A disabled lawyer has launched a groundbreaking l

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgA disabled lawyer has launched a ground-breaking legal case against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over his claim that it deliberately discriminated against him in rejecting his claim for disability benefits.Daniel Donaldson (pictured), founder of the Scottish social enterprise law firm Legal Spark, believes DWP has chosen to discriminate against him and other people with mental health conditions in the way it has dealt with their personal independence payment (PIP) claims.He says DWP disregarded the evidence relating to his mental health – and focused instead on other impairments – and made no attempt to seek medical evidence about his mental health from his GP, while his assessor lied about his medication.He believes, like many other disabled campaigners, that the system uses people without the right training and qualifications to assess PIP claims.He said: “The DWP refused to accept anything from me, and thereafter I had to appeal and wait. “In the meantime, debt, frustration and stress ensued. My health deteriorated – they actually made it worse.”He believes that people with unseen impairments, such as mental health conditions, have been “left playing second fiddle” in the PIP claims process.Donaldson points to the recent legal case in which the high court found that regulations that came into force last year were “blatantly discriminatory” because they meant that people who were unable to plan or undertake a journey due to overwhelming psychological distress would receive fewer qualifying points when assessed for PIP.DWP later decided not to appeal against that court decision.Donaldson said he hoped that other PIP claimants in Scotland, and across England and Wales, will follow his lead and take legal action if he is successful, which he believes “would make DWP think twice before playing a discrimination game”.He had been receiving PIP from 2013 until it was removed following a reassessment in November 2016.It was only reinstated last October, after he took his appeal to the social security tribunal.It was, he said, a “year of hell”, in which he fell into debt and struggled to maintain his independence.His case will be heard by Glasgow Sheriff Court, and he is seeking nearly £5,000 in damages, to cover bank charges, the removal of his bus pass, and £4,000 in compensation for the discrimination.Donaldson is also taking legal action under the Equality Act against the Scottish government, because it failed to take on responsibility for PIP from DWP when it had the powers to do so from 2016.Although the Scottish parliament last week approved legislation to set up a new social security system for Scotland – which will include the delivery of PIP and other benefits – Donaldson says it should have done this sooner.He said: “The Scottish government must take urgent action to stop the discrimination in the administration of PIP.“To ignore the problem and place the blame elsewhere is totally unacceptable.”Donaldson also argues that the Scottish government should have altered the eligibility for free bus passes to ensure that claimants could continue to use them while appealing against losing their PIP.A DWP spokeswoman said: “We cannot comment on this individual case as the legal action is ongoing.“We’re absolutely committed to ensuring that disabled people and people with health conditions get the right support they need, and we want every person to feel they are treated fairly, with respect and dignity.“Everyone has the right to appeal a decision if they are unhappy and additional information can be provided to support a claim.”A Scottish government spokesman said: “We have repeatedly called on the UK government to halt the roll-out of PIP in Scotland, most recently following the report of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which called for a review of PIP due to the damage it is causing people.“When the Scottish government begin delivery of disability benefits, we have categorically ruled out requiring anyone to undergo a disability benefit assessment by the private sector.“We will also listen to the independent disability and carers benefits expert advisory group and our experience panels to ensure our system is fairer.“We want to remove unnecessary barriers to those entitled to make a claim and reduce the amount of face-to-face assessments carried out.”He had not commented on the bus pass issue by noon today (Thursday).Donaldson said the UK government had created “a hostile and degrading environment for disabled people” by “using public policy to strip people of their statutory entitlement to benefits”, including PIP and employment and support allowance (ESA).He said: “The ESA payments are a lifeline for disabled people who cannot work or cannot find suitable work.“PIP is there to support disabled people who require financial support to maintain their independence. They are statutory entitlements.”He said the only way the government can avoid paying “this essential support is by denying all the evidence that is put before them”.He added: “This is why the majority of cases are overturned on appeal at the social security tribunal.“There is no place for disability discrimination in the provision of public services, and it is important that both the UK and Scottish governments are reminded of that.”last_img read more


