Disabled activists are calling on the UN to take a

first_imgDisabled activists are calling on the UN to take action after elections to the 18-strong committee that oversees the implementation of its disability rights convention left it with just a single female member alongside 17 men.The committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) currently has six women members, but from January next year that will fall to just one, the German representative Theresia Degener.The elections were held at the UN in New York to replace nine expert members of the committee whose four-year terms are due to expire at the end of the year.All 160 states that have ratified the convention voted in the election, and each of them voted for nine out of the 18 candidates in a secret ballot.But many disabled activists were appalled when it was revealed that all nine of the candidates who were successful in the election were men, although they welcomed the election of the committee’s first panellist with learning difficulties, Robert Martin, from New Zealand, and its first sign language-user, Valery Nikitich Rukhledev, from Russia.The UK representative on the committee, Diane Kingston, is believed to have fallen just three votes short of the number she needed to be re-elected.From 2008 to 2010, there were five women out of 12 CRPD members, and in the following two years there were eight out of 18, but since then the proportion of women has gradually fallen.The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says (article 34, paragraph four) that countries who sign up to the treaty should elect committee members with consideration to factors including “balanced gender representation”.Kingston declined to comment this week, but a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said: “The UN Human Rights Office has promoted gender balance in the election of treaty body members, but the elections are in the hands of the states parties.”But she pointed to a speech made last week by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, who said that the “undermining and denial of women’s human rights is the most widespread form of discrimination around the world”.He added: “We even see it in the Human Rights Council, where women speak considerably less than men, and at the highest level of virtually every decision-making body in the private and public sector – including the United Nations.  “We saw this only two days ago in New York, when out of nine people elected by member states to the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, not one was a woman.  “This means next year the committee will have only one woman member.  How is this possible?”Eleanor Lisney (pictured), a member of the steering group of the disabled women’s collective Sisters of Frida, said she and her colleagues were “concerned” at the election results.She said: “Some disabled people have told me that there is no gender difference in disability and that disability discrimination is gender neutral. But that is not true.“At Sisters of Frida, we work on the gaps for disabled women – on violence against women, on health and sexual provisions, in employment, and the intersecting factors. Article six [of the convention] is very clear on that.“On the CRPD committee, it is imperative we have disabled women who would work on those issues.“We hear from disabled women in the global south and those in the [black and minority ethnic] communities here (from Southall Black Sisters, for example) how those disabled women are left without voices because disabled people’s organisations are not in touch with those communities.“We need to work with our disabled sisters globally so that come the next election the committee will be more gender balanced.“And we can only do that by ramping up our own voices – to have the role models for young disabled women.”Both the International Disability Alliance and the International Disability and Development Consortium have expressed concern at the “disquieting” drop in the number of women on the committee.Maryanne Diamond, IDA’s chair, told Disability News Service: “In 2016 it is something that I was really shocked that we found ourselves with.”She said it was vital that the interests of disabled women were “always at the forefront” of the committee’s work.She added: “When you have a committee pretty much of all men it operates differently: the way conversations happen, the way dialogue happens; it’s a different dynamic.“The next elections are two years away; we can’t wait to start thinking about how we ensure this doesn’t happen again in a year or 18 months; we need to start thinking about it now.“We need to think about the women in all our countries who are suitable, appropriate, skilled, and then lobby governments to make sure governments think of women when they even put their candidates forward, because there were only three women in that list of 18.”She said the responsibility lay with member states to ensure that more of them put forward women as candidates in two years’ time, and that they vote for women candidates in 2018.She said: “I suspect that gender balance may not have been high on their list of priorities when determining who they were going to vote for.”Diamond had said earlier in a statement that the new make-up of the committee “signals a serious disconnect between the convention’s principles of non-discrimination and gender equality within the nominations and elections procedures, as well as an objectionable disengagement on the part of states to ensure and promote gender parity”.Munazza Gillani, country director for Pakistan for the UK-based disability charity Sightsavers, which works in developing countries, said the convention makes clear, in article 34, that “as they vote for committee members, governments must consider balanced gender representation as well as the inclusion of experts with disabilities”.She said: “With only one female member in the newly elected committee, this measure has clearly fallen short.“No-one can take inclusion for granted.“We believe there should be processes in place to ensure gender balance on all UN bodies to better reflect the global vision we all share – one where the voices of women with disabilities are heard in top levels of governance, and one where no-one speaks on their behalf.”last_img read more

