jason Alden/G4S/PA Wire/Jason Alden/G4S/PA Wire More than 200 kilograms of drugs and 13,000 mobile phones were found in prisons last year Credit:Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Anthony Devlin/PA Wire More than 200 kilograms of drugs and 13,000 mobile phones were found in prisons last year as the Government admitted the situation was “unacceptable”.The haul of contraband seized in prisons, which also included 7,000 mobile phone sim cards, illustrates the scale of the challenge facing prison officers who have had to cope with staff cuts and increased violence over recent years. Officials said a £2 million investment in technology to detect phones and 300 specialist dogs trained to find drugs had helped recover the illegal items.But Mr Gyimah acknowledged more needed to be done, including the recruitment of extra prison officers.He said: “I have been clear that the current levels of violence, drugs and mobile phones in our prisons is unacceptable. We have put in place a number of measures to help disrupt this illegal activity as it is an issue I am absolutely determined to resolve. Employees clear debris after riots at HMP Birmingham in January Prisons minister Sam Gyimah acknowledged the issues would not be resolved overnight but praised the efforts of staff to tackle the problems and highlighted the Government’s recruitment drive to increase officer numbers.Figures released by the Ministry of Justice showed 225kg of drugs were recovered across the prison estate in England and Wales in 2016.The seizure of mobile phones and sim cards helped thwart efforts by inmates to continue plotting further crimes from behind bars, the ministry said. The issues within our prisons will not be resolved overnight, but we must make progress in tackling these problems.Prisons minister Sam Gyimah More than 200 kilograms of drugs and 13,000 mobile phones were found in prisons last year last_img read more

Digital assistants could alleviate the loneliness of elderly

first_imgThe new Amazon Echo devices on display during the company's product launch  Referring to how such gadgetry is increasingly being used as in-house personal trainers, Prof Gray said: “There’s significant potential here for older adults in particular, who often need extra encouragement to be active and would benefit from hearing another voice to help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.”He said the devices, which proved popular gifts this Christmas, were an ideal way to encourage older people to take exercise, with daily reminders and hints to prevent a slide into inactivity and frailty. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. He added: “Voice recognition devices have huge potential to get people being more active at home. They might seem like a novelty Christmas present at the moment, but for many people it’s just the sort of encouragement they need to keep on their feet maintaining healthy habits.“The devices can serve as a sort of virtual personal trainer, guiding mini workouts in the home as well as offering suggestions for physical activity options in their local town.”Amazon’s Echo, which launched in 2014, is now capable of answering questions, playing music, setting timers and controlling other tablet or smartphone devices. The price of the devices has also fallen dramatically in recent months.center_img Voice recognition devices for the home could help to combat loneliness for vulnerable elderly people, the clinical advisor to Public Health England has said.Prof Sir Muir Gray claims that virtual digital helpers, like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, could help pensioners stave off feelings of isolation.High tech companies are currently pouring millions of pounds into developing voice-controlled smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, in the belief that the limited two-way conversations that they can hold will soon become more complex and life-like.Amazon and Google are currently vying to produce the best smart speakers and assistants in the hopg of dominating the booming market. Meanwhile, Apple has produced the HomePod, and Microsoft and Samsung are together developing a speaker for the digital assistant Cortana. The new Amazon  Echo devices on display during the company’s product launch Credit:Daniel Berman/Bloomberglast_img read more