SF arts institution celebrates 40 years of making art and community

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgEven its logo proclaimed its rebellious nature — it features Tezcatlipoca, an Aztec god who, according to Adrian Arias’ 2003 documentary about the center, “represented anti-establishment art.”“It was political times, not just in the U.S. but throughout Latin America, and I think the Mission and the Mission Cultural Center reflected that historical moment,” said Alejandro Murguía, a poet, the center’s first director and, more recently, a San Francisco State University professor.By the time Arias made that documentary for the center’s 25th anniversary, the Cultural Center had established itself as a hub for dance, printmaking and music — serving as a performance space open to many young musicians who later made a name for themselves, much as it does today.In the year leading up to that milestone, the gallery space found itself in need of some serious elbow grease, according to its incoming curator at the time, Patricia Rodriguez.About a year before the center’s 25-year anniversary, she had been hired on to do some typing work to get her feet under her as she returned to San Francisco. Instead, she was told she would be managing the gallery, and found it wasn’t up to snuff.“I looked around and the walls were painted yellow, and there were a lot of drips on the floor,” she recalled. The gallery had also taken a somewhat laissez-faire attitude to exhibiting, in which artists who wandered in looking to exhibit were simply told to choose a spot on the wall and hang their work.While archival footage points to ample participation in classes and workshops, Rodriguez remembered exhibitions attracting a less-enthusiastic crowd. At one opening, she estimated some 35 people showed up.“There was a big table like a kitchen, with hot beans and soup, and all these people were lined up to eat and once they ate this hot food, they split. They weren’t there for the art,” she said. “And I said, ‘Oh no, there’s something wrong with this picture.’”So Rodriguez got to work. She convinced her employers to patch the holes, clean up the drips, paint the walls white and generally make the gallery sparkle. She reached out to artists she knew — then followed up, and followed up again. The result was a 25th anniversary exhibition that drew several hundred people, she said.Programs at the center continued to develop and grow, particularly as it began to charge admission for some events, Rodriguez said. The annual mole contest was started, press releases began finding their way to the local newspapers’ fax machines and young artists came in for access to mentors. Rodriguez would sit down with them for hour-long sessions to help them polish their portfolios and send them to the galleries downtown.“Some of them disappeared and I never saw them again, but once in awhile I’d get someone who would come back and say, ‘Guess what? I just won an award in Sacramento,’” she said.Rodriguez spent 10 years at the cultural center as its curator, eventually moving on to teach again, but acknowledges the work of her current successor, Angelica A. Rodriguez, and the continuing role of the cultural center as a focal point for the community.“It is a really vital center for the community in all aspects, from conventions to music to arts to children,” she said. “and then, of course, they’re part of the Carnaval.”In Arias’ documentary, Cordova says some of the dancers and artists who launched San Francisco’s Carnaval events also participated in work at the center, and collaborations between the cultural center and the neighborhood arts organizations helped plan the first Día de los Muertos processions.As it prepares for its 40th year, the cultural center has maintained its role as a supporter of local arts — including local photographer Lou Dematteis.“As an artist, overall I really appreciate the support at the Mission Cultural Center has really extended throughout its whole time of being in existence,” Dematteis said. While he wished the center could find more support to update its various systems and infrastructure, he praised it for being consistently willing to foster talent and help artists grow — including his daughter, who, like her father, has exhibited her photography there.“I think providing the facility to be able to exhibit, that in itself, that’s a growing process for an artist,” he said. “I think every time you have to prepare your work for an exhibit and actually go through it and make prints and put them up on the wall, that’s a very important learning experience.”From the start and through its modern-day role, the center has promoted art from a plethora of cultures, looking beyond the Mexican and Chicano art that was flourishing at the time of its founding to works influenced by cultures across Latin America. Now, it is a constant — a stability it didn’t have in its early days.“Obviously, at the beginning it was exactly the opposite: no budget, no staff, day-to-day operations with no real sense of stability,” Murguía said. “That was the constant struggle, in that sense.”Now, it’s an anchor.“I just think it’s so important that these kinds of anchor arts and cultural organizations and spaces are still here and continuing to function and be vital parts of the community,” Dematteis said.You can get tickets to the Gala here. Tags: Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% A community hub that began as an empty furniture store will celebrate 40 years of supporting artists this Saturday as the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts throws its 40th Anniversary Gala. The focus and feel of the center has shifted dramatically through the decades, from its international political roots to its role as a community center for local artists to grow.The center was founded in 1977 in a definitively political way. Its funding was the result of a concession by the city, granted to neighborhood activists who were incensed at the upcoming construction of the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. That investment, activists and artists argued at the time — according to Cary Cordova’s book, The Heart of the Mission — pandered to the tastes of affluent suburbanites, rather than the cultural needs of neighborhoods.With help from city funding, the building at 2868 Mission St. was purchased and turned into a cultural center with strong support for a Nicaraguan revolution right from the start. Cordova reports in her book that Sandinista poet Ernesto Cardenal spoke at an opening ceremony that drew some 2,000 people and included a baptism ceremony proclaiming to shield the children from “spirits of greed, capitalism, egoism and Somoza.”center_img 0%last_img read more