KEIRON Cunningham said he was disappointed with th

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham said he was disappointed with the way Saints acquitted themselves in their Karalius Cup clash with Widnes Vikings.He saw his charges lose 30-16 at Langtree Park.“I’ve always said trial games aren’t about the result but about you do out there on the field,” he said. “So I am really disappointed tonight. I’m not upset with the result but the way we went about it and did things. I thought we went about things a little soft at times.“We started well and played with a little bit of freedom. But after seeing that we seemed to decide we were on the training field and we started playing touch footy. You cannot play rugby league like that as it goes against what the sport is about. It is a tough, simple game and is about winning the energy battle – and we didn’t do that.“Widnes looked a game ahead of us, which they were, and we decided to chase the game in the wrong manner. That is what trial games are for I suppose and we have a lot of learning to do.”He continued: “We tried some different combinations because I haven’t decided on the final side. Before the game I said to the boys make it difficult for me to pick my side for round one… well a few of the boys have made it quite easy for me.“I thought Morgan Knowles went well and when we had to change the halves around Jordan Turner did a good job at 6. I was happy with my halves but I thought my junior middle men were poor though. We tried to play football when we didn’t earn it and we put the ball down.”Cunningham said that Travis Burns came off with a little bit of concussion whilst Luke Walsh rolled his ankle a little. Both will be monitored over the next few days.last_img read more

HULL FC will be travelling to Langtree Park in lar

first_imgHULL FC will be travelling to Langtree Park in large numbers on Sunday if latest sales are anything to go by.Close to 15 coaches have been booked by the Airlie Birds ahead of the Sixth Round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie between the two sides.It’s therefore time for Saints fans to reply and back the boys!Keiron Cunningham says the fans have been like an 18th man in the last two weeks for his side – roaring them to victories over Leeds and Castleford.In fact, during that win over the Rhinos KC said: “It was like Knowsley Road of old and they brought us home. It meant a lot to myself and the players to see and hear that.”It’s time to be in that number.Tickets can be bought from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455052 or by logging on here.Prices are:Members: West Terrace: Adult – £15, OAP / Young Adult – £11, Junior – FREENorth and South Stands (Gold): Adult – £22, OAP / Young Adult – £15, Junior – FREENorth and South Stands (Silver): Adult – £20, OAP / Young Adult – £14, Junior – FREENorth and South Stands (Bronze): Adult – £18, OAP / Young Adult – £13, Junior – FREENon-Members:West Terrace: Adult – £18, OAP / Young Adult – £13, Junior – £5North and South Stands (Gold): Adult – £25, OAP / Young Adult – £17, Junior – £5North and South Stands (Silver): Adult – £23, OAP / Young Adult – £16, Junior – £5North and South Stands (Bronze): Adult – £21, OAP / Young Adult – £15, Junior – £5Junior Members must collect their FREE tickets before match day.Membership discount pricing will end on Saturday May 7 (4pm).Membership Cards are not valid for this game.For details of Hospitality for the match click here.last_img read more

Grand Jury indicts woman charged in adoption scam

first_img00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not foundhttps://cdn.field59.com/WWAY/1503700418-9a0e62f57f4f37121a0a7bab5ac7f9d02c1dc4c5_fl9-720p.mp4 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 NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Carolina Beach woman at the center of an alleged nationwide adoption scam has been indicted.The District Attorney’s Office says a Grand Jury indicted Wendy George on six charges of obtaining property by false pretense and two charges of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.- Advertisement – Investigators say George used online groups and targeted moms looking to adopt by promising they could have her baby. According to some of the alleged victims, George sent photos of sonograms and of her pregnant body. She would also ask for help with rent and other finances.At least 15 people have come forward claiming to be victims.According to warrants, victims rented hotels for George and sent her money orders.Related Article: Mom: Cops need better mental health training after son’s fight with officersGeorge remains in jail under $570,000 bond.Gelast_img read more

