The government has given a mixed response to a rep

first_imgThe government has given a mixed response to a report by a committee of MPs that concluded that the disability benefit assessment system was being undermined by a “pervasive culture of mistrust”.Ministers have agreed in their response to make the recording of personal independence payment (PIP) assessments “a standard part of the process”, because of the “lack of trust in the assessment process”.They said they were “currently exploring potential options to test the recording of assessments, including video recording”.The pledge was made in the government’s response to the work and pensions select committee’s report on disability assessments, which was published in February.But they did not offer a similar promise with the work capability assessment – which tests eligibility for out-of-work disability benefits – where claimants can already ask to have their assessment recorded, although such requests are only “accommodated where possible”.Ministers have rejected another recommendation, that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should provide written copies of their assessment report to all claimants of PIP and employment and support allowance (ESA).The committee had called for a copy of the reports to be sent to every claimant alongside the decision on their claim.An investigation by Disability News Service (DNS) during 2017 produced hundreds of accounts from PIP claimants who described the dishonesty of written reports produced by healthcare professionals from government contractors Atos and Capita.But those claimants only discovered how dishonest the assessors had been after they requested a copy of their reports.Ministers say that providing claimants with the points they scored on each part of the WCA and PIP assessments, and “a summary of the reasons that informed our decision”, was “the best way to explain to claimants how a decision has been reached”, rather than “providing claimants with material that they do not want”.Despite the sheer weight of an “unprecedented” response to the inquiry from claimants who had submitted evidence, with nearly 4,000 submissions from ESA and PIP claimants, the committee still backed away from concluding that there was dishonesty in the system.Of 11 recommendations made by the committee in its February report, DWP appears to have rejected five, accepted four and partially accepted two more*.Another recommendation ministers accepted was for DWP to commission and publish independent research into the impact of the ESA and PIP application and assessment process on claimants’ health, focusing initially on improvements to the claim forms.Ministers say they will now commission research to identify “whether, how and what aspects of the ESA/PIP claim forms could have the potential to cause distress” and will then revise and amend the forms “in light of these findings”.But they have rejected a key suggestion that the government should consider ditching Atos, Capita and Maximus – which delivers the work capability assessment – and move the assessments back “in house”.Rejecting that suggestion, DWP said it would instead “continue to work closely with our current providers, and with any future providers to ensure we continue to make improvements”.Philip Connolly (pictured), policy manager for Disability Rights UK, said: “Confidence in the assessment process for disability benefits is scant and threadbare.“Given that, we welcome the government’s commitment to recording PIP assessments, which will help disabled people feel more positive about the accuracy of them.“But we were very sorry to see the government refuse the recommendation that all claimants should be sent a copy of their assessment report as a matter of course.“This would be a huge step forward in helping disabled people understand what is being said about them, and why, in relation to benefit claims.“Overall, the current assessment providers offer poor value for money for the tax payer and we urge the government to consider very seriously the option of returning the assessment process in house, given the contracts are up for review.”He also pointed out that PIP and ESA were “not well-designed benefits, and fail to meet the needs of many disabled people” and that there are “wider issues which need to be addressed” other than the assessment processes.Margaret Greenwood, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said the government’s response “falls far short of the urgent action needed to end the unnecessary stress and anxiety being inflicted through both the ESA and PIP assessment processes”.She said: “Under private contractors these processes are getting worse, not better, often damaging the health and well-being of the very people who need support. “The government should scrap the current assessment regime, put an end to the privatisation and work to deliver a social security system in which people can have confidence.“Labour will replace this failing system with personalised, holistic support, responsive to individual needs.”Frank Field, who chairs the committee, said that recording PIP assessments as a standard procedure was “a tremendous step forward” and “should go a long way to restoring trust and driving up the quality of assessments”, while the commitment to improve the “gruelling” application forms was “also very welcome”.But he said the government response “falls short in several areas”, including its refusal to provide assessment reports alongside all PIP and ESA decisions, and he said the committee was “concerned that the government lacks the levers to get value for money out of its private contractors”.*DWP’s response was not always clear whether it accepted or rejected some of the recommendationslast_img read more

