Former senator Pierre Trudeau confidant Michael Pitfield dead at 80

first_imgOTTAWA – Michael Pitfield, a former Senator and clerk of the Privy Council, has died at the age of 80.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the death late Thursday, saying Pitfield was a “family friend who was especially dear” to his father and his family.Pitfield, who joined the public service in 1959, was a close confidant of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau during his time in office.In addition to his role as a powerful clerk of the Privy Council, Pitfield also served as secretary to the cabinet and as a senator for Ottawa-Vanier over a career spanning 50 years.Trudeau said Pitfield remains the youngest ever Canadian to lead the public service and called his contributions to Canadian public life “far-reaching and enduring.”Pitfield joined the Senate in 1982 and sat as an independent until his retirement in 2010.“Michael played a pivotal role in the patriation of the Constitution and the establishment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” said Trudeau.“He was a tireless advocate of bilingualism and national unity whose leadership helped bring us closer as a country and make our democracy uniquely our own.”“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to his three children, Caroline, Tom, and Kate, and to all of Michael’s family and friends,” Trudeau added.last_img read more

Canadian school test changing after student finds that the answers are Indigenous

first_imgThe Canadian PressSASKATOON – An achievement test used in Canadian schools is being changed after a student in Saskatoon noticed that some of the options in multiple choice questions included negative stereotypes about aboriginal people.The exam recently given to Grade 10 students in Saskatoon public schools included two questions “where the available multiple-choice options included two incorrect answers which were negative stereotypes about aboriginal people.”School spokesman Rod Drabble says the answers said Aboriginal people have a “lack of interest and motivation” and many Aboriginal people are unemployed.A student writing the Level 19 test book of the Canadian Achievement Tests, Fourth Edition, told a parent and it was brought to the attention of the school board and division administrators.Drabble says the school system has stopped using that test until further notice and has notified the Canadian Test Centre.David Galati, director of operations for the Canadian Test Centre, says the answers will be changed in any Level 19 test books sent out from now on.last_img read more

House Democrats demand briefing on Russia sanctions decision

first_imgWASHINGTON — The leaders of seven House committees are calling on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to explain why the United States is easing sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It’s one of the first moves of the new Democratic House to scrutinize President Donald Trump’s actions related to Russia.The Democrats wrote to Mnuchin asking about a December announcement that the U.S. would lift sanctions on the aluminum manufacturing giant Rusal and two other companies connected to Deripaska. Mnuchin said that Deripaska would remain blacklisted as part of sanctions targeting tycoons close to the Kremlin, but that the companies would diminish Deripaska’s ownership and sever his control.In their letter, the Democrats say the deal appears to allow Deripaska to keep “significant ownership” of one of the companies.Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Moroccan hackers take down official websites of South Africas government

first_imgTaroudant- Anonymous Hacker group going under the name ‘Moroccan Islamic Union- Mail’ hacked and defaced The National Department of Health- Government of South Africa website.The hacker group wrote on its Facebook page, “URGENT: Moroccan Islamic Union-mail offered condolences to the Government of South Africa in the departure of “Nelson Mandela” in our own way,” referring to the hack.The hackers defaced the official website of South Africa, replacing its content with a photo of an angry muscled man with the Moroccan flag covering his head and the map of the kingdom on his chest.The group also left a message to the government of South Africa saying that “You should know Sahara is Moroccan & will remain Moroccan!!”The group released the list of hacked website on their official Facebook pageAt the time of writing, the website ( ) is still down.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

New UN report reveals link between poverty and poor health in urban

The report, entitled “Hidden Cities: unmasking and overcoming health inequities in urban settings,” was launched today in Kobe, Japan, where leaders from governments, academia, media and non-governmental organizations have been meeting for the past three days to examine how to improve the health of city dwellers.Published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the report is based on a new analysis that looks beyond city averages or beyond the usual information from cities and towns to identify hidden pockets of ill-health and social deprivation.“Averages hide large pockets of disadvantage and poor health, concealing the reality of people’s lives,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. “This new analysis uncovers gaps in health and healthcare access across urban populations, and shows city leaders where their efforts should focus.”The report reveals inequities by looking at subgroups of city dwellers according to their socioeconomic status, neighbourhood or other population characteristics. “All too often policymakers and planners fail to understand that with the urbanization of poverty, many slum dwellers suffer from an additional urban penalty: they have a higher rate of child mortality, die younger and suffer from more diseases than their more affluent neighbours,” said Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT. “To better understand the causes of poor health, the report focuses on several factors including population dynamics, urban governance, the natural and built environment, the social and economic environment, and access to services and health emergency management.”Unless urgent action is taken to address urban health inequities, countries will not achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the set of anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, including slashing maternal and child mortality and improving access to clean water and sanitation. With more than half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, success in reaching MDG targets will depend very much on achievements among urban populations, the agencies pointed out.Among the report’s findings is that the poorest urban children are twice as likely as the richest to die before the age of five. Also, access to skilled birth attendance in urban areas of 44 low-and middle-income countries varies from a low of 40 per cent to a high of 100 per cent. While access to piped water has has improved globally over the last two decades, substantial inequities persist between the richest and the poorest urban residents in Africa, the America and Asia, according to the report. The report also shows that health inequity exists in both developing and developed countries. For example, tuberculosis is more common in Japan than in other developed countries, and the data revealed that bigger cities tend to have wider gaps. Within Osaka city, one area where many day labourers live has an incidence rate 9 times higher than the area with least TB. Data from New York City reveal that certain neighbourhoods that are the poorest in economic terms are the ones in which people are least likely to have access to essential health care and suffer the worst health outcomes, as reflected in life expectancy and death rates from AIDS. 17 November 2010A new United Nations report shows for the first time how poor health is linked to poverty in cities and calls on policymakers to identify those that need the most help and target measures to improve their well-being. read more