Threat rising of storm surge inland flooding from Florence

first_imgATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on Tropical Storm Florence (all times local):6 p.m.- Advertisement – Forecasters are warning that the threat is rising of life-threatening storm surge and freshwater inland flooding from prolonged heavy rains once Hurricane Florence nears the Southeast seaboard in coming days.The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Florence is expected to become a major hurricane Monday and remain extremely dangerous and powerful as it nears the U.S. Atlantic coast on Thursday. While forecasters say it’s too soon to determine the exact timing and a possible landfall for the storm, people from South Carolina to the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the approaching storm.Click here for more information on the WWAY HURRICANE CENTER pageRelated Article: State tax credit proposed for repair of historic buildings damaged during natural disastersThe center says Florence is expected to strengthen further as it moves over the southwester Atlantic between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday. It says the hurricane should approach the U.S. coast on Thursday.___5 p.m.The National Hurricane Center says Florence is expected to become a major hurricane within a day as it crawls closer to the U.S. Atlantic seaboard.The Miami-based center says Florence is gaining strength and is expected to become a major hurricane Monday and keep that status as a powerful and extremely dangerous storm until Thursday. At 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, Florence had top sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph) and was centered about 720 miles (1,160 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda while moving westward at 7 mph (11 kph).The center says it is still too early to predict the hurricane’s exact path, but a huge coastal area from northern Florida to North Carolina has been urged to remain on guard for the possibility of a hit by Florence as a major hurricane. Forecasters say__4:30 p.m.Naval Station Norfolk says its employees should not leave their vehicles parked at the sprawling Virginia base in coming days because of the possibility of flooding from approaching Hurricane Florence.The station, the largest naval complex in the world, said in a Facebook post that much of the base is prone to heavy flooding, especially the parking lots adjacent to the waterfront. It posted photos showing heavy flooding from previous storms.Florence turned into a hurricane Sunday morning and was swirling toward the U.S. for what forecasters said could be a direct hit on the Southeast toward the end of the week. The National Hurricane Center says it’s still too early to predict the storm’s exact path.Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday, saying it was becoming increasingly likely that the state could see significant impacts.___2:50 p.m.South Carolina’s governor says residents should count on “a lot of wind and a lot of rain” from Hurricane Florence this week.Gov. Henry McMaster told a news conference Sunday that people should “pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore.”The National Hurricane Center says Florence could make landfall by Friday in the Southeast U.S. and that residents from South Carolina to the mid-Atlantic need to get ready.In South Carolina, Charleston city officials were offering sandbags for residents to fill. Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune urged residents to secure their homes, but said it’s too early to know if evacuations will be ordered.___1:40 p.m.Cruise lines are redirecting their ships to avoid the path of Hurricane Florence as it begins to bear down on the United States.Carnival Cruise Line said Sunday that it had changed the schedule of its cruise ships to accommodate tropical weather threats. Carnival Pride was scheduled to leave Baltimore and head to Bermuda during a week-long cruise. Instead the ship will now head to The Bahamas.The company also said that Carnival Horizon has cancelled plans to visit San Juan in Puerto Rico on Sunday. It is expected to arrive in New York on Sept. 13.In addition, in order to avoid Tropical Storm Isaac, the cruise line reversed the schedule for Carnival Vista. The ship will call on St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan and Amber Cove before returning to Miami on September 16.___12:15 p.m.Authorities in the Carolinas are warning residents to prepare for a potential disaster as Hurricane Florence gains strength ahead a potential landfall later in the week.North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement Sunday that coastal and inland residents alike need to get ready for potentially heavy rainfall and flooding from the storm. Cooper urged residents to “review your emergency plans and gather your supplies now.”The South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweeted Sunday that officials there are “preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster.”The National Hurricane Center said Florence had re-strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Sunday as it was located about 710 miles (1,142 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda. Forecasters predicted it would become a dangerous Category 4 storm before a possible landfall Friday.___11 a.m.Forecasters say Tropical Storm Florence has turned into a hurricane and is swirling toward the East Coast for what could be a direct hit toward the end of the week.The storm’s sustained winds reached 75 mph (121 kph), just over the threshold for a hurricane, on Sunday morning as it was swirling across the Atlantic, about 750 miles (1,210 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda. It was moving west at 6 mph.The National Hurricane Center says it is still too early to predict the hurricane’s exact path, but a huge coastal area from northern Florida to North Carolina should prepare for a major hit.last_img read more

