The government is considering offering financial i

first_imgThe government is considering offering financial incentives to employers to persuade them to recruit more disabled employees, as part of a 10-year strategy to secure jobs for one million more disabled people by 2027.The long-awaited Improving Lives strategy includes proposals across social security, the workplace and healthcare, in response to a consultation that produced about 6,000 comments, including more than 3,000 emails.In the workplace section of the joint Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health strategy, the government says it is considering offering employers a temporary “holiday” on national insurance contributions, alongside other “employer obligations and incentives” to take on disabled employees.It says that any measures must “avoid creating excessive burdens on employers that could discourage recruitment” and must be “appropriately targeted”.The strategy aims to increase the number of disabled people in work from 3.5 million to 4.5 million by 2027.There was disappointment that, as with last week’s industrial strategy, there were no proposals on how the government might use public sector procurement to insist that contractors provide training and job opportunities for disabled people.The strategy admitted that some responses to the green paper had called for public procurement to be used “to drive culture change and increased recruitment of disabled people in supply chains”.But DWP promised instead only to “work with its suppliers to encourage them to become Disability Confident to recruit, retain and develop disabled people” and to “encourage other government departments to do the same”.The government will also bring together public sector leaders for a Work, Health and Disability Summit by spring 2018, to “drive work [on disability employment] in the wider public sector”.The government said it had accepted all 40 recommendations of the review of mental health and employers by Lord (Dennis) Stevenson and Paul Farmer, although many of the responses to the Stevenson/Farmer recommendations saw the government “encouraging”, “supporting”, “exploring” or agreeing recommendations “in principle”, rather than pledging to enforce them.One of the recommendations it has agreed from the review is to bring together information and advice on mental health, wellbeing and disability for employers, although it is researching how best to do this.The strategy also includes proposals on how to improve the Access to Work (AtW) scheme, including trials of “managed personal budgets” to provide “even greater personalisation” – which has caused alarm among some campaigners – and the introduction of a “personalised service” for those with the highest support needs.There will also be “a new expectation” that equipment provided through AtW “will be portable and move with the individual when they change jobs”, while disabled people will be able to apply for support earlier so that it is in place by the time their job starts.But there was no suggestion of an end to the highly-controversial cap – set to rise to £43,100 in April – on annual AtW support packages, with DWP now facing legal action over its imposition (see separate story).There appears to be an admission that DWP’s much-criticised Disability Confident scheme for employers needs improvement, with the strategy promising to increase its “reach and effectiveness”, although not saying how this would be done.The strategy also says the government will “improve advice and support” for employers on how to “recruit, retain and support disabled people”, which employers feel is currently “fragmented and difficult to access”.There is no clear proposal for how this will be achieved, with the strategy saying instead that the government will “start by researching and identifying potential solutions”.Ellen Clifford, campaigns and policy manager for Inclusion London, said the strategy showed a “continuing failure to tackle any of the substantive barriers to work that Deaf and disabled people face, with reduced spending on the types of employment support that Deaf and disabled people actually need”.Nicky Evans, from the StopChanges2AtW campaign, said: “The proposals for how the government plans to ‘enhance’ Access to Work go nowhere near the radical overhaul of a failing service that is needed, while we have serious concerns about the consequences of measures such as the introduction of the cap.”She said she was also concerned about the report’s pledge that AtW recipients with the highest needs “will be offered new managed personal budgets as well as workplace assessments involving their employers, to help them meet their needs within their award levels”.Evans said this sounded “very much like the ‘job redesign’ that was previously attempted by AtW and heavily criticised.“Deaf people are having their jobs changed to accommodate the budget available for support – this goes against the original aims of the scheme to enable Deaf and disabled people to enter employment on a level playing-field with non-disabled employees.“Unfortunately, many of these so-called improvements will not solve the issues created by recent government changes to the scheme which, prior to 2010, was considered the government’s ‘best kept secret’.”Kamran Mallick (pictured), chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “There are many principles to be welcomed in the government’s announcement on getting more disabled people into work – we particularly welcome the idea of personalised employment support, for example, and the recommendations of the Stevenson/Farmer review being accepted and acted upon.“But this is against a backdrop of cuts in support to disabled people in and out of work, and missed opportunities.“[Last] week’s industrial strategy was a chance for the government to insist public sector contracts would only be awarded when bids included a mechanism which led to employment or training opportunities for disabled people. It ignored that possibility.“We’ve heard many positive platitudes from governments about the employment of disabled people over the last 20 years but little change in reality.“To meet its ambitious target of more than one million additional disabled people in work by 2027, this government needs to make sure its ambition is matched with the resources and culture change required to make it happen.”Frank Field, Labour MP, chair of the Commons work and pensions select committee and a former work and pensions minister, was also critical of the strategy.He said: “Progress on reducing the disability employment gap in the last decade has been glacial, and the measures announced today offer little prospect of picking up the pace.”He said the government needed “a radical new system to incentivise employers to take on and retain disabled workers”, while the strategy was just “a first step in the marathon distance” the government would need to travel if it wanted one million more disabled people in work.A DWP spokeswoman said that almost 600,000 disabled people had entered work in the last four years.She said: “The manifesto commitment to get one million more disabled people in work over the next ten years now gives us a clear, ambitious, and time-bound goal.“We have outlined specific actions across three settings: welfare, employers and health, to ensure that we have a comprehensive approach to achieving this commitment.“We are taking action across a range of areas.  And we are clear that we need to build our evidence of what works before we take further decisions.”She said the government had also taken action over the last year, including rolling out the new personal support package, ending repeat work capability assessments for people with the highest support needs, “boosting the capacity and capability of our work coaches”, and completing an internal review of the fit note.last_img read more

