A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… User-led organisations have played a key role in two major new projects that aim to improve access for disabled tourists and ramblers.In Oxfordshire, Natural England has opened the National Land Access Centre (NLAC), which will provide training for landowners, farmers and rights of way officers on how to ensure that gates and other countryside obstructions are accessible to disabled people.And in Lancashire, Blackpool-based disabled people’s organisation (DPO) Disability First is celebrating a government grant of nearly £1 million for a project that will improve access to the Fylde, Wyre and Blackpool coastline.NLAC, based at Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, will offer training courses that show how to use, maintain and install fences, barriers and stiles that meet a new British Standard, which was published in February.Natural England, the government’s advisers on the natural environment, has worked closely on the plans with the user-led charity Disabled Ramblers, and project partners The British Horse Society, the specialist gate supplier Centrewire and the Pittecroft Trust.John Cutherbertson (pictured at the new centre), chair of Disabled Ramblers, told Disability News Service (DNS): “There is a huge swathe of the population who cannot clamber over stiles.“What we found is the main thing that stops people accessing the countryside is the lack of understanding by those people who are putting these gates in.“Some of them still think that the less able would prefer to stay at home and watch the telly.“They don’t realise that people want to get out there and need to get out there for their mental health as well as their physical well-being.”He said Disabled Ramblers was trying to educate these groups, such as farmers, landowners and rights of way officers, about the “least restrictive” way to enclose land, and ideally install gates that disabled people can open and close on their own, without needing someone with them.He said he hoped that the selection of gates and barriers on show at the centre would grow and would be joined eventually by accessible versions of other equipment, such as bridges and boardwalks.Disabled Ramblers has provided an off-road mobility scooter to the centre so people who take the courses can use the vehicle to see how difficult it can be to manoeuvre through such obstacles.Cuthbertson said that Centrewire, which was founded by Tom Bindoff, a non-disabled member of Disabled Ramblers, had been keen to modify its products to make them more accessible.Bindoff has even designed a “kissing gate” that can be opened by a scooter-user using a RADAR key, he said.The disabled Tory peer Lord Blencathra, deputy chair of Natural England, said: “Improved access will help to connect more people with their natural environment, giving them a chance to enjoy our countryside, its open space and fascinating wildlife – all key aspects of the government’s 25 year environment plan.”Meanwhile, funding of £985,000 has been awarded to a consortium led by Disability First through the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.Alan Reid, chief executive of Disability First, said his organisation was “thrilled and very proud” to be awarded the funding in its 25th year as a charity.He said he wanted the Fylde, Blackpool and Wyre coast to “strive to become a more truly inclusive resort”.The Access Fylde Coast project is supported by Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre councils, Blackpool Transport, Marketing Lancashire, Lancaster University, the access information provider DisabledGo, Blackpool’s Coastal Community Team and the area’s local Volunteering Centre.Reid said the project, which will last nearly two years, was “exciting and unique”.He told DNS the scheme would improve access for both visitors and residents by offering free access audits and disability awareness training to local shops and businesses.The project will also develop a culture and heritage mobile phone app, linked to existing apps offered by Blackpool Transport and DisabledGo, and which will include a British Sign Language interpretation service.He said: “This will support people with a variety of disabilities with tram and bus access once they step off the train station in Blackpool and venues will have details of their particular disabled facilities and heritage information on the app.”The project also plans to showcase professional disabled performers at Blackpool Opera House theatre and disabled artists in a local art gallery, and improve access at existing events including the Blackpool Illuminations switch-on and Lytham Festival.He said there was also the possibility that a disabled performer could perform at, or even switch on, the illuminations next year.On a visit to Lytham Saint Annes, coastal communities minister Jake Berry said: “It’s really exciting to see money from the Coastal Communities Fund help kick-start these shovel-ready projects, which have the potential to unlock the barriers to development and growth in our coastal communities.”The Coastal Communities Fund was established to support coastal projects in the UK to deliver sustainable growth and jobs.Picture by Annette Venterslast_img read more