View From an SF Mission Hacker Hostel

first_img 0% The Bryant Street house hosts around 20 people at a time. Many of them are young interns at the city’s big-name tech companies. But it also hosts entrepreneurs who are in town to start, fund or incubate their companies.Take Phillip Mohr, an entrepreneur from Hamburg who is launching a company that enables gamers to immerse themselves in a video game played by another, remote, player through virtual reality. Mohr is incubating the company at Founders Space. While here, he is another of  Leavitt’s housemates.“I saw apartments for $3,000 a month, $12,000 for an apartment, even $17,000 for a month. Absolutely crazy,” Mohr said, laughing incredulously.Leavitt wanted to stay in the Mission.“You could go to this place with culture and personality. Or you could go to a whitewashed, suburban, wealthy neighborhood that’s clean but there’s not much substance,” he mused.Leavitt knows there is some tension here around gentrification, he said. He’s aware of his own role, and sometimes calls himself as “part of the problem.”“I think there’s more of an awareness of the issue than maybe some people would give us credit for,” he said. “There’s certainly not any intention to it. I didn’t move here to displace anybody.”Most of the six bedrooms are filled with men, but one of the basement rooms houses a group of young women. Everyone meets in the kitchens or common room, and shares the bathrooms. Leavitt says he usually gets home no later than 8 p.m. but most residents aren’t back from work until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. At that point the common space — a small living room with a couch, TV, and a long desk by the window — starts to fill with young entrepreneurs or interns working on their laptops; conversations start up in the kitchen.  On one evening, a six-pack comes through the front door and goes into the shared fridge, but as people gather around the kitchen table to share it, nobody’s cooking. In Leavitt’s case, it’s because his employer provides him with three meals a day.In the summer, when tech companies take on interns, the house tends to fill up with young people looking to find a few months of housing. The host, Heigo Paartalu, says word has spread about the tech crash pad and most of the referrals come from residents or tech companies.In case the close quarters and the common areas don’t give residents enough time to get to know one another, Paartalu helps organize house field trips — one recent trip took residents to a the computer museum in Mountain View and then to a vineyard near Monterey.“I’m sure there is a lot of networking. We’ve had people who started their own startups from people that they meet here,” Paartalu said. “And some people become very good friends.”That’s how Paartalu met his business partner for a customer service rating app he developed, called Grate. He bounces around from house to house — he owns at least three houses including two in San Francisco and one in Mountain View — and he lives by the shared-living rules he sets up. Those include respecting sleeping hours, minimal alcohol use and no guests.“If you want to control who comes in and out of the house, you can only do that that way,” said Mohr of the last rule. “Otherwise you have people wandering around the house, you don’t know who they are.”Most residents don’t seem to mind the rules.  At 28, Paartalu says he’s too young to have a relationship, and is focusing on his business instead.“Once I’m old and ugly, maybe someone still wants me and I can concentrate on my relationship,” Paartalu joked. “I’m young enough to push the company that I’m building, so I want to concentrate on that most of my time.”At the house on Bryant, “I’m actually quite surprised how well it’s organized, and that you can live with so many people and not get annoyed,” said Mohr.That’s exactly how Paartalu wants to set himself apart. He wants to be more than a hostel, more than a homeshare.“The main goal is that once the person leaves, they leave with an experience,” he said.Part 2: Navigating the legality of hacker hostels. Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Paartalu is the owner of the house on Bryant street. He is a renter there.  En Español.Tucker Leavitt bikes to Twitter every day for work from a beautifully renovated house on Bryant near 22nd Street. But life in the Mission is not so different from his dorm at Stanford – except that he has more roommates in San Francisco.  In fact, he bunks with five other young men in a room fitted with six bunk beds.  The opportunity for a bed of one’s own costs a cool $1,300 a month. But he’s not complaining. Neither are the 19 or so other tech workers who live there. Like most, he wanted to be within biking or walking distance of his workplace and he wanted to be in the middle of an interesting neighborhood.The rates, which fluctuate and have been as high as $1900 a month or $90 a night,  are seen as competitive for the homey feel and community atmosphere — an atmosphere that is kept harmonious with the inclusion of housekeeping services, fresh towels, and the occasional meal provided by the place.“This is definitely more… intimate,” said Leavitt, who is interning at Twitter. “If it wasn’t San Francisco, [the rent] would be a lot …You’re paying for convenience and access to the goings-on.”center_img Tags: Airbnb • housing • tech Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

