Quick Hits: Al Gore meets with VA residents trying to stop compressor station

first_imgThe community is fighting against a plan to build an Atlantic Coast Pipeline natural gas compressor station in their neighborhood. Compressor stations are used to power pipelines, moving gas through the system. Opponents of the 54,000 horsepower Union Hill compressor station worry that exhaust from the station will hurt low-income and elderly residents. Former Vice President Al Gore and social justice advocate the Rev. William Barber II met with residents of Union Hill, VA, a rural community about 70 miles west of Richmond that was founded by emancipated slaves after the Civil War. Proponents say it will boost development in the area. Gore told the 700 people gathered at the meeting that building the compressor station in Union Hill is a “vivid example of environmental racism.”center_img Former Vice President Al Gore meets with Union Hill, VA residents trying to stop compressor stationlast_img read more

Trail Mix 2020 – Vol. VII

first_img 3:49 Scattered Pieces The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers Yonder Mountain String Band, who recently appeared on our weekly Trail Mix Live series, return to the mix with their take on the John Hartford classic “Holding,” a long time staple in their live show and their contribution to the recent tribute to Hartford, On The Road: A Tribute To John Hartford. Embed Any Kind Of Angel Jenny Reynolds 2:59 2:56 Audio PlayerAndrew Scotchie & The River RatsFear MongersUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 2:59 4:53 2:59 90 Seconds Of Your Time Corb Lund Tsunami Andy Baker 5:19 Returning to Trail Mix this month are some long time friends. Samantha Crain, John Craigie, Corb Lund, Grayson Capps, Chris Stamey, Seth Walker, Peter Himmelman, The Greyboy Allstars, and Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats are all back with brand new tunes. Knoxville County Jail The Cassell Brothers 5:02 An Echo Samantha Crain Hailing from Atlanta but now calling Nashville home, the Lovell sisters pen songs steeped in Southern musical tradition, from pulling from acoustic folk to gospel and rocking blues. Trail Mix is happy to feature “Keep Diggin’” from Larkin Poe’s new release. May We Love Grayson Capps 3:14 DOWNLOAD TRAILMIX HERE 5:03 4:51 Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. Hung The Moon Grace Joyner Fear Mongers Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats Bone Deep John Fusco Press On Peter Himmelman 3:03 3:13 5:59center_img 2:31 2:59 Holding Yonder Mountian String Band Wandering Boy Cinder Well We Got This Seth Walker Keep the River On Your Right Kristen Grainger & True North A Brand-New Shade Of Blue (feat. Brett Harris) Chris Stamey & The Fellow Travelers 2:32 Remember to be safe out there, folks. Get outside and play and takes these tunes along with you. And, during your adventures, swing by a record store and pick up an album or two from these incredible artists. Seek them out online, take in their live from home concerts, and send them a tip. Keep supporting them so that, when we make it through this, they will still be around and we can all catch them live and in person again. Also featured this month are tunes from jamband legends moe., acoustic icon Doc Watson, and eclectic roots upstarts The Texas Gentlemen. Como De Allstars The Greyboy Allstars Know What She Said Les Nuby Ain’t Nothin’ New Texas Gentlemen Don’t Ask John Craigie 3:15 3:39 3:31 Keep Diggin’ Larkin Poe Larkin Poe – sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell – have been on a slow burn towards stardom for the last decade. With a slew of EPs and long players behind them, the bluesy sisters picked up a Grammy nod for their 2018 release, Venom & Faith, and have toured the world over. The duo has returned with a new record, Self Made Man, which they self-produced and released on their own Tricki-Woo label. Trail Mix is also excited to feature tunes from The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, John Fusco, Distant Cousins, The Cassell Brothers, Les Nuby, Cinder Well, Grace Joyner, Andy Baker, Jenny Reynolds, Kristen Grainger & True North, and The Collect Pond. Who You Calling Scared moe. 4:12 My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mountains Doc Watson & Gaither Carlton 4:59 2:30 4:01 Here and Now Distant Cousins 5:00 2:41 Washing Dishes The Collect Pondlast_img read more

Suffolk Sued for $117M in ‘Over-taxation’

