A court’s rejection of the latest bid to legalise assisted suicide shows that a group of disabled activists, and the medical profession, are now leading the opposition to a change in the law, according to a disabled peer.Noel Conway, who is terminally-ill with motor neurone disease, wanted the high court to find that the Suicide Act – which makes it illegal to assist someone to take their own life – was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.But three high court judges found against Conway, although he is now seeking permission to take his case to the court of appeal.The disabled people’s campaign group, Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK), had intervened in the court case – the first time it had taken such a step – with its evidence including a witness statement submitted by the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured).In her statement, she had told the court that a ruling in favour of Conway would “damage beyond repair the way in which society views the elderly, sick and disabled to the point where the Equality Act itself and the protection which it provides becomes fundamentally defective”.Her statement added: “I (and the hundreds of disabled and terminally ill members of NDY UK), want people to understand that it is perfectly possible to have a fulfilling and enjoyable life whilst living with a substantial, progressive condition.”She had told the court that continuing cuts to health and care services would mean that disabled and terminally-ill people “may become more inclined towards considering desperate options such as assisted suicide” if it was legalised.NDY UK’s barrister, Catherine Casserley, who was acting pro bono, said after the ruling that it was “significant” that Baroness Campbell’s statement, and the contribution by NDY UK, were recognised in the high court’s judgment.Casserley told NDY UK: “This is significant because the other interveners are not mentioned, and it puts you on the map as having made a valuable contribution on the subject which will be useful for future cases.”NDY UK points out that there is no organisation run by or for disabled and terminally-ill people that supports the legalisation of assisted suicide, while the medical profession, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Association for Palliative Medicine, also opposes a change in the law.Among those supporting Conway are the organisations Dignity in Dying (DiD), formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, and Humanists UK.Baroness Campbell told Disability News Service yesterday (Wednesday): “I think this entire outcome confirms that NDY UK, along with the majority of the medical profession, are now the foremost opposition to DiD.“We are more resilient than ever and this legal judgement proves we are improving our resistance capabilities all the time.“This is not funded by money; we haven’t any. We are fuelled by our supporters’ generosity of spirit, passion and commitment to resist this assisted suicide campaign, which threatens our lives and our right to equal treatment as non-disabled people under the law.”NDY UK believes that Conway and his supporters are attempting to “override” the decision of the House of Commons, which voted against legalisation of assisted suicide two years ago.Juliet Marlow, a spokeswoman for NDY UK, said: “We welcome the decision by the high court to reject this attempt to treat terminally-ill and disabled people differently by removing vital legal protections.“We are looking forward to the national conversation now focussing on the real issue here, which is a lack of adequate social care being provided to people with disabilities.“Similarly, we need a proper discussion on ensuring adequate palliative care is provided for the terminally-ill.”Conway said he was “deeply disappointed” by the high court’s decision.He said: “This decision denies me a real say over how and when I will die.“I am told the only option I currently have is to effectively suffocate to death by choosing to remove my ventilator, which I am now dependent on to breathe for up to 22 hours a day.“There is no way of knowing how long it would take me to die if I did this, or whether my suffering could be fully relieved. To me, this is not choice – this is cruelty.”The retired college lecturer added: “Knowing I had the option of a safe, peaceful assisted death at a time of my choosing would allow me to face my final months without the fear and anxiety that currently plagues me and my loved ones.“It would allow me to live the rest of my life on my own terms, knowing I was in control rather than at the mercy of a cruel illness.”But Phil Friend, a co-founder of NDY UK, said: “A change in the law is a terrifying prospect to the vast majority of disabled and terminally-ill people who work hard towards achieving equality for all.“Until we have reached that objective, assisted suicide will remain a dangerous and prejudiced option, likely to increase suffering and distress.”And actor and fellow NDY UK supporter Liz Carr added: “Disabled and terminally-ill people want support to live – not to die.“As a long-standing supporter of Not Dead Yet UK, I am keen to take an active role in making that happen.”
