Dan Cohen AUTHOR GOP Sens. Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Tim Scott (S.C.) have introduced a measure to provide military families the option of establishing education savings accounts to pursue alternative educational opportunities. The Military Education Savings Account Act, companion legislation to a bill recently introduced by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), would amend Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to create an opt-in for military families to redirect a portion of their Impact Aid allocations into an account to pay for private school tuition, textbooks, tutoring, online courses and other educational expenses, according to a press release. “We want our men and women in uniform to focus on their job and what they do, not be focused on whether or not their kids might have a good school option when they move to the next base. At the end of the day, it’s a readiness issue,” Banks told the Washington Free Beacon.Army photo by Sgt. Shameeka Stanley
Mourners and journalists carry the body of Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, during his funeral in Gaza City on 7 April, 2018. Photo: AFPReporters Without Borders on Saturday accused the Israeli army of the “deliberate shooting” of journalists in Gaza after a week of bloodshed by the border.Nine people were killed in the latest unrest, including Yasser Murtaja, a journalist with the Gaza-based Ain Media agency who died from his wounds after being shot, the health ministry in Gaza said.At least 491 people were also wounded by Israeli gunfire, the ministry said, as thousands of protesters approached the border fence around Gaza for a second Friday in a row, burning tyres and hurling stones at Israeli forces.No Israelis were injured.”Palestinian photographer Yasser Mourtaja was wearing a vest marked “Press”: he was obviously the victim of an intentional shot,” said Christophe Deloire, the Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), on Twitter.”RSF condemns absolutely the deliberate shooting of journalists by the Israeli army.”Murtaja, 30, was shot while taking pictures of the protests east of Khan Younis in the south of the territory, according to the health ministry.Witnesses say he was close to the front of the protests when he was hit.An AFP picture taken after he was wounded showed Murtaja wearing a press vest as he received treatment.His brother Motazem, also a journalist, said he was next to him when he was shot. “The target was very clearly journalists,” he said.Israel’s army declined to comment, saying it was reviewing the incident.Mourners and journalists carried Murtaja’s body through the streets of Gaza during his funeral on Saturday.”We call on the Israeli government to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists (adopted in 2015), demand an urgent independent investigation and the sentencing of the perpetrators of this crime against freedom of the press,” said Deloire.Israel said around 20,000 people took part in the protests and that they were seeking to breach the border.The numbers were down from the previous Friday, when tens of thousands approached the border in demonstrations that saw Israeli forces kill 19 Palestinians, making it the bloodiest day in Gaza since a 2014 war.
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 ESPN has packed the new service with sports programming like worldwide soccer games and new matches from Major League Baseball and, soon, the National Hockey League, along with original programming featuring basketball star Kobe Bryant and popular digital-sports personality Katie Nolan. The service costs $4.99 a month, or $49.99 per year.But there’s a reason for the emphasis on streaming. ESPN, like most other cable giants, has suffered from consumers migrating to other kinds of video distribution, including slimmer programming packages made available through Sling, Hulu or YouTube. Kagan, a market-research firm, has predicted ESPN’s cable and satellite customers will fall to 85.6 million by the end of the year. That would represent a more than 14% drop since 2010. By launching ESPN+, Disney hopes to lure die-hard fans of particular sports, even teams, to keep paying money for its services, even if they choose to leave its best-known cable roost. Disney plans to unveil a general-entertainment streaming service in months to come.“Combining sports, technology and the ESPN brand is a very powerful combination, and we are just getting started,” said Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN’s president, in a statement. “Very quickly, a wide range of sports fans have seen the value of ESPN+. With high quality programming and an outstanding user experience, ESPN and DTCI are expanding the ways Disney is serving sports fans.”Hitting one million subscribers is often viewed as a sort of benchmark. As more consumers embrace digital technology, media outlets pushing people to subscribe to their new offerings are finding it easier to get there. Pandora took eight months to gain one million subscribers to its premium service, and Hulu and AT&T’s DirecTV Now each required a year to capture that number of customers.In August, ESPN put subscribers to ESPN Insider, a subscription service that offered sports analysis, under the aegis of ESPN+. The company has yet to disclose how many people subscribed to Insider. On Thursday, an ESPN spokesman said via Twitter that the majority of subscribers to ESPN+ are new customers, and that ESPN Insider subscribers accounted for “a minority” of the ESPN+ audience. ESPN+ does contain commercials, but only during breaks in live games. The service contains no display ads and does not embed pre-roll ads within video content. The ESPN+ subscription-video service, which has been positioned as a means of helping Walt Disney’s sports-media giant weather a storm of consumers cutting the cord on its flagship cable outlet, has garnered more than one million paying subscribers in just over five months, the company said Thursday. ESPN+ launched in April of this year.“Reaching one million paid subscribers is an important milestone for any video subscription service, but reaching this benchmark in such a short amount of time is an incredible testament to the teams from DTCI and ESPN who have worked tirelessly to bring this product to market and continually improve it since our April launch,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, The Walt Disney Company, in a prepared statement. “We’re thrilled so many sports fans have quickly come to love the service. The future is bright and we believe growth will continue as we add features, distribution partners and more exclusive content in the coming months.” Popular on Variety
