Category: dquccebj


Suffolk council sits on the fens

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Calls for cooperation as online child sex abuse soars in Europe

first_imgOnline child sex abuse has soared in Europe during coronavirus lockdowns, campaigners and lawyers warned, calling for greater international cooperation and better reporting tools to halt the scourge.With schools in many European countries still shut to contain the pandemic, children are spending more time online, making them more vulnerable to abusers, who are also at home most of the day, human rights experts say.”Parents are working from home and children are not at school, so they’re spending longer online,” said Almudena Olaguibel of UNICEF Spain, the U.N.’s children’s agency. “Norms and limits on the use of the internet are being loosened.” “Also, the abusers are at home more, bored, using the internet for longer,” the policy specialist told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.National law enforcement authorities in 27 European Union states have reported a rise in pedophile activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Europol, the block’s law enforcement agency.These countries have seen increased access to illegal websites and shut more online platforms where child sex material is being exchanged, Europol said.In March, calls to Spanish hotlines for reporting child sex abuse rose to a record level for that period of the year, a Europol report showed. Also that month, Britain’s Thames Valley Police saw a 146% jump in reports of online child sex abuse compared with the same time last year. “Sadly, we believe that criminals have looked to exploit the fact that more children have been at home and online,” said Detective Chief Inspector Matt Darnell in a press release published last week.More dataTools for reporting child sex abuse are still not good enough in many European countries, cautioned Gioia Scappucci, executive secretary to the Lanzarote Committee, which works to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.”States are aware of the risks of increased abuse – both online and off – during confinement and have been taking initiatives to raise awareness of these risks,” Scappucci said.”Resources to deal with the increased reporting, however, are not always there and should be scaled up,” he added.More official data needs to be collected in many countries on what is actually happening during the pandemic and how that is being handled, Scappucci stressed.One trend experts are seeing is an increase in children producing sex material themselves, either unknowingly or in response to “sextortion” – a form of extortion that involves sexual acts or images as its currency.”They are producing this material… in their bedrooms, at home, while their parents are in the next room,” said Olaguibel.These kinds of images used to be shared predominantly on the dark web, a part of the internet which is accessible only with specific software or authorization, but are increasingly appearing on everyday platforms, she said.Olaguibel and other campaigners say social media companies should be more proactive about searching out child sex materials on their sites.Even though some companies self-regulate in these matters, it is not enough, she warned.”It would be better if the government regulates what they are doing more strictly,” she said.A spokeswoman for Twitter told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the platform has “zero tolerance” for any material that features or promotes child sexual exploitation.”We aggressively fight online child sexual abuse and have heavily invested in technology and tools to enforce our policy,” she said in emailed comments.Once Twitter has removed the content, the company immediately reports it to the US-based non-profit National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), as required by US federal law.The group then makes reports available to law enforcement agencies around the world to aid with investigations and prosecutions, the spokeswoman said.Facebook and Instagram did not reply to requests for comment.Global problemLast year, Britain’s data protection watchdog published a draft code listing recommendations for online service providers, which it said would set a global standard for children’s privacy online.Among the recommendations by the Information Commissioner’s Office was a ban on targeting under-18s with so-called “nudge” techniques – features that encourage users to stay online for longer so the app or site can collect data on them.Manuela Torres Calzada, a judge and the vice president of Themis, a Spanish association of women lawyers, agrees that there needs to be stricter regulation of social media companies to tackle online child sex abuse.But national governments face serious barriers in doing so, she said.”The prosecution of these types of crimes is difficult because there isn’t sufficient international coordination, no international convention,” Calzada said.”Most of the time, individuals who diffuse these kinds of images get sanctioned, but social media companies get away with it,” she added.If a US-based social media company suspects a crime on its website was committed by a Spaniard, for example, it is under no obligation to share that information with the Spanish police, explained independent data security expert Marcelino Madrigal.In addition, if the Spanish police need information from a US-based company, it has to make a formal request to American courts for judicial assistance, causing delays and often leading to cases being shelved, he said.”I have been asking the [social] networks for more than 10 years to directly notify the cases and the data to the police or prosecutors in the pedophiles’ country of origin … They do not do it,” he stressed.”They simply comply with US law by sending them to the NCMEC.”Spanish judges often end up archiving cases citing a lack of cooperation by social networks, he said.”Online child sex abuse material is not a national problem, it’s a global one,” Madrigal stressed.center_img Topics :last_img read more