Transit agency head’s departure comes following video of woman dragged by train, revelations of defective vehicles, daylong Muni meltdown — and so much more Embattled Muni boss Ed Reiskin today announced he will step down after eight-odd years at the helm, following his contract’s expiration in August. Mayor London Breed, who had grown openly critical of Reiskin as Muni’s performance increasingly resembled a disaster-movie montage, simultaneously released a letter to the transit agency’s board, marking the commencement of a national search for Reiskin’s replacement — and announced an early afternoon press conference doing the same. So, the only way this could’ve been more choreographed is if there was a song-and-dance number to go along with it. Who knows: Perhaps at today’s press conference, there will be. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Reiskin’s announcement was met with virtual gasps on the internet. But it shouldn’t have been. All of these things happened just last week, culminating in rail service being knocked out for 10 hours on Friday. This is, rather literally, no way to run a railroad. As such, crass attempts to circumvent the rules by ride-share companies or VC-backed scooter outfits — which are often one and the same — were given undue credence because San Francisco’s public transit system has grown so unpleasant and unreliable. Muni has had such an awful run that many of you may have forgotten about last year’s service meltdown. Well, Mayor Breed hasn’t. In a nutshell, while our transit service diligently publicized the closure of the Twin Peaks Tunnel for necessary upgrades, it failed to publicize that it would backfill service affected by the tunnel’s closure by secretly syphoning buses and drivers off of other lines — some of Muni’s busiest lines, in fact. Statistics obtained by Mission Local reveal this resulted in de facto service cuts of 33 percent or more on some of the city’s most critical and crowded bus lines. These lines were often miles from the Twin Peaks Tunnel, and riders were blindsided. Sans an explanation, they were left to grind their teeth, grumble “Muni sucks,” and hop on a scooter or summon an Uber. It really is incredibly cynical and damaging to not only shield yourself via Muni’s evil reputation but to reinforce and enhance it. But wait! There’s more! In an astoundingly cavalier move, Muni failed to inform the mayor’s office that it planned to do this, leaving Mayor Mark Farrell and, subsequently, Mayor Breed, flat-footed. You’d think, in a normal city, this combination of presumptuousness, insubordination, and callousness would lead to a mass of gratuitous dismissals.Data obtained by Mission Local revealed a tremendous spike in missed service hours following last summer’s closure of the Twin Peaks Tunnel. While this move was planned by Muni, it was not publicized.But this is not a normal city. Former Muni transit head John Haley was shown the door not for this, nor other questionable moves, but after a female underling filed suit, claiming he discriminated against her and put his hands on her. And Reiskin, his boss, was not eased out until a week of gruesome and public Muni miscues that grew in intensity like the closing stanza of a fireworks show. To wit, in just the last week and change: A second woman sued Haley and the agency; reports surfaced that Muni’s costly new custom-designed train fleet of the future came with bum doors (and video surfaced of a woman being dragged); a story broke that the agency is rushing potentially unqualified drivers into those trains; it came to light that braking issues cause the Siemens trains’ wheels to flatten, knocking many of them out of service prematurely; and service went into the toilet because Muni was relying on drivers working on their off-days to fill routes and they refused. And then an electrical failure knocked out service in the Metro Tunnel for 10 hours on Friday, resulting in transit scenes of the sort you’d expect in a city where rebel armies are dropping barrel bombs from helicopters. People seemed way more upset about this infrastructure