The Labour Party has ramped up preparations for Eu

first_imgThe Labour Party has ramped up preparations for European parliamentary elections this year by agreeing a process for selecting its MEP candidates, LabourList can reveal.Officers of the national executive committee (NEC), the party’s ruling body, this week signed off on a provisional timetable that would see applications open today in regions where there are vacancies.The deadline for all applications has been set as Wednesday 10th April, giving anyone wanting to stand for election as a Labour candidate less than a week from now.On 11th and 12th April, joint panels – made up of NEC members and regional executive members – will shortlist candidates, then on 15th and 16th April the following week, the panels will interview candidates (“by phone where possible”).Labour intends to select all its MEP candidates by 17th April and have them endorsed by NEC officers on that same day.The provisional timetableThe document sent to all NEC members reads: “The EU have expressed a willingness to hold a summit on or around the 11th April to decide whether or not to allow an extension to Article 50, however, the UK government would have to indicate before then, that we will participate in the European parliamentary elections.“Should we participate in the elections and polling day be Thursday 23rd May, then the last date for publication of notice of election would be Friday 12th April in the South West and 15th April in the rest of the UK as the electoral timetable for European parliamentary elections must start 25 working days prior to the scheduled poll.”One NEC source told LabourList that the timetable was “very, very provisional” and ready to be “thrown out the window” if a long Article 50 extension – delaying Brexit such that the UK has to hold European elections – does not go ahead.The confidential NEC document setting out the selection processes states: “Should it become clear the UK will not be participating in the EU elections, the procedure would be abandoned.”Theresa May is set to ask the EU for a further extension beyond 12th April – but only of a short length. This would give the UK the chance to pass a Brexit deal before 22nd May and avoid participating in European elections.However, there is a possibility that the EU will refuse to grant another short extension and instead force the UK to choose between no deal and a lengthy extension.Tags:Labour /Brexit /Article 50 extension /European elections 2019 /last_img read more

New SF Law Would Prevent Teacher Evictions During School Year

first_img 0% But the effect on children is just as strong, Campos and educator advocates argued, when teachers are evicted and struggling to find a place to stay – or when they leave the city and their jobs completely because they cannot afford to stay in San Francisco. “A credentialed teacher makes less than $3,400 a month,” Campos said. “A one-bedroom apartment is more than that.”Sandra Lee Fewer, a commissioner for the Board of Education and candidate for termed-out Supervisor Mar’s seat, said the city is experiencing an unprecedented teacher shortage in part because of its housing crisis. “[Educators] are moderate wage earners,” she said. “They cannot compete.”Allison Leshefsky, a physical education teacher at Paul Revere Elementary School who lived in the Castro and was evicted in December by notorious scofflaw landlord Anna Kihagi, is couch surfing with friends these days. “I couldn’t sleep or eat. All my spare time was spent trying to find a place to live. I was unable to give [my students] the attention they needed,” she said. She lived out of a suitcase and worried where she would stay next. But she has decided to put the kids first.“I will not be stopped from completing the school year,” Leshefsky said.Kristen Panti, who teaches at the Mission DIstrict after-school program Las Americas, started her career as a public school teacher with a salary matching her rent.“In 1987, I joined the San Francisco Unified School District,” Panti said. “I was really excited to make $6.90 an hour, and I could pay my rent with that.” But now, Panti is worried she will soon face eviction when her landlady sells the building where she lives. Residential buildings often see evictions after their sale to new owners because it is more profitable to bring in new, market-rate tenants than continue with long-term, rent-controlled tenants.“I don’t know what I would do, frankly,” she said. “This legislation would help us not have to deal with that during the school year.” Tags: education Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Concerned with the effect of a rising cost of living on educators who sometimes earn less in a month than the median rent for a one-bedroom San Francisco apartment, Supervisor David Campos introduced legislation to the Board of Supervisors yesterday that would prevent educators and other school employees from being evicted during the academic year. “San Francisco cannot be a world class city without world class schools, and you cannot have world class schools without educators,” Campos said at a press conference outside city hall on Tuesday. The proposal builds on legislation put forward by Supervisor Eric Mar in 2010 that prevents landlords from evicting families with children in local elementary schools. That legislation was developed to minimize the stress on children who must leave their friends and a steady learning environment in the middle of the school year as their families are required to move.“The fact is that in one out of ten classrooms…we don’t have the people to be able to fill those positions. And that impacts the education of our students,” Campos said. “We cannot educate our children if we do not have the personnel to actually do that.”last_img read more

From the Archives After the Apollo Program Ended NASA Settled on a

first_imgNever Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly When the Shuttle Was YoungBy Gregory CurtisFrom “Behind the Lines,” originally published in January 1984The glory of the space program is that in fifty years we have gone from setting off rockets with matches to sending up laboratories where six men can live for ten days and return to Earth as gently as a jetliner pulls into DFW. The shuttle’s takeoff is an exhilarating spectacle because it is incontrovertible proof that all the problems that stood in its way were solved by human energy and intelligence.Capitalizing on the Right StuffBy Helen ThorpeFrom “Can John Glenn Do It Again?,” originally published in October 1998It is easy to understand why John Glenn wants to go back into space. But why would NASA, a multibillion-dollar agency with important things to do, want to send him? Like John Glenn, NASA itself longs for a return to its former glory days. Employees dream like fading starlets of future leading roles, above all, a manned mission to the Red Planet. Getting anybody there would be a monumental undertaking and would cost billions. How better to generate public support for such a quest than to remind the nation of the first time it fell head over heels for an astronaut? One Giant Step for LogisticsBy Stephen HarriganFrom “Heaven & Earth,” originally published in April 2003Spaceflight has changed in ways that have inevitably leached some of the glamour away. The shuttle is a vehicle less for exploratory voyaging than for near-shore exploitation of space. Its primary job these days is the servicing and maintenance of the International Space Station. Compared with the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María, the shuttle is more like a crew boat ferrying personnel and supplies to an offshore drilling platform. When those supplies are unloaded in the weightlessness of space, astronauts, like grocery stockers, keep track of the inventory with bar code readers. In orbit, they receive a per diem of just $2.The United Colors of NASABy Al ReinertFrom “The Last Blast,” originally published in April 2011More than 350 people have now gone into space on the 133 space shuttle missions, and they represent our species probably better than we deserve. There have been female commanders and farmworker’s sons, schoolteachers, heart surgeons, senators, astronomers, biologists, geologists, psychologists, jet pilots, and enough engineers to construct a space station the size of a shopping mall. And that’s just the Americans. [They have been joined] over the years by the citizens of fifteen other countries, from Mexico and Switzerland to Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, men and women who took salsa music and sashimi into outer space and gave other cultures a taste of the dream. Enter your email address Photograph by Dan Winters First Name This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Last Namelast_img read more