JAMES Roby says Saints are confident heading into

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgJAMES Roby says Saints are confident heading into their semi final clash with Leeds this Friday.“It is a huge game and we are 80 minutes from Old Trafford,” he said. “We had such a great experience there last year and we want to experience it again. Everything is on the line Friday night and we will be ready. I’m sure they will be ready too.“These are the games you want to play in as a player and we are confident in our own abilities. We have the capability to go on and get to the Grand Final once again.“Last year’s journey to the wasn’t plain sailing and we suffered some adversity; people doubted us too. This year we have the same doubters but we are confident. The new league structure has made it more intense and anyone is capable of winning it.“We knew we would have to play away as we finished fourth and face a quality team. To go on and win the Grand Final you have to beat those sides.”Saints head into Friday’s game on the back of three wins in their last four – one of those crucially at the Rhinos.He continued: “We have a good record at Headingley and won there not so long ago. We can take confidence from that but it is one of those games when past record goes out of the window.“They are seeking the treble and it is up to us to stop that. They are a quality team and full of internationals in the forwards and backs. We will have to be at the top of our game.”Roby was named in the Dream Team for the fifth time this week – a recognition he is delighted with.“It’s nice to get a pat on the back for your effort and consistency. I am very proud and privileged to be here and amongst this selection of players.”Tickets for Friday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more


A LATE Jacob Miller penalty try handed Saints a 16

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgA LATE Jacob Miller penalty try handed Saints a 16-12 defeat to Wakefield on Friday night.After a disappointing opening 30 minutes that saw them 10-0 down, a try from Adam Swift and a brace from Mark Percival looked set to give the home side the two points.But Wakefield’s controversial effort four minutes from time took the game away.Played in shocking monsoon conditions, Sam Williams handed Trinity a early lead, slotting over a penalty from close range in the fifth minute.Wakefield then forced two drop outs in a 20 minute spell punctuated by driving rain and ‘handling at a premium’ before Mason Caton-Brown dove over the corner.Williams then made it 10-0 close to the half hour mark with another penalty.Saints were struggling to make in-roads into the Wakefield half until Theo Fages dummied twice and sent Swift away on the left.He was hauled down short of the line, won a penalty, and then good handling saw Ryan Morgan score.Saints deserved the try on balance – but it took a worldie of a tackle from Makinson to stop Kyle Wood extending restoring the advantage.Keiron Cunningham’s men began the second half on the front foot, forcing two drop outs in succession.A huge hit on Scott Grix saw them win the first one before a nice kick had Trinity back peddling for the second.But Saints couldn’t punch it in – Zeb Taia held up close to the line.They’d had a glimpse and on their next attack they scored.Winning a penalty from a poor Wakefield play the ball, Saints moved quickly to send the ball into the hands of Percival and he made no mistakein putting down for this 36th in the Red V.His second of the game came in the 57th minute. Taia was involved, setting up great field position before the ball came left for the centre to burrow his way over.A big tackle from Swift stopped Caton-Brown scoring on the hour mark, before Saints forced a drop out with 10 minutes to go.But Miller’s crucial four-pointer proved the difference.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Morgan, Percival (2)Goals: Percival (0 from 3),Trinity:Tries: Caton-Brown,  MillerGoals: Williams (4 from 4)Penalties Awarded:Saints: 8Trinity: 5HT: 4-10FT: 12-16REF: James ChildATT: 9,040Teams:Saints:2. Tommy Makinson; 21. Jack Owens, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Theo Fages, 24. Danny Richardson; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 12. Jon Wilkin, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles.Subs: 10. Kyle Amor, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Adam Walker, 36. Zeb Taia.Trinity:1. Scott Grix; 2. Tom Johnstone, 4. Reece Lyne, 3. Bill Tupou, 24. Mason Caton-Brown; 6. Jacob Miller, 14. Sam Williams; 16. Tinirau Arona, 9. Kyle Wood, 17. Craig Huby, 11. Matty Ashurst, 12. Danny Kirmond, 13. Mikey Sio.Subs: 7. Liam Finn, 20. David Fifita, 25. Anthony Walker, 27. James Batchelor.last_img read more


