They didn’t find much of an association between puberty and phthalates, which are these chemicals that leach out of plastic bottles and Tupperware.Another major finding regarded blood chemicals from two nearby groups in Ohio and Kentucky, both drinking water that was apparently contaminated by industrial waste.Girls in northern Kentucky had blood levels of an industrial chemical – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA or C-8) found in Teflon non-stick coating for pans – three times as high as those who drank water from the Ohio River near Cincinnati, where water was filtered with state-of-the-art technology.“Northern Kentucky did not have granular activated carbon filtration” in their water supply said researcher Susan Pinney, a professor at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.“In 2012 they put it in after they learned of our preliminary results.” Families were also notified of their daughters’ blood levels, she said.The chemicals can linger in the body for years. Researchers were dismayed to learn that the longer the girls spent breastfeeding as infants – typically touted for its health benefits – the higher their PFOA levels compared to girls who were fed formula.Animal studiesWhat cannot be studied in the girls is tried on lab mice, who in one experiment are being fed high-fat diets and exposed to a potent carcinogen to see how the two interact.Mammary tumors develop much faster in the high-fat diet group, said scientist Richard Schwartz of the department of microbiology and molecular genetics at Michigan State University.Fat mice have more blood supply in the mammary glands, higher inflammation levels and display changes in the immune system.Follow-up studies suggest that cancer risk stays high even if mice are fed high-fat diets in puberty and switched to low-fat diets in adulthood, he told AFP.The damage is already done. Does this mean that humans are at risk the same way? We don’t know that with certainty.But the findings do reinforce the advice that people often hear regarding how to maintain good health – avoid fatty foods, maintain a normal weight and reduce chemical exposures wherever possible, experts say.- © AFP, 2013Read: Cancer-causing radon found in over 430 Irish homes>Read: Obesity linked to early onset of puberty in girls> A DECADE-LONG research effort to uncover the environmental causes of breast cancer by studying both lab animals and a group of healthy US girls has turned up some surprises, scientists say.At the centre of the investigation are 1,200 school girls who do not have breast cancer, but who have already given scientists important new clues about the possible origins of the disease.Some risk factors are well understood, including early puberty, later age of childbearing, late onset of menopause, estrogen replacement therapy, drinking alcohol and exposure to radiation.Advances have also been made in identifying risky gene mutations, but these cases make up a small minority.Family history“Most of breast cancer, particularly in younger women, does not come from family histories,” said Leslie Reinlib, a program director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.“We have still got 80 percent that has got to be environmental,” said Reinlib, who is part of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) program.Some of its researchers track what is happening in the human population, while others study how carcinogens, pollutants and diet affect the development of the mammary glands and breast tumors in lab mice.The program’s primary focus is on puberty because its early onset “is probably one of the best predictors of breast cancer in women,” Reinlib said.The 1,200 US girls enrolled in the study at sites in New York City, northern California and the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area beginning in 2004, when they were between the ages of six and eight.The aim was to measure the girls’ chemical exposures through blood and urine tests, and to learn how environmental exposures affected the onset of puberty and perhaps breast cancer risk later in life.Researchers quickly discovered that their effort to reach girls before puberty had not been entirely successful.“By age eight, 40 percent were already in puberty,” said Reinlib. “That was a surprising bit of information.”Further research has shown that the girls appear to be entering puberty six to eight months earlier than their peers did in the 1990s.A study published last week in the journal Pediatrics on this cohort of girls found that obesity was acting as a primary driver of earlier breast development.Exposure to chemicalsInitial results showed “for the first time that phthalates, BPA, pesticides are in all the girls they looked at,” said Reinlib.Researchers were taken aback by the pervasiveness of the exposures, but also by the data which appeared to show some plastic chemicals might not be as influential on breast development as some have feared.