failure than the system being intentionally kneecapped by Muni management — as did Mayor Breed — but, as the ballplayers say, it is what it is. All of this took place, incidentally, after Reiskin pledged to show Mayor Breed that things were on the up and up after she wrote him a sharply worded letter in August.So, that’s what had to happen for Ed Reiskin to lose his job; he got more chances than Steve Howe. But it wasn’t all bad. Muni did obtain billions of dollars worth of new vehicles. But even this came with caveats. Its new green hybrid buses were bought in 2013 via a bizarre handshake deal with the manufacturer in which the city’s unknowing Board of Supervisors was made to vote to fund the purchase of a fleet of vehicles they had no idea was already paid for and, in fact, sitting across the bay in an Alameda warehouse. What’s more, the deal conveniently undermined Muni’s own internal study on which manner of hybrid engine to invest in, tossing business to an ostensibly favored vendor. And, as noted above, the billion-and-change spent on the new Siemens rail cars has, in too many ways, been a drag.These are troubled times for Muni. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.How did Reiskin hold on so long? Well, for one thing, the city would have been on the hook for a six-month severance payout if he left before the termination of his contract. That’s in the ballpark of $150,000 — which is a lot of money but is also around one-tenth what this city spends on toilet paper every year. Breed, who is running virtually unopposed for re-election in November, had not previously moved to dismiss any department heads (former health department boss Barbara Garcia, who was accused of steering contracts to her wife, voluntarily stepped down). The mayor is keeping an even hand on the city’s tiller up to this winter’s election. But following Muni’s recent theatrical failures, something had to give. And, with the search for Reiskin’s successor under way as of this afternoon, an interesting dynamic will play out. Even among progressive politicos who, like many in this city, were critical of Muni’s ongoing slump, Reiskin’s antipathy to Uber and Lyft and move-fast-break-things scooter companies was seen as a big plus. It evinced the opposite reaction from Mayor Breed, however. And now Reiskin is on his way out. Through it all, and through his eight-odd years atop Muni, he never appeared anything less than caring, decent, hard-working, and committed. Reiskin’s predecessor, Nat Ford, purportedly issued a verbal directive informing Muni staff not to speak to him unless spoken to. Reiskin didn’t do this. He biked around town and chatted on a one-to-one basis with Muni’s front-line employees and daily users. Despite Reiskin’s gaudy salary, he wore notoriously ill-fitting second-hand suits. He was approachable. He was well-liked. Everyone thought he was a nice guy and, more than that, a good guy. But, for all that, it’s tough to say Muni is performing better now than it did under Ford. And Reiskin wasn’t a transit specialist. The transit specialists in his staff appear to have taken liberties a more expert boss may have noticed and not countenanced. So, Muni is off the rails. It remains to be seen who, if anyone, can put it back on track.
A HOST of first team stars will take to the field this Friday when Saints take on Oldham Roughyeds at Whitebank Stadium.Ade Gardner, Josh Perry, Chris Flannery, Shaun Magennis and Nathan Ashe will join the likes of Carl Forster, Scott Hale, Danny Jones, Josh Jones, Jordan Hand and Oldhamer Joe Greenwood in the friendly.Greenwood, 18, signed from Saddleworth Rangers and is a prop forward. He trained with the first team squad in 2011 and was ‘18th’ man on a number of occasions so will be relishing his chance against his hometown club.The rest of the squad will be made up of players who train with the first team squad and Academy starlets.Admission prices are £10 adults, £8 concessions and £2 under 16s with a £2 transfer charge to the seats which will be sold on a first come first served basis.The game will kick off at 8pm.