The winger returned to the lineup for the first t

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgThe winger returned to the line-up for the first time since May to help his side record their 11th win on the bounce.And in all honesty, he could have had five.Saints opened the scoring when Zeb Taia followed up James Roby’s barnstorming run for his eighth of the season.The hooker ghosted through the line, hit the duke button and then span round to produce a fine offload.By the 12th minute Saints had increased their lead.Jonny Lomax was the kingpin this time, making a fine break before the ball made its away to Jon Wilkin, Theo Fages and Taia for Mark Percival to cross in the corner.And just after the 20 minute mark Swift was collecting a looping pass for 14-0.Dom Peyroux producing a great offload for Richardson to send the ball over.Fages was unlucky not to score from LMS’ offload as the half entered its final stages – but with three minutes to go Luke Douglas hit Louie with a sensational pass for him to steam over.Richardson making it 20-0 at the break.That lead was reduced within the first couple of minutes of the second half as Danny Craven took a ball at pace.But normal service was resumed with a try right out of the top drawer.On the last Lomax backed himself, darted through a gap on the left and then turned it back inside for Fages to go under the sticks.And on the hour mark, Swift got his second thanks to a sweeping move that went left to right – the finish right out of the Tommy Makinson school too.He could have had a hat-trick on freeplay moments later and then Kyle Amor went close in the 69th minute.Fages had one chalked off as the game entered its final stages too but a long pass from Richardson saw Swift grab a deserved third.Match Summary:Saints: Tries: Taia, Percival, Swift (3), LMS, Fages Goals: Richardson (4 from 7)Vikings: Tries: Craven Goals: Inu (1 from 1)Penalties Awarded: Saints: 9 Vikings: 8HT: 20-0 FT: 36-6REF: Scott MikalauskasATT: 9,923Teams:Saints: 1. Jonny Lomax: 5. Adam Swift, 30. Matty Costello, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 6. Theo Fages, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin. Subs: 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 20. Matty Lees.Vikings: 1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Stefan Marsh, 4. Charly Runciman, 3. Krisnan Inu, 40. Owen Buckley; 6. Joe Mellor, 15. Danny Craven; 25. Jay Chapelhow, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 8. Gil Dudson, 17. Sam Wilde, 39. Weller Hauraki, 10. Alex Gerrard. Subs: 12. Matt Whitley, 16. Tom Olbison, 20. Macgraff Leuluai, 23. Danny Walker.last_img read more