As population grows some Hampstead residents push to become real town

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A rapidly growing Pender County community could become a real town if some of its residents have their way. But having more control could mean spending more money.“As you turn around, every place you look, there’s a new development going up. New homes being built, new apartments being built.”- Advertisement – Hampstead is growing.  It only takes up four percent of Pender County’s land, but makes up 27 percent of its population.A US census report lists Pender County as North Carolina’s fourth-fastest growing county.Now some residents think it’s time the community takes control of itself.Related Article: Part of Hampstead to have water temporarily cut off“This was attempted before in 2007 and it was voted down,” said Pender County State Representative Bob Muller.In order to incorporate, 15 percent of registered voters in Hampstead would have to sign a petition. From there, a bill would be drafted, and it would be voted on by the public in 2019 or 2020.Rep. Muller, who is working as an unbiased adviser to the committee that’s trying to incorporate Hampstead, says the town would have to provide at least four out of eight services.“Police protection, fire protection, solid waste collection, water distribution, street maintenance, street construction, street lighting, and zoning,” listed Muller.Residents would then pay an additional tax based on which services are provided.“Generally, people are really for it or really against it,” said Hampstead resident Hugh Harrison.Harrison has lived in Hampstead for eight years. He says although some services could be beneficial, he doesn’t like the idea of paying more taxes.He just wants voters to be informed before they make a decision.“If there’s a petition going around that ends up being in the election, people should find out what it’s all about and what the benefits and cost is going to be to them before they cast a vote for it,” said Harrison.Rep. Muller says if incorporated, the town could decide which government positions it deems necessary.last_img read more

Lawyer No basis for congressional race ballot fraud hearing

first_imgMark Harris (Photo: WBTV) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A lawyer for the Republican in the country’s last undecided congressional race says he doesn’t think a hearing that aims to find evidence of alleged ballot fraud can happen.Attorney David Freedman of Winston-Salem says he hasn’t called witnesses for the January 11 hearing because an elections board hasn’t been authorized to examine evidence or take action.- Advertisement – Freedman represents Mark Harris, the front-runner in the race to represent North Carolina’s 9th congressional district. Democrat Dan McCready trails Harris by a small margin.The elections board was dissolved on Friday by judges who months ago declared its form unconstitutional. A revamped board takes effect January 31.Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper claims he can re-establish the state elections board in time for the hearing. Republicans are threatening to sue if he tries.last_img read more

UPDATE State BOE postpones election fraud investigation hearing candidate to file suit