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A lawsuit seeking $116.9 million has been filed against Suffolk County on behalf of an estimated 340,000 residents of the county’s Southwest Sewer District No. 3, claiming that the county has “illegally overtaxed owners of real estate” in violation of four public referenda that called for surpluses to be returned.According to the law firms of Paul Sabatino II and Reilly, Like and Tenety, Suffolk officials have not complied with the requirements that voters had approved by public referendum in 1983, 1989, 1995 and 2006. Filed in New York State Supreme Court earlier this month, the lawsuit asks the court to grant class action status “to protect all taxpayers in the district, not just those who can afford the cost of litigation.” The 57-square-mile district covers Babylon, Islip and a sliver of Huntington.“By holding on to this money, Suffolk County has knowingly thwarted the will of the people, as expressed by the voters on four separate occasions,” said Sabatino, who was County Executive Steve Levy’s chief deputy from 2004 to 2007 and former counsel to the Suffolk County Legislature for almost 20 years before that. “The purpose of the lawsuit is to enforce the will of the people and return the $116.9 million to the taxpayers.”The attorneys say the targeted total amount consists of the 2013 surplus fund balance of $35,177,582, the 2014 surplus fund balance of $42,265,864 and the 2015 fund balance of $39,5236,337. Instead of returning these fund balances to the taxpayers as required, the attorneys allege, the county put the monies in a fund known as Fund 405, which they describe as “an illegal fund…used by the county as a subterfuge.”According to the attorneys’ calculations, the average taxpayer in the sewer district is entitled to a refund of about $1,542. They say the over-taxation stemmed from the failure of county officials to pass on “the substantial savings” that arose from the amortization of South West Sewer District’s debt that had been issued in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. As the debt was paid off “in increasingly large amounts,” the county held on to the savings instead of returning it to the taxpayers as the county statute and state law required, the attorneys say.“My understanding is that these numbers have just really accrued in the last three or four years,” said Sabatino, who left county government seven years ago. “I think they’ve been caught with their budgetary pants down on this one.”“Failure to stop this violation of the constitutional rights of the taxpayers and allowing it to continue in the future will imperil the public interest, cause public injury, and promote public mischief,” attorney Irving Like said in a statement. “The strong policy of the law requires a full accounting of all public funds and is designed to prevent municipal governments from acquiring tax proceeds faster than they are needed and for costs and expenses not incurred.”The county attorney’s office has reportedly asked the court for an extension in order to reply to the lawsuit, which is filed under index number 15-01596. Neither the county attorney’s office nor the county executive’s representatives responded to requests for comment from the Press.This issue doesn’t involve Suffolk County’s Drinking Water Protection Program, which county voters have approved by referenda because it is funded by a ¼ cent sales tax. Recently, the county had borrowed $30 million of that program’s money without voters’ approval, sparking a three-year lawsuit which ended last summer when county lawmakers and environmentalists struck a deal to end the legal battle and restore the money to the program.But what’s at stake is the same principle, according to Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.“When the will of the voters is ignored, government has betrayed the public trust,” Amper told the Press. “What’s really both bad and stupid is that if government keeps playing ‘April Fools’ with the voters, they’re going to stop authorizing spending for important government programs, such as the Drinking Water Protection Program. The public won’t continue to reward bad faith.”last_img read more

Diwali 2020: Football could celebrate festival more to promote community spirit | Football News