On 16th Day of Hunger Strike Frisco 5 Taken to Hospital

first_imgOn day 16 of their hunger strike, the group of activists refusing to eat in an effort to unseat San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr are growing increasingly weak and, by 1 p.m. on Friday, were driven to the hospital by doctors who have been monitoring them.The so-called ‘Frisco Five’ were picked up by a group of medical professionals that include UCSF’s Dr. Rupa Marya and medical students who are volunteering their expertise under the organization White Coats for Black Lives.“It’s starting to get really serious, and on top of that its raining,” said Liam McStravick, a supporter of the strike.The medical professionals have been observing the strikers out of concern for their deteriorating health, administering daily check-up that includes taking their vitals as the strikers enter week three of their hunger strike. Tags: Mission Police Station • protests Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img Citing client confidentiality, Mayra would not comment on the group’s health conditions or how long the strikers would be hospitalized.The hunger strikers depart in a van for the hospital. Photo by Laura Waxmann“We are just getting checked on, but there is reason for concern,” said hunger striker and candidate for District 9 supervisor Edwin Lindo, while gathering several items from a tent pitched outside of the Mission Police station where he has been camping for over two weeks. This morning, Lindo was unusually terse, and said that he has lost 20 pounds. “We are growing weaker by the day.”Other strikers also showed visible signs of frailty. Rapper Equipto (Ilych Sato) was the first to enter the white van that transported the Frisco Five to the UCSF for treatment, his head leaning against a back window and a scarf pulled snugly to conceal his gaunt face.Rapper Sellassie Blackwell, who was checked into the hospital on May 4 because doctors were alarmed by his previous blood tests, was also uncharacteristically mum. The strikers gathered some of their belongings and entered the vehicle, giving no word on when they’d be back or what prompted their pick-up by the medical team.It is unclear if the strikers will be hospitalized overnight, but Blackwell said that this could “most likely” be the outcome of today’s checkup.Aside from a lack of solid food, the elements have also contributed to the strikers’ hardship. On Friday morning, the sidewalk where they have been been camping at 17th and Valencia streets glistened from a spell of rain during the morning hours, and the campers have pulled tarps over their tents for additional protection.“The Frisco Five are visibly weaker than I have ever seen them,” said Nancy Pili Hernandez, an educator and supporter of the hunger strike. “Just talking to them and seeing how they are behaving, they are a lot weaker than they were on the 14th and 15th day. They are not really themselves right now.”The strikers have received an outpouring of support from their community that includes daily visits from community members and the press. These interactions, though welcomed, have proven to be stressful for the weakened strikers.“They are sleeping out here on this busy street, I can see that they are fatigued and exhausted,” said Pili Hernandez. “I respect and admire their dedication to putting their bodies on the line…to hope to protect the lives of black and brown men of this neighborhood from future police violence. But it hurts me to see them this weak and this sick.”According to supporter Victor Picazo, he and others began to pack up the strikers’ tents on Friday afternoon, saying that while protestors would be welcome to continue gathering at the site, the tents would be removed until further notice. last_img read more