A BRAVE second half fightback wasnt enough as Sai

first_imgA BRAVE second half fightback wasn’t enough as Saints went down 48-22 to Warrington at the Magic Weekend.Down 30-10 at the break they pulled to within eight points and had the Wolves on the rack before Trent Waterhouse poached late on.Saints created enough chances after a first half they’d want to forget but left themselves with far too much to do.Lee Briers was impervious at half back as was Stefan Ratchford at 1 and they both inspired the Wolves.But Saints got a foothold in the match when Ade Gardner and Jordan Turner got it back to 12-10.Yet, they let that momentum shift slip and the Wolves became too dominant.The second half was a different story as Turner and Lance Hohaia sparked a revival but ultimately it fell short.With Paul Wellens missing through injury, Lance Hohaia moved to full back, Tony Puletua moved up to prop to replace Josh Perry whilst Josh Jones came in at loose forward.Warrington welcomed back Adrian Morley on the bench whilst fit again Lee Briers was fit to face his former employers.One of Saints’ problems this season has been starting well and that was once again evident as Warrington scored with their first chance of the match.Jon Wilkin’s grubber within his own 20 – in the second minute – was collected by Simon Grix and Chris Riley touched down in the corner.Moments later a chip to the corner by Stefan Ratchford was pounced upon by Ryan Atkins.Ratchford converting once more.Bennie Westwood had a chance to increase the lead further on eight minutes and then Tommy Makinson did well to collect in goal and stop another opportunity.A great kick from Jordan Turner had the Wolves on their heels on 14 minutes and then a good clearing boot from Saints forced a drop out.And from there, they kept the ball alive and some phenomenal offloads from Willie Manu and Sia Soliola saw Ade Gardner get over in the corner.Tommy Makinson slotting the conversion over from the touchline.It had taken 25 minutes but Saints were finally on the front foot and the second try duly followed – a great ball from Nathan Ashe catching Jordan Turner on a magnificent line.Makinson hitting the post as he attempted to level.Warrington hit back when Chris Riley profited from a superb Simon Grix break to make it 16-10.And Ratchford bagged his third conversion to stretch the Wolves’ advantage to eight points.Saints weathered another couple of strong sets but Lee Briers got the benefit of the doubt when the defence looked clearly impeded to increase the advantage.And on the stroke of half time Trent Waterhouse finished off an excellent move.It went without saying that Saints needed a strong start to the second half and they had an early opportunity when they pinned Warrington back on their own line.Mark Percival’s chip forced an error from the impressive Ratchford – and Wilkin chipped to Turner for Saints’ third score.And with 20 minutes to go Saints had cut the lead to just eight points.Ade Gardner pinned his ears back after a great Jordan Turner offload, the ball went inside to Josh Jones who duly put Lance Hohaia under the posts.The game was there for the taking if Saints could have made their last tackle options count.But they couldn’t and Waterhouse latched on to Briers’ pass with less than eight minutes to go to kill off the comeback.Simon Grix and Adrian Morley capping the win with late tries.Match Summary:Saints: Tries: Gardner, Turner (2), HohaiaGoals: Makinson (3 from 4)Wolves: Tries: Riley (2), Atkins, Briers, Waterhouse (2), Grix, MorleyGoals: Ratchford (8 from 8)Penalties: Saints: 1Wolves: 3HT: 10-30FT: 22-48REF: Phil BenthamATT: 30973Teams:Saints:6. Lance Hohaia; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Jordan Turner, 30. Mark Percival, 21. Tom Makinson; 23. Nathan Ashe, 12. Jon Wilkin; 11. Tony Puletua, 36. Stuart Howarth, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 4. Sia Soliola, 13. Willie Manu, 19. Josh Jones.Subs: 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 16. Paul Clough, 25. Alex Walmsley, 33. Luke Thompson.Wolves:19. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Chris Riley, 15. Simon Grix, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Joel Monaghan; 6. Lee Briers, 7. Richie Myler; 16. Paul Wood, 14. Micky Higham, 18. Chris Hill, 11. Trent Waterhouse, 12. Ben Westwood, 17. Mike Cooper.Subs: 8. Adrian Morley, 9. Michael Monaghan, 10. Garreth Carvell, 24. Ben Currie.last_img read more

Jury finds Danny Thomas guilty of murder in retrial

first_img The murders happened in 2005.   He was originally convicted in 2011, but the Court of Appeals determined the trial court made an error during the first trial, which led to the court ordering that Thomas be given new trials for the November 2005 killings of Anthony Martin, and Dennis and Regina Inman as well as a September 2005 shooting in Whiteville.The new trial began on August 7.More than 30 people testified and 427 pieces of evidence were introduced.Related Article: Elizabethtown man sentenced up to 20 years for killing stepfather“The Defendant committed a series of heinous and premeditated killings in Columbus County deserving of maximum justice,” said District Attorney Jon David, “we have a solemn obligation to ensure that these convictions speak throughout time.” COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County jury has found a man guilty of four counts of murder in his retrial.Danny Lamont Thomas was sentenced to four consecutive counts of life without the possibility of parole. According to a news release, the state could not seek the death penalty because Thomas received a life sentence in his first trial.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Surf City Police seeking identity of larceny suspects

first_imgSurveillance photo of Walmart larceny suspects (Photo: Surf City Police) SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Do you recognize the men in these surveillance photos? Surf City Police hope you can identify them.Surveillance photo of Walmart larceny suspect (Photo: Surf City Police)Police say on Wednesday, the people in these photos took items from the Walmart in Surf City. They were able to get the items by distracting the cashier, according to a news release.- Advertisement – The items they stole are worth more than $1,000.Surveillance photo of Walmart larceny suspect (Photo: Surf City Police)The suspects were seen leaving in a white minivan.If you can identify them, contact the Surf City Police Department at (910) 328-7711 or email Det. Sgt. J. Hartsfield at jhartsfield@surfcitypolice.comlast_img read more

Pet Pals Meet Watson

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — This week’s Pet Pal is a big pup with an even bigger heart.Meet Watson. He is a 3-year-old English Coonhound. He has a white and tan coat and ears that may be bigger than your hand.- Advertisement – His previous owner told New Hanover County Animal Services he is good with all dogs,  loves to play with toys and take car rides. However, she said he does not know his size, so he may not be good around young children.Watson is also described as a gentle giant who knows how to sit and wait for dinner or treats. He is house trained, crate trained, fixed and micro-chipped.If you’d like to meet him, stop by New Hanover County Animal Services. County residents can adopt for $70.Related Article: Charges dismissed against woman who sheltered animals during FlorenceAdoption services are available between Noon and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday or Saturday from 8 a.m. to Noon; however, hours vary this weekend because of Easter.To see other animals available for adoption, click here.last_img read more