CBS plans big fall lineup with many familiar faces

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_img “Me Myself and I” covers three time periods in the life of one man. It stars Bobby Moynihan, John Laroquette and Jaleel White.  Ingram calls this show a “story of growing up and growing older.”David Boreanaz and Jessica Pare return to television in “SEAL Team,” a military themed show.  It follows the lives of elite Navy SEALS as they train, plan and execute high-stake missions. Ingram says “SEAL Team” is “by far the best of three military themed shows coming to broadcast television this fall.”Also returning to TV this fall is Jeremy Piven in “Wisdom of the Crowd.” After his daughter is killed he turns to crowdsourcing to help solve her case.   According to Ingram the show has an “intense push and pull between new technology driven crime solving and the traditional way.”Related Article: Anne Hathaway announces pregnancy, pens touching note to those battling infertilityFinally, Shemar Moore moves into a leading role for “SWAT,” the story of  a team working to keep the peace in Los Angeles. Ingram says the show “deals with timely issues of race and community and law enforcement and how tangled they become.”Here are the premiere dates and times:“Young Sheldon” Monday, September 25, 8:30 pm“Me Myself and I” Monday, September 25, 9:30 pm“SEAL Team” Wednesday, September 27, 9 pm“Wisdom of the Crowd” Sunday, October 1, 8 pm“SWAT”: Thursday, November 2, 10 pmFor more information on these and returning shows go to www.cbs.com WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  The CBS fall television schedule kicks off next week with several new and returning shows. Included in the mix are five standouts.  The StarNews’ Hunter Ingram, known as TV Hunter, sat down with Randy Aldridge for a sneak preview.“Young Sheldon” is the back story of Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory” and uses Jim Parsons as the narrator. It stars Iain Armitage as the title character.  The show is set in 1989 when a 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper skips four grades to start high school along with his less-intellectual older brother.  He struggles with his family, classmates and neighbors.  His mother tells him to fight bullies by reminding them his dad is the football coach and his brother is on the team.  Hunter Ingram says the show is “a really personal tale of growing up in Texas and has a lot of heart.”- Advertisement – last_img read more


Pet Pals 5yearold white and black cat needs a loving home

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — There’s a petite, little cat at New Hanover County Animal Services looking for a fur-ever home and a name!This week’s Pet Pal is a 5-year-old domestic shorthair cat. He has mostly white fur with a few black spots. Shelter staff describes him as independent, outgoing and highly trainable.- Advertisement – He’s looking for an owner who will love his charming personality.To meet him and see if he’s the perfect fit for your home, head to New Hanover County Animal Services. County residents can adopt for $70.Adoption hours are Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to Noon.Related Article: Pet Pals: 4-month-old hound dog looking for active homeTo see more pets available for adoption, click here.last_img read more


Unexpected Christmas gift comes to homeowner impacted by recent tornado

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Days before seeing family a tornado decided to uproot not only trees but almost a Wilmington woman’s life. The clean up was too costly for her to bare, but help came from an unusual place.When an EF-0 tornado hopped around the Pine Valley area of Wilmington it left Kelly LeHew’s home littered with trees.- Advertisement – “There were two trees down in the side yard. Three trees on the house,” said Cliff Willman who was one of the first people Lehew’s family called for help.It also left a bill LeHew could not pay. The clean up was estimated to cost thousands.“It would have taken a year to get my yard cleaned up,” said LeHew over the phone as she is visiting family out-of-town for the holiday.Related Article: Adopted NC boy spends his birthday finding forever homes for others kidsIn reality she only had to go a couple of houses down for help.“I did not expect it one bit,” said Lehew.LeHew and her daughter sent out pleas for help with her hosting a family Christmas gathering days after the tornado hit. Her ex-husband Willman stepped up. As did two of his church members from nearby Lifepoint Church.“It’s sort of like a dream,” LeHew said. “The tornado came and it left and angels came to clean up the mess. And then I am like did it really happen but when you look in the front yard you know it really happened.”A years worth of clean up for LeHew, they finished in one morning. However, it’s what happened next that makes their work even more special.“Kelly tried to feed them, they wouldn’t take money, she tried to give them a little bit of cash, they wouldn’t take it,” said Willman. “They just stood there and smiled and said ‘Merry Christmas’.”It was an early Christmas gift. Their names are Timothy and Nathan. The tornado may have left behind broken limbs and trees, but they left behind a warmth in LeHew’s heart.“Thank you, thank you so so much. You guys are full of grace and love,” LeHew said.“That’s the kind of people that live in Wilmington, North Carolina,” said Willman who is also 8 years retired from a career with the Wilmington Fire Department. He has seen his share of tragedy around the holidays. So stepping up for his ex-wife was easy. Seeing what his fellow church members did, was inspiring.“The good-hearted people that want to help the people that are really in need,” said Willman.LeHew still has a broken window or two to repair, but even after three trees fell on the home, her roof sustained no actual damage.last_img read more