Religious Groups Continue Push for Police Reform

first_imgReligious organizations in San Francisco and Oakland continue to organize small but persistent actions to express their support for police reform and dismay at police shootings. Two consecutive vigils were held Wednesday evening to commemorate police shooting victims and call for action from city officials.Father Richard Smith of St. John the Evangelist church on 15th Street, along with some 30 supporters, stood in front of Mission Police Station to demand that District Attorney George Gascón bring criminal charges against the officers who shot Amilcar Perez Lopez in 2015.Since hunger strikers left the encampment there at the end of last week, police have erected barricades in front of the station.The vigil is the fifth consecutive weekly event of its kind. Smith and other supporters, many from his church but some from other activist groups, had also been organizing monthly “night walks” from the church to the station to keep Perez Lopez’ death in the public eye. Tags: City Hall • Mission Police Station • protests • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img Gascón’s office is expected to make a decision on charging the officers in the coming two weeks. Police shot Perez Lopez to death nearly a year ago, but recently two witnesses to the shooting, who spoke with Mission Local immediately after the shooting,  were convinced to come forward and give statements to investigators. Previously the two witnesses, who are undocumented, feared coming forward.Smith’s church, in affiliation with an organization named Faith in Action, is one of many spiritual organizations that have added their voices to the movement toward reform and accountability in the police department. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has also held several prayer ceremonies to honor the victims of a variety of violent deaths on San Francisco streets.A small altar honoring victims of police shootings and the hunger strikers known as the Frisco Five set up in front of City Hall. Photo by Laura WenusRefugio and Elvira Nieto, the parents of 2014 police shooting victim Alex Nieto, stand at a vigil for Amilcar Perez Lopez in front of Mission Station. Photo by Laura WenusIn another show of support on Wednesday evening, religious leaders arranged for a prayer circle of some 18 people to meet in front of City Hall and honor the Frisco Five hunger strikers and recent police shooting victims. Participants of the prayer circle said a group of Buddhists had demonstratively meditated in front of City Hall the evening prior, also in protest of police use of force.“I’m here because as a person of faith it is not okay with my god for me to be silent,” said Vanessa Riles, an organizer with the faith based activism group Second Acts. “Five people went hungry for justice and the mayor and chief of police allowed them to starve until they were in the hospital.”Both vigils, though organized by practicing Christians, were diverse in their representation of faiths – many at Wednesday’s prayer circle said they did not adhere to any particular religion, or drew from teachings in Buddhism or other traditions.Gerardo Marin, for example, is an Aztec dancer and one of several people who attended both vigils. As members of the prayer circle spoke in front of City Hall, with only some addressing a deity, Marin coaxed deep, haunting tones from a shell horn he sounded in the four cardinal directions. He said he attended the vigil in part as a healing for himself to express his gratitude that his friend and hunger striker Edwin Lindo had ended and survived his strike.Healing was a theme shared across the vigils.“We pray for healing, healing and wellness and wholeness for those who gave up their food,” Riles prayed.Reverend Harry Louis Williams II told a story of his encounter with NYPD officers in which he said officers drove up onto the curb and exited their car with guns drawn, then kicked and searched Williams.“That was an awakening for me,” he told the circle. “We have seen so much suffering…it seems that people don’t care in power.”“My neighbors’ blood is on my hands. I know that my salvation comes with collective liberation,” prayed Alex Haider-Winnett, a student at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. last_img read more

Mission seniors complain rent requirements for new affordable developments leave them out