Pension fund for DSM withdraws from CEM Benchmarking

first_imgPDN, the €6.7bn Dutch pension fund of chemicals giant DSM, has ceased participating in the costs survey conducted by Canadian firm CEM Benchmarking.In its 2014 annual report, it said analysis of the annual reports of Dutch schemes similar to PDN had provided sufficient information and proved to be a practicable alternative.Further, it said the Pensions Federation’s recommendations on cost reporting had made a cost comparison much easier.It also cited the costs of participating in CEM’s benchmarking with respect to its own expenses for asset management, which have been “low and stable” in recent years. Last year, PDN reported asset management and transaction costs of 0.20% and 0.08%, respectively, while spending €155 per participant for administration, according to Gerard Rutten, director of DPS, the pension fund’s provider.However, he took pains to emphasise that PDN had not decided to cease participating in CEM analysis indefinitely.“Because a cost comparison based on annual reports doesn’t provide a quality assessment of service provision, we may involve CEM again for a study into quality aspects in future,’’ he said.Rutten confirmed that the costs of a full annual CEM Benchmarking analysis were approximately €25,000.PDN reported an overall return of 17.7%, of which 80% was attributable to the effect of falling interest rates on the scheme’s holdings of swaps, government bonds and credit.It said it kept the interest cover slightly underweight relative to its strategic interest hedge of 65%, in anticipation of an expected rates increase.However, because the interest level continued to slide, PDN lost 0.5 percentage points of the annual result, Rutten said.A loss on its currency hedge came at the expense of an additional 1.9 percentage point of the scheme’s performance.PDN’s 44.7% matching portfolio returned 30.4%, with government bonds and credit returning 23.6% and 8.6%, respectively.Listed property, returning 31.4%, was the best performing category within the scheme’s return portfolio.The pension fund attributed the 46.5% return on its US property holdings to falling interest rates, strong economic growth and strong currency.European listed property produced a 22.6% return, thanks to historically low interest rates, stabilising property markets and investors anticipating the quantitative easing programme of the European Central Bank, the pension fund said.PDN’s equity holdings and inflation portfolio returned 12.5% and 8.5%, respectively, last year.In contrast, the pension fund lost 7.3% on its commodities portfolio as a result of falling oil prices.Infrastructure, micro finance, non-listed property and inflation-linked bonds delivered a combined return of 10.6%.last_img read more


Tiger Rear Ends adds bite to Deery, IMCA Late Model awards program

first_imgMOUNT ULLA, N.C. – IMCA Late Model drivers will share $5,000 in contingency awards from new sponsor Tiger Rear Ends. The aftermarket rear end manufacturer, located in Mount Ulla, N.C., will give $250 product certifi­cates to top five drivers in point standings for the Deery Brothers Summer Series and national IMCA Late Model point standings for the 2014 and 2015 race seasons.“We want to get our name out there to more drivers,” said company co-founder and president Ger­ald Williams. “We want them to know about the quality of our rear ends and the precise machin­ing we do. We use all high-quality parts and everything that can be is made in the United States.” Tiger opened for business in 2002. Williams’ racing background also includes 10 years as engine builder and crew chief for his brother’s asphalt championship-winning Late Model team.“This program with IMCA is one way we can get our name out in another series and another sanc­tion,” he said.Certificates will be presented during the national IMCA awards banquet in November or mailed beginning the following week from the home office.Those certificates can be redeemed directly through Tiger. More information about Tiger-manufactured rear ends is available by calling 704 603-4431 and at the website. “We’ve had a void in our Late Model contingency award package for a program of this nature and we’re excited to develop this relationship with Tiger for those racers,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder said. “We’re very appreciative of the support they’ve pledged over the course of the next two seasons.”last_img read more