Fastgrowing web of doorbell cams raises privacy fears

The woodsy community of Wolcott, Connecticut, doesn’t see a lot of crime. But when the police chief heard about an opportunity to distribute doorbell cameras to some homes, he didn’t hesitate.The police who keep watch over the town of 16,000 raffled off free cameras in a partnership with the camera manufacturer. So far, the devices have encountered more bears than criminals, but Chief Ed Stephens is still a fan. “Anything that helps keep the town safe, I’m going to do it,” he said.But as more police agencies join with the company known as Ring, the partnerships are raising privacy concerns. Critics complain that the systems turn neighbourhoods into places of constant surveillance and create suspicion that falls heavier on minorities. Police say the cameras can serve as a digital neighbourhood watch.Critics also say Ring, a subsidiary of Amazon, appears to be marketing its cameras by stirring up fear of crime at a time when it’s decreasing. Amazon’s promotional videos show people lurking around homes, and the company recently posted a job opening for a managing news editor to “deliver breaking crime news alerts to our neighbours.”“Amazon is profiting off of fear,” said Chris Gilliard, an English professor at Michigan’s Macomb Community College and a prominent critic of Ring and other technology that he says can reinforce race barriers. Part of the strategy seems to be selling the cameras “where the fear of crime is more real than the actual existence of crime.”The cameras offer a wide view from wherever they are positioned. Homeowners get phone alerts with streaming video if the doorbell rings or the device’s heat sensors detect a person or a passing car. Ring’s basic doorbell sells for $99, with recurring charges starting at $3 a month for users who want footage stored. Ring says it stores the recordings for two months.Many law enforcement agencies nationwide said the idea to partner with Ring came after the company promoted its product at law enforcement conferences.Some departments have chosen to simply use Ring’s Neighbors app, which encourages residents to share videos of suspicious activity. Other agencies agreed to provide subsidies, matched by Ring, to offer hundreds of discounted cameras in hopes of tapping into footage of residential streets, yards and sidewalks. And some police chiefs raffle off the devices.Ring would not disclose the number of communities with such partnerships. Sharing video is always voluntary and privacy is protected, according to the company and police.“There is nothing required of homeowners who participate in the subsidies, and their identity and data remain private,” spokeswoman Brigid Gorham said. She said customers can control who views their footage, and no personally identifiable information is shared with police without a user’s consent.Realistically, though, if police want video for an investigation, they can seek a search warrant.Tech industry analyst Carolina Milanesi said engaging with police and offering incentives is a “very smart move by Ring” and a missed opportunity for competitors, including Google’s Nest and smaller companies such as Arlo Technologies and SimpliSafe.But a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California called the system “an unmitigated disaster” for the privacy of many neighbourhoods.Through the subsidy programs, Amazon “gets to offer, at taxpayer dime, discounted products that allow it to really expand its tentacles into wide areas of private life way more than it already has,” Mohammad Tajsar said.The Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia has spent $50,000 to offer discounts on 1,000 cameras. Several other communities in the region also participate in subsidy programs, and officials in Los Angeles County just voted last month to get on board.Officers can view a “heat map” that shows the general area where cameras are, but they do not see a camera’s actual location. If police want a video, they must contact Ring to see if the resident is willing to share, said Jennifer Brutus, senior management analyst for the Arcadia Police Department.Arcadia launched its program at the end of 2017, and in the following year, the city saw a 25% decrease in residential burglaries, Brutus said. It’s hard to quantify how much of that is directly related to Ring, but she said the devices act as a deterrent.In one case, a doorbell camera caught footage of four burglary suspects trying to enter a residence. Three were arrested at the time, but a fourth got away. After the homeowner gave Arcadia detectives some Ring video clips, police identified and arrested the last suspect.Hammond, Indiana, also put up money to offer Ring cameras at a discount. Lt. Steve Kellogg said the partnership was a natural move for a city that already uses cameras to read license plates.“You cannot enter or leave our city without … being captured on film,” he said, adding that doorbell cameras are the next logical step. “We thought, ‘Well, the only angle we don’t really have is cameras right by the homes.’”He said sharing video is voluntary.Green Bay, Wisconsin, gets one free camera for every 20 people who sign up for the Ring app through a city link. Initially, police required recipients of those free cameras to agree to provide any video police requested. It dropped the requirement after The Associated Press began reporting this story.In the Minneapolis suburb of Coon Rapids, a thief stole a 7-foot, 150-pound bald eagle carving from Larry Eklund’s yard earlier this year. Police had a key piece of evidence: an image of the suspect looking directly into Eklund’s doorbell camera.A few days went by with no leads. Then officers posted the video on social media. Hours later, the carving was returned.“If we wouldn’t have had the Ring, we would have never been able to recognize the guy,” Eklund said. “I’m sure it would’ve been just really hard to get it back.”But Coon Rapids opted not to partner with Ring and instead started its own in-house volunteer camera registry. Trish Heitman, a community outreach specialist for the police department, said the city did not want to promote a particular camera brand.Another big issue was confidentiality. Coon Rapids keeps its list of registered camera owners private. If a crime occurs near a camera, police can contact homeowners in the registry to see if they want to share video.If any partnership required data sharing, “we would never do it,” Heitman said.Back in Wolcott, Ernie Field won a free Ring camera and said he had to register for the app to qualify for the raffle. Now he gets alerts on his phone when a car drives by and a short video when his daughter gets home from school.“I don’t know if there’s more crime now, or we just know about it more because of social media,” he said.Field, who said he had been looking at other cameras, wondered whether Wolcott’s partnership gave Amazon an unfair advantage.“They have a monopoly over a lot of things,” he said. “And they’re kind of taking over everything.”__Forliti reported from Minneapolis. O’Brien reported from Providence, Rhode Island.Amy Forliti And Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press read more

