Caxton HouseTothill StreetLondonSW1H 9NA The Work and Pensions Secretary revealed that she will review the government’s goal to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 with a view to making it more ambitious.Other improvements include combining the separate assessment processes for PIP, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit into one integrated service from 2021.The integrated service will simplify the assessment process for millions of people claiming health related benefits, reducing the need to submit information multiple times and for some people reducing the number of face-to-face assessments.A small-scale test to explore the viability of a single assessment for Work Capability Assessments (WCA) and PIP assessments will also be undertaken.The government will also work with stakeholders to understand how to help people submit the right evidence with their claim at the outset so that fewer people have to take their case to tribunal. London Press Office (national media and London area enquiries only – not questions about personal claims) 020 3267 5144 Read Amber Rudd’s speech. England and Wales (local media enquiries) 029 20 586 then 097 or 098 or 099 Contact Press OfficeMedia enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5123 Press Office Twitter Facebook LinkedIn YouTube Out-of-hours (journalists only) 07623 928 975 Scotland (local media enquiries) 0131 310 1122 Follow DWP on: I want to change the landscape for disabled people in Britain. Progress has been made, but we need to do more to close the gap between our intentions and disabled people’s experiences. The changes I am setting out today, including stopping unnecessary reassessments for disabled pensioners, are a step forward in improving quality of life for the UK’s 14 million disabled people. But we can’t achieve change alone, and I will be guided by disabled people as we work together to provide the opportunities and support they deserve and expect. Hundreds of thousands of disabled pensioners will no longer have to go through unnecessary reassessments for disability benefits, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has said today (5 March 2019).Around 270,000 people receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) who have reached State Pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review every 10 years.The changes are part of a wider package of measures announced by Amber Rudd, signalling a shift in the government’s support for disabled people.Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:
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One Donegal location has been named on Trip Advisor’s Irish Top Ten destinations. Dublin was the best-rated destination in Ireland for tourists on the tourist website’s annual Travellers’ Choice Awards for destinations.Following Dublin in the top Ireland destination list is Killarney, while Galway, Dingle and Cork take third, fourth and fifth place respectively. But Donegal Town has been named as number 9 in the top 10.Other towns such as Letterkenny, Bundoran and Buncrana failed to make the top 10.But hopefully, visitors will spend plenty of time taking in all Donegal has to offer when they come as far as Donegal Town.The award recognises the locations that are the most popular among TripAdvisor reviewers based on millions of reviews and opinions. Ireland top 10DublinKillarneyGalwayDingleCorkKilkennyCongWestportDonegal TownSneemGuess which Donegal place has been named on TripAdvisor’s Top 10? was last modified: March 26th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalTop TenTrip advisor
A recent scientific discovery in South Africa, ancient fungi-like fossils, have once again put the country on the map in the palaeontology field. It raises questions about the oldest fungi found, evolution, and whether scientists have been looking in the wrong places.Ancient fungi-like fossils have been found in South Africa’s Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)Priya PitamberA group of international researchers have discovered fungi-like fossils in rocks dating back 2.4 billion years, in South Africa. This latest development once again displays the country’s central role in global scientific research.The fossils were found in the Ongeluk Formation in the Northern Cape, which was under water at the time the organisms were alive.“Unless they represent an unknown branch of fungus-like organisms, the fossils imply that the fungal clade is considerably older than previously thought, and that fungal origin and early evolution may lie in the oceanic deep biosphere rather than on land,” reads the researchers’ paper, published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. “The Ongeluk discovery suggests that life has inhabited submarine volcanics for more than 2.4 billion years.”SignificanceDuring a routine microscopic study of the lava, Professor Birger Rasmussen, from the Western Australian School of Mines at Curtin University, found the microfossils.“I was looking for minerals to date the age of the rock when my attention was drawn to a series of vesicles and when I increased the magnification of the microscope I was startled to find what appeared to be exquisitely preserved fossilised microbes,” he said.At 2.4 billion years old, does the Ongeluk formation yield the world’s oldest fungi? Bengtson et al https://t.co/yOCQbDgtWO pic.twitter.com/2fiqtHFcMe— NatureEcoEvo (@NatureEcoEvo) April 24, 2017“It quickly became apparent that cavities within the volcanic rocks were once crawling with life.“The new discovery has implications for the evolution of life on Earth, representing the earliest evidence of possible fungi by 1 to 2 billion years, and the earliest evidence of eukaryotic life by at least 500 million years,” Rasmussen said.He hopes this research will be able to answer fundamental questions about evolution on Earth, and beyond.LocationThe fossils were found in rock formed from bubbly lava that was once upon a time, beneath the sea.Professor Stefan Bengtson, from the Swedish Museum of Natural History, was the lead on the research team. He told the BBC that scientists previously looked for the oldest fossil fungi on land or in shallow seas, but never in the deep sea.