Lady Bulldogs Softball Teams Defeat Lady Eagles

first_imgBatesville fired up the offense with 2 runs in the first inning as they scored on a stolen base during Kara Obermeyer’s at bat, then Obermeyer doubled. They scored 2 again in the 2nd inning, 4 in the 4th, 2 in the 5th, 1 in the 6th. Batesville then put up 10 runs in the 7th inning. The rally was led by walks by Morgan Biggs and Waechter, singles by Kate Burkhart and Kylie Laker, by Paige Oldham and Emma Belter, and a double by Belter.Paige Oldham got the start for the Bulldogs. She lasted four innings, allowing 11 hits and two runs while striking out one.Aundrea Cullen led things off on the rubber for Jac-Cen-Del. She allowed ten hits and eight runs over four innings, striking out one. Shelby Groth threw three innings in relief out of the bullpen.The Bulldogs launched one home run on the day. Freshman, Emma Belter went deep in the sixth inning for her first career home run.Batesville had 20 hits in the game (13 singles, 5 doubles, 1 triple and 1 Home run). Waechter, Burkhart, Belter, Laker, Obermeyer, and Biggs each racked up multiple hits for the Bulldogs. Waechter led the team with five hits in six at bats. The team stole 21 bases during the game as eight players stole more than one. Obermeyer led the way with three.The Bulldogs jumped to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in the EIAC. Ellie Waechter would not be denied at the plate on Tuesday, picking up five hits and leading the Bulldogs to a 21-6 win over Jac-Cen-Del. Waechter doubled in the first, singled in the second, singled in the fourth, tripled in the fifth, and singled in the seventh.The Bulldogs earned the victory despite allowing Jac-Cen-Del to score four runs in the fifth inning. Jac-Cen-Del’s big inning was driven by doubles by Regan Carroll and Karlee Wolfe and a single by Macy Moorman. Next up – Greensburg at Home Thursday 5:30 PM.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Randy Obermeyer.The JV Lady Bulldogs kicked off their 2019 campaign on the road Tuesday evening by defeating the Jac-Cen-Del Lady Eagles by a score of 12-3.  A strong pitching performance by freshman Morgan Biggs and patience at the plate were key in the victory.Batesville charged out of the gate early as they posted 7 runs in the top half of the first inning.  The JV Bulldogs were able to gather 3 walks in the inning as well as timely hits from Biggs, Sarah Ripperger, and Molly Weiler.The JV Bulldogs were quiet for a couple of innings until they were able to breakthrough again in the fourth inning for 5 more runs.  The inning was highlighted by a deep ball off the bat of Biggs that cleared the bases for 2 RBI’s.Biggs led the Bulldogs at the plate going 3-3 on the evening with 2 singles, a triple, 2 RBI’s, and 2 runs scored.  Anna Gerth, Gwen Martin, and Gabby Elston all scored twice in the game as well.Biggs went all 4 innings on the mound in the victory striking out 9 Lady Eagles batters while only surrendering 2 hits.Batesville JV Softball will next be in action Thursday evening as they host Greensburg.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Stacey Kessens.last_img read more


Andy’s a handy addition for Tigers

first_img “So for those 19 and 20-year-olds out there, this kid was playing in Scottish third division two years ago.” Victory over Palace was Hull’s first since the opening day of the season and, with back-to-back away trips at Arsenal and Liverpool awaiting on the other side of the international break, it was a timely boost. Captain Curtis Davies said: “It’s important to get a win going into Liverpool and Arsenal. We’re not defeatist, we’re not going to go and surrender but they are both going to be very tough games so we’d rather get the points on the board before then.” Palace boss Neil Warnock, who tasted a first defeat in his fourth match at the helm, is now sizing up a tough clash against the league leaders when the league resumes following international week. “You’re not going to play well every week, but I’ve no complaints really. At least we’ve only got Chelsea next,” he said. “That takes care of itself, a game like that. I’m sure the lads will look forward to it. We are getting better. “I don’t like losing but I still felt there were positives from us against Hull.” Scott Dann could be set for a spell on the sidelines having twisted his knee attempting to charge down a Tom Huddlestone shot, but Warnock is happy to have an experienced deputy on hand. “Scotty is missing now but we will be able to get on,” he added. “We’ve got Brede Hangeland, who’s done well. “It’s nice to have someone like that up your sleeve, a great pro.” The 20-year-old left-back was one of the lower key signings Bruce made during a busy summer in the transfer market, but he is fast becoming an integral part of the Tigers side. The Scotland international has been one Hull’s brightest players since his £2.85million arrival from Dundee United, effectively relegating experienced heads Maynor Figueroa and Liam Rosenior to bit-part roles. In Saturday’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, Robertson was a constant menace in a more advanced wing-back role and it was his pinpoint cross that allowed Mohamed Diame to open the scoring. It continued a rapid rise to prominence that has even surprised the man who brought him to the Barclays Premier League. “Two years ago, he was playing in the third division in Scotland (for Queen’s Park). I have to be honest and say he’s totally and utterly shocked me with his ability,” said Bruce. “We played him in pre-season at Stuttgart and it was ‘wow’, one of those moments. “He’s as quick as I’ve seen any full-back and he can only get better. “As long as he keeps his feet on the ground – and we’ll make sure of that – he’s got a bright future for sure. “He’s a humble lad who just wants to play football and that’s quite refreshing these days. He’s been terrific. “There’s all this nonsense that we’re not producing players (in Britain), but sometimes they need a stage to play on. Hull manager Steve Bruce believes the sky is the limit for burgeoning star Andy Robertson. Press Associationlast_img read more