Chief of UN Mission in Côte dIvoire says 400 UN staffers evacuated

After briefing the Security Council in closed session, Special Representative of the Secretary-General Pierre Schori told journalists that there were about 1,200 civilians in the peacekeeping mission and, adding in the humanitarian agencies, staff of the “UN family” there numbered some 2,000.The staff had not been allowed to bring their own families to the West African country, he added. The attacks on the UN have taken place in Abidjan, in the west and other places in government-controlled areas and, given the vitriolic messages on the radio and in other media, the situation might not improve very much in the next few days, he said, adding that some of the staff had been traumatized and needed to rest. Mission staff was going to Banjul and agency staff to Dakar.During the four-day siege of the offices in Abidjan, Mr. Schori said he slept on a mattress in his office, but in the west of the country the humanitarian agencies were chased out and their offices and warehouses were looted and destroyed. The Government, especially the Ministry of Defence, was asked to check out the situation before the UN staff would go back.Because the unrest was unexpected, the mission had not been given certain equipment and was not well-equipped for riot control, having only three formed police units and three armoured vehicles in the commercial capital, Abidjan. Mr. Schori said he had asked the Security Council for more units. The mission would also need more police and troops to secure the country for the identification, election and disarmament processes. “It is a huge country,” he said.Last month, the Secretary-General recommended in a report to the Council that it authorize an additional 3,400 soldiers or four battalions to be added to the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) troop strength, plus an additional 475 police personnel.Mr. Schori also voiced strong opposition to impunity. “I don’t want this to happen again and I want those who are behind this to be punished,” he said.A non-binding recommendation from the UN-authorized International Working Group to close down the Assembly, whose mandate had expired, had triggered the unrest by President Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters.Mr. Schori said while Mr. Gbagbo had said nothing, his supporters, called the “Young Patriots,” saw the Working Group as undermining the President’s position and transferring some of his powers to the Prime Minister.When President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria made an emergency visit to the country last week, he met Mr. Gbagbo and they, together with Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny and Mr. Schori, hammered out a text saying that the former members of the National Assembly could help to coordinate the road map to peace.The President and Prime Minister were tasked with finding a political solution, he said.In Abidjan, UNOCI said it was essential to rehabilitate the destroyed buildings, secure them and make them functional so that staff members who had been forced to leave their duty stations could resume their work under decent conditions.To this end, an evaluation mission would go without delay to Guiglo, 516 kilometres, west of Abidjan and the scene of the most serious incidents, the mission said.UNOCI also reassured the Ivorian population of its determination to continue to work in favour of the peace process. read more

Prince Charles tells Holocaust survivors how his amazing grandmother hid Jewish family