first_imgRALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — The State Board of Elections is officially postponing the evidentiary hearing previously scheduled for January 11. This is because Governor Roy Cooper has not named new members to the State BOE, saying republicans refuse to provide a list of nominees.The current state Board of Elections will not be named because the chair of the state Republican Party has refused to put forward nominees to the state Board of Elections, obstructing action on the ongoing investigation into election irregularities in the 9th Congressional District, the Governor’s Office said Wednesday.- Advertisement – “All North Carolinians deserve to have confidence in a system of voting that ensures honest and fair elections,” Gov. Cooper said. “If politicians and the people they hire are manipulating the system to steal elections, all of us should pull together to get to the bottom of it and stop it — regardless of whether the candidate who finished ahead in a tainted election is a Republican or a Democrat.”Under the current state law now in effect, the governor is to name five members to the North Carolina State Board of Elections selected from among a list of names provided by the two political parties with the highest number of registered affiliates.Republican leaders call the Governor’s actions “unlawful”. We heard from GOP party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse.Related Article: Sunset Beach Mayor Greg Weiss announces resignation“We will appoint members at the end of the month for the constitutionally derived, legislatively prescribed board of elections that begins on January 30th,” said Woodhouse.Since the structure of the Board that exists today is exactly the same as the structure starting January 31 under the new law, Gov. Cooper envisioned appointing the same people to both Boards—the current one and the one to be formed Jan. 31.Gov. Cooper intended to name members to the Board quickly so it could continue without interruption its investigation into alleged election fraud in the 9th Congressional District race.The State Board of Elections continues its investigation into irregularities affecting absentee voting in the 9th Congressional District, but says the hearing for January 11 has been postponed.“State Board staff will continue to interview witnesses and pursue leads as part of this investigation,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “This agency remains steadfast in its obligation to ensure confidence in the elections process.”Woodhouse says if the board had conducted the initial December hearing, this situation would never have happened.“They kept delaying the hearing and they failed to act,” said Woodhouse.There’s no word yet on when it will be rescheduled.Last week, Governor Cooper called on the chairs of the Republican and Democratic parties to provide their lists of nominees. The Democratic Party put forward a list of nominees but the governor’s office says the Republican Party has refused to provide any names and has discouraged Republicans from accepting any appointment to the Board.To “ensure that the Board remains fair and bipartisan and to make sure all North Carolinians have confidence in its decision,” Governor Cooper has declined to appoint a Board with only three members selected from the names put forward by the Democratic Party.The governor’s office says this failure could obstruct an ongoing investigation into disturbing allegations of election fraud and prevent a duly appointed, constitutional Board of Elections from being able to hear evidence and make an informed decision.Under a new law passed by the General Assembly last month, the Board of Elections is returned to a constitutional structure—the same structure previously in effect for more than 100 years until 2016 when legislators made changes since deemed unconstitutional.This same constitutional structure is in effect for the Board today, since a panel of judges allowed the stay on an unconstitutional iteration of the board to expire.“Quickly rooting out real election fraud should be a bipartisan effort. Today in North Carolina, we have a Board of Elections with five empty chairs because Republicans are blocking the way,” Gov. Cooper said.Now the Mark Harris campaign intends to ask a judge to certify the election. His campaign and attorney’s announced that he will file a Writ of Mandamus petition in Wake County Superior Court Thursday.“The state has refused to act and has lost its ability to act. So Mr. Harris is going to go to court to try to force certification of this race,” said Woodhouse.last_img read more

McDonalds hosts candlelight dinner for Valentines Day

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you were looking for a cheaper option for a sit down dinner with your special someone for Valentines Day, how about some McDonald’s?The McDonald’s on Monkey Junction switched gears from their normal service style on Valentines Day and held a sit down dinner with wait staff service for the holiday.You were able to enjoy that Big Mac over fresh table cloths, but it didn’t stop there with roses and Hershey’s kisses. Customers got to enjoy their Valentines Day dinner by candle light.- Advertisement – “McDonald’s doesn’t do table service like a full service restaurant for them to come in, we sit them down, we are giving out roses, we have necklaces for them, we have candy for them,” Area Supervisor Patty Owen said. “So we just make it a really special day so our guests remember this and want to come back next year.”The customers also appreciate the event.“It’s very special with all my friends,” Gordon Wilkiem said. “Very nice what McDonald’s is doing.”Related Article: Swole, buzzy, among new words in Merriam-Webster dictionaryThis is the fifth straight year that the Monkey Junction McDonald’s has held this dinner. They plan on doing it again next year.last_img read more