Divock Origi hoping to make the most of Liverpool chance

first_img “He just wants to play with passion and no fear,” the striker said of Klopp. “He believes in everybody – the young players, the old players, we’re all here because we have quality. We just have to work hard and trust him and we all trust him, so I think we can have a good season. “When you look at the coach, he sends out a very strong feeling, a very powerful feeling. You can see it through the team. “Against Tottenham we had a lot of energy, we pressed, we played with a lot of joy. We are a very strong together as a club with the fans also, it’s a very nice thing.” Origi may have hit the crossbar in the early stages but Tottenham then had the better chances to win the game with Clinton Njie, Harry Kane and Dele Alli all coming close. Spurs remain unbeaten in the league since the opening weekend defeat to Manchester United and have now kept three clean sheets in their five home games. Defender Jan Vertonghen was full of praise for fellow Belgian international Mousa Dembele who came into the side to replace the suspended Eric Dier and put in a man-of-the-match performance in the holding midfield role. “I spoke to him this week,” he said. “Obviously we have got some injuries and suspensions, he was ready to play and I think he is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and I think everyone agrees on that, he is a nightmare to play against and a joy to play with him. “I gave him some bad balls and wanted to say sorry but then he quickly turns and throws some of the midfielders in the stands, he is an unbelievable player and I hope he can stay fit, I hope he is back now for the rest of the season.” Klopp took charge of his first game as Liverpool manager in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham – handing Origi his first Premier League start in the process. Although the former Borussia Dortmund boss is a big fan of Origi, he had little option other than to name the inexperienced 20-year-old in his starting line-up. Press Association Divock Origi has backed himself to produce the goods for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp faces a striker injury crisis at Anfield. With Danny Ings ruled out for the season with a cruciate knee injury, Klopp was also without injured Christian Benteke at White Hart Lane while Daniel Sturridge was not risked after a minor knee problem suffered in training. But Origi, who spent last season on loan at Lille having been signed by Brendan Rodgers from the Ligue 1 outfit last summer, looked sharp in the goalless encounter and came closest to winning the game as he hit the frame of the goal from an early corner. Klopp revealed after the match that he had been interested in taking the forward to Dortmund before Liverpool signed him and Origi is determined he can now show everyone why his manager holds him in such high regard. “I work very hard and I tried to work hard for the team in this game,” he told Liverpool’s official website. “It’s a new system and I was very excited, just a bit unlucky with the finishing but I’m sure it will come. “Everybody has encouraging words for me so I just have to continue like this and it will be okay. “I feel sorry for the boys that are out but I will just try to support the team and do my best. Everybody says that I have the qualities, I just have to work hard and the goals will come.” Origi has been impressed with Klopp’s approach since he replaced Rodgers at the helm following a rocky start to the campaign and believes the team will only improve once they adapt to a fresh approach. last_img read more


Authorities release video of suspect stealing a police cruiser

first_imgAuthorities in Florida have released a Dashcam video showing the moment a suspect stole a police vehicle after the officer pulled over to assist him.The incident occurred around 4:00 pm on May 2nd in Okeechobee County.According to the report, the officer was traveling on the turnpike when he noticed a shirtless man who seemed to be in medical distress.The officer then pulled over to assist him. Dashcam video shows the officer speaking to the man, identified as 22-year-old Shane Jensen, for several minutes before going to speak to a road ranger. That’s when Jensen jumped into the empty police cruiser and drove away. Authorities were able to set up a road block which hindered traffic and helped to slow Jensen down, however, as three officers approached Jensen and the stolen police vehicle with guns drawn, Jensen then drove onto the shoulder of the turnpike and speed around traffic.Jensen continued driving until he reached the roadblock where he then made a u-turn.The 22-year-old continues weaving through traffic at 120 miles per hour while troopers chase him from behind.  Eventually he runs over a stop strip and swerved to a stop.Jensen then gets out of the vehicle, hopped a median, and ran through oncoming traffic and into the woods where authorities later located him.He is now in police custody on charges of stealing a patrol car and reckless driving. Additional charges are pending.last_img read more