Wane of social media influencers as big brands drop stars over fears

“Their power comes from a deep, authentic and direct connection with people, but certain practices like buying followers can easily undermine these relationships”, said Mr Weed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Part of the problem is it’s hard to determine return on investment with influencers”, said Julia Ogden, Content and PR Director for the company.“Some do it for free, they’re happy to do whatever for an incentive. Some are charging a couple of hundred pounds, some tens of thousands. It’s even more when they have an agent.”Keith Weed, the Chief Marketing Officer of Unilever said that trust needed to be built back into the digital world, through improving integrity and transparency of influencers. “The key to improving the situation is three-fold: cleaning up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement; making brands and influencers more aware of the use of dishonest practices; and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure impact.“We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”Protect yourself and your family. Find out more about our Duty of Care campaign to regulate social media The appeal of social media “influencers” to advertise products may be slipping, as Unilever called for “urgent action” to address the problem of fake followers.The consumer goods company has pledged never to use influencers who buy followers to advertise its brands, which include Marmite, Dove soap and Colman’s Mustard.They also warn of the limited ways of accurately tracking the benefits of promotion from social media stars and measuring “authentic engagement”.Zazzle Media, a UK-based marketer, said the appeal of influencers is falling and they are “not a key focus” for any of the brands they work with.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––A survey of brands done by the company found that influencers were not a focus for a single one. read more

Royal Albert Hall soprano told to change her EU flag dress

A few yellow stars. How provocative. It’s quite right that people’s sensibilities were protected from such an overt and provocatively dangerous statement. https://t.co/ZVbyrdBrBr— Benedict Nelson (@ennobledinsect) March 25, 2019 When members of the public bought tickets to a rousing celebration of the world’s best-loved classical music on Saturday night, they were promised indoor fireworks, thundering cannons and can-can girls in the aisles.They were probably not expecting the stage of the Royal Albert Hall to become a political battleground, after a soprano donned the colours and flag of the European Union for her turn in the spotlight.Anna Patalong, who spent Saturday at the London protest march to demand a second referendum, wore yellow and blue with a distinctive necklace of stars, in what appeared to be a defiant message to the electorate through the prism of classical music.And as concert organisers, determined that the night not be hijacked by disagreements over Europe, asked her to change back into the dress she had worn for the previous performances, her husband took to social media to complain about her mistreatment.The concert, called Classical Spectacular and advertised as the “UK’s most popular classical show”, has been running for 30 years at the Royal Albert Hall, loved by its fans for celebratory, flag-waving atmosphere not unlike the Last Night of the Proms. Ms Patalong, a British singer who has Polish and Irish heritage, had attended Saturday’s People’s Vote march in London and tweeted a picture of herself with MPs Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna. Its programme includes highlights from Handel, Bizet, Strauss, Vaughan Williams and Verdi, with a grand finale featuring Jerusalem, Rule Britannia!, Nessun Dorma, Land of Hope and Glory and the 1812 Overture. So proud of my wonderful wonderful wife who, faced with a sea of Union Jack wavers at the Albert Hall, reconfigured Rule Britannia to the tune of Ode to Joy. She’s my hero. #PeopleVoteMarch #Brexit pic.twitter.com/7FBCboQGy2— Benedict Nelson (@ennobledinsect) March 23, 2019 Anna Patalong joins Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna at People’s Vote March Credit:@Anna_Patalong  In a series of tweets beginning on Sunday, her husband, baritone Benedict Nelson, criticised the decision to ask her to change.”Yesterday a man was ejected from the ROH for wearing a pro EU T-shirt. Today my wife was asked to change her dress from yellow and blue at the RAH as the colours were too provocative,” he tweeted.”Two artistic venues people. Anyone who knows their history knows what that sounds like.”Quoting George Orwell’s notion that “the opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude”, he added: “If you can’t enjoy a three hour concert because a performer wears some visible gold stars for 3 minutes of it, you need to have a word with yourself.” She also accepted praise for what she termed “my tiny bit of civil disobedience” after a video showing her momentarily reconfiguring Rule Britannia to the tune of Ode to Joy at the Royal Albert Hall was shared by her husband.Anthony Findlay, CEO of the show’s producers Raymond Gubbay, said the soprano had not been asked to change mid-show, but encouraged to go back to her original outfit for the following evening’s performance. Anna Patalong joins Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna at People's Vote March  Performers including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are joined by  dancers, lighting and indoor fireworks lending to the atmosphere of fun.On Saturday night, Ms Patalong chose to wear a striking yellow dress, complete with blue sash and yellow stars, in an outfit choice she announced on Instagram as “rocking some EU colours for tonight’s concert”.She was afterwards asked to revert to the red dress she had worn on previous nights for the Sunday show, after organisers raised fears that the evening would be misunderstood as being an appropriate space for such a political statement. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Britains last artisan printer in plea for apprentice and heir to carry