New Hanover County students bring art to Mayfaire

first_img Students from New Hanover County schools in grades kindergarten through 8th grade participated.There are 22 holiday displays across the shopping center.New Hanover County Arts Education Supervisor Jacki Booth says each group has a theme and was assigned a store based on the design.Related Article: Robert Irvine coming to Wilmington for GLOW Academy fundraiser“I’ve gotten to see so many folks taking time and stopping at the windows to really get a good look,” said Booth.She says the project has taught the students real world design and hopes to continue this holiday partnership again next year. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — How much holiday spirit do you have? Enough for a store window?Some area students are proving they have plenty of spirit at New Hanover County’s Mayfaire shopping center.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Man in boxers accused of breaking and entering taken into custody

first_img The victim had minor injuries.Police believe Holmes was under the influence of drugs.Holmes was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and faces multiple charges of breaking and entering, as well as, simple assault. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– Wilmington Police responded to multiple calls Tuesday morning of a man wearing boxers who was trying to break into cars near Clay Street.Police say they discovered Antwan Lendell Holmes, 37, had also allegedly broken into a house and assaulted a 91-year-old man.- Advertisement – last_img

Study shows 74 rent increase in Wilmington in 2019

first_img As of the second quarter of 2019, Wilmington rent prices have jumped 7.4%JC Lyle from WARM NC says it’s always great to see more people come to the city, but with that, comes the need for affordable housing.“The one thing that’s going to help with that is that the supply is increasing,” Lyle said. “We’re continuing to see developers that want to come here and want to build apartments and cottages and sometimes single-family homes for rent, so that will help. just increasing the supply will help a lot.”Related Article: Affordable housing project complete for disabled homelessLyle says as new housing comes in, it can cause prices to go down with existing housing. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Apartments seem to be shooting up left and right in Wilmington. One study shows Wilmington ranks at the top of the list for rent growth.In a study done by RealPage Inc., Wilmington was ranked the number one small metro city for annual rent growth so far in 2019.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Three quarters of emissions came from energy sector and transport in 2017

first_imgYandex.Drive carsharing cars are seen at a parking lot in Moscow, Russia September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim ShemetovYandex.Drive carsharing cars are seen at a parking lot in Moscow, Russia September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov The net greenhouse gas emissions from Industrial processes and Transport have increased in the decade period between 2007 and 2017, new figures show.Malta’s Nationalist Statistics Office reports that Industrial Processes have tripled in their emissions output, from 105 tonnes in 2007 to 317 tonnes in 2017. Likewise, with Transport the emissions levels have increased from 481 tonnes to 636 tonnes. NSO reports that this accounted for between 30 and 34% of net emissions.In comparison, 2007’s biggest polluter, the Energy Industries sector, they had dropped by just over half in 2017, from 2,692 tonnes to 1,618 tonnes.  This was reported to be just slightly over 75% of Malta’s greenhouse gas emissions. The same was seen with Waste which recorded a drop from 193 tonnes to 151 tonnes.This finding is part of NSO’s analysis recognising the United Nations’ World Environment Day. This year’s theme is ‘Beat Air Pollution.’ NSO’s collated findings reflect the country’s air pollution levels and its biggest causes.Transport emissions increase, so do passenger vehiclesWhile NSO reports that Transport emissions have increased over the specified decade period, they also report that the number of passenger vehicles shot up exponentially in the four year period between 2014 and 2018.While the stock of licenced vehicles like tractors or buses grew slowly, the number of licenced passenger cars grew by an average of 8,000 every year, 33,807 accumulated. The only other vehicle type to manage growth rates were in the ownership and licencing of motorcycle and E-bikes. This accounted for between 2000 and 3000 more each year.Overall, NSO reports that the number of vehicles licenced in the 4 year period increased by 15%.The findings also show that the average age of these two vehicle groups, compiled by 2017, now sits at just over 14 years old. In the period from 2008 onwards, motorcycles registered a consistent age of over 15 years old compared to passenger cars which gradually grew in age from just under 13 until the current average age.Interestingly, as the average age of vehicles increase, so have the licenced stock of used motor vehicles. This has increased from almost 11,000 in 2014 to 14,000 in 2017. In comparison, the number of new motor vehicles on Malta’s roads have almost levelled out between 2016 and 2017 (over 10,000 respectively), despite an increase in the 2014/15 period (over 8,000 and over 9,000 respectively).Average emissions on Maltese passenger vehicles lower than EU averageWhile transport emissions and passenger car ownership are up, the average emissions on Maltese passenger cars per kilometre are considered lower than the EU average and commensurate with reductions in the bloc between 2010 and 2017.The graph shows that both Malta and EU country’s average emissions per kilometre have both dropped from 140 to 119 gCO2 per km for the EU.  Malta’s levels have remained consistently below the bloc from 131 gCO2 per km in 2010, to 111 in 2017.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

3 Ways Technology is Improving Customer Service

first_imgA person is pictures using a laptop | Photo Courtesy : Royalty Free Photo Advertisement Never before has customer service been more important in literally any industry imaginable. From consumer goods to B2B relationships, the Customer Experience (CX) can make or break a company. In an age where information is never more than a mouse click away, customers demand instantaneous responses from companies they deal with, and this is where outstanding customer service becomes an invaluable asset. Why not add technology to the mix to offer that something extra many companies lack? Here are the top three ways you can integrate technology to improve the CX.1. Digital CommunicationsWhile most customers will want, at some point or another, to speak with a live customer service rep, many companies employ what is referred to as an omnichannel approach. This is used effectively by  Humach call center specialists who use a combination of digital and human communications. As an industry leader in outsourced customer service call centers, Humach provides a variety of means by which a company’s customers can interact with them. An omnichannel approach would combine:Phone.Email.Live chat.Support widgets on-page.Social networks.Video conferencing (cloud based).Bearing in mind thatconsumers, private and corporate, are used to getting information onlineimmediately, many strategies begin in the digital realm but lead to the moretraditional voice communications (phone) if answers aren’t readily available.2. Analytics – Advertisement – Then there are analytics to be concerned with. What is it that customers are looking for when searching for products or services you provide? Not only can this enable you to market your products, but it can go a long way in answering any questions which may be forthcoming. You will often notice a pattern to their queries. Operation instructions is always huge. If you can research online the most common questions people are likely to ask, you can have answers ready and waiting when you are approached. It’s amazing how important analytics are when it comes to improving the Customer Experience. As the old saying goes, “Forewarned is forearmed,” and so, you will be forearmed with the information you are going to most likely be asked.3. Meeting Future DemandsMany companies find that they rely on their Customer Service department when developing new product lines going forward. What is it exactly that customers are looking for and how can they meet those needs? Not only can technology provide the analytics necessary to track current customer queries, but it can also help to forecast future needs. Beyond analytics where you find the most commonly asked questions, you can also monitor market movement. Many improvements and new products were developed as a result of interaction with current customers, so there is also that extra foresight in serving your customers with future products that better meet their needs.A significant numberof today’s companies have gone to outsourcing customer service because there isan actual science involved. Customer service is more than just a voice on theother end of the line; it’s knowing exactly what they are looking for that willimprove their experience with your company and with the products you carry. Ifyou find that your customer service is less than satisfactory, isn’t it time toadd technology to the equation? You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes toyou as well as to the customers looking to you for answers.last_img read more