Malta slides down to 77th place in World Press Freedom Index

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_imgMalta continues to slide down the World Press Freedom Index. It is now standing in the 77th place. In 2017, Malta was positioned in the 47th place. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have been publishing this index since 2002.RSF describes Malta and the location where Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in 2017, and to date there is still no indication on who might have commissioned her murder and with a government that keeps ignoring the plea for a public inquest from Maltese and International entities alike.It also adds that the media in Malta is generally controlled by political parties with the national stations biased in favour of the government and omitting reports on serious cases of corruption.How did other countries fare?The top ten countries did not vary from 2018 however some positions have changed. Norway remained unmoved from its first position of 2018, whilst Finland climbed 2 places and is currently standing in second place. Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland fell down the ranks from 2018 but still stand in the top 10 in third, fourth, ninth and sixth place respectively.Tanzania saw a sharp drop in the Index dropping to the 128th place from its former 93rd.Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan kept their position as the last three countries on the Index.How are countries graded? Countries are graded according to replies in questionnaires that are circulated amongst journalists through the RSF. Questions focus on pluralism, independence of the media, censorship, and transparency amongst others.The qualitative analysis is then added to quantitative date in relation to abuse and violence against journalists during the period being surveyed. WhatsApp SharePrintcenter_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>last_img read more


Got 50 million for a vacation NASA to open space station to

Posted On Jul 30 2019 by

first_img SharePrint <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> CFO NASA Headquarters’ Jeff DeWit, Robyn Gatens, Deputy Director, International Space Station at NASA Headquarters, and Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, sit during a news conference announcing that NASA is opening the International Space Station for commercial business, so U.S. industry innovation and ingenuity can accelerate a commercial economy in low-Earth orbit, at the NASDAQ Market site at Times Square in New York City, U.S., June 7, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon StapletonCFO NASA Headquarters’ Jeff DeWit, Robyn Gatens, Deputy Director, International Space Station at NASA Headquarters, and Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, sit during a news conference announcing that NASA is opening the International Space Station for commercial business, so U.S. industry innovation and ingenuity can accelerate a commercial economy in low-Earth orbit, at the NASDAQ Market site at Times Square in New York City, U.S., June 7, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton NASA will allow private citizens to stay at the International Space Station (ISS) for month-long getaways at a cost of about $35,000 per night, the U.S. space agency said on Friday.The shift reverses a long-standing prohibition against tourists and private interests at the orbiting research lab, and reflects a broader push to expand commercial activities at the ISS and in space more generally.It paves the way for private citizens to travel to the ISS aboard rocket-and-capsule launch systems being developed by Boeing Co and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The two companies are set to ferry astronauts to the ISS from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade.NASA will allow up to two private trips to the station per year, each lasting up to 30 days, NASA said. The first mission could be as early as 2020.But the ride won’t be cheap.NASA estimated the cost of a flight would be around $50 million per seat. In addition, NASA will charge visitors for food, storage and communication once at the station.“If you look at the pricing and you add it up, back of a napkin, it would be roughly $35,000 a night, per astronaut,” NASA’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWit told a news conference in New York.“But it won’t come with any Hilton or Marriott points,” DeWit deadpanned.NASA’s Russian counterpart Roscosmos has already allowed a number of private citizens at the station.NASA officials also said opening the door to private enterprise gives the agency more room to focus on the Trump administration’s goal of returning to the moon by 2024, which could be fuelled in part by revenue generated from new commercial services and paying astronauts.Arrangements for the trip were being left to Boeing and SpaceX, NASA said.WhatsApplast_img read more