first_imgPrince Charles Prince Charles and Camilla's trip to Vienna is the last leg of their European tour The Duchess later visited the Spanish Riding School for a spectacular performance, greeting horses with lumps of sugar and confident pats.The Prince, meanwhile, undertook a roundtable discussion on  tackling modern slavery,  human trafficking and discrimination.The Prince and Duchess were then set to conclude their European tour, widely believed to be an exercise in soft charm in the wake of the Brexit vote, with a reception with the British Ambassador before flying home on the government’s RAF plane on Thursday night. Princess Alice of Battenburg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, sheltered a Jewish family, the Cohens, in her home when Greece was occupied by Nazi forces.Living opposite the Gestapo headquarters in Athens, she refused to give them away even when her home was threatened with being searched.Princess Alice, who was given the honour of being buried in Israel’s Mount of Olives,  was later recognised by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial as a Righteous Among the Nations, and was posthumously awarded the British Government’s Hero of the Holocaust medal.The Prince told the group: “My father’s mother took in a Jewish family during the war and hid them. She was amazing, my grandmother. “She took them in during the Nazi occupation. She never told anybody, she didn’t tell her family for many years.”She’s buried in Jerusalem. In September last year I went to the funeral of President (Shimon) Peres and finally got to see her grave.” The Duchess identified her Zweigelt Thorsaulen 2014 red wine as having a “slight peppery taste”.Laughing, the Prince said: “I always find it so difficult, the words you experts use to describe – all these adjectives.” After sampling red and white wines grown at the vineyard on site, they were given a small selection of newly-grown vines to take home as gifts.As the Prince wondered aloud over whether the soil in Britain would suit the vines, the Duchess assured him the chalky soil in the south of England would suit it well.”I bow to your knowledge of these things,” the Prince told her affectionately. “My wife is a great red wine enthusiast,” he added. Holocaust survivor Gerda Frei, 80, said afterwards: “It is wonderful that the Prince and Duchess came here.”The Prince told us how proud he was of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, who hid a Jewish family from the Nazis.”Mrs Frei said the Prince of Wales told her he had laid flowers from his own garden at Birkhall at her grave.Princess Alice’s remains are buried at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, above the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.She was re-interred in Jerusalem in 1988, but it was not until 1994 that the Duke of Edinburgh visited his mother’s grave when he travelled to Israel for a ceremony honouring her for saving Greek Jews during the Second World War.In September 1943, she had agreed to take in members of the Cohen family: the widow and two of the five children of Haimaki Cohen, who had helped the Greek royal family to shelter from flood decades before in a moral debt they had offered to one day repay. She hid Rachel Cohen and children Michel and Tilde in her palace until the Nazis withdrew in October 1944. During that time, the Nazis sent the vast majority of Greece’s Jewish community to concentration camps.It was a moment of solemnity in a busy day for the Royal couple, who spent their final afternoon in Vienna taking in the culture with wine tasting, a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by the Vienna Philharmonic and a visit to the spectacular Spanish riding school. Prince Charles arrives for a rehearsal of the Vienna Philharmonic OrchestraCredit:HERBERT PFARRHOFER/AFP Prince Charles arrives for a rehearsal of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestracenter_img The Duchess of Cornwall showed off her knowledge of fine wines at Weinbau Buscheschank Obermann vineyard, while the Prince of Wales admitted he struggles to keep up with the language of wine tasters. The Prince of Wales has told of his pride at his “amazing” grandmother, who saved the lives of a Jewish family by sheltering them from Nazis during the Second World War.The Prince, who first visited his paternal grandmother’s grave in Israel last year, told how he took flowers from his garden in Birkhall for the deeply moving visit.He and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, spent the morning with Holocaust survivors at the Jewish Museum in Vienna, during the final leg of their nine-day tour of Europe. They included Auschwitz survivor Freddie Knoller, now 95, Gerda Frei, 80, and Harry Bibring, 91, who escaped on the Kindertransport after his family shop was destroyed in Kristallnacht.After asking for their stories over a cup of tea, the Prince told the group of his grandmother’s own experience, loyalty and heroics during the war. Prince Charles talks to a holocaust survivor on ThursdayCredit:HANS KLAUS TECHT/AFP Princess Alice of Battenberg Princess Alice of Battenberg, the grandmother of Prince CharlesCredit:Tophams Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Prince Charles and Camilla’s trip to Vienna is the last leg of their European tourCredit:HANS PUNZ /AFPlast_img read more

Crushing market consolidates further as Weir buys Trio

first_imgWeir Group PLC has entered into an agreement to acquire Trio Engineered Products, the Chinese-American manufacturer of crushing and separation equipment for the mining and aggregates markets, for an enterprise value of $220m. Weir will acquire 100% of Trio Engineered Products (Hong Kong) Ltd for $133 million with the balance of the consideration relating to the acquisition of 100% of Trio Engineered Products, Inc in the US. Founded in 1998, Trio designs and manufactures a range of crushers, screens, feeders, washers and material handling solutions for the aggregates and minerals markets.Trio provides engineered solutions for heavy duty applications utilising its broad range of robust equipment and has developed a strong position in Chinese mining and US aggregates markets. The company employs around 700 people across its operations in China and the US, with revenues growing from $74 million in 2010 to $108 million in 2013.Weir amongst other mining application areas is a global market leader in the provision of pumping equipment to the mining mill circuit, where rock is separated from ore. The acquisition of Trio will build upon Weir’s recent successful entry into the adjacent comminution segment of the mill circuit. “This agreement will allow Weir Minerals to build upon its successful comminution strategy,” Keith Cochrane, Chief Executive, Weir Group, says.“We will use our group’s unrivalled global capability to promote Trio’s range of complementary products, extending our addressable market and offering our mining customers a wider range of highly engineered equipment and services. Trio’s established manufacturing capability and its scale and presence in aggregates markets also provides a further platform for growth.”In addition, Weir Minerals’ global platform and relationships across mining markets will be utilised to accelerate Trio’s original equipment revenue growth and capture a greater proportion of the aftermarket opportunity from the installed base of Trio equipment. Trio has limited service presence outside of China.It will also allow for cross-selling of Weir’s product range in the sand and aggregates markets through Trio’s well established sales channels in North America and China. Mike Burke, Chief Executive of Trio, said: “This agreement is strategically compelling for Trio, allowing the company to leverage Weir’s market-leading service centre network to accelerate growth and better serve our customers’ aftermarket needs on a truly global basis.”The sand and aggregate markets accounted for 56% of Trio’s revenues in 2013. Trio is based in Shanghai, China, where it has two manufacturing plants. The company also has facilities in the US. In 2013, 31% of revenue was generated in North America, mainly in the growing aggregates sector, while 25% was derived from China, mainly serving the domestic mining industry. The balance was spread broadly across Australia, South America, Africa and Europe. In 2014, Trio is expected to generate revenues of $120 million, with operating profit margins broadly in-line with that of the Weir Minerals division.Trio is being acquired from majority owner Navis Capital and the company’s management team. Trio’s three founders have agreed to remain with the company following acquisition. Completion of the acquisition is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions and is anticipated to take place before the end of October 2014.last_img read more

