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Dublin: New Blog For Citizen’s Free Press Ireland.com

11 Oct

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR FUTURE POSTS:

http://www.citizensfreepressireland.com/

Current Photo Albums at:

http://picasaweb.google.com/106601042721625135361

Follow J. P. on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/greagues2 &

http://twitter.com/freepressdublin 

Link to photo Archive:

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=7d84d8d85790ac27

 

Dublin: Homeless People Afflicted By Addiction and Ill Health: Report

3 Oct

Report highlights ill health suffered by homeless people

DEPRESSION, dental decay and the threat to health from alcohol and drug use feature heavily among homeless people, almost half of whom suffer from both physical and mental ill health, according to a report.

To add to their tragedy, members of the homeless community are plagued by a range of conditions, including hepatitis, arthritis, asthma and high blood pressure.

Nor are they faring well mentally: the survey shows out of 600 people surveyed by Simon Communities of Ireland, more than one third suffer from depression, while schizophrenia, panic attacks, bipolar disorder and social anxiety disorders feature in up to 10%.

Among the other alarming findings of the National Health Snapshot study, published today to mark the start of Simon Week, are:

* 50% used alcohol, of whom 44% reported health complications as a result.

* 31% used drugs (more than half intravenously) causing abscesses, hepatitis C and B, vein collapse, overdose and deep vein thrombosis.

* More than three quarters using drugs used one or more types of drugs (polydrug use), with heroin the most popular (58%), followed by cannabis, prescribed methadone, unprescribed benzodiazepines and headshop drugs.

* 12% had a diagnosed intellectual disability, most commonly attention deficit disorder and autism.

* 19% self-harmed, almost one quarter expressed suicidal thoughts and 17% attempted suicide in the previous six months.

Niamh Randall, Simon’s national research and policy manager, said the results showed an ongoing need for targeted interventions for the homeless as well as better access to mainstream services.

“For instance in Cork, we have a multidisciplinary team which can address a multitude of needs at the same time.

“Or in Dublin, we have Safetynet, a primary care network where GPs come to the hostels and provide primary care intervention on site, which, when you are homeless, provides a point of contact for people who might not necessarily show up at a surgery.”

Ms Randall said there had been no decrease in the 5,000 people using Simon’s services in the past couple of years and the challenge was to maintain services in the face of decreased funding from the Department of Health.

The stark findings of today’s report come hot on the heels of two reports published last week which found Dublin Simon recorded a 26% increase on last year in the number of people sleeping rough during the early summer months and Merchants Quay Ireland said it was providing 1,100 extra meals every week for mainly homeless and financially desperate people, up 26% on last year.

* The Simon National Conference, Health and Homelessness — Making the Link, takes place today at the Radisson BLU Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin.

London: Children With ‘Green Fingers’ Behave Better’: Research

3 Oct

 

Teaching children how to garden helps them to become responsible, realise where food comes from and calms their behaviour, a survey suggests.

A poll by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reveals that more than eight in 10 (81.6%) parents garden with their children.

But it also raises concerns that today’s parents may be outshone by their youngsters and their own parents, because few of them were taught to garden at school.

Teaching children how to garden helps them to become responsible, a survey suggests

Almost half of the parents questioned (48%) said their child knows more or the same amount about gardening as they do. And four fifths of parents said their own parents know more or the same about gardening as they do.

The RHS warned that a lack of gardening instruction at school had left today’s generation of parents without proper horticultural knowledge.

Less than 1% (0.6%) of parents were taught to garden by a school teacher, the RHS claimed, compared with 55% of grandparents and 40% of children.

Just 26% of parents said they had a school garden when they were a child, while 58.8% said their child now has access to a school garden, with 76.2% revealing their youngster uses the facility.

Sue Biggs, director-general of the RHS, said: “These findings suggest that today’s parents, who attended school during the 1980s and 90s, missed out on a huge opportunity, especially as gardening dropped off the agenda.

“When children learn to garden it is a skill that stays with them for life, something they will use and fall back on as they grow up. This is evident from the grandparents we surveyed, among whom nearly 80% say they like to garden, and more than a third of them grow their own fruit and vegetables.

“From the schools we work with we know they are desperate for more help from local parents and other adults to build and maintain school gardens. But with 65% of parents admitting that their own parents (now grandparents) know more about gardening than they do, and nearly half believing their own children, aged 4-11, have equal or better horticultural knowledge than themselves, it would seem today’s parents are shy of volunteering their time probably due to a lack of knowledge.”