You May Not Cry But You Should Still See the Show

first_imgIn fact, if I understood correctly, the play doesn’t even get all the way to the 21st century, instead reminiscing about the wave of gentrification in the 90s, making a nod to the patterns of alienation and displacement that we seem to have a habit of replicating. I also have to qualify the “celebration of the characters” comments with this: Flores is not putting anyone on a pedestal. Every portrayal has a little bit of bite, a couple of twists and tweaks that lets you know Flores has no illusions about the existence of flawless human beings. (Incidentally, when one of his characters makes a crack about how an artist who left some apartment fixtures lying about on the street must not have had many friends, check to see if you can recognize the artists in the frame.)It’s a healthy dash of caricature that makes the play much lighter than you might expect, while at the same time complicating everything – like a touch of salt that makes a sweet dish more refined. Each of the characters, Flores noted, are based on a real person that he knew, which is also evident in the respect he shows even as he exaggerates their most prominent features.In fact, the critiques of the various characters are what make this show, unlike so many, only work as a one-man play. While it’s a bit tricky to pull off an argument among three characters with only one actor, by doing so, Flores claims each person as a part of himself, and makes the critiques feel at once more personal and more bearable. He also separates out the characters who are engaged in other disputes throughout the story, showing you glimpses of each person in chronologically separated monologues. Each one gets a voice (even though they’re all Flores’ voice) and gets to tell their side of the story, independently.  You’re Gonna Cry runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday May 26, 27 and 28th at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. The first thing that might come to mind as you’re waiting for the lights to dim at Paul  Flores’ one-man show “You’re Gonna Cry,”: What is Flores doing in Union Square performing a show about gentrification in the Mission? Well, in one example of why you might do as the title implies, the sixth-floor black box Phoenix Theater on Mason Street is an affordable performance space in the city that Flores and his producer Eric Reid (of CellSpace/Inner Mission fame) had to find since Inner Mission has been kicked out of its Bryant Street location to make way for a planned housing development there. That’s right – Union Square is now the place to go for underground theater about displacement from a Latino neighborhood. Here’s the thing about Flores’ show: It doesn’t harp. It’s not whiny. It’s not depressing. He’s appreciative of the space, and you can tell that the show is more of a celebration of the characters he’s wrought than the middle finger to the techie elite that you might expect from the playbill. 0%center_img Tags: arts • gentrification • theater Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SAINTS and Leeds have split their series so far th