“We were playing teams that were significantly higher than our own position last year,” she tells TheScore.ie. “This year, although we’re playing some teams that are in a higher ranking position than us, we also have an opportunity to play some teams that we’re ranked closer towards and we would expect to be winning those matches.“Winning will help us to achieve our aim of climbing up the world ranking table and increasing the profile of netball within Ireland.”The aim of the team at the very least is to finish fifth overall (out of six teams), and ideally to pick up “a number of victories”. Doing so would provide concrete evidence to outsiders that they have developed from last year.“The team are really prepared,” Allan adds. “They’ve been working towards the tournament for the past year. They’re very focused.”The sport, which started off in the Republic of Ireland in the 1960s, has suffered in recent years — a problem Allan puts down to “competition” from alternative sports, among other issues.However, she hopes participation in high-profile tournaments, such as the Nations Cup, will help raise awareness of the sport in this country. Moreover, Netball Ireland remains a voluntary organisation, who aren’t formally recognised by the Irish Sports Council for a number of reasons, including lack of global coverage. Nevertheless, they are currently seeking funding, as such cash injections would be enormously beneficial to their cause. THE IRISH NETBALL team are set to compete in the Nations Cup in Singapore this week, with the competition due to get underway this Sunday.The event is the only major tournament involving countries from around the world in the sport aside from the World Cup, with the Irish team serving as Europe’s representatives.It is the second successive year that Ireland are competing at the week-long event, and the side are set to face champions and hosts, Singapore, in addition to Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Uganda and the United States of America, from 1 December onwards.Liz Allan of the Netball Ireland Committee says the team are optimistic that they can improve on last year’s performance, whereby they failed to win a game. Nevertheless, Ireland will have to fight for each victory, as they are the lowest-ranked team competing apart from Uganda (who have no ranking due to lack of experience). “We have been promoted within the European Championship set up, so we’ll now be playing against Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. So that gives the team confidence that they have improved. So we just have to play these matches now to find out how much of an improvement we’ve made.”The upcoming event will also serve as vital preparation for the all-important World Cup qualifiers next May. The Irish team will be competing against the likes of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, with the top two sides subsequently earning a place at the sport’s most illustrious competition, which will take place in the summer of 2015 in Australia.However, for now, they are focusing on the task at hand.“Singapore, as the host nation, would be hoping to win, but that’s a difficult one [to predict] and it’s not a given. There are a few countries, such as Uganda, who are unknown in terms of their abilities.“I would be delighted if we come away with more than one victory. It would be great if we could come away with all victories, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, because it’s a five-day competition where you’ve got matches all the time and scorelines can be quite tight sometimes.“The European netball body want to improve from last year’s position. The European federation will be happy if we come fifth or higher [which would likely require just one win]. That will demonstrate that we’ve made the improvements that they want to see to up the profile of the sport in Europe.”Details on how to help fund the team can be found here.Follow the side on Twitter at @NetballIreland or by liking their Facebook pageYou can also find out more information about the Nations Cup here.IAFL member talks Croke Park Classic, growth of American Football in Ireland>TheScore.ie readers pick their cruellest moments in Irish sporting history> “We have a sponsor for our playing kit and our training kit and that money allows us to enter these tournaments,” Allan explains. “If we were to secure this money by government means or lottery grants, we would be allowed to have a person working for us full time [to help promote the sport]. We have volunteers at the moment to do the work that we need to do. We find it difficult to find the continuity needed for getting the work done, as we just don’t have that full-time representation.“Having someone working for the association, such as a CEO, puts a bit of structure behind where we’re going — it’s about having a strategy and having that continuity.”(Image credit: Netball Ireland)Lately, there has been substantial effort towards recruiting new members. The association have club teams operating in Dublin and Cork, with a league having been in place for many years, while a drive to attract children to the sport is proving to be a success.“We have relatively small participation numbers in Ireland. And we’re trying to improve that by reintroducing netball back into schools. It started off in the Dublin area so it’s going to move to Cork next.“We’ve had a good response from teachers. We’re offering free coaching in schools and it seems to be going down very well.”And the headway being made at grassroots level is ostensibly being emulated by the Irish side on the international stage.The team emerged unbeaten in their division at the 2013 Netball Europe Open Championships, which took place in Scotland at the end of May, and will be hopeful that they can build on that success throughout the next week.“They have had successes in European tournaments, where Ireland have repeatedly beaten all of the opposition they’ve played against. That includes Israel, Switzerland, Malta and Gibraltar — and that’s been the case for the past couple of years.