first_imgDignity and respect were the main themes that emerged Sunday afternoon during a standing-room-only congregation, as community leaders demanded that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors deliver on the promise of truly affordable housing for low-income seniors in the Mission. The turnout at St. Anthony of Padua Church’s parish hall on 3215 César Chávez St. amazed organizers, and the uncomfortably warm room did not discourage the nearly 200 people — seniors, youth and clergy — who wanted to hear the stories of those affected. Last June, Casa Adelante, a 100 percent affordable, 94-unit housing project for seniors at 1296 Shotwell St., broke ground, after the community advocated for its construction for five years. The nine-story building is expected to be finished by mid-2020. Community leaders are asking for rent to be set at 30 percent of seniors’ income, which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determines as fair market rent. Presently, the rent at Casa Adelante is based on 50 percent of the area median income of $7,200 a month, meaning residents will be earning $3,600 a month maximum. But, since rents cannot be more than 50 percent of income, there is a minimum income as well, in the vicinity of around $2,000 a month — causing the housing project to be out of reach for nearly “70 percent of senior renters in San Francisco,” according to Faith in Action, a community-based organization. Olinda Orellana did not mince words when she stepped up to the podium to share her thoughts.“If we do not get what we are asking for, we will be living on the streets very soon, because we do not have the money to pay for this,” she said in Spanish. “Claro como el agua,” said Esperanza Navas, one of the hosts of the event. “[It’s] clear as water. This is the reality. Here, we don’t filter ourselves. Here, we speak the truth. We know the pain. We know the suffering. We know that we can either eat or pay rent.” Overcome with emotion, Patrona Orellana, who has worked and lived in the city for more than 30 years, said she had hoped to apply to the Casa Adelante project, but later realized she would not be able to qualify with what she receives from her pension. “Who here has an income of $7,200 a month?” asked Deisy Camey, a parishioner of the church. The crowd responded with a loud chorus. “Nadie!” they said. “No one!” “Well,” continued Camey. “That’s why we are here. The city does not know exactly how we are living.” “Our rapidly growing senior population is among the most impacted and we urgently need solutions,” said District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar. Photo by Jennifer Cortez.An additional testimonial was read on behalf of Raul Vazquez, who is currently hospitalized. A former baker at La Victoria, Vazquez has lived in San Francisco for more than 40 years. “I believed I lived in a sanctuary city,” he wrote, “but a sanctuary city does not exclude. A sanctuary is inclusive of everyone, including the elderly — who deserve to live with dignity.” The final speech came from Rosario Garcia, who said she wishes that they are able to live their remaining years in tranquility. “Please, help us,” she said. “We need it to move forward.” A set of questions was then posed to the public officials in attendance: Supervisor Gordon Mar, as well as Jen Low and Amy Beinart, legislative aides who represent Board President Norman Yee and Supervisor Hillary Ronen, respectively. “I understand that the housing affordability crisis and the displacement crisis is the biggest issue facing everyone in our city, in every district, in every community,” said Mar. “Our rapidly growing senior population is among the most impacted and we urgently need solutions.” And while he’s proud of the $600 million affordable housing bond slated for the November ballot, the largest affordable housing bond in the city’s history, “it’s not nearly enough for what we need.” He added that it is critical elected officials work with the community to ensure that the wealthy, as well as the booming tech and corporate sectors, pay their fair share in taxes. Referencing his proposal for the November ballot to increase the corporate tax on stock-based compensation for San Francisco-based companies, like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb, Mar said “it would create $100 million revenue every year that we could use to expand truly affordable housing for low-income seniors.”Overcome with emotion, Patrona Orellana, who has worked and lived in the city for more than 30 years, said she had hoped to apply to the Casa Adelante project, but later realized she would not be able to qualify with what she receives from her pension. Photo by Jennifer Cortez.Having taken care of his parents and aunts, and as the only senior on the Board of Supervisors, Yee relayed the message that he “knows full well what it means to have a home” and understands the concern of being displaced or exploited in the last years of life. “Only 12 percent of the housing pipeline is meant for seniors. We were completely floored,” said Low, speaking on behalf of the supervisor. “President Yee, as part of the housing bond that Supervisor Mar talked about, ensured that there was going to be a dedicated source within the housing bond for senior housing: $150 million of the $600 million will be for senior housing.” This is just a start, she said, for a problem that is systemic. Beinart, who is Ronen’s legislative aide, said her office is working alongside Yee’s on the Senior Operative Subsidy program that would lower rent for senior housing. “It came as a surprise to us to understand that the affordability level was higher than we had expected,” she said. “More importantly, higher than what was actually affordable higher to seniors in this district.”She added that it’s urgent that the subsidy program is applied to Casa Adelente, as well as the next 45-unit housing project for seniors in the Mission. Nodding their heads, it was clear that the crowd gathered at the Catholic church’s parish hall — nearly two hours later and still standing-room-only — were in agreement. “We hope that [the public officials] don’t forget about the declarations made today,” said Navas, one of the co-hosts, at the conclusion of the event. “Because we won’t let them.”  Email Addresscenter_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterlast_img read more