first_imgAs millions prepare to celebrate Diwali across the world, Asian football fans have spoken of its importance and how the game could play a bigger part in the festivities.Known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is a time when families and communities come together, lighting candles and fireworks, as part of the traditionally elaborate celebrations.- Advertisement – 0:50 Swansea midfielder Yan Dhanda explains how lockdown has changed his plans for Diwali this year, and his hopes for next year’s celebrations However, with coronavirus restrictions in place, most of this year’s celebrations will be curtailed, leaving people potentially feeling further isolated and alone.Nilesh Chauhan, co-founder of Villans Together, an Aston Villa supporters’ group that champions diversity and equality, believes clubs could certainly do more to make supporters feel connected during these turbulent times.Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, Chauhan said: “There’s always a cultural background that everyone has got and Diwali is a part of people’s lives and it can be part of football. – Advertisement – 1:17 Yan Dhanda of Swansea City in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Swansea City at Carrow Road on November 07, 2020 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)– Advertisement –center_img The Premier League can attract millions of fans in India if they increase the profile of the Diwali festival, says Bournemouth’s Hindu defender Dinesh Gillela Surinder Aujla, who works for West Bromwich Albion’s Foundation as well as being chair of Apna Albion, a West Bromwich Albion’s Supporters Group, agrees, but also believes it is very much dependent on the make-up of the club in question.“Each club will do its own celebration but it depends on the demographic of that club and what the local community is and how integrated they are,” Aujla said.“A lot of the football clubs have a charity arm and they are the ones that do a lot of the outreach programmes as well.“Certainly from a West Bromwich Albion point of view it’s a big area for Asian families, Indian families, Sikh families, Hindu families so there is a lot of work that goes on locally.” “Football can celebrate Diwali and there are major organisations that can shout out about Diwali and wish everybody a good Diwali.“In this current situation where we can’t be with our families we could have big organisations and big social media players shout out about it a bit more – support about it would have been great today.“Villa always do a shout out on Diwali and on any other religious event and other clubs do and should do the same.“It’s great to see because clubs have supporters from all genders and backgrounds and to have your clubs support it means a lot.“Villa actually make their own personal images with an embedded Villa badge which really means something – it shows the club are really supporting you and you feel connected and people feel connected. It’s massive.” A Diwali Bangra Dance Group perform at half time during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and AFC Bournemouth at Wembley Stadium on October 14, 2017 in London, England – Advertisement –last_img read more