Updated 1.34 PMMET ÉIREANN HAS upgraded its weather warning from yellow to orange in a number of counties and predicted gusts of up to 90km/h this afternoon.The weather warning for the counties of Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford was issued in the past couple of hours.The southwest winds will strengthen tonight with gust of up to 120km/h possible in coastal areas.The severe winds are expected to continue into tonight and tomorrow and will remain until Tuesday when they will calm.Rain is expected to accompany the winds in the southwest of the country with rain turning to heavy possibly thundery showers in the afternoon. The last of the showers will clear the east coast later this evening.High seas could trigger some coastal flooding according to Met Éireann who also say that South to southeast gales or strong gales will develop on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea today.The thundery downpours may lead to local spot flooding inland also.AA Roadwatch say that motorists should avoid Sally Gap and Roundwood due to a serious risk of ice with strong cross-winds reported on the M8 Dublin to Cork Road between Fermoy and Rathcormack.Gallery: Battered: Your pictures of how the storm took its toll >Read: Flooding in Cork, flood warnings for Dublin, Northern Ireland >
A LACK OF training has been blamed for the misuse of ‘withdrawal rooms’, amid calls from government opposition for an investigation into their usage.One organisation said they constituted a “serious abuse of the child and a lack of understanding or knowledge of Autism”.This morning, TheJournal.ie revealed autistic children as young as eight-years-old are being locked in so-called ‘withdrawal rooms’ for hours without supervision.Used in schools with Autism Spectrum Disorder units, they are intended to contain the child when they are experiencing a meltdown, and are at risk of injuring themselves or others.However, children are being locked into these rooms for a number of other reasons, such as when they become frustrated after falling behind on work.National protocolsSpeaking to TheJournal.ie, CEO of Irish Autism Action Kevin Whelan raised concerns over the lack of national protocols on how to handle these situations.“We would recognise different occasions where the child would need to have a separate space, but that needs to be carried out according to international best practice, and used as a last resort.”Our concern is that it is not regulated, and in some instances it could become the first option.The Irish Society for Autism are calling for an ‘urgent roll-out of Autism specific training’ to avoid potential abuse of children resulting from the use of these facilities, a call echoed by those working in with children in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) units.Speaking through IMPACT, the representative union for Special Needs Assistants (SNA), one of these assistants said that isolation techniques are not a solution when teaching children with ASD who might be experiencing difficulties, and that adequate training is badly needed.‘Little or no training’“There is little or no adequate training available in appropriate methods of managing challenging behaviours,” the group said.It added that many assistants have been injured during the course of their work, as many as 60 per cent according to a survey conducted last year.Meanwhile, Sinn Féin have called on the Minister for Education to launch an investigation into the use of withdrawal rooms in schools.The party’s Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien described children with special needs as living with the ‘serious consequences of government cutbacks’, noting that the incidents involved in this morning’s piece occurred following the loss of the child’s Special Needs Assistant (SNA).This website is currently awaiting a response from the Department of Education and the school involved in one of the incidents highlighted in this morning’s article.Revealed: Autistic children locked in unsupervised ‘isolation rooms’ for hours >
THE GOVERNMENT HAS been accused of planning to ‘manipulate taxpayers to vote in a particular way’ using funds it still receives for expelled TDs, or TDs that have left coalition parties.Deputy Lucinda Creighton told the Dáil last night that “almost €600,000 in top-ups is being paid by the taxpayer to the headquarters” of Fine Gael and Labour.However, a government minister said that it is now lawful for public funding to be used in elections. “This money has been allocated to the party in my name and those of my colleagues,” she said.“We are no longer members of the parliamentary party because we have been expelled and some of us are no longer members of the party at all.”The remarks were made last night during a debate on the Oireachtas Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Amendment Bill 2013.If passed, it could mean a ten per cent cut in allowances for party leaders and independent politicians, amounting to a saving of almost €840,000 a year.Any unspent money will be repaid.Creighton also accused the government of becoming caught up in an ‘unacceptable’ stand-off with Standards in Public Office Commission over how funds are collected for elections.