The grandfather, who has four adult children quickly approaching retirement themselves, has begun the search for an apprentice as he moves closer towards his 81st birthday. Developed in the late 19th century, monotype revolutionised the printing press by allowing whole pages to be produced using individually cast… Britain’s last artisan printer is seeking an heir to inherit his business in an effort to revive the fortunes of the letterpress printing trade after his children decided to pursue different careers. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Stanley Lane has worked as a ‘monotype’ hand printer for over 60 years, producing meticulously crafted books from Gloucester Typesetting workshop in Stroud to a select group of publishers. read more

Grammar schools allowed entry to hundreds of pupils despite them not passing

The 11-plus exam is used by grammar schools to determine a student’s ability but there is no national ability threshold with which those schools must abide. It is for the schools to decide where the cut-off will be. Furthermore, the FoI figures may include sixth form students at grammar schools – who will have not all have taken 11 plus – pupils who have moved into the school during the school year whose ability may have been assessed through other means, and also those who have gained a place at the schools via the appeals process.A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Admission authorities for grammar schools decide how they assess pupils who apply for a school place – the 11-plus exam is used by all grammar schools for pupils entering Year 7.  Pupils who have moved to a grammar school outside of this period may be assessed through other means.“Standards are rising across the board, with 85 per cent of schools now good or outstanding, compared to 68% in 2010 and 98 per cent of grammar schools are good or outstanding. We encourage all good schools to expand where there is a need for more places and selective schools are some of the highest performing in the country.” “Such tactics would suggest that the £200 million this government has designated to expanding selective schools is a sheer waste of money. Far from being over-subscribed, many grammar schools appear to struggle to fill their allocation.”The FoI statistics found that 35 grammar schools did not admit any pupils at all through the appeals process, while 35 schools admitted just one or two appeal pupils. More than one third – 59 in total – of all 163 grammar schools did not respond to the request for information.However Jim Skinner, chair of the Grammar School Heads’ Association, said that the allegations were “ridiculous”.He said that the vast majority of grammar schools “are heavily oversubscribed” and are not able to offer places to all the pupils who have passed their admissions tests and that admissions appeals are heard by independent panels.“It is the appeal panel, not the school, which decide whether or not the child should be admitted and their decision is binding on the school,” he said.“All parents have a right to appeal, if their application for a place at a school is unsuccessful. A high number of appeals is an indication that a school is very popular with parents and heavily oversubscribed.”   Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “It puts any reputation for academic excellence into question if academic standards can be dropped the minute there is a financial incentive to do so,” Dr Burgess added. Grammar schools are admitting hundreds of pupils every year despite them not passing the 11 plus, new data suggests. Freedom of Information (FoI) figures show that more than 750 pupils who did not pass the 11-plus admission test were still awarded a place at a grammar school.The statistics have been released by Comprehensive Future, an anti-selection campaign group, and represent the academic year 2017/18.Dr Nuala Burgess, Chair of Comprehensive Future, said. “It seems to us that grammar schools claim they are popular and that their schools are oversubscribed and this is not the case.”“There’s far more children being allowed in who have failed the 11-plus and they turn around and say ‘look how popular and oversubscribed we are’ and it’s through the back door and there’s no scrutiny of their pass rates or an official body looking at them and we seriously think there’s a lot of gaming going on…everyone knows there’s funding per pupil.”In total all 163 grammar schools which were asked for details of their parental appeals process. According to the FoI data – of the schools which responded – 1,051 pupils were admitted through parental appeals, with 757 of these pupils admitted despite not passing the 11-plus admission test. read more