Swine flu cases recall 1976 episode

first_imgApr 22, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Swine influenza viruses have never been documented as the cause of a human influenza pandemic, but in 1976 they generated pandemic fears strong enough to trigger a nationwide vaccination campaign.The reporting of swine flu cases in two California children this week stirred memories of the 1976 episode, which caused major embarrassment for public health authorities when the pandemic never materialized.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday that two children in southern California fell ill in late March with what turned out to be swine flu infections. Both of the children recovered, and neither was hospitalized.But the cases raised concern because neither child had any known exposure to pigs, suggesting that human-to-human transmission might have occurred. Further, the virus was found to be a new strain of swine influenza A/H1N1 that differs substantially from human H1N1 strains. That suggested that much of the population could be susceptible to it and that the H1N1 antigen in seasonal flu vaccines probably would not protect people, the CDC said.CDC and California officials offered little new information on the cases and investigation today. Officials are testing contacts of the two children, including four family members who also were recently sick, to see if they have antibodies indicating they were infected with the H1N1 virus. CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said it would be several days or possibly weeks before the results are available.Human swine flu infections are rare but have become slightly more frequent in recent years, with 14 cases (including the two in California) since December 2005, according to the CDC. Almost always the infection has been associated with exposure to pigs, which are very commonly infected. Ken August, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health, said today that until the two latest cases, no human cases of swine flu had been identified in California in several years.Very rarely have people with swine flu infections been known to pass the infection to someone else. One such case occurred in Wisconsin in 1988, when a pregnant woman fell ill after visiting a swine exhibition, according to a CDC question-and-answer article on swine flu. She was hospitalized with pneumonia and died 8 days later. Follow-up studies suggested that “one to three” healthcare workers who had contact with her had mild flu-like illnesses and antibody evidence of swine flu infection.Far better known is the swine flu episode of 1976. About 200 soldiers in basic training at Fort Dix in New Jersey fell ill in January and February, according to a 2006 article by Richard Krause, who was director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the time. At least four soldiers had pneumonia, and one died, according to the CDC article.The virus was identified as an H1N1 swine flu virus, “thought to be a direct descendant of the virus that caused the pandemic of 1918,” wrote Krause. “This conclusion was based on antibodies to H1N1 antigens found in survivors of the 1918 pandemic and the belief that the 1918 virus was eventually transmitted to pigs in the Midwest, where it persisted and caused sporadic human cases.”Public health experts, fearing a possible replay of the 1918 pandemic, engaged in an intense debate about how to respond. Eventually they launched a nationwide vaccination campaign, which was announced by President Gerald Ford in March. By the end of the year, 48 million people had been vaccinated, according to an account in Arthur Allen’s book Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver.But the feared pandemic never materialized. “The virus is thought to have circulated for a month and disappeared,” the CDC article says. “The Fort Dix outbreak may have been an animal anomaly caused by introduction of an animal virus into a stressed human population in close contact in crowded facilities during the winter.”Not only did the pandemic fail to appear, but the vaccine apparently harmed some people. Health officials suspended the vaccination campaign on Dec 16, 1976, after receiving numerous reports of Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS), a paralyzing neurologic illness, after vaccination, according to an August 1979 report in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Nationwide surveillance detected 1,098 patients with GBS onset from October 1976 through January 1977. Epidemiologic evidence suggested that many cases were related to vaccination, with an estimated risk of 1 case for every 100,000 vaccinations.Studies of influenza vaccines used after 1976 showed no increased risk for GBS in adults except for borderline statistically significant increases in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 flu seasons, according a report in the Jul 15, 2008, issue of Journal of Infectious Diseases. However, experts still don’t know what caused the GBS cases after the swine flu vaccination. One theory was that bacterial antigens from contaminated eggs used in vaccine production could have elicited GBS.In any case, the episode left the public health establishment demoralized. “The debacle opened public health authorities to the kind of criticism and even ridicule that they had never had to countenance before,” wrote Allen.The concern stirred by this week’s report of the two swine flu cases in California readily recalled the 1976 episode. But Marie Gramer, DVM, PhD, a University of Minnesota veterinarian who has studied swine flu, cautioned against drawing many parallels as yet.”It’s kind of too early for that,” she said. “Certainly in 1976 what got people riled up was that it was adults getting sick. That was outside the norm. This [the California cases] affected children, and children get a lot of influenza.”She said she personally is not overly concerned about the latest cases. “But I think it’s important to get this information out there and that people be aware that flu can be shared between humans and pigs,” she added.While influenza is notoriously unpredictable, there is no firm evidence of a swine flu virus having triggered a human flu pandemic, according to multiple reports. The virus that swept around the world in 1918 is believed to have been an avian strain that somehow adapted to humans. The two pandemics since then, in 1957-58 and 1968-69, resulted from genetic reassortment of avian and human strains, though the reassortment could have occurred in an intermediate host such as pigs. No good evidence is available for the many pandemics before 1918.If by any chance the virus in the California proves capable of spreading from person to person, the existing seasonal flu vaccine will not be likely to protect people, even though the vaccine contains an H1N1 component, according to the CDC. “The H1N1 swine flu viruses are antigenically very different from human H1N1 viruses,” the CDC article states.Most of the flu viruses recently found in pigs have been H1N1 and H3N2 strains, the CDC says. Current swine flu H3N2 viruses are closely related to human H3N2 viruses, because they were introduced into pigs from humans in the late 1990s. But H1N1 swine viruses have been known to circulate in pigs at least since the 1930s.The seasonal flu vaccine also includes an H3N2 component. Since the human and swine H3N2 strains are closely related, “the seasonal influenza vaccine will likely help provide partial protection against swine H3N2, but not swine H1N1 viruses,” according to the CDC.See also: CDC questions and answers about swine fluhttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/key_facts.htmRichard Krause EID article on the 1976 swine flu episodehttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol12no01/05-1132.htmAug 1979 Am J Epidemiol study abstractJul 15, 2008, J Infect Dis study abstracthttp://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/589624CDC guidance on infection control and antiviral treatment for patients with suspected swine flu infectionshttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/recommendations.htmlast_img read more

COVID-19: Govt to tighten security at ‘mudik’ ban checkpoints as Idul Fitri approaches

Read also: Jokowi calls for caution in easing of PSBB after ‘mudik’ ban relaxationViolators will either be stopped or turned back. Buses that have been allowed to operate will be given a special sticker.“After the holiday ends […] we will continue to monitor the roads and will have tow trucks on standby. We will also spray incoming vehicles with disinfectant,” Adita said.The Transportation Ministry last week allowed public transportation to resume operations by opening all air, land and sea transportation services, a move that drew strong criticism from experts.The government, however, has been adamant that the mudik ban is still in effect despite relaxations on restrictions.Topics : The government will tighten its monitoring of the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) ban as the Islamic holiday, which falls on May 24 and 25 this year, approaches, the Transportation Ministry said.“We have to be prepared for more people trying to travel. Therefore, we will add more personnel to safeguard the checkpoints,” Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said during a press briefing on Tuesday.The mudik ban, which is based on Transportation Ministerial Regulation No. 25/2020 signed by acting minister Luhut Pandjaitan on April 23, applies to all types of mass transportation as well as to private vehicles and is seen as crucial to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from spreading from the epicenter of Jakarta and West Java to other regions of the country. read more