SAINTS have announced their squad for Saturday’s Stobart Super League Round Seven trip to Bradford Bulls.Sia Soliola, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, James Roby and Ade Gardner miss out through injury but there are welcome returns for Mark Flanagan and Tommy Makinson.Shaun Magennis and Nathan Ashe are also named.The squad is:1. Paul Wellens, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Francis Meli, 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax, 8. Josh Perry, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Chris Flannery, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 17. Gary Wheeler, 18. Shaun Magennis, 19. Andrew Dixon, 20. Lee Gaskell, 21. Tom Makinson, 22. Jamie Foster, 24. Nathan Ashe.Bradford Coach Mick Potter, will choose from:1. Brett Kearney, 2. Adrian Purtell, 3. Keith Lulia, 4. Chev Walker, 6. Ben Jeffries, 9. Heath L’Estrange, 11. Oliver Elima, 12. Elliot Whitehead, 13. Jamie Langley, 14. Matt Diskin, 15. Bryn Hargreaves, 16. Manese Manuokafoa, 21. Tom Burgess, 24. Jason Crookes, 23. Danny Addy, 26. John Bateman, 28. Paul Sykes, 29. Michael Platt, 33. Karl Pryce.The game kicks off at 5.15pm and the referee is Richard Silverwood.Tickets are still on sale for the game and details are here.Stat Pack:Last 10 meetings:Bradford 14, St Helens 14 (SLR17, 12/6/11)St Helens 28, Bradford 16 (SLR7, 25/3/11)St Helens 60, Bradford 12 (SLR25, 13/8/10)Bradford 6, St Helens 38 (SLR2, 14/2/10)Bradford 18, St Helens 44 (SLR16, 21/6/09)St Helens 30, Bradford 34 (SLR10, 24/4/09)St Helens 58, Bradford 20 (SLR17, 13/6/08)Bradford 16, St Helens 22 (SLR3, 22/2/08)Bradford 14, St Helens 35 (CCSF, 28/7/07)(at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield)Bradford 10, St Helens 4 (SLR20, 13/7/07)Super League Summary:Bradford won 20 (includes wins in 1999, 2002 and 2005 play-offs)St Helens won 24 (includes wins in 1999 and 2002 Grand Finals & 1998 play-offs)1 drawUps and Downs:Bradford highest score: 64-24 (H, 2004) (Widest margin: 54-8, H, 2004)St Helens highest score: 66-4 (A, 2005) (also widest margin)
THE funeral for Dave Chisnall will take place at 11am on Thursday January 24 at Parish Church in St Helens.
LUKE Walsh, Travis Burns and Jon Wilkin have all been named in Saints’ 19-man squad for Sunday’s First Utility Super League Round ten clash at Huddersfield Giants.Luke could make his first appearance of the season for the Champions following the leg break he sustained against Widnes last July – whilst Jon Wilkin has recovered from the hamstring problem that kept him out of the Easter fixture programme.Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Lance Hohaia, 18. Luke Thompson, 19. Greg Richards, 22. Matty Dawson, 25. Andre Savelio, 28. Jack Ashworth, 29. Olly Davies.Paul Anderson will choose his Huddersfield side from:1. Scott Grix, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 5. Aaron Murphy, 6. Danny Brough, 7. Luke Robinson, 8. Eorl Crabtree, 10. Craig Huby, 12. Jack Hughes, 13. Chris Bailey, 14. Michael Lawrence, 15. Craig Kopczak, 16. Kyle Wood, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai, 18. Jodie Broughton, 19. Anthony Mullally, 20. Jamie Ellis, 22. Jake Connor, 30. Jordan Cox.The game kicks off at 3pm and the referee will be James Child.For ticket details please click here.
CALVIN Wellington and Regan Grace have been named in Wales’ 22-man squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers.Head coach John Kear has whittled his original train-on squad down from 29 to 22 players ahead of the qualifying matches against Serbia and Italy.Morgan Knowles had been initially selected but will have surgery in the off-season.Kear said: “It is an important period for Wales as we aim to make the World Cup next season.“We will be up against some challenges as Italy and Serbia are both strong sides who will boast some experienced players in their line-ups.“Our group of players is a very hard working one and there is always a good atmosphere in camp, so we are looking forward to getting back to work. We want to build on our achievements last year.”Wales’ full squad:Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (London Broncos), Calvin Wellington, Regan Grace (St Helens), Christiaan Roets, Courtney Davies, Ian Newbury, Connor Farrer (South Wales Ironmen), Ollie Olds (Souths Logan Magpies), Gil Dudson, Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings), Craig Kopczak, Phil Joseph (Salford Red Devils), Rhodri Lloyd, Jake Emmitt (Swinton Lions), Lewis Reece, Steve Parry, Morgan Evans (Gloucestershire All Golds), Joe Burke (Oldham Roughyeds), Anthony Walker (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Andrew Gay (Mackay Cutters), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles).