first_imgSAINTS and Leeds have split their series so far this season with one win apiece.Nathan Brown’s side won 14-10 in Super League at Langtree Park back in March but the Rhinos triumphed in the Cup a month later.Last Ten Meetings:Leeds 32, St Helens 12 (CCR5, 26/4/14)St Helens 14, Leeds 10 (SLR7, 28/3/14)Leeds 11, St Helens 10 (SLPSF, 20/9/13)Leeds 22, St Helens 30 (SLR15, 20/5/13)St Helens 12, Leeds 20 (SLR5, 1/3/13)Leeds 18, St Helens 31 (SLR14, 21/5/12)St Helens 46, Leeds 6 (SLR8, 25/3/12)Leeds 32, St Helens 16 (SLGF, 8/10/11) (at Old Trafford, Manchester)St Helens 42, Leeds 16 (SLR16, 3/6/11) (at Stobart Stadium, Widnes)Leeds 16, St Helens 30 (SLR6, 19/3/11)Super League Summary:Leeds won 25 (includes wins in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 Grand Finals; 1998, 2005 and 2013 play-offs)St Helens won 29 (includes wins in 1999, 2001, 2007 and 2008 play-offs)Ups and Downs:Leeds highest score: 74-16 (H, 2001) (Widest margin: 70-0, H, 2004)St Helens highest score: 62-18 (H, 1999) (Widest margin: 56-10, H, 2004)Super League Milestones:Paul Wellens needs one try to draw level with Keith Senior in second place in the list of all-time leading try-scorers.1 Danny McGuire (Leeds, 2001-present) 2142 Keith Senior (Leeds/Sheffield, 1996-2011) 1993 Paul Wellens (St Helens, 1998-present) 1984 David Hodgson (Hull KR/Huddersfield/Salford/Wigan/Halifax, 1999-present) 1685 Leon Pryce (Catalan Dragons/St Helens/Bradford, 1998-present) 1656 Ade Gardner (Hull KR/St Helens, 2002-present) 1537 Ryan Hall (Leeds, 2007-present) 1528 Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC, 2001-present) 1499 Rob Burrow (Leeds, 2001-present) 14810 Pat Richards (Wigan, 2006-2013) 147Paul Wellens – 2 tries away from 200 (198 for St Helens, 1998-2014)First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 = Tom Makinson (St Helens), Joel Monaghan (Warrington Wolves) 243 Morgan Escare (Catalan Dragons) 214 Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) 195 = Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers), Michael Oldfield (Catalan Dragons), Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons), Joe Wardle (Huddersfield Giants) 179 = Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers), Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves), Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors) 16Goals:1 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 902 = Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors), Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 894 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 775 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 686 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 677 = Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos), Luke Walsh (St Helens) 669 Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 5310 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 52Goals Percentage:1 Jamie Ellis (Castleford Tigers) 100.00 (10/10)2 Kevin Locke (Salford Red Devils) 90.00 (9/10)3 Jordan Rankin (Hull FC) 88.46 (23/26)4 Luke Gale (Bradford Bulls) 88.23 (30/34)5 Sam Williams (Catalan Dragons) 84.00 (21/25)6 Jacob Miller (Hull FC) 81.81 (9/11)7 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 81.25 (52/64)8 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 78.57 (66/84)9 Jamie Foster (Bradford Bulls) 77.08 (37/48)10 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 77.01 (67/87)Points:1 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 2042 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 1953 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 1944 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 1785 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 1686 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 1537 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 1528 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 1489 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 13610 Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 111last_img read more

SBMS student suspended charged with making false report of school shooting

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A 12-year-old South Brunswick Middle School student is suspended and now charged after an incident that happened early this morning.According to a news release from Brunswick County Schools, around 7:30 a.m., the 6th grader got to school and told fellow 6th graders that he heard there will be a shooting today.- Advertisement – The students immediately told their teacher who contacted administration.The School Resource Officer immediately took the student into custody. The school district says there is no believed danger to students.The student has been suspended and charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property.Related Article: ‘Teacher of the Week’ inspires students to dream bigDetectives continue to interview the student.Schools spokesman Daniel Seamans said the students showed exactly what to do if they see or hear anything of concern, by immediately telling a school staff member.“Brunswick County Schools works closely with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office so that our children can have a safe and enjoyable learning environment,” Seamans said in the release. “Student safety is the #1 priority.”last_img read more

Documents Pharmacy sold more than 315000 oxycodone pills in 5 months

first_img An affidavit the Drug Enforcement Administration filed in federal court says Anderson’s sold nearly 318,000 oxycodone pills in just the first five months of this year after selling 365,000 in 2017. The county has about 34,000 residents.The DEA says Anderson’s sells twice as much oxycodone as a pair of pharmacies less than a mile away and that a source told investigators Anderson’s lets customers text photos of their prescriptions. That’s why agents wanted to do an administrative inspection of the pharmacy Thursday to “protect public health and safety.”A woman who told WWAY she is the girlfriend of owner Gene Anderson said the pharmacy does everything the way it is supposed to and by noon Thursday, it was back open and serving customers.Related Article: Rep. David Rouzer talks rebuilding damaged dike in Bladen CountyAt Anderson’s and other drug stores, pharmacists say they are right in the middle of the opioid crisis.Denise Marrotta, a pharmacist at Rocky Point Pavilion Pharmacy, says there are steps pharmacists can take to help protect customers. She says she has seen the opioid problem grow over her 32 years in the business.“We can always call the doctor to make sure it was written from that office and verify if it’s a legal prescription,” Marrotta said. “We also have access to the North Carolina State Controlled Substance Monitoring System, which tracks every prescription filled in the state.”Marrotta says her pharmacy has also started a patient drop-off system for unused and older drugs as a big step to stop drug abuse.Marrotta says she does her best to educate her patients when they pick up prescriptions. She says sometimes they are not even aware what they are prescribed is an opioid. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — WWAY has learned new details about why federal agents closed a Bladen County drugstore for several hours Thursday morning.Court documents show the number of opioids sold at some Bladen County pharmacies, including Anderson’s Discount Drugs, was enough for agents to want to find out more.- Advertisement – last_img read more