Mexican drug lords body stolen from funeral parlour

first_imgA MAJOR COUP for the Mexican authorities turned to embarrassment today, when it emerged that the body of the slain leader of the Zetas drug cartel had been stolen from a funeral parlour.Heriberto Lazcano’s corpse and that of another man were taken to a funeral home in the town of Sabinas in the northern state of Coahuila shortly after they were killed in a shootout on Sunday with naval special forces.Coahuila state prosecutor Homero Ramos told a press conference in Sabinas that a gang of heavily-armed men wearing face masks later entered the parlour and subdued the staff.“They took the bodies, stuck them in a hearse, and made the owner drive it off,” Ramos said.The Mexican navy, which conducted the operation against the Zetas leader, said fingerprints had been used to identify the body as Lazcano’s before it was stolen.Officials said Lazcano and another man, identified as Mario Alberto Rodriguez, were killed at a baseball field near the Coahuila town of Progreso when the van they were in came under fire from Navy troops.One man was behind the wheel when he was killed and the other was shot as he tried to flee, Ramos said, without clarifying further.Lazcano, aka “El Lazca,” was one of two main leaders of the divided Zetas cartel and one of Mexico’s most wanted men with a $2.6 million reward on his head. The United States had set its own award at $5 million.US authorities say the Zetas are one of Mexico’s most powerful drug gangs alongside the Pacific region’s Sinaloa federation, led by fugitive billionaire Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.Much of the northeast is in the clutches of the Zetas cartel, which was founded by former Mexican special forces soldiers who went rogue and is known to decapitate and dismember its enemies.- © AFP, 2012last_img read more

Gun recovered in burnt out car close to where Polish man died

first_img Monday 11 Jun 2018, 2:29 PM Gun recovered in burnt out car close to where Polish man died following attack in Cork home Gardaí have repeated their appeal for witnesses or for drivers in the area who may have dashcam footage. Share114 Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 33 Comments Short URL By Cliodhna Russell Updated Jun 11th 2018, 2:29 PM A GUN HAS been found in a burnt out car located close to the home of a Polish man who died after he was attacked early yesterday morning.Mikolaj Wilk (35) died following an attack in his Cork home.Wilk’s partner Elzbieta, who is also from Poland, was seriously injured in the attack. She is currently receiving treatment in hospital.Gardaí were called to the house in Bridge House, Maglin, Ballincollig at 3.17am yesterday and arrived in less than five minutes but the attackers had fled the scene.It’s understood that a gang of up to four men entered the couple’s home and their two young children, aged under six, witnessed the assault.Another woman in her 30s was in the house at the time but managed to escape through a window.Wilk moved to Ballincollig around six years ago. He was well-known in the area as he ran a garden maintenance business.Car burnt out Around an hour after the attack, a BMW car was found burnt out six kilometres away in Waterfall.Units from the Cork County Fire Service responded to reports of a fire at Iniskenny, Ballinora at 4.20am.Following a technical examination of the car, gardaí have recovered a firearm which will now be sent for further examination.The scene at The Bridge House, Maglin, Ballincollig is still currently preserved. Gardaí are continuing to carry out house to house enquiries.Speaking at Gurranabraher Garda Station today, Superintendent Colm O’Sullivan said We are continuing to appeal to anyone with information or to anyone who may have witnessed this incident. 44,554 Views “Any drivers who may have dash cam footage and travelled in the Maglin, Ballincollig, Ballinora and Waterfall areas between 2am and 5am on 10 June. If anyone noticed any suspicious or unusual activities in these areas in the days leading up to the incident, to contact Gurranabraher Garda Station on 021- 4946200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.” Jun 11th 2018, 7:32 AM last_img read more