“The deep biosphere (where the fossils were found) represents a significant portion of the Earth, but we know very little about its biology and even less about its evolutionary history,” he said.The research paper was co-authored by scientists from the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm.Sources: BBC, Nature Ecology & Evolution, and Curtin UniversityWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Coolpad may not be a brand as recognised as Xiaomi but it’s also not a newbie. The China-based smartphone maker entered India a few years ago and it already has a bunch of decent pocket-friendly phones in its product lineup. Most Coolpad phones are priced under Rs 10,000 tag and the latest addition to the list is the Coolpad Mega 5A. Coolpad launched the Mega 5A in September this year at a price of Rs 6,999. The Mega 5A comes in only one variant, which has 2GB RAM and 16GB storage.With the Mega 5A, Coolpad takes an aim at offline buyers. This is smart. Most of the good phones in this price range — the Redmi 5A, the Redmi 6A, the Honor 7S — are only available online and that too rarely, because of low stock issues. To succeed, all that the Mega 5A has to do is be a decent phone. But is it?Unfortunately not. I used the Coolpad Mega 5A for a few weeks and found in some areas is a decent phone, but in most of the crucial aspects it disappoints. But more on that later, for now a quick look at the phone and its feature set:– The Mega 5A comes with a 5.45-inch HD+ display that has an aspect ratio of 18:9 and resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels.– The Mega 5A uses Spreadtrum SC9850K quad-core processor that runs at 1.3GHz.– It runs Android 8.1 Oreo software and comes with features like split screen, which allows two apps to be run side by side.advertisement– The Mega 5A sports a dual-camera setup on the rear and single cam on the front. The dual-cameras setup is definitely the first in this price range. The primary camera uses 8-megapixel sensor, paired with a separate lens that has a 0.3-megapixel sensor. On the front there is a 5-megapixel camera.– The phone comes with a 2500mAh battery, which Coolpad claims can deliver one day of battery backup.Looks good, bright displaySo, more about the phone now. Coolpad does a good job with the design of the Mega 5A. In fact, I feel it is one of the best looking smartphones available in the market at this price point, thanks to the metal used in it. The mid-frame of the smartphone is made of metal, and that enhances the looks, even as it also makes the phone slightly heavier relative to its size. The back cover is made of plastic and is thin and fragile. I often feared breaking it in the process of removing it to insert SIM cards and battery. But, keeping aside some of these bits, overall, I feel the Mega 5A is a compact phone and usable with one hand, looks good, and has build quality that is neither worse than what you get otherwise in phone in this price range nor better. One of the things that Coolpad highlights about the phone is its display. It calls the Mega 5A screen “great”. That is hyperbole, but if not great I do find it good. It is bright enough to display text legibly under blazing sunlight. Keeping brightness level around 40 per cent inside a room works perfectly fine for me. Under bright sunlight, around 70 to 80 per cent works best. It’s same when you want to watch a nice video or play something like Subway Surfer, bump up the brightness a little. The Mega 5A isn’t one of the best phones to watch videos or play games though, but it’s not bad either. It gets the work done. The viewing angles could have been better. I also like that the touch response of the Mega 5A screen is smooth and there doesn’t seem to be any discernible touch lag.Not for the gamers or multitaskersThe screen is where the good bits end. It’s the performance where the Mega 5A struggles. Not that I expect a powerhouse of a phone at this price bracket, but even for basic tasks the Mega 5A struggles. There is lag when you switch between open apps. It takes some time when moving from one app to another. If you have too many apps open, the phone becomes sluggish. Scrolling in apps like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp shows lags.Even for basic tasks the Mega 5A strugglesThe poor performance is a problem even when you want to play some games on the device. Forget the graphics-heavy games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, the Mega 5A struggles with Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2. Clearly, if you game a lot there are better phones like the Redmi 5A and the Honor 7S in the market for you.advertisement The Mega 5A comes with both face unlock support and fingerprint sensor, which is placed right under the rear camera setup. These are features that are rarely seen on phones under Rs 7,000. We should credit Coolpad for putting them in Mega 5A but I wish they were fast. Both the face unlock and fingerprint sensor are extremely slow at unlocking the phone. I mostly had to rely on unlocking the phone by entering the PIN or using the pattern.Battery life is decent with this phone. The Mega 5A lasts around 10 hours, which is pretty decent for a phone that comes with a smallish 2500mAh battery. There is no fast charging in this phone, but then at this price point you shouldn’t also expect it.Cameras mostly missThere is lots of hardware. There is not enough good performance to justify it. Coolpad has put a dual-camera setup on the Mega 5A. But I wish it had one single, but decent, camera. Both the front and rear cameras of the Coolpad Mega 5A failed to impress me. Whether it is daylight or tricky lighting scene — for example dusk — the cameras of Mega 5A click uninspiring and bland photos that lack details and have dull colours. It was rare that the Mega 5A clicked picture I felt like sharing on Instagram or Facebook.IMAGE SAMPLESBoth the rear and front cameras take a lot of time to focus on the object. It gets frustrating at times. Most pictures clicked with the Coolpad Mega 5A, including selfies, looked washed out. Both the front and back cameras come with portrait mode support, but they that is mostly on paper because in practice the results are poor. Pictures clicked in the portrait mode don’t have a background that you can call “blurred”. There is almost no bokeh. The Mega 5A allows users to adjust the amount of bokeh after the picture has been clicked — the iPhone Xs too has this feature — but it doesn’t work properly in this phone. It hardly changes anything about the photo. The Mega 5A camera comes packed with several features like manual mode that lets users control exposure, ISO, white balance, contrast, saturation, and brightness as per their need. The selfie camera comes with a beautify mode which smoothens the skin and makes it look unnatural. But just like other features, these are features mostly to check boxes. They don’t work all that well.Should you buy the Coolpad Mega 5A?Design is okay, screen more than okay and camera performance of the Mega 5A is something I can forgive and forget. The software too is good, as it is based on Android 8 and battery life is decent. But the performance issues mean the Mega 5A is not a phone that can be recommended.The Coolpad Mega 5A comes with a price tag of Rs 6,999. At this price point there are better options available. May be you can try your luck and attempt buying the Redmi 6A. Or get the Honor 7A. Or may be pick a phone like 10.or E or 10.or G. The Mega 5A could have been a decent phone but unfortunately lets down by its performance.advertisementCoolpad Mega 5A review6/10ProsDesignBatterySoftwareConsPerformanceCameras