 

London: Brain-Damaged Woman’s Family Loose Right-To-Die Case

28 Sep

 

The family of a brain-damaged, minimally-conscious woman on Wednesday lost their bid to withdraw vital treatment and allow her to die, in a landmark High Court case.

Relatives of the woman, referred to only as M, had appealed for life-supporting artificial feeding and hydration to be withdrawn, saying the 52-year-old would not want to live “a life dependent on others”.

But a lawyer appointed by the High Court to represent the woman opposed the application, arguing that she is “otherwise clinically stable”.

Mr Justice Baker described the High Court case as unique

The local health authority responsible for commissioning her care also opposed the family’s bid, claiming that the woman’s life was “not without positive elements”.

Mr Justice Baker, who heard legal argument during a Court of Protection hearing in London in July, described the case as unique and said it raised “very important issues of principle”.

The case is thought to be the first time that a judge has been asked to rule on whether life-supporting treatment should be withdrawn from a person who is minimally conscious, but not in a persistent vegetative state.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, suffered profound brain damage in early 2003 after being diagnosed with viral encephalitis.

She was in a coma for several weeks and had been thought to be in a persistent vegetative state, but doctors later found she was in a minimally-conscious state — just above a persistent vegetative state.

(Editor’s note: In a similar case, some years back, Ireland’s Supreme Court ruled that ‘the right to life‘ also implied the right to die a natural death.

The woman in question was indeed allowed to die in accordance with the wisdom of that ruling).

BHUBANESHWAR, India: Tens-Of-Thousands Stranded By Floodwaters

27 Sep

 

Play Video

Video: Heavy floods hit eastern India

BHUBANESHWAR, India (AP) — Tens of thousands of people have been stranded and at least 20 have been killed since last week by surging floodwaters in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

The floods caused by heavy rains have inundated more than 3,000 villages that are home to more than 2 million people.

Orissa relief commissioner P.K. Mohapatra says five people were missing Tuesday in addition to the 20 killed since Friday.

More than 120,000 people have been evacuated but tens of thousands are still marooned. Air force helicopters are dropping food parcels, and more than 370 boats are shuttling the stranded to safety.

More than 70 people have died in Orissa since the monsoons began in August. Flooding also killed at least 31 over the weekend in northern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states.

In this photo taken on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, Indian villagers carrying relief materials …

Breaking News: The Philippines: Serious Flooding In Manila As Typhoon Hits

27 Sep

By HRVOJE HRANJSKI and JIM GOMEZ – Associated Press | AP :

REUTERS – Residents assist a woman as they wade on waist deep floodwaters brought by Typhoon Nesat, locally known as Pedring, that hit the Tanza town of Malabon city, north of Manila September 27, 2011. Typhoon …more  Nesat crossed the Philippines‘ main island late on Tuesday, leaving behind at least seven dead after it lashed crop-growing provinces and brought the capital to a near standstill as it flooded roads and villages and cut power supplies. REUTERS/Stringer (PHILIPPINES – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER).

Play Video

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Manila residents waded through waist-deep floodwaters and dodged flying debris Tuesday as a powerful typhoon struck the Philippines, killing at least 12 people and sending waves as tall as palm trees crashing over seawalls.

Most deaths occurred in metropolitan Manila, which already was soaked by heavy monsoon rains ahead of Typhoon Nesat’s arrival with more downpours and wind gusts of up to 93 mph (150 kph). Downtown areas along Manila Bay suffered their worst flooding in decades.

Pounding rains obscured the view of anyone on the streets as soldiers and police scrambled to safely evacuate thousands of people in low-lying areas, where rivers and the sea spilled into shanties, hospitals, swanky hotels and even the seaside U.S. Embassy compound.

“It’s flooded everywhere. We don’t have a place to go for shelter. Even my motorcycle got filled with water,” said motorist Ray Gonzales, one of thousands stranded by fast-rising floodwaters.

The massive flooding came exactly a day after this sprawling, coastal city of 12 million held two-year commemorations for the nearly 500 people killed during a 2009 cyclone, which dumped a month’s rainfall in just 12 hours. The geography of the archipelago makes it a welcome mat for about 20 storms and typhoons from the Pacific each year.

A family evacuate to safety with their pet dog at the height of typhoon Nesat Tuesday Sept. 27, 2011 in Manila, Philippines. Typhoon Nesat, with winds of up to 133 miles (215 kilometers), slammed the northeastern Philippines Tuesday, unleashing floods, cutting power, halting work in the capital and forcing thousands of residents to flee to evacuation centers. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)View Gallery

Some residents acted more quickly this time to evacuate homes as waters rose, including in the Manila suburb of Marikina where 2,000 people escaped the swelling river by flocking to an elementary school, carrying pets, TV sets, bags of clothes and bottled water.