Bagged the elephant Part 1

first_imgThe closer to the kill, intensity increases and increases, like a pressure cooker. It becomes unbearable. The routine is the same though. I am a matching-junkie and everything will be laid out, the night before, for the following morning’s mission. If I’m wearing blue, red, or black, this will run right the way through, from tie, to cuff-links and socks. A couple of times a year though, this routine will break, just very slightly, and I will wear my lucky gold cuffs, given to me by Tony Morris a week before he died. I choose my days to wear them very sparingly. I know he is watching over me now though. Enjoying following the young animal’s progress, ever learning to fight in the jungle. Still looking on, like I’m the focus of a nature programme, a morbid fascination and pleasure. He will really enjoy today. All the old tricks, and feelings, will come out of the bag, and he knows that everything will be done to close the deal with the biggest player in town.As usual, I’m early, too early. Everything is in place twenty minutes before, the twenty minutes before, it needs to be, and I start pacing the hotel room. There’s no point going to the airport yet, as it will be worse there. I can only see the punter’s face now. My lust for battle is deep to my core now. There can be no turning back, no shying from the challenge. Now is the time.I check myself over for the umpteenth time. Business cards, a fountain pen (always black ink), a Star Sports pad of paper, and two sides of prices for tonight’s basketball and baseball games slipped into a plastic sleeve. Pam Statements faxed them through at the last minute, so we go armed with the most up-to-date list. I am unable to compete with the World’s bookmaking Goliaths on so many levels, as I don’t have the ammo to make the choices in technology they do. But it takes two to make a bet, I do have the right to lay the right price, and I choose to do so.I slip out into the landing outside my hotel room and make my way, like an automaton now, towards the lift. The heat outside the air-conditioned hotel is stifling, and in the couple of minutes it takes to get a cab, I can already feel my collar. I have been here for two days, surveying the scene, but New York’s humidity is something else entirely to try and get used to.A taxi suddenly swings across the road and pulls up next to me, half on the curb. I open the back right door and step in. There are few, if any pleasantries, with New York cabbies, and no eye-contact is made on the driver’s part. I simply utter ‘JFK, please’ and our period of communication has already started and come to a end.I know that Gaul Wood, wherever he is on his journey, will be going through the same torment in his own way. The quiet man, that at first was dragged forward with a rough ride, has now glided to the front, and seldom displays any emotion. ‘They’, whoever ‘they’ are in life, perceive him as the soft option. They’re wrong though, he just kills in a calmness and clarity that registers a sound only slightly above silence. He is so much more rounded than me, there is no rust or jagged and chipped edges on his shoulders. Rather than roaring like a lion and showing off his mane in public, he is the definition of pertinence in his communication. Neither does he feel obliged to, as politely as possible, openly offend corporate and computer people. He is able, instead, to accept them for the type of merchants they are. Whilst, of course, I have to ram it right the way home.At arrivals, I spot him immediately, as he comes through in the distance. His pensive and considered walk, giving him away. Each week his cardigans and corduroys are more a thing of the past, and Gaul Wood in a sharp black suit, with a purple tie, on a white shirt, will be what Mr Gekko first sees of him.We can’t break the intensity of the moment to greet each other with a hug or a handshake, he just strolls slowly but purposefully past me, as if he already knows the way to the taxi-rank, and utters ‘alright?’, without expecting any kind of nicey-nicey response. At once, we are walking together, at the same speed, with a joined momentum. We are both clearly aware of the gravity of getting this account open. In 1987 Bud Fox came to Wall Street to first ‘bag the elephant’ as it was put in GG’s first film. Today, in 2013, myself and Gary have come to New York to do the job again. However sadomasochistic, the pleasure and pain of this morning’s pressure is, it compares in no way to the low, and mental self-mutilation, that will come if we walk away empty handed.It has been an unsaid thing, but in recent years, lines of responsibility and decision-making, have been set. Always thinking alike, but at different time-lines, our strategies and targets for the business are in unison. Just, very occasionally, our horns may brush, but not fully lock, in the morning sun. More over an individual moment than any kind of change in journey plan. For the first time though today, his nerves betray him.‘So what are we going to play him for then?’In an instant he looks to his left out of the taxi’s window. He knows that was a moment wasted, really a moment of weakness. What was going to unfold now was a very silly conversation because it was a conversation with a drug addict. An ambition addict. You can lock horns with many issues, opinions, questions, and people, in this life. Blind Ambition is not one of those debating-points though. Blind Ambition just says whatever is necessary to get what it wants. Blind Ambition is a liar.‘I dunno, I was thinking 220’s to win 200’s early. We may have to go a bit higher if he’s getting better elsewhere.‘Far, far too big, to start, on US sports.’. Was the sensible, correct, pertinent, advice, from the voice of experience. It was said with a sigh though, as Gary knew that it had already left Blind Ambition’s obsessed mind and grating jaw. He didn’t bother continuing the conversation, the conversation that had never even started or existed as far as Blind Ambition was concerned. ‘BA’ was going to go into the meeting with Gekko and do and say whaaatteeevvveeerrr he wanted…‘BigTimer’ has settled in New York but still has a few favours to return, and taken liberties, to balance back up again. Ahead of those incidents though, that he considers to be in the forgotten past, he’d be keen to score a good ‘drink’ for any action he may be able to put us into.We ask the driver to drop us off first, at The Four Seasons hotel. This is BigTimer’s new hunting ground. This is where he’s setting the scene for himself in New York. I text him because I don’t want to disturb any manoeuvres he may be carrying out in the bar with potential investors, and moments later he emerges onto the front steps of the hotel. Nothing has changed, he’s still so alpha his testosterone is practically carving his black leather slip-ons into the ground, and his shirt is as open and flash as before. He’s done a lot of weight though. Maybe three stone. London may still be reverberating from his business highs and lows of seven or eight years ago, but he knows that if he is to march forward in New York, when he’s that bit older, he’s got to be in good shape.The doorman to the hotel walks by and they offer each other a knowing nod. In an instant I can see that the front-man of the hotel has been ‘straightened-up’, to let Big Timer know about any soft looking billionaires that have come to stay. Times have changed, and whilst he’s getting himself going again, to do deals now, BT needs investors to back him. In time, he will leave no stone unturned in the city. Every doorman, high-class madame, tailor, jeweller, and any other professional, coming into contact with the wealthy classes, will have his name in their phone book. If anyone with money wants to start playing in New York, BigTimer will be first in the queue with potential deals and moves for them to get stuck into.‘Ben, darling, how are you?’ He chimes out, in his jack-the-lad, go-getter, London accent.‘I’m good, BigTimer. You?’The pleasantries had ended. He was clearly busy ‘grafting’ in the hotel and didn’t need to waste valuable time creating hot air with me and Gary.‘Right, I’ve teed you up nicely. You’re a great guy, you take big bets, the service is top-notch, etc etc. I’ve got him nicely brewing to buy an apartment on 5th Avenue for $6mill that I’m sure we can flip for $8.5mill. As you’re bedding yourself in, make sure you push home what a shrewdie on the property-game I am. Okay?’‘Of course, of course.’, is my rhetorical response.‘And here’s a little clue for you… Gekko’s set up a charity with the leftie daughter. It’s for ex-cons, giving them second chances, and helping them set up small businesses. Make a donation, or a cash back, or whatever you do, and I think it’ll get you in there.’I nod as I am saying ‘Yes, yes, good thinking, BigTimer.’I look into his eyes. There’s something else there this time. His cheeks are slightly rosy, and although time has moved on, his skin young looking. Behind him, I look through the revolving door, and see, side-on, a svelte looking, attractive blonde woman, with sunglasses sitting on the front of her head. She is fiddling around with her Iphone but clearly waiting for him.He sees that I’ve noticed her and as my eyes return to his, he says nothing. He is in love. Bonnie has met Clyde, once again, on this beautiful earth, and who am I to get in their way any longer.‘Thanks’ I say, looking into his eyes, smiling gently and knowingly. I am so pleased for him. Fresh starts all round.‘No, thank you, Ben.’Just before he turns back to disappear again into his new World, he touches my left arm and whispers, like he’s half embarrassed, ‘10%?’.‘Of course’, I respond.He is gone.And we are now on our way to meet Gordon Gekko, The King of Wall Street.To be continued….This blog is, unfortunately, a fictional account, created in my deluded mind, of myself and Gary, going to New York to meet Gordon Gekko. It is dedicated to my dad, Lindsay. He hasn’t been a well boy of late and I send him all of my love and care. Your soft and kind shoulder has always been there for me to cry upon, and it’s also always been so strong to bounce back off again, back into the big-wide-world. This story is written for you and I hope it may ease some pain. Ben xxlast_img read more