They heard about his request to use state funds to investigate water quality but no vote happened.“Fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” says Brunswick County Commission chairman Frank Williams. Since Chemours stopped discharging Gen-X in June, fixing the contamination OF Gen-X in the Cape Fear River has hit a road block.Related Article: Was that ballot fraud in North Carolina US House race?“We need more scientists, we need more people working on permits, we need more inspection capacity,” says the Governor.This is also the Governor’s first trip after tasking lawmakers to give more than two and a half million dollars to the Department of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services to dig deeper on water quality statewide.“This department is going to work as hard as it can with the resources it has to do the job,” says Cooper.Gen-X levels have dropped nearly three-fold in Brunswick County since July tests.“I don’t care whose name is on the plan as long as the plan works for our citizens,” says the chairman.Local lawmakers are concerned the Governor’s plan will not work fast enough nor would it directly help those along the Cape Fear River. Senator Michael Lee moved to collaborate with utilities like CFPUA and UNCW professionals to address Gen-X. The Governor was not against that.“It’s important that we collaborate, protecting water is not a partisan issue and we need to work together,” Cooper says.That’s the same mindset local leaders have on keeping the water clean.“We just want to folks in Raleigh to know this is an important issue and it’s not one to be politicized,” says Williams.The DEQ released new test results today for Gen-X levels concluding that levels are continuing to drop. They also say the levels are well below public health risk amounts. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Roy Cooper will spend much of his day in southeastern North Carolina.For the third time now, the Governor is in the Cape Fear area to address the ongoing Gen-X contamination. He began his trip in northwest Brunswick County at the municipal water treatment plant. The Governor’s tour comes after the Environmental Review Commission held an investigative hearing in Wilmington.- Advertisement –
Around 6:30 Thursday night, a heavy rescue team with the WFD went to the area of Stratford Boulevard and Jennings Drive.A dog had gotten into the storm drain underneath a driveway and got stuck.- Advertisement – WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Not quite a cat in a tree, in this case it was a dog in a storm culvert that drew the attention of the Wilmington Fire Department. It has a very happy ending and the camera was rolling to see the rescue. Fire crews dug out enough debris and dirt from around the dog until he was able to free himself.The owners of the dog were there as well.Firefighters say the dog seemed to be ok and happy that he was out.
00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — For several years the Town of Shallotte has been working on revitalizing the area by bringing in new businesses, community facilities, and upgrades.“It’s a very well-known established brewery out of Atlanta,” developer, Barrett McMullan said. “And for them to choose our small town is a big deal for this area.”- Advertisement – Major projects are underway in Shallotte as the town continues to see growth. For starters, there is a new brewery called Red Hare Brewing opening in the spring.“What we hope is that it serves sort of the focal point,” McMullan said. “You know the energy source for downtown that allows us to, you know, build from there. You know, more business will come to town providing more jobs and more things to do for folks who are coming to Shallotte or really give people a reason to come to Shallotte.”Last year, the town opened Mulberry Park.“It’s been a tremendous success within town,” Shallotte Mayor, Walter Eccard said. It’s brought a lot of people into the park. We do our farmer’s market there, we do our concert and movie series there, we do festivals throughout the year. It’s been used from everything from family reunions to weddings and of course all the town events.”And this year, the Riverfront Development Project is finally underway. It will create a riverwalk that people have wanted for years. Work on the Riverfront should begin soon.“We have hired an architect planner for the riverwalk and expect the work to begin on it immediately,” Eccard said.Right now there is a lot of buzz in the Town of Shallotte. The main goal of it all is to create a desired destination.“Between the waterfront, the park, the brewery and other businesses on Main Street a venue that will attract tourists and visitors into our town and to stay,” Eccard said.Mayor Eccard said once the Riverfront Development Project breaks ground, he hopes to bring in a hotel, restaurants and multi-purpose buildings into the area.Eccard said it will take at least five years to complete the project.