More than 1400 anglers toss in a line during annual king mackerel

first_imgSOUTHPORT, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — More than 432 boats and 1,400+ anglers were hoping to reel in that big cash prize in the 40th Annual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament over the weekend. This year’s winner has taken home the gold before!Top honors for their 37.2-pound king mackerel went to Captain Dieter Cardwell from Winston-Salem aboard “Tide Line.” The boat took home $108,216.- Advertisement – 2nd place and $38,055 went to Captain Timothy Gray from Wilmington on the “Beeracuda” for their 36.05-pound king.3rd place honors and $46,115 went to Captain Patrick Overstreet, IV aboard “Service Call” from Tarboro for their 35.45-pound king.This was the first major event held in Southport since Hurricane Florence.Related Article: Southport city leaders hire firm to conduct audit on police department“This was not your usual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament but, in many aspects, it was the same quality event that organizers had hoped for 40 years ago,” said Karen Sphar, Executive Vice President of the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce. “There were challenges caused by Hurricane Florence which created long runs for anglers to catch their prey but the seas were cooperative, the hospitality in Southport-Oak Island was warm and in the end the 2018 U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament will go down in the record books as the first time it wrote a check to the winner that exceeded $100,000 and to a repeat winner.”“We believe holding the tournament sent a strong message to visitors and residents alike that we are resilient, and the Southport-Oak Island area is OPEN for business.”The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament has a $2 million economic impact.The Chamber of Commerce through the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament also supported Brunswick Family Assistance Hurricane Relief efforts with a $1,500 donation. In addition, there were donations by participants collected during the tournament and the tournament Board plans to add to their support from the tournament proceeds.The tournament, an event of the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce is held annually the first week in October at the Southport Marina.last_img read more

More than 200 students decorated in green gold and purple

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Green, gold and purple beads decorated the necks of more than 200 students at Saint Mary Catholic School in Wilmington for the annual Mardi Gras celebration.The fun comes the day before the school transitions into the Lenten season. For more than 15 years, St. Mary’s students have paraded around the downtown campus and, for the past few years, the school has continued the tradition in memory of the late School Manager Clifton Lively, who was from Louisiana.- Advertisement – Principal Joyce Price says the students look forward to this day each year.“They’ve been inside for religious lessons learning about Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday and lent,” said Price. “We’ll have all kinds of different activities during the season of lent which begins tomorrow.”Price says Mardi Gras is not a religious celebration limited to Tuesday but is actually a season that began right after Christmas.Related Article: All aboard the Oleander Express!If you travel to New Orleans known as Mardi Gras City, parades down iconic Bourbon Street started January 6th and end Tuesday night.last_img read more

Boat capsizes near Snows Cut

first_imgMan rescued after boat capsizes near Wildlife Boat Ramp on March 19, 2019 (Photo: Monique Robinson/WWAY) CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A man whose boat capsized in Carolina Beach is safe.It happened at the Wildlife Boat Ramp a little after noon on Tuesday.- Advertisement – Crews responded to the call about a man whose boat overturned near the Snow’s Cut. When crews arrived, a man was clinging to the boat.Responders were able to get the boat under control and keep it from pulling away with the current.The boater was treated on the scene for hypothermia. No word yet on what caused the boat to capsize or the boaters identity.last_img