BENS BLOG USA and the World Cup Overrated

first_img[dropcap]B[/dropcap]log, am I the only person who thinks that the corporate people and mug-punters down at the stock-market are getting a bit too over-excited, panting on about the World Cup and the opening up of the US of A?In years gone by, when the racecourse betting-ring started to go the wrong way, the bookies always used to play that ol’ song ‘…don’t worry, Cheltenham’s on the way…’, and gambled on the big festivals getting them out of jail on the year (again). If the right results didn’t come though, they didn’t survive, and were ironed out into the annals of bookmaking history.When I had my first job at City Index Sports, I remember the World Cup. The phones didn’t stop ringing and the business levels were completely unprecedented. However, I really don’t want to piss on anyone’s chips, but I just think the market has changed…Gone are the days punters have packets on England blind. They just aren’t interested in international football like they once were. Like horse-racing, attention has turned more and more to the big days, with the runners they know, and less and less to the off-day’s. The Punters like the razmataz of big Prem games, and the top teams in the Champions League, where they follow the players and teams that they fit into. Otherwise, they just haven’t got enough time to get a hold of the form on the endless drone of the other stuff…the League Cup, UEFA, International friendlies etc etc..I think the World Cup will be big, BUT I don’t think it will be the savior the Corporate People are praying for:1) Bet365 will be giving money back if your team don’t win by two clear goals.2) There are new little online firms springing up all over the shop. They will be giving endless silly offers to open accounts to then kick on with, and will see the World Cup as a loss-leader to do this.3) Across, you will be able to bet every match to no more than 100.5%.4) The Euros definitely weren’t as busy as we all hoped, and there were no time-difference excuses we could dole out then, were there? Added to this, a lack of interest in international football, don’t be surprised to see more dreary announcements to shareholders from the big-firms after the tournament.USA:This, for me, is another fool’s paradise:1) The Yanks aren’t as wet, and such easy, politically correct, roll-overs as us. Do you think, if it’s a goldmine, they’re going to let loads of foreign bookies nick the cake? They’re not stupid; like us.2) It’s all gone ON AND ON AND ON anyway. When will the wait end?! They’ve given everyone a small kick of the ball in New Jersey, and the Corporate People have nicely fuzzied over the fact that their predicted levels of business have not been met by a LONG WAY. They jumped to, with lots of silly jargon to try and cover things up, but its not quite as creamy as they’d like.3) Even if, IF, we get in, US politicians can turn the lights out in an instant, just like G ‘Dubyah’ did. He thought it would win votes, so he shut the gambling industry down overnight. Well, that wouldn’t be much fun, if you’d just opened 200 shops and signed all the leases would it?4) In America, the punters LOVE two runner handicap events. If it opens up, every bookie in town will be 1.95 both sides, and silly firms going even better than that, with offers on top. No margin there, I’m afraid boys. The bookies can bluff and bluster all they like but ‘you can’t beat figures.’5) The Yanks will tax the bollocks out of it, from the punters, and the bookies. And still, of course, the bookies will have to compete with offshore snides doing it tax-free.6) Las Vegas has strong influence all over America. I don’t know if the bookies will get away with all singing and dancing online casinos, without Vegas getting involved.So hang on, you want to spend a fortune sucking-up to get a licence, get ripped off by all the shrewdies early doors when you’re feeling your way in, bet to absolutely no figures, and then pay a lump of tax everytime you lay a losing bet?I think that, if you’re looking for foreign punters, there are easier kills in the so called ‘Grey’ areas, suck as; Turkey, South America, Africa, China etc etc. The punters don’t have choice, they’re less educated and will bet on anything/take any price, and you don’t have the government crawling all over you for a share of the book.In other news:Belindabelle has three-line-whipped me, into an afternoon of looking for a chest of drawers in Lewes, and then new bedding, in Marks And Spencer’s. Fun, Fun, Fun! Could be a divorce on the way, Blog!!B xlast_img read more