Guyana one of 12 countries to receive Council President Certificate from

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGuyana set to host first ever ICAO Air Transport conferenceMarch 20, 2018In “latest news”Guyana attends ICAO 39th General Assembly in CanadaOctober 11, 2016In “latest news”Aviation authority places more focus on safety regulationsJanuary 9, 2018In “latest news” The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has selected Guyana as one of twelve Member States to receive its Council President Certificate for 2016 in recognition for the significant progress it has made in resolving their safety oversight deficiencies and improving the effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices, according to a GINA.The Council President Certificates are issued once each calendar year in recognition of States that have met the criteria during the previous year.According to GINA, the eligibility criteria used for the recognition are objective and transparent and are based on the results of ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme Continuous Monitoring Approach (USOAP CMA) activities, including   audits, ICAO Coordinated Validation Missions (ICVMs) and off-site validation activities. They include:a) Effective Implementation over sixty (60%) per cent, that is, States must have achieved an overall Effect Implementation of sixty (60%) per cent or greater;b) Effective Implementation improvement over fifteen (15%), that is, States must achieve at least fifteen (15%) increase in the overall Effect Implementation compared to their last USOAP audit, andc) No Significant Safety Concern (SSC), that is, States with an outstanding SSC will be excluded from consideration until their SSC is resolved.The States selected for their achievement in 2016 are: Bolivia,  Egypt,  Guyana, Honduras,  Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Paraguay,  Republic of Macedonia,  Togo,  Uruguay,  Vietnam,  ZambiaThe Guyana Civil Aviation Authority will be presented the Council President Certificate at the earliest opportunity. read more

Charlie Gard Last precious moments for parents with their son

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCharlie Gard parents announce death of ‘beautiful boy’July 28, 2017In “latest news”Parents of terminally-ill UK baby end fight for US treatmentJuly 24, 2017In “latest news”Charlie Gard’s parents ‘denied final wish’ for more timeJuly 27, 2017In “latest news” (BBC) Charlie Gard’s parents are spending their “last precious moments” with their terminally ill son after ending their legal fight to take him to the US for treatment.Chris Gard and Connie Yates want to spend the “maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie”.The couple ended the case after a US doctor told them it was now too late to treat Charlie’s rare genetic condition.Lawyers for the couple are due back in court on Tuesday afternoon.Charlie has been in intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital since October (PA/BBC photo)Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has not said when life support will end.However, Mr Gard and Ms Yates, from Bedfont, west London, said Charlie would not reach his first birthday on 4 August.In its statement to the High Court, the hospital said it was “increasingly surprised and disappointed” the US doctor, Professor Michio Hirano, “had not read Charlie’s contemporaneous medical records or viewed Charlie’s brain imaging or read all of the second opinions about Charlie’s condition”.GOSH said Professor Hirano had not taken the opportunity to see Charlie until last week, despite being offered the chance to do so by the hospital in January.Even though the professor gave written evidence at all the court cases, the hospital said it only emerged last week that he had not read the judge’s ruling following the first High Court hearing in April.The hospital added it was concerned to hear the professor state in the witness box at the High Court hearing on 13 July that he had a financial interest in some of the treatment he proposed prescribing for Charlie.‘Sorry we couldn’t save you’Charlie has encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. He has brain damage and cannot move his arms or legs.His parents had asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that their son should be allowed to undergo a trial of nucleoside therapy in New York, a move opposed by London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, which argued it would be “futile”.The Family Division of the High Court heard on Monday that US neurologist Dr Michio Hirano was no longer willing to offer the experimental therapy after he had seen the results of a new MRI scan last week.Speaking outside court, Mr Gard said: “We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won’t make his first birthday in just under two weeks’ time.“Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you.”Mr Justice Francis said he hoped lessons could be learned from the “tragic” case.He has suggested that parents and hospital bosses who disagree over life-or-death treatment for children should be forced to mediate in a bid to avoid litigation.“I recognise, of course, that negotiating issues such as the life or death of a child seems impossible and often will be,” he said.“However, it is my clear view that mediation should be attempted in all cases such as this one, even if all that it does is achieve a greater understanding by the parties of each other’s positions.”Mr Gard’s and Ms Yates’s five-month legal battle started after doctors at Great Ormond Street had said the therapy would not help and that life-support treatment should stop.They subsequently failed to overturn rulings in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London, and also failed to persuade judges at the European Court of Human Rights to intervene.The couple made the “most painful of decisions” on Monday after reviewing new scan results which showed Charlie had deteriorated to the “point of no return”.In a statement, Great Ormond Street said: “The agony, desolation and bravery of their decision command GOSH’s utmost respect and humble all who work there.”Mr Gard and Ms Yates hope to establish a foundation to ensure Charlie’s voice “continues to be heard”.They had raised more than £1.3m for the treatment in the US. read more