JONNY Lomax has been named in Saints 19man squad

first_imgJONNY Lomax has been named in Saints 19-man squad for the trip to Hull KR on Sunday.He returns from injury and is joined by winger Tom Makinson and young forward Scott Hale.But ruled out is James Graham who has a dead leg, whilst Gary Wheeler looks set to play in the Reserve’s match at Hull KR on Saturday.Therefore, the squad is:1. Paul Wellens, 3. Michael Shenton, 4. Sia Soliola, 5. Francis Meli, 6. Leon Pryce, 9. James Roby, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Chris Flannery, 14. Scott Moore, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Paul Clough, 18. Matty Ashurst, 19. Andrew Dixon, 20. Jonny Lomax, 22. Jamie Foster, 24. Tom Armstrong, 25. Lee Gaskell, 28. Tom Makinson, 29. Scott Hale.Justin Morgan, Hull KR’s Head Coach, will choose from:1. Shaun Briscoe, 3. Kris Welham, 4. Jake Webster, 6. Blake Green, 7. Michael Dobson, 9. Ben Fisher, 11. Clint Newton, 12. Ben Galea, 13. Scott Murrell, 14. Liam Watts, 15. Scott Wheeldon, 16. Jason Netherton, 18. Josh Hodgson, 19. Craig Hall, 20. Michael Vella, 21. Sam Latus, 22. Scott Taylor, 27. Jordan Cox, 30. Liam Salter.The match kicks off at 3pm and the referee is Steve Ganson.If you can’t make the match it will be covered extensively in the Match Centre as well as on Saints’ Official Twitter and Facebook sites.Stats:Hull KR have won their last three home Super League meetings with St Helens. Saints’ last league win was 40-0 on 17 June, 2007 – they also won a Challenge Cup Quarter Final (24-18) on 1 June, 2008.2011 Meetings: St Helens 54 Hull KR 6 (CCQF, 24/7/11)St Helens 34 Hull KR 16 (SLR8, 1/4/11) Super League Summary: Hull KR won 4St Helens won 6Hull KR highest score: 28-24 (H, 2010) (Widest margin: 26-10, H, 2009)St Helens highest score: 68-12 (H, 2010) (also widest margin)last_img read more

SIA Soliola scooped Saints Player of the Year awar

first_imgSIA Soliola scooped Saints Player of the Year award at the Club’s Annual Dinner on Sunday afternoon.The 26-year-old second rower was nominated by the Chairman and coaching staff for his outstanding season in the red vee.Paul Wellens was runner up – but he took home the Founder Members’ Player of the Year.Josh Jones won Young Player of the Year whilst Tom Makinson was given the Founder Members’ award.James Roby was the Players’ Player of the Year.Adam Swift was named u20s Player of the Year, James Tilley u18s Player of the Year and Dave Hewitt won the Scholar of the Year.last_img

NASA specialist ambassadors host eclipse party for Brunswick County schools

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – A Calabash man brought NASA to Brunswick County to join students and teachers watching the solar eclipse.We shared with you the story of NASA members bringing the viewing party to Brunswick County Academy. They want to use events like this once in a lifetime phenomenon to attract more North Carolina schools and students to including space science in their curriculum.- Advertisement – “Oh it’s wonderful, it’s a wonderful experience, it’s not an experience you get to do everyday. Obviously when you’ve got something like this going on it’s incredible to get the kids together, enjoy it, and teach them all about it,” says Chris Rabon whose family attends the academy.It’s that teaching lesson that motivated NASA specialist Keith Duclos to reach out to the school to host the event.“These kids that are coming back to Brunswick schools next week will have experienced the eclipse and now in their classrooms, with a science emphasis that the schools have here, they’ll be talking about ‘why did we see that?’,” says the Texas State University NASA education specialist.Unfortunately for these kids it was a brief glimpse at the partial eclipse. Cloud cover interrupted the eclipse right after the 2 o’ clock hour when it was reaching totality.“We’ve been able to enjoy live feeds inside on all of the other points of totality across the United States. We’ve learned a lot of information and even though it’s a little cloudy right now our spirits aren’t dampened,” says school district spokesperson Jessica Swenski.Even a partial glimpse catches the excitement of everyone young and old.“I was thinking about what’s going to happen today and I think it’s pretty cool,” says one young viewer.Science being cool, something Duclos is happy to hear coming from the next generation.“These are incredible events that will undoubtedly stay with us for the rest of our lives, to be able to share it with my new neighbors, it doesn’t get any better than this,” Duclos says.Teachers anticipate the solar eclipse will be the talk of the hallways when students head back to class next Monday.last_img read more