“We can replace things, but not people’s lives,” said janitor Banny Domanais, arriving at the school with his wife and three young daughters.

Typhoon Nesat hit ashore before dawn Tuesday in eastern provinces and headed inland just north of Manila with up to an inch of rain per hour, half that of the storm two years ago, said government forecaster Samuel Duran.

Emergency workers evacuated river areas in Manila that are notorious for flooding. In all, authorities ordered more than 100,000 people across the country to shelter from the storm’s sustained winds of up to 75 mph (120 kph) and its rains — dropping from an immense 400-mile (650-kilometer) cloud band.

Along downtown Manila‘s historic baywalk, cars and buses were stuck and residents struggled through floodwaters as waves washed over the seawall, turning a six-lane highway into a huge brown river. Sidewalks and buildings entrances were swamped.

In the financial district of Makati, a billboard fell on two cars and a bus, causing injuries.

Neck-deep waters on the ground floor of the Manila Hospital forced staff to move patients to higher floors and flooded generators left the facility without power, spokeswoman Evangeline Morales said.

Soldiers and police in trucks moved thousands of residents, mostly women and children, from the Baseco shanty facing Manila port after many houses were washed away. Male family members were reluctant to leave, saying they wanted to guard their property.

The Philippine Stock Exchange and U.S. Embassy were closed.

Waters at the gates of the embassy compound reached chest-deep, and staff were told to stay home, spokeswoman Tina Malone said.

“There was some flooding in the embassy. I don’t know the extent. I’m not there right now,” Malone said.

The Sofitel Philippine Plaza relocated its guests after flooding damaged areas of the high-end hotel on the shores of Manila Bay. Sirinate Meenakul, the hotel’s regional communications director, said no guests or staff were injured. She did not say how many guests were there.

Benito Ramos, a retired army general who heads the Office of Civil Defense, said authorities were still assessing the damage as the typhoon continued to pummel some areas of the country. He said it was heartwarming to see Filipinos remaining calm amid the unfolding crisis.

“We see people on the roofs of their houses drinking gin and smiling and waving,” Ramos said. “Such resiliency helps them get by in stressful times.”

Seasonal monsoon rains ahead of the typhoon plus winds pushing seawater inland had worsened the situation, forecaster Duran told the AP. “Land is saturated with rain so the next rain became run-off and was already floodwater,” he said.

The wind sent storm surges over an embankment that then trapped water on the city side so that it “couldn’t flow back to the bay,” said Francis Tolentino, chairman of Metro Manila Development Authority.

President Benigno Aquino III, on a state visit to Japan, told Associated Press Television News he was confident that authorities were adequately responding to flooding. He said he believed power would be restored to most of the Philippine capital by Tuesday afternoon.

He said in an earlier statement that the government had carried out preventive evacuations, and that nearly half of the Luzon areas served by the main power distributor were without electricity due to short circuits caused by high winds.

The first reported death was a 1-year-old boy who drowned in the central island province of Catanduanes after falling into a creek, the government disaster agency reported. As the typhoon’s winds lashed metropolitan Manila, a mother and child were killed when their house was hit by a falling tree, and four were reported killed by a collapsing wall.

Two others drowned, while a man was buried in a landslide in Olongapo west of Manila and another died in traffic collision. A 9-year-old girl was pinned to death when a tree fell on a house in Pampanga province, north of Manila, said regional disaster-response official Josefina Timeteo said.

Typhoon Nesat 100 photos

Four fishermen were missing while more than 50 others were rescued along eastern shores after their boats overturned in choppy seas. Forecasters warned of 12-foot-high (4-meter-high) waves.

The storm was expected to leave the Philippines late Tuesday and head into the South China Sea toward southern China.

___

Associated Press writers Oliver Teves, Bullit Marquez and Joeal Calupitan in Manila and Malcolm J. Foster in Tokyo contributed to this report.

Dublin: Vetran Campaigner Launches New Anti-Drugs Blog

26 Sep

A new anti-drugs website was launched in Dublin today by the well known veteran anti-drugs campaigner J. P. Anderson.

Containing almost 7,000 articles, all of the articles published on the previous blog are available on the home page.

Titled: People’s Free Press Ireland: Newsline.

The new look blog is to be found at:

 

https://drugsinfonewslineireland.wordpress.com/

It replaces http/lostchildreninthewilderness, which had received 255,000 views over the past 12 months