Taxi ploughs into Moscow crowd including soccer fans injuring 8

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Photo: ReutersPhoto: Reuters A taxi drove into a crowd of pedestrians near Moscow’s Red Square on Saturday, injuring eight people including two Mexicans in the city for the soccer World Cup which Russia is hosting, officials and eyewitnesses said.The incident took place as residents and visiting soccer fans thronged the centre of Moscow on a balmy summer evening, a short distance from the Kremlin.Moscow’s traffic management authority said the taxi driver had a driver’s licence issued in Kyrgyzstan, a mainly Muslim ex-Soviet republic. It cited the driver, who was in police custody, as saying he had not driven into the crowd on purpose.Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a post on Twitter: “There was an unpleasant incident with a taxi. The driver lost control of the vehicle.”The city’s police said they had opened a criminal investigation into a suspected violation of the traffic code.Eight people were hurt and had been taken to hospital, Moscow city’s healthcare department said in a statement. It said seven were in a satisfactory condition, while one woman was seriously hurt.The Mexican embassy in Moscow said two Mexican women had been lightly injured. Also among those hurt were a Ukrainian and two Russian citizens, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted a source in the emergency services as saying.Video of the incident posted on social media showed the yellow Hyundai taxi pull sharply out of a line of stationary traffic, accelerate and mount the narrow pavement, which was packed with pedestrians.The vehicle drove for about 10 metres along the pavement, bowling over pedestrians, with some of them being carried along on the bonnet of the car.The taxi came to a halt after hitting a traffic sign. As bystanders tried to pull open the driver’s side door, the driver, dressed in black trousers and black T-shirt, jumped out and sprinted away.More bystanders chased after him and could be seen trying to tackle him to the ground as the footage ended.MEXICO SOCCER MATCHA witness told Reuters that some of the people hit were wearing Mexican team colours. Mexico take on Germany on Sunday in their first World Cup match at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, and thousands of Mexican fans are in the Russian capital.A second witness at the scene told Reuters about the driver of the taxi: “He was pulled out of the vehicle, he ran off but bystanders apprehended him. He was shouting: ‘It wasn’t me’.”Another witness, Viktoria Geraimovich, said she called the emergency services on her mobile phone.Describing the actions of the driver, she said: “He ran into a group of Mexicans. There were shouts, moans. He was only stopped because he hit a traffic sign.”“Someone gave him a punch in the face. He stayed in the car, people came up to him, said what are you doing, punched him in the face, he opened the door and tried to run away.”“It’s scary that it was in the centre (of Moscow) and I was right opposite,” she said.Moscow’s traffic management authority said the driver was not drunk and Interfax news agency cited a source saying there was no alcohol in his blood.The same source told Interfax the driver said he had fallen asleep at the wheel and accidentally pressed the accelerator pedal. The driver also said he had worked all night and that he tried to run away because he was scared, TASS agency cited an emergency source as saying.The same source told TASS that a court will hold a sentencing hearing on Monday.Authorities have vowed a safe soccer World Cup, which Russia is hosting for the first time ever. It is taking place in 11 cities until July 15.In central Moscow, authorities have installed heavy concrete blocks across the entrances to pedestrianised areas following a spate of incidents in European cities in which vehicles were used to mow down people.The U.S. State Department on Friday updated its travel advice on Russia, saying terrorist groups were plotting attacks.“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities,” the travel advice stated.DRIVER’S LICENCEThe Moscow traffic authority posted on Twitter a copy of what it said was the taxi driver’s licence. It gave his name as Chingiz Anarbek Uulu and said he was born on April 22, 1990.It gave his birthplace as the town of Kochkor-Ata in Kyrgyzstan, near the border with Uzbekistan.An account on Russian social media platform Odnoklassniki for someone with the same name and date of birth was last updated two years ago.The last video he posted on his page depicted chapter 82 of the Koran, Islam’s holy book, which discussed judgment day. There was nothing on the page to suggest any links to, or sympathies with, Islamist militant groups.People walking around in central Moscow on Saturday evening said they were aware of the taxi incident, but it did not put them off spending time in the city. The streets were packed with people listening to street musicians perform, or sitting at pavement cafes.“We’re not scared but disappointed,” said Youseff Fraige, 27, from Monterrey, Mexico.“We didn’t expect something like this to happen in a place like this. It could happen anywhere in the world, but that it happens here in Moscow, in the middle of the World Cup, it’s shocking for us.”(Reporting by Christian Lowe, Maria Kiselyova, Jack Stubbs, Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Tom Balmforth; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Stephen Powell and Catherine Evans)WhatsAppTweetPrintlast_img read more