BENS BLOG The Cardigan making a jealousface…again

first_img[dropcap]M[/dropcap]uch has been made, in betting-industry circles, of the recent ‘expose’ (yeah, right), that appeared in The Cardigan, regarding Bet365’s business activities in China writes BEN KEITH (right).ARTICLE LINK: gambling world is full of jealousy. Most of it, coming from the younger generations of privileged racing/gambling families, who have lived on ‘mummy and daddy’s’ money; for years.Or, from those in positions of authority, at the big firms, who have GROSSLY UNDER-ACHIEVED, whilst their easy-life wages and paid-holidays have been steadily rolling in.No betting organisation, ever since Adam and Eve first played ‘penny up the wall’, must have encountered more of the ‘green eye’ though, than Bet365.What has 365’s Chinese business got to do with The Guardian, any other bookmakers, the mugs down at the stock-market, the Gam Comm, the UK Government, the Inland Revenue, any European punters, or in fact; ANYONE, for that matter?The Coates’ have left us all for dead. And have been pissed about SO MUCH, in England, that they’ve moved their highly lucrative business to Gibraltar. CAN ALL THE SKINT MEMBERS STOP MAKING JEALOUS-FACES AND MIND THEIR OWN CRAP BUSINESSES, PLEASE.In other news:There was a time when individuals gained fame and respect for doing something worthy, or achieving the impossible, by going above and beyond. Maybe they wrote an iconic book. Or climbed Mount Everest. Or did something incredible for charity.Well, anyway, the social climbers OF ALL TIME, the Middletons, are at it again, with Pippa now dropping hints that she’d like to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.This lot are bigger opportunists than me! WELL DONE FOR HAVING A SISTER THAT MARRIED INTO ROYALTY.Over and out, B xlast_img read more

PREVIEW England v San Marino

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you’re on the lookout for some competitive betting action tonight then you have to be glued to your box at 7.45pm.The night’s action is headed up by Eastenders on BBC1 when Dean makes up a story to cover his recent tracks and we have a special market on the number of times ‘innit’ gets mentioned.However, if the affairs (and there’s many) of Albert Square aren’t you’re cup of Rosie Lee, guv, then there’s Snog, Marry, Avoid on BBC3.Star Sports latest…..4/6 Avoid 5/4 Snog 14/1 Marry(Dead heat rules may apply)The Gadget Show on on Channel 5 examines just how bendy the new iPhone 6 is – latest Star Spreads Bend Angle Percentage market is set at 45-48 degrees.We get the long awaited verdict in Judge Jury on ITV 3 in the curious case of whether Steve loaned Angie £20 towards the deep fat fryer.Latest….1/2 GUILTY 7/4 NOT GUILTY 20/1 ADJOURNED FOR ANOTHER WEEK FFSThe Great British Bake Off Masterclass heads up the action on BBC 2 with Paul making a blackcurrant and liquorice swiss roll and Mary preparing a cherry cake with lemon icing (TRADED IN RUNNING).Oh, and over on ITV there’s some football but not quite as exciting from a betting point of view.England taking on San Marino and it will be a huge surprise if the team in terminal decline and a shadow of their former selves can get much from this game. As for their opponents San Marino…… I’m not sure.England v San MarinoEuro 2016 Qualifier7.45pm ITVEngland are around 1/100 for the win and it only starts to level out at the six goal level when the Star Sports Asian Handicap line is:20/21 England (-6) 17/20 San Marino (+6)San Marino are quoted at 6/1 to score ANY goal – something they haven’t done in their last 28 away matches (YES, 28) and have lost them all by an aggregate of 160-0.They last scored at 20.03pm (* CORRECTION 2003) against Liechtenstein and did better than their odds suggested by just conceding five to England when the pair met at Wembley in 2012 on the road to Brazil.Daniel Sturridge is left out of the England team after recovering from a thigh strain which means that Rooney could be paired up with Danny Welbeck in attack.Rooney is now just eight goals short of Sir Bobby Robson’s England record and could easily half the deficit tonight.As for a bet, I’m covering 7-0, 8-0, 9-0 and 10-0 for small stakes at respective odds of around 7/1, 8/1, 12/1 and 16/1. A nice profit last night from the Bristol City win.After that, it’s just a case of settling down and looking forward to the main betting action to start. I’ve doubled up the blackcurrant and liquorice swiss roll with Avoid in Snog, Marry, Avoid.Bring it on.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK ENGLAND TO WIN 7-0, 8-0, 9-0, 10-0 at respective odds of 7/1, 8/1, 12/1, 16/1 for 1 point each with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 34.64 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

SECOND CHANCE Cheltenham Festival Free Bet

first_imgSECOND CHANCE: GET A FREE BET AT CHELTENHAMThere’s nothing worse than coming second. Unless of course you get a second chance.At the Cheltenham Festival this week we will give you a FREE MATCHING BET (max £25) to use the following day at Cheltenham if your horse finishes second in the final race of the day. (On Friday the matching bet will be carried forward to Uttoxeter on Saturday).TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) Place a bet on the final race of the day at Cheltenham Festival this week, this offer applies to all four days of the meeting. If your selection finishes second – we will give you a free matching bet (maximum £25) to be used at Cheltenham the following day on any race (* On Friday, if your horse finishes second the free bet will be carried forward to be used in any race at Uttoxeter on Saturday. (NB: applies to win singles and the win part of EW singles). Only your first bet on the last race will count towards this promotion.(2) The free bet must be used on any race at the Cheltenham Festival on the following day (or Uttoxeter on the Saturday) and will expire immediately after the final race on the respective days.(3) Offer open to new and existing customers on bets placed by mobile, App and desktop only. Does not apply to telephone betting, bets placed on course or in our betting shops.(4) Free Bet will be credited prior to racing each day.(5) Any individual bet can only qualify for one daily promotion.FREE BET:GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) Star Sports may offer you a free promotional bet. Please refer to promotion details above for the qualification criteria.(2) Any Free Bet is limited to one per person, per promotion, per account, per race. In addition only one Free Bet can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address. Free bet applies to your first bet on that race. Where more than one selection in the same race is placed on the same bet slip, the first selection is deemed to be the one which is highest on the bet slip.(3) Free Bets may not be used in conjunction with any other current promotion.(4) In the event of a customer opening more that one account to claim multiple offers we reserve the right to suspend/close duplicate accounts and void any bets placed.(5) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse any Free Bet promotion at any point.(7) Free Bet stakes are not returned with winnings.(8) Free Bet awards cannot be exchanged for cash.(9) Free Bet awards can be used online, tablet or mobile only.(10) The Free Bet must be used within the timeframe specified on the promotion details and may not be either part used or carried forward.(11) If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team read more