Bucksport football season ends with loss to MCI

first_imgPITTSFIELD — A sea of yellow helmets in mid-air dissipated as soon as it came together.There was no waiting for the Bucksport football team this time. No more than 30 seconds after players and coaches left the handshake line after a loss to Maine Central Institute, the team huddled near its bench. It wasn’t clear who was talking, but whatever had been said was barely audible as the players raised their helmets to symbolize togetherness.Before anyone even had time to take it in, that scene was gone. The huddle broke, and some players broke down on the field. Others went to hug their parents or sauntered toward the bench to gather their equipment. It was a somber scene that showed stark contrast for a Bucksport team that spent all of October celebrating hard-earned wins.Bucksport’s 2016 season and streak came to an end Friday when the Golden Bucks lost to MCI 41-8 in a Class D North semifinal game. It was the team’s first loss since falling to Orono on Sept. 23 and brought about an abrupt end to a year in which Bucksport had gone from a 1-3 start to a playoff birth.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“That’s the way it goes, I guess,” Bucksport head coach Joel Sankey said. “MCI executed well, and it was hard to get going against their defense.”Top-seeded MCI (10-0) stopped No. 4 seed Bucksport’s offense after a botched snap on an attempted punt gave the Golden Bucks the ball in the red zone, and the Huskies scored on the following possession on a 42-yard touchdown run by Josh Buker with 2:22 left in the first quarter. MCI took a 21-0 lead into halftime after touchdown runs by Eli Bussell and Adam Bertrand in the second quarter.Buker added two more touchdowns on a 10-yard run and 56-yard punt. Pedro Matos would add the Huskies’ final touchdown with just under a minute left in the third quarter. Bucksport (6-4) scored its only touchdown of the game on a 57-yard touchdown pass from Chase Carmichael to Matt Vincent with 8:25 left.In one instance, the team’s disappointment got the best of it. A miniature brawl broke with a little over five minutes remaining, and Bucksport was given two personal foul penalties. It was an unfortunate incident in a game that was relatively free from them.“It’s really too bad what happened with that,” Sankey said. “Guys got emotional, and it got out of hand a bit. That’s not who we are. We know that, and MCI knows that.”Vincent took the loss the hardest. He’d played every game of his high school career in honor of his mother, who died two years ago. This was the senior’s last chance, and although he did score in her honor one last time, the realization his time with the Golden Bucks was over hit him hard. As other players and fans filed out, he put his face in his father’s shoulders and cried.Sophomore Carter Tolmasoff took a seat on the bench on the bench and wrapped his body in a green blanket. He didn’t play at all in the second half after suffering an injury in the first, and it was easy to tell by looking at the small part of his face that was visible that not being out there with his teammates was eating away at him inside.Although Bucksport was far from the first team to experience disappointment against MCI — the Huskies have beaten every opponent this season by 10 points or more — that was little consolation to the Golden Bucks. They trailed MCI 41-0 at halftime on Sept. 9, which was arguably the lowest point in their season. This attempt didn’t go much better.The Golden Bucks, though, will be back. Carmichael and Tolmasoff will return for the 2017 season, as will Keigan Riccard, Tyson Gray, Cam Ashey, Luke Wardwell and Damian Lindsay. Bucksport was much more experienced this season than it was in 2015, and it’s possible a similar comparison could ring true next August.“What these young men did and the things they overcame, that shows strength and dedication,” Sankey said. “You can lose a football game, but those things don’t leave you.” Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Bio Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)center_img Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Latest Posts MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more


Closing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Increases Crime, According to New Study

first_imgMireille Jacobson is an associate professor of Economics and Public Policy, and director of the Center for Health Care Management and Policy at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business, A new study published in the July issue of the Journal of Urban Economics finds that contrary to popular belief, medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs) reduce crime in their immediate areas.The study is titled, “Going to pot? The impact of dispensary closures on crime.”Examined closing of MMDS in LAResearchers Tom Y. Chang from the USC Marshall School of Business, and Mireille Jacobson from The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine, examined the short-term mass closing of hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles in 2010.“Contrary to popular wisdom, we found an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open,” said Jacobson.’’ Similar results in restaurant closingsThe two researchers found similar results when they examined restaurant closures.“The connection between restaurants and MMDs is that they both contribute to the ‘walkability score’ of a given area. Areas with higher scores have more ‘eyes upon the street’ a factor that is proven to deter some types of crime,” said Jacobson.“Our results demonstrate that the dispensaries were not the crime magnets that they were often described as, but instead reduced crime in their immediate vicinity,” said Jacobson.When Chang and Jacobson examined the impact of temporary restaurant closures in Los Angeles County, they found an increase in crime similar to what they found with MMDs. They also found that once a restaurant reopened, crime immediately disappeared.Jacobson added, “We can conclude from our research that retail businesses are effective in lowering crime, even when the retail business is a medical marijuana dispensary.”last_img read more