We spend €400 million each year on drugs while only €10 million

first_img Sean Byrne Short URL Share465 Tweet Email2 ‘We spend €400 million each year on drugs while only €10 million is spent on counselling’ Expanding the availability of CBT in Ireland at primary care level, would provide better outcomes for many patients, writes Sean Byrne. 16 Comments 21,290 Views Jun 25th 2018, 7:01 AM center_img By Sean Byrne Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ON 26 APRIL 2018 the Oireachtas Health Committee launched a report on mental health services in Ireland which recommended an increased use of counselling. The report pointed out that in Ireland €400 million is spent each year on drugs by the mental health services while only €10 million is spent on counselling.Benzodiazepines, one of the commonest anti-depressants, is widely prescribed as a “cure all” for several mental disorders. This was highlighted in a television documentary entitled Benzodiazepine: Medical Disaster broadcast in October 2016.Painful and debilitatingIn the documentary Shane Kenny told how he had been prescribed benzodiazepine-based drugs (which include valium, xanax and atavan) as a treatment for Meniere’s disease which causes severe tinnitus, vertigo and vomiting.The valium prescribed to Shane Kenny initially relieved his symptoms but produced side effects so painful and debilitating that he considered ending his life in the Swiss assisted suicide clinic, Dignitas.While the more severe effects of the benzodiazepines, which were wrongly prescribed for Shane Kenny’s illness, diminished after he stopped taking them, he still suffers some of them and made the documentary to raise awareness of the devastating effects of the over-prescribing of these drugs.Reducing symptomsUntil the 1950s when anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs were discovered, there were no effective drugs treatments for those disorders. Psychoanalysis was effective for many patients but because of its cost it was available only to a small minority of the mentally ill.The new drugs significantly reduced the symptoms of psychosis and depression resulting in a dramatic reduction in the numbers of patients in mental hospitals as most of them could now be treated as outpatients. But the new drugs did not cure any mental illness, they merely controlled the symptoms.While benzodiazepines may relieve depression in the short-term it has been known since the 1970s that they are addictive and to often lead to worse anxiety, cognitive impairment and functional decline. Anti-psychotic medications are mostly powerful tranquilisers.They do not “treat” the illness in the way that antibiotics treat (and mostly cure) infections. Only 25% of people receiving maintenance treatment with anti-psychotic drugs after an acute psychotic episode report a satisfactory quality of life.ProfitableThe anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs proved immensely profitable for the pharmaceutical companies who went to great lengths to ensure that doctors would prescribe them and find more conditions for which to prescribe them. In some cases the drug companies promoted the drugs for uses for which they were not approved.In 2012 Abbott was fined €1.5 billion for promoting the use of the drug depakote for the control of aggression and agitation in elderly people suffering from dementia despite there being no evidence that the drug was safe or effective for this purpose. Several nursing homes in Ireland have been found by HIQA to use anti-psychotic drugs to “manage” patients with dementia.In the UK over a million children, some as young as three, are taking Ritalin, which has been described as a “chemical cosh”, for hyperactivity. The British Psychological Society has pointed out that Ritalin is so widely prescribed because the drug is cheaper than psychotherapy, which would be more effective in treating hyperactivity.Poorly fundedMental health services in Ireland are very poorly funded, receiving only 6% of the total health budget. Most of the funds are spent on expensive medications, the most widely prescribed of which are benzodiazepine-based drugs.The number of medical card patients being prescribed benzodiazepine based anti-depressants increased by 50,000 between 2011 and 2016. The provision of care for those suffering mental distress, from anxiety to psychosis is dominated by the “medical model” promulgated by psychiatrists, most of whom offer only drug-based therapy.In other EU countries including the UK, mental health services provide many patients suffering from anxiety and depression, with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) administered by clinical psychologists, in community health centres. CBT has been shown in many trials to be more effective than medication for depression and anxiety.Expanding the availability of CBT in Ireland at primary care level, would provide better outcomes for many patients and be a more effective use of the public spending on mental health than the present drug-based system.Sean Byrne is Emeritus Lecturer in Economics at Dublin Institute of Technology. Floundering forests: The challenges facing the Irish forestry industry>I’m 27. I’m living at home. Going through the same hall door since I was in a school uniform’> Monday 25 Jun 2018, 7:00 AM Economist last_img read more

AGWS steps up for families facing crises

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) will give a free workshop to assist adult children who have returned to the family home after a personal crisis.The service, called ‘Boomerang Children’, is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to deal with individuals trying to cope with with marriage breakdown, loss of employment, mental or physical health issues, and their parents.AGWS provides personal counselling as well as couples or family group combinations to help them manage their family relationships in an effort to empower these members of the Greek Australian community to reach their full potential and rehabilitate. According to the 2011 Australian census, up to one-quarter of adult children aged 20-35 were still living at home with parents. The data indicated that the majority were male and were living with a single parent and had returned home as opposed to never having moved out – a situation familiar to the Greek community.“Without a doubt, the main reason is because the cost of living is so high. This includes the cost of rent, utility bills, petrol and lifestyle expenses,” says Kia Antoniadis, AGWS family counsellor.“There are also high levels of unemployment, breakdown of relationships, divorce and addictive behaviours such as gambling, alcohol and drug abuse, making it even harder for people to live independently, so the parental home is used as a back-up or safety net.”Some of the advantages can include sharing household and general living expenses, having company and the sense of security and protection. However, for the ‘boomerang child’, this return includes a loss of space, routine, lack of privacy, change of lifestyle and habits which could eventually lead to depression. “It means having to be accountable and being treated as a ‘child’ again and challenges around becoming a carer of an elderly parent with complex health issues,” adds Adonis Maglis, AGWS community services officer.“If you find yourself in the situation you can always seek counselling or mediation support for issues of difference that cannot be resolved at AGWS.” The workshop will be conducted in Greek and is targeted to parents who are interested in learning more about the topic of ‘Boomerang Children’. Bookings are essential. Call AGWS on 9388 9998.* Speakers: Adonis Maglis, AGWS community services officer and Kia Antoniadis, AGWS family counsellor. Guest speaker Celia Walsh, client and stakeholder relations officer/mediator, Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria, Department of Justice & Regulation.When: Thursday 30 July 2015, 12.15 – 2.15pm. Where: AGWS head offices, 7 Union St, Brunswick.last_img read more

Macau hotel receipts up 147 in 2017

first_img RelatedPosts Guest numbers in Macau’s hotels up 5% in February Macau’s casino-linked hotel rooms close to fully booked for upcoming Golden Week Load Morecenter_img Macau’s hotels and guest houses saw total receipts rise 14.7% year-on-year in 2017 to MOP$32.59 billion, according to figures releases by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).Buoyed by the addition of four new operational hotels – boosting the number Macau-wide to 113 – the rise included an 11.7% increase in receipts of 5-star hotels to MOP$24.48 billion, comprising MOP$10.86 billion in room sales, MOP$6.45 billion from the rental of space and MOP$5.27 billion from the provision of Food & Beverages. Receipts of 4-star hotels increased 2.2% to MOP$4.21 billion, while 3-star and 2-star hotels enjoyed a 64.8% increase to MOP$3.86 billion.The expenditure of the sector totalled MOP$28.98 billion, up 8.8% year-on-year, with compensation of employees rising 9.1% to MOP$13.02 billion, operating expenses 8.5% to MOP$12.77 billion and the purchase of goods & commission paid up 8.9% to MOP$3.19 billion.Gross Value Added, a measurement of the sectoral contribution to the economy, rose by 17.3% year-on-year to MOP$16.59 billion, with the Average Value Added per person engaged growing 14.0% to MOP$0.33 million.As the growth in receipts outpaced that in expenditure, Gross Surplus of the sector surged by 62.1% to MOP$3.57 billion.last_img read more