Theory Music underlies language acquisition

first_imgShare20Rice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsNEWS RELEASEB.J. Theory: Music underlies language acquisition HOUSTON – (Sept. 18, 2012) – Contrary to the prevailing theories that music and language are  cognitively separate or that music is a byproduct of language, theorists at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) advocate that music underlies the ability to acquire language.“Spoken language is a special type of music,” said Anthony Brandt, co-author of a theory paper published online this month in the journal Frontiers in Cognitive Auditory Neuroscience. “Language is typically viewed as fundamental to human intelligence, and music is often treated as being dependent on or derived from language. But from a developmental perspective, we argue that music comes first and language arises from music.”Brandt, associate professor of composition and theory at the Shepherd School, co-authored the paper with Shepherd School graduate student Molly Gebrian and L. Robert Slevc, UMCP assistant professor of psychology and director of the Language and Music Cognition Lab.“Infants listen first to sounds of language and only later to its meaning,” Brandt said. He noted that newborns’ extensive abilities in different aspects of speech perception depend on the discrimination of the sounds of language – “the most musical aspects of speech.”The paper cites various studies that show what the newborn brain is capable of, such as the ability to distinguish the phonemes, or basic distinctive units of speech sound, and such attributes as pitch, rhythm and timbre.The authors define music as “creative play with sound.” They said the term “music” implies an attention to the acoustic features of sound irrespective of any referential function. As adults, people focus primarily on the meaning of speech. But babies begin by hearing language as “an intentional and often repetitive vocal performance,” Brandt said. “They listen to it not only for its emotional content but also for its rhythmic and phonemic patterns and consistencies. The meaning of words comes later.”Brandt and his co-authors challenge the prevailing view that music cognition matures more slowly than language cognition and is more difficult. “We show that music and language develop along similar time lines,” he said.Infants initially don’t distinguish well between their native language and all the languages of the world, Brandt said. Throughout the first year of life, they gradually hone in on their native language. Similarly, infants initially don’t distinguish well between their native musical traditions and those of other cultures; they start to hone in on their own musical culture at the same time that they hone in on their native language, he said.The paper explores many connections between listening to speech and music. For example, recognizing the sound of different consonants requires rapid processing in the temporal lobe of the brain. Similarly, recognizing the timbre of different instruments requires temporal processing at the same speed — a feature of musical hearing that has often been overlooked, Brandt said.“You can’t distinguish between a piano and a trumpet if you can’t process what you’re hearing at the same speed that you listen for the difference between ‘ba’ and ‘da,’” he said. “In this and many other ways, listening to music and speech overlap.” The authors argue that from a musical perspective, speech is a concert of phonemes and syllables.“While music and language may be cognitively and neurally distinct in adults, we suggest that language is simply a subset of music from a child’s view,” Brandt said. “We conclude that music merits a central place in our understanding of human development.”Brandt said more research on this topic might lead to a better understanding of why music therapy is helpful for people with reading and speech disorders. People with dyslexia often have problems with the performance of musical rhythm. “A lot of people with language deficits also have musical deficits,” Brandt said.More research could also shed light on rehabilitation for people who have suffered a stroke. “Music helps them reacquire language, because that may be how they acquired language in the first place,” Brandt said.The research was supported by Rice’s Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives, the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology and the Shepherd School of Music.For the full text of the theory paper, visit on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews. AddThislast_img read more

Baker Institute experts available to comment on GOP presidential debate in Houston

first_imgQuianta Moore, scholar in health policy.Latin America policy (including U.S.-Mexico relations, immigration and Cuba)Tony Payan, director of the institute’s Mexico Center and the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies. Kadir Yildirim, research scholar.Health and biosciences policy (including Affordable Care Act, health care costs and science funding)Vivian Ho, director of the institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences and the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics. ShareEXPERT ALERTDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduBaker Institute experts available to comment on GOP presidential debate in Houston, various election issuesHOUSTON – (Feb. 18, 2016) – With the final GOP presidential debate before Super Tuesday’s primary elections scheduled for Feb. 25 in Houston at the University of Houston, experts at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy are available to comment on the major issues of interest during the 2016 presidential campaign and also on the debate.Credit: UniversityInterviews can be conducted in person or via the Baker Institute’s TV and radio studio.The following is a list of experts arranged by topic.Texas politicsMark Jones, fellow in political science and the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies at Rice. Joe Barnes, the Bonner Means Baker Fellow. Bob Stein, fellow in urban politics and the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science at Rice.Energy policy (including oil prices, energy geopolitics and climate change)Kenneth Medlock, senior director of the institute’s Center for Energy Studies and the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics. Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies. Katharine Neill, the Alfred C. Glassell III Postdoctoral Fellow in Drug Policy.Climate-change policyRonald Sass, fellow in global climate change.To arrange an interview with a particular expert, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog, on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American energy policy.Middle East policy (including Syria, ISIS and Iran)Ambassador Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute.center_img Kirstin Matthews, fellow in science and technology policy. In addition to science funding, Matthews can discuss biomedical research and stem cell policy. Kristian Coates-Ulrichsen, fellow for the Middle East. Russell Green, the Will Clayton Fellow in International Economics.Drug policy (including marijuana legalization and drug-sentencing reform)Bill Martin, director of the institute’s Drug Policy Program and the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy. Martin can also discuss religion and politics. Mark Jones, fellow in political science and the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies at Rice.Economic policy (including tax reform, entrepreneurship and international economics)John Diamond, the Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance. Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies. AddThislast_img read more