Southport Police chief lieutenant arrested following state federal investigation

first_imgSOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Southport’s police chief and one of his lieutenants have been arrested after a long-term probe by state and federal investigators, according to the Brunswick County District Attorney.According to the Brunswick County Detention Center’s website Chief Gary Lee Smith was booked at 11:23 a.m. District Attorney Jon David said Smith is charged with obtaining property by false pretense, obstruction of justice and willful failure to discharge duties of office. David said Lt. Michael Simmons is charged with obtaining property by false pretense. Gary Smith (Photo: Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office) At a news conference this afternoon, David said the charges stem from Smith and Simmons allegedly working with a trucking and shipping company while on the clock for the City of Southport, including at times leaving the city, county and state. The arrests, David said, came after an investigation by the NC State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.Mayor Jerry Dove, who was the city’s police chief before Smith, said he was shocked at the news of the allegations. He said Smith and Simmons are on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues.In the meantime, Dove said the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office will step in to take over leadership and enforcement functions in Southport.Related Article: Man accused of decapitating mother found not guilty by reason of insanityDavid said the police department was “a ghost ship,” as officers were working often without leadership. The DA said some of those officers were the ones who tipped off investigators about what was allegedly going on.David said he has already put in place a process to review pending cases from Southport that his office is prosecuting.The SBI says it got involved in May at David’s request. The agency then asked for help from the FBI’s office in Wilmington. Both agencies’ investigations continue.Investigators executed several search warrants today at the police department, city hall and the trucking company.According to a StarNews profile on Smith in 2016, he is a native of Bolivia and 1990 graduate of South Brunswick High School. He worked for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office from 1994 to 1997 before he started as a patrol officer with the Southport Police Department, where he worked his way up through the ranks. Smith became chief in 2015, when Dove retired.In May 2017 Smith was appointed to an unexpired term on the Dosher Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees. That term was set to expire in 2019, but Smith resigned from the board in August 2017.Stay with WWAY for more information as it becomes available. – Advertisement – center_img Michael Christian Simmons (Photo: Brunswick Co. Sheriff’s Office) 1 of 2last_img read more

60 countries without embassies in Malta represented by Honorary Consuls

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint DOI / Pierre SammutDOI / Pierre Sammut 60 Honorary Consuls represent 60 countries which do not have an embassy in Malta.The first conference was organised by the Council of the Honorary Consular Corps was organised in Malta on Friday, during which the honorary consuls discussed their work with the citizens of the countries they represent.The conference was also addressed by Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela who remarked that their work goes beyond issuing of a passport or a visa, legalizing documents or offering consular assistance. In his address Abela said that consuls are the bridge with international communities of the countries of representation, both on the commercial and cultural front.Abela said that Malta is becoming a global hub, which is attracting foreign workers to the island, commenting that it is the role of the consuls in assisting them in their needs.The Foreign Affairs Minister explained that Malta has been increasing its efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa not only in trade and bilateral relations, but has also showed its commitment towards sustainable development. He also mentioned the opening of a Maltese embassy in Tokyo.WhatsApplast_img read more

Somalias AlShabab Militants Issue Internet Ban

first_imgSomali men parade as members of al Shabaab in the capital Mogadishu Advertisement Islamist militants in Somalia have issued a directive banning companies from providing internet services.The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group has given firms 15 days to shut down mobile internet and fiber optic services, which are due to launch soon.Those who do not comply would be seen as “working with the enemy” and dealt with according to Islamic law, it said. – Advertisement – Correspondents say the group often executes those it accuses of spying for Somalia’s government or Western powers.Al-Shabab was driven out of the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011, but still controls many southern and central areas of the country.According to Internet World Stats, in June 2012 Somalia had more than 126,000 internet users, about 1.2% of the population.Analysts say this is set to grow as more internet services come to Mogadishu, with a returning Diaspora and the imminent connection to fiber optic cables.The BBC’s Mohamed Moalimu in Mogadishu says telecom firms have begun advertising cut-price deals ahead of the broadband launch.They currently provide internet services via dial-up or satellite.Al-Shabab’s statement was issued on the Facebook page of its Al-Andalus radio station.“Services known as mobile internet and fiber optics must be stopped in Somalia,” it said.“Any firm or individual who does not comply will be seen to be working with the enemy and will be dealt with in accordance with Islamic law,” it said.African Union (AU) and government troops have been battling Al-Shabab fighters for years.They have been driven out of some key cities, but still hold sway over many small towns and much of rural Somalia where they have imposed a strict version of Sharia.Source: BBClast_img read more