TO celebrate the 60th anniversary of Lalit Kala Akademi, a musical concert is being organised in the Capital where santoor maestro and composer Abhay Rustum Sopori will inaugurate the function with his performance. The evening will be graced by Shripad Yesso Naik, Hon’ble Minister for Culture, Govt of India.Sopori’s music will take on a journey of India through the musical notes of Santoor in unison with the classical, Sufi, traditional and ethnic sounds and drums of India presenting a cultural ethos of India enchanting the listeners and taking them into a state of ecstacy – the Irfaan. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The concert will feature around 30 musicians on santoor, tabla, pakhawaj, mridangam, gattam, khol, nakara, nagada, tumbaknari, drums, percussions, sarangi, vocals, cello and double base guitars. Sopori is the youngest santoor maestro and classical musician to compose and conduct orchestras, folk and sufi ensembles. He has been the youngest recipient of all the awards he has received including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi’s first Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, J&K State Award (the highest Civilian Award of the State of Jammu & Kashmir), Sangeet Mani Award, Glory of India Award, Best Citizens of India Award, Bharat Shiromani Award, Sangeet Bhushan Award and many more. His name also features in various Biographical-note volumes.When: 5 August Where: Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus MargTiming: 6:00 pm
BALURGHAT: A retired high school teacher, Tapan Kundu, residing in Duck-Bungalow area of Balurghat, has lodged an official complaint on Friday morning, claiming that burglars had broken into his house by breaking the windowpanes of the kitchen and left with cash and ornaments amounting to nearly Rs 1.5 lakh, as learnt through preliminary inspection.The incident has led to tension in the entire locality, as several cases of theft and burglary have already been reported at Balurghat police station over the past six months. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePolice said the burglars managed to break the kitchen’s windowpanes and entered the house easily. They went on to break open the almirah, looted the ornaments and cash and fled from the spot. On Friday morning, Kundu found himself locked from outside in the room he slept in and when he raised an alarm, his wife and daughter opened the door and rescued him.”A gang of burglars had broken into my house. They locked me from outside and ransacked my bedroom, looting cash and ornaments. When I screamed, my wife and daughter rescued me by unlocking the bedroom in the morning. We are panic-stricken. Police must act soon to find out the culprits,” said Kundu.Police inquiry in the case has not made much headway, as no concrete clues are available yet.Police sources said that among the gold articles stolen were a necklace, chains and rings. Cash amounting to Rs 12,000 was also looted.
PC Ben Footman and PC Ian Furlong with the truck CMPG officers have also used an unmarked truck – owned by the Highways England – to spot drivers using their phone while drive. And earlier this month, the traffic police launched Operation Proximity to reduce tailgating on the A500 and motorway network. Now incidents of speeding on the A500 could be cut further as work is underway to install speed cameras at 12 locations between Hanchurch roundabout and Wolstanton. Andy Butterfield, head of service delivery at Highways England, said: “We are actively supporting CMPG to reduce collisions and increase our presence on the A500.” Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here. “This collaborative approach with Highways England Traffic Officers and CMPG operating on this key road is having a positive impact for drivers, making their journeys safer and more reliable.” Stoke-on-Trent South MP Jack Brereton Stoke-on-Trent South MP Jack Brereton has previously spoken in Parliament about the work of officers on the A500. He said: “I campaigned for CMPG to extend their patrols to the A500 and I am pleased that this first year of their involvement has seen success. “I welcome action to reduce collisions on the D-road. Even one death or serious injury is too many. And we all see that traffic accidents on the A500 have an impact on the road system right across our city, causing delay and frustration to motorists.Driving safely and within the speed limit is vital.” Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Punter found hiding in bushes An officer monitoring speed on the A500 (Image: CMPG) Since adding the A500 to their patrols, officers have carried out regular speeding operations and have used ANPR cameras to target illegal vehicles. They have clocked 1,569 drivers ignoring the 50mph limit. Depending on speed, those caught can receive anything from a fine and a place on a drivers’ awareness course to a ban. Read MoreMotorway cops pull over this biker just three months after passing his test Over the last 12 months, CMPG has dealt with 247 incidents on the A500 and seized 29 vehicles. Officers have also made 15 arrests for driving under the influence of drink or drugs, theft, immigration offences, drugs offences and two for money laundering. Superintendent Dave Twyford, head of CMPG, said: “Our introduction has meant more resources to further disrupt criminals that use the roads in the north of the county and a boost for road safety. Sharaz Yaqub says work needs to be done around traffic flow on the A500 “Safety is paramount and, as long as motorists aren’t being used as cash cows, then we are all for it,” he added. “But more needs to be done around traffic management because, if there is one accident on the A500, then the whole of Stoke-on-Trent comes to a stand-still. “Taxi drivers are there for so many different customers and we need the road network to run.” Barry Proctor, owner of Talke-based haulage company Barry Proctor Services, wants police to take speed guns to other locations. He said: “I have some sympathy with the motorists but everyone knows the limit and if you break if then you are taking the risk and you know it.” Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailMore than 1,500 motorists have been caught speeding on the A500 in just 12 months. The startling figures have been revealed as traffic officers mark the first anniversary of including the D-road among their patrol routes. Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) has clocked up 2,208 hours over that period, cracking down on bad driving and criminals. It has also revealed there have been no fatal collisions on the stretch in the last year – despite three the year before. Read MorePolice warn tailgating on A500 could result in motorists being hit with NINE penalty points as crackdown gets underway The specialist unit – a collaboration between Staffordshire Police and the West Midlands force – had been responsible for overseeing around 400 miles of motorway including the M6, M42, M5 and M54. Driver named following fatal collision Police search for missing woman A Central Motorway Police Group officer on patrol by the A500 “This successful partnership has resulted in a more proactive approach to road users who put others in danger and capturing criminals using the road networks.” Staffordshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable, Emma Barnett, said: “CMPG are a key part of our approach to roads policing and road safety in Staffordshire with their patrolling of the motorway network and the A500. We’re really pleased that their patrols have boosted policing on one of our busiest roads and delivered a safer route for Staffordshire.” Sharaz Yaqub, chairman of Stoke-on-Trent Private Hire Taxis, says work needs to be done around traffic flow to complement any speed enforcement. Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or get the Android version from Google Play. Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. 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