Lost Seoul: S.Korean middle-class dreams spoiled by soaring house prices

first_imgEven with unemployment spiking as the coronavirus pandemic swept South Korea in February, Baek Seung-min asked his wife to quit her nursing job to help reach a dream they had spent a lifetime chasing: buying their own apartment.The 35-year-old interior designer said giving up his wife’s 58 million won ($48,000) salary would improve their chances of securing a property after the government introduced a host of measures aimed at cooling rampant property prices.The unusual plan was to cut his wife’s income for a while so the couple’s annual earnings were low enough to be eligible for a quota system in new property developments designed to give more low-income newlyweds access to housing. Anger at inequalityWhen the left-leaning Moon took office in 2017, his central promise was to create a level playing field for all South Koreans and a society where hardworking people could raise a family and afford a home.But tighter mortgage rules featuring vastly lower loan-to-value ratios, along with various tax penalties to discourage speculative transactions, are contributing to higher rents and larger down payment requirements – hurting those the policies are intended to help.Mortgage rules for Seoul now cap borrowing at 40% of the value of the home. Pockets of the glitzy suburb of Gangnam are also subject to a transaction permit system, meaning sales without a permit can be made invalid if a purchase is considered “speculative”.Critics say such policies mean the “gold spoon” children of the wealthy can snap up the best homes with their cash, leaving “dirt spoons” trapped as second-class citizens – fuelling the inequality Moon promised to tackle.While some families are cutting their incomes to improve their chances of getting a boost onto the property ladder, others are getting divorced on paper to reduce real estate taxes or not registering their marriage to keep separate home-buying applications, according to two lawyers and a tax accountant Reuters spoke to.Anger at Moon’s economic policies has wiped out a surge in his approval ratings from the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, slipping back to a near nine-month low of 44.5%, according to a Real Meter survey on Thursday.The Presidential Blue House declined to comment for this article.On Tuesday, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said stabilizing home prices was the government’s biggest public welfare policy goal as plans were announced to add more than 132,000 new homes in Seoul through 2028.Middle class ticketFor decades following the 1950-53 Korean War, South Koreans saw a degree from a top university and an apartment in Seoul as the fastest way to the middle class, which explains why about three-quarters of household wealth is concentrated in real estate.But now, “dirt spoons” who studied hard and secured white-collar jobs such as lawyers and interior designers say the cooling measures Moon introduced have made it impossible for them to buy a property in Seoul even with a six-figure salary.It now takes an average Korean household more than 14 years of income to buy an average Seoul home, assuming zero expenses. It was 11 years when Moon took office, KB Bank data shows.Hong Na-ri, a lawyer who rents a three-bedder with her twin daughters and husband in Seoul, says her family is priced out of the property market.The price of the flat Hong has been renting in Seoul’s Songpa neighborhood has more than doubled to 1.8 billion won since she moved to the area in 2015.”When I got married [in 2015] I believed prices will go down…now everyone asks me why didn’t buy one when I could. It makes me anxious, but there is nothing I can do,” said the 35-year-old, whose combined household income ranges from $6,700-$10,000 a month.”It’s not like I can move outside of Seoul, away from our babysitter, preschool, and my job.”Moon is trying to fix structural problems in the economy.He has sought to rein in the powerful chaebol conglomerates such as Samsung and Hyundai, which have seen their profits far outstrip household income growth. Tighter mortgage rules were introduced because the easier credit available under his predecessor was blamed for initially stoking the housing bubble.Yun Chang-hyun, a conservative economist and member of parliament for the opposition United Future Party, says the government’s approach is creating more uncertainty about future.”More than 20 separate set of measures without success has caused stress and anxiety among people they must buy something now or never.” Even so, Baek and his wife decided to settle two hours west of his Seoul workplace in Incheon, where borrowing rules were looser and apartments far cheaper.”Seoul home prices grew way out of reach, we had to go all the way to Incheon to buy our place,” Baek said. “The government is crushing our dreams when they curb loans and tell us not to buy homes, it enrages me.”Despite more than 20 cooling policies introduced by President Moon Jae-in’s government, home prices in Seoul have risen more than 50% since 2017, the fastest pace in the world, according to statistics site Numbeo.The surge has dashed the hopes of many young families and signaled that the “middle class contract” that helped build Asia’s fourth-largest economy may have slipped out of reach.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Is TV damaging our kids’ brains?