Santner Babar rise to the top of T20I rankings

New Zealand left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner has displaced team-mate Ish Sodhi as the No. 1 bowler in T20Is, following his haul of four wickets in the home series against Pakistan. Ish Sodhi, who took two wickets in the series at an economy rate of 8.66, has moved down to third place. Santner leads the second-placed Rashid Khan by one point. He is the fourth New Zealander after Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond and Sodhi to secure the top spot for bowlers.Mitchell Santner tosses one up (Photo: Getty Images)Pakistan batsman Babar Azam, who was the leading scorer in the series with 109 runs in three innings at an average of 54.50 and strike-rate of 125.28, has vaulted 11 places to become the No.1 batsman in T20Is. Babar is only the second Pakistan batsman, after former captain Misbah-ul-Haq, to the landmark. Colin Munro, who had held the top spot before the start of the series, slipped to fourth after managing 50 runs in two innings.Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan continues to be the top-ranked T20I allrounder followed by Australia’s Glenn Maxwell.Shakib was also the No. 1 allrounder in the ODI rankings, having reclaimed the top spot from Mohammad Hafeez. In the ODI rankings for bowlers, Hasan Ali dropped to fifth from first. South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir leads the list followed by Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Josh Hazlewood. (ESPNCricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMunro, Sodhi and New Zealand top T20I rankingsJanuary 4, 2018In “Sports”Rashid Khan rises to the top of the T20 charts tooFebruary 26, 2018In “Sports”Imad Wasim surges to top of T20I bowlers rankingsJune 26, 2017In “latest news” read more

Relatives picket Linden hospital after maternity death

Relatives on the picket lineSeven relatives of Jennifer Gill, the 41 year old Amelia’s Ward, Linden woman who died at the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) after delivering a healthy baby on March 19,  today picketed the hospital as they continued claims that she was treated “poorly” prior to her death.An immediate member confirmed that the family intends on taking legal action against the hospital, should they not receive answers.Family and friends of the deceased who held placards bearing various slogans claimed that they were kept in the dark regarding the woman’s condition prior to and after her death and are alleging that the hospital was negligent.Initial reports had indicated that Gill had required a C-Section delivery owing to her age and size of the baby, however hospital refuted this saying she was eligible for a normal delivery, which it facilitated.The Hospital had launched an investigation into the matter and an official report sent the Chief Medical Officer and the Director of Regional Health Services.The medical institution’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Farouk Riyasat had noted that based on his medical knowledge and facts of the report, he believed that Gill died after suffering a blood disorder, referred to as Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) which causes rapid blood loss and thinning, eventually leading to shock and kidney failure. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWoman, 41, dies after giving birth at Linden HospitalMarch 21, 2018In “Crime”Mother who died after childbirth suffered from a blood disorder- LHC CEOMarch 22, 2018In “Health”Linden schoolgirl died from blunt trauma to head – autopsyJune 18, 2019In “Crime” read more