Lost girl handed over to Amberpet police

first_imgAmberpet: A six-year-old girl, who had lost her way to home, was found at Amberpet on Wednesday. When the locals and passers-by asked her about her home she could only tell her name as Preeti and unable to furnish other details. Locals handed over the girl to Amberpet police. Police by checking the missing cases in different police stations are trying to trace her address and hand over her to parents.last_img

Earth Hour 2019 Tik Tok joins WWF to encourage players embrace sustainable

first_imgClose Greenpeace Activists Crash Congressional Hearing Dressed As Swamp Monsters To Protest Oil Ties In 2019, the annual Earth Hour, which is understood to be the world’s largest, environmental grassroots movement to day, is being celebrated across the globe on March 30. It is organised by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to encourage individuals, communities and business organisations to turn off the lights one hour from 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm, as a mark showing concern and work towards the betterment of the planet Earth.Now, popular short video sharing platform Tik Tok in collaboration with WWF-India is organising a campaign ‘Bee4ThePlanet’ to persuade its players to embrace sustainable practices such as shun plastics, consume water judiciously and do their part in conserving the local biodiversity. Tik Tok in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature to celebrate Earth Hour with special initiatives in IndiaTik Tok Press Kit”We are excited to have partnered with the WWF-India to celebrate Earth Hour 2019, one of the most successful environmental protection related campaigns in the world, with over 180 countries participating. As a part of our commitment to users with fun engaging challenges, through this campaign, we hope to do our part and encourage our users to leverage their talent and creativity to participate and spread the word in raising awareness on the need for biodiversity conservation,” Sumedhas Rajgopal, Senior Manager, Strategy and Partnerships, TikTok, said in statement.As per Living Planet Report 2018, we are living through the Great Acceleration – a unique event in the 4.5 billion-year history of our planet – with exploding human populations and economic growth driving unprecedented planetary change through increased demand for energy, land and water. Over the past 50 years, the global ecological footprint (one measure of our consumption of natural resources) has increased by over 190%. The Living Planet Index suggests that India’s ecological footprint per person is less than 1.75 global hectares/person (which is the lowest bracket and is smaller than that of many large countries).However, India’s population which is currently in upward trajectory will face issues near future and its imperative not just for government or corporate companies, but also citizens to learn to consume resource conservatively before it’s too late.With Tik Tok have millions of active users, the company has started a novel #Bee4ThePlanet-hash-tag and ‘buzz for the planet’ campaign with fun bee sticker, encouraging them to come with interesting videos with information on conservation of important resources and also encourage family and friends to reduce the carbon footprint (means—reduce the impact on environment by consuming less resources) and basically embrace minimalistic lifestyle. Tik Tok may get banned in IndiaTik Tok app/Google Play store (screen-grab)This is a novel initiative by Tik Tok particularly in India, where the former is facing negative publicity, as elected lawmakers in the country are vying for a ban on Tik Tok, as it is accused to ruining Indian culture and inciting pervert behaviour among users.Nagapattinam’s Thamimun Ansari, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of ruling party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) during a debate at Tamil Nadu legislative assembly (Fort St George) said TikTok was degrading Indian culture, encourages pornography and also causing law and order problem in the state. As the people’s representative, it’s their responsibility to ban such nefarious mobile app, Ansari added.Several sections of people are asking for a ban on Tik Tik and we will urge Central government to take action similar to the prohibition of suicidal online game Blue Whale challenge, Ansari noted.In a related development, Tik Tok has introduced safety feature to curb online bullying. The company has released a new user-defined word filter that blocks any filthy comments in the video-sharing app. Tik Tok users can self-define 30 Hindi and English words and if required they can re-assign the word as and when they want.last_img read more

Indian man dies on board Alitalias DelhiMilan flight body taken to Abu

first_imgAlitalia airlinesTwitter [Representational Image]An Indian national died on board a flight from New Delhi to Milan, Italy, on Monday forcing Alitalia to make an emergency landing in Abu Dhabi. Kailash Chandra Saini, 52, from Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunun district, had been residing in Italy for the past several years. He was accompanied by his son Heera Lal, 26.The Indian embassy counsellor M Raja said that the body was taken to Mafraq Hospital after the flight made an emergency landing in Abu Dhabi. All the formalities have been completed and the death certificate was issued on Tuesday. “The body will be repatriated by Wednesday morning,” the official said.MM Nasar Kanhangad, who is authorised by the embassy to work with the local authorities for repatriating the body, said Heera is waiting at the airport terminal. “It’s painful to see the son waiting for his father’s mortal remains. This is an unfortunate incident but all officials are working to see that the body is repatriated at the earliest,” Kanhangad said, reports Khaleej Times.last_img read more