first_imgBay of Plenty Times 11 June 2012Children under 3 should not be watching any television and those up to 7 should be limited to 30 minutes a day, says a Bay of Plenty child pyschotherapist. Parents are jeopardising their children’s futures, Augustina Driessen says, by allowing them to vegetate in front of the television for hours a day. Mrs Driessen believed up to 75 per cent of children could be suffering problems associated with media overload. She said children were becoming monosyllabic and introverted through addiction to television, and urged parents not to take the easy option.Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First NZ, agrees. “One of our major concerns is that the 8.30pm watershed for families is just a farce. There is sexual content, foul language and sexual innuendo in programmes as early as 5.30pm. Also adult-rated programmes are being promoted during the kids’ viewing times, which is simply wrong. There have been plenty of studies which show the adverse affects on children of prolonged exposure to violence and sexual content. “TVs in bedrooms are just asking for trouble. Would you let an adult sit and talk, unsupervised, to your child about absolutely anything? No, yet we let TV do it. We shouldn’t let TV be the babysitter.” Mr McCoskrie, who has a home in Mount Maunganui, said television could open children up to new areas of learning but asked at what cost. “TV can give opportunities, that’s agreed, but I think the question I would ask is what are children giving up when they are sat in front of a TV? They’re missing out on playing outside, reading books, doing homework, being creative, getting fit and interacting with other people, person-to-person, face-to-face.” But Geoff Lealand, associate professor of screen and media studies at Waikato University, said concentrating on television could blind people to more important issues. “Worrying excessively about the alleged effects of television often deflects attention from more significant factors in children’s lives, such as poverty, poor nutrition, inadequate parenting and that can be a problem.”http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/danger-lurks-in-a-corner-of-the-room-warns-expert/1412417/last_img read more

Palliative sedation a ‘peaceful way to die’

first_imgChristchurch Press 17 Sep 2012Within 10 minutes of having her first dose of sedative, Col Pieper’s terminally-ill mother drifts to sleep. A medication pump is set up to continuously give her the sedative midazolam to ensure she stays asleep until she dies. Three and a half days later, she dies peacefully, as she had chosen. Pieper, a West Coast-based registered nurse, says her mother had originally wanted to be euthanised, but switched her thinking only weeks from death once she learned about palliative sedation. She could choose because she lived in the Netherlands, one of a few countries in the world to legalise euthanasia. The euthanasia debate has reignited in New Zealand with Labour MP Maryan Street’s End of Life Choice private member’s bill, which she lodged in the ballot box in July. It must be selected before it can be considered by Parliament. Late last month, Prime Minister John Key faced strong criticism from the medical profession after claiming euthanasia was happening in our hospitals and that he would consider it if terminally ill. Hospice New Zealand’s clinical director, Associate Professor Sandy Macleod, says Key was incorrectly informed but agrees the public has little knowledge of other end-of-life options, such as palliative sedation. “In euthanasia, you are trying to kill the person. In palliative sedation, you are trying to kill the intractable symptoms,” Macleod says. “There are plenty of options other than killing people that we have at our disposal.” Palliative sedation is quite common practice in New Zealand hospices when someone is within days of death and suffering distressing, uncontrollable symptoms, such as delirium or extreme breathlessness, he says. A Christchurch study found a quarter of people dying at the city’s hospice had palliative sedation, he says. In the Netherlands, medical guidelines state a terminally-ill person must be within two weeks of death and suffering unbearable symptoms that are unrelieved by treatment to qualify for palliative sedation. While no such formal guidelines exist in New Zealand, it is discussed in the Palliative Care Handbook.http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7687633/Palliative-sedation-a-peaceful-way-to-dielast_img read more

Reggae superstars Morgan Heritage to nurture African talent

first_imgThey’re known as the Royal Family of Reggae, a group that’s been getting people to shuffle their feet and other parts for more than 20 years.Now though, Morgan Heritage have an ambitious new project – to showcase the best of African music.And they’re going to do it – from Kenya.CCTV’s Kathryn Ogunde has the story.last_img