Modi govt plans rationalisation of customs duty structure

first_imgIndia is planning wide-ranging rationalisation of its customs duty structure to make international trade more efficient mirroring the good and services tax (GST) that simplified domestic trade, news reports say.”We want to go in for something which will be radically different from what we have been doing. We are going to venture into a new territory called faceless assessment. We could start a pilot in a month’s time,” said S Ramesh, Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBDT), in an interview to The Economic Times.The government plans to minimise face-to-face interactions of traders with customs officials, automate the release of goods from the ports and give businesses the facility to track the shipment.This would require properly interfacing the traders’ systems with the customs department systems. This is expected to facilitate faster approvals and reduce corruption and undue bureaucratic bottlenecks, according to the report.India charges both advalorem duty based on the value of imports or exports and specific rate based on the quantity in number, volume or weight for different types of goods. This has led to allegations of confusion and exploitation by bureaucracy, which enjoys a lot of discretion in making decisions regarding import and export tariffs. The trade community has been demanding a rationalisation of the import and export tax structure for long.There is a host of duties that customs officials can levy on imports and exports. They include the basic customs duty, additional duty, special additional duty, and several additional levies like countervailing duty, anti-dumping duty, and safeguard duty. Certain goods also are liable to be charged a cess.These rule changes are expected to help further improve India’s ease of doing business ranking. In 2017, World Bank’s recent Ease of Doing Business Report showed India leapt 30 places to break into the top 100 nations for the first time. In 2018, the nation’s rank further improved to 77 out of 190 countries.The government wants the customs duty rationalisation to mirror its widely acclaimed implementation of the GST, which came into force on July 1 last year. GST rationalised the domestic trade tariff structure by introducing a limited number of tariff slabs so as to reduce the demands on traders. They are 3 per cent, 5 per cent, 12 per cent,18 per cent and 28 per cent.last_img read more

WATCH Glamour And Gentrification Go HandInHand In Artsy Ranch Town Marfa

first_imgIt’s sometimes weird, often wonderful, definitely off the beaten path. Marfa, Texas, is a tiny rural town in the middle of dusty ranchlands, as well as an internationally renowned creative mecca. In the last few decades, as artists and nonprofits moved in, drawing tourists and upscale development, Marfa has become the model of the arts as economic engine in rural America.You can watch Jeffrey Brown’s report for PBS NewsHour here: Sharelast_img

DMV HBCU Report Howard and Bowie State Keep Title Hopes Alive

first_imgBy MARK F. GRAY, Special to the AFROHoward Escapes Morgan with Tough Road WinThere’s always a battle of cultures when Howard faces Morgan State in one of the understated HBCU sports rivalries.  When the blue collar historic success of the Bears’ athletic program intersects with the blue blood perception of Bison lore it makes for interesting battles no matter what the records are. Howard’s culture has changed under second year head coach Mike London and they play now with a championship swag that was the difference in a 35-26 win over Morgan.When the Bears had chances to deliver in game changing moments they couldn’t knock out blows.  Normally, there are five to seven plays that are the difference in any game.  The Bison made game changers that were the final margin of victory at Hughes Stadium.Howard University coach Mike London signals for the two point conversion after their final touchdown during their 36-25 win over Morgan State at Hughes Stadium and Earl C. Banks Field. (Photo by Mark Gray)Morgan opened a 10 point first quarter lead then fumbled deep in Howard territory setting them up at Bears three yard line. Bison quarterback Cailyn Newton scored on a one yard run but the point after was blocked and returned for an apparent safety. However, a holding call nullified it costing the Bears two points.  In the third quarter, the Bears led 26-20 and were within two yards of leading by 13. Morgan’s Joshua Chase ripped through the Bison secondary after a 38-yard run but was stripped by two yards from the end zone and it went through for a touchback.From the start Bison took control with a vicious ground attack.  Howard outscored Morgan 15-0 in the fourth quarter. Dedrick Parson rushed for a game high 148 yards with touchdown runs of 31 and 26 yards in the game’s final period.  Newton only passed for 213 yards but deftly managed the game for the Bison who stay within a game of N.C. Central in the MEAC title chase.Next: Howard – S.C. State (Homecoming)Next: Morgan – at Florida A&MBowie State Regains Top Spot in CIAA NorthBowie State quarterback Amir Hall added another page to his legacy as the Bulldogs reassumed command of the CIAA North Division with a 27-13 victory at Virginia Union.  Hall, nursing a myriad of injuries, donned his Superman cape and completed 33 of 49 passes for 370 yards and two touchdowns.Hall also moved into second place on the CIAA’s all-time touchdown passing list early in the fourth quarter.  His 40-yard touchdown completion to Maurice Williams was the 90th   of his college career moving him past the mark set by N.C. Central’s Earl “Air” Harvey during an illustrious era that concluded in 1988. The reigning national HBCU Player of the Year is now within seven TD passes from breaking the mark held Winston Salem State’s Kameron Smith quarter who had 96 between 2010-2012After Virginia Union converted the game’s opening drive – 57 yards in nine plays – and took the lead with a 39-yard Jefferson Souza field goal. Bowie State answered with a 57-yard strike from Hall to Brandon Abrams who scored the game’s first touchdown and gave them the lead for good.While Hall was making history, it was the Bulldogs defense that made big plays at critical times all afternoon.  Virginia Union rushed for 249 yards which limited the number of chances Bowie State had offensively.  However, once the Trojans were inside the red zone the Bulldogs defense held them to three field goals and kept them out of the end zone until late in the third quarter.The win returns Bowie State’s CIAA Championship Game fate to them.  Wins in their final two games – at Lincoln then home for Elizabeth City State – and they return to Salem, Va. on Nov. 10 to play for their elusive conference championship.Next: at Lincolnlast_img read more