“The vast majority of the fund-raising carried out by political parties is done by individual branches throughout the country,” she said, calling it an “obvious way” to avoid transparency.ExpelledIn the cutting exchange, Creighton detailed that the extra funding amounts to €300,00 for six expelled Fine Gael TDs and €284,000 for four Labour deputies who have left the party.She claimed that a senior source within Fine Gael informed her that the party would use this money in elections.“That is a complete manipulation and distortion of the democratic process which obtains in this country,” she said.Minister for Public Expenditure later responded to similar queries from deputies that “one cannot use public money for election purposes”.“It is not lawful”, he said.Creighton added that it was “repulsive” that Exchequer funding for political parties had increased despite other budgetary cuts.Explained: This is how the government plans to tackle the politicians’ allowance bill >Reform Alliance: 9 things we learned from their ‘monster meeting’ >
A SECURITY ALERT in the Amiens St area, which led to the closure of the road and of two platforms at Connolly Station, has ended.The Defence Forces said that an Army Bomb Disposal Team rendered safe a viable Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Preston Street in Dublin City Centre this afternoon.They deployed the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team following a request from the gardaí after a suspect device was found outside a private residence on Preston Street.The team arrived at 3.20pm and to ensure public safety, a cordon and traffic restrictions were put in place, while platforms 6 and 7 at Connolly Station were also shut as a precaution.The device was rendered safe without the need for a controlled explosion, and was then moved to a secure military location for further technical examination and testing. The scene was declared safe at 4pm.The device has now been confirmed as a viable IED following further testing. Its component parts will be handed over to the gardaí as part of their investigation into the incident.This is the 34th EOD callout so far this year and brings to 21 the number of viable IEDs dealt with by Army Bomb Disposal Teams.Irish Rail said that platforms 6 and 7 at Connolly Station have reopened since the device was made safe.
MINISTER FOR JUSTICE Alan Shatter has dismissed comments by a senior judge suggesting that the government is deliberately attacking judicial independence.In a strong rebuke, Minister Shatter said it was “unfortunate” if pay reductions for judges which were brought in by a referendum were seen as an attack on an organ of the State.The Sunday Business Post reported yesterday that Mr Justice Peter Kelly told a group of business people that judicial independence is being demolished ‘brick by brick’ by the government. He is reported to have cited the government’s handling of judges’ pay and pensions and the establishment of new courts as evidence.The Justice Minister said in a statement that he was “surprised” at the comments and warned that they could affect how Ireland is seen internationally.“The present government has not nor will it ever interfere in any way with the inviolable constitutional duty of the judiciary to independently hear and determine court proceedings,” he said in a statement. Judicial independence is a crucial and fundamental principle of the concept of the separation of powers. This concept is of central importance and requires respect by each organ of the State.“At a time when we are still fighting to restore our economic sovereignty and bring about sustainable economic recovery, we all have a duty when speaking to ensure that what we say has no unintended consequences and does not undermine international business confidence in the State,” he said.No one should have any doubt that the rule of law applies fully in this State and no question mark hangs over the independence of our judiciary or court system.In additional comments on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland this morning, Alan Shatter said he was “sure it wasn’t [Mr Justice Kelly’s intention” to suggest that the government interferes with the courts.He said that some people are “uncomfortable” with the government’s “reform agenda”, including plans to bring in a new civil court of appeal as the High Court is overburdened.Mr Justice Peter Kelly was appointed to the High Court in 1996. He has been in charge of the Commercial Court since it began in 2004 and has presided over a number of high profile cases involving property developers and the recession.Read: ‘Unworkable’: Shatter rejects vetting idea from teachers > Read: Bethany Home survivors to meet Shatter for redress and apology >
Republished with permission from Greatist.comWORKPLACE STRESS IS a serious subject. According to a survey from the American Psychological Association, more than one third of American workers experience chronic work stress — and this is costing American businesses billions of dollars a year in lost work hours and medical bills. More importantly, all this worrying at work can have serious consequences for our quality of life — not only at the office, but everywhere else as well. So how do we regain our sanity and take back our lives?After 17 years in the working world and another two as a business owner, I’ve learned a thing or two about workplace stress and burnout — and about the importance of managing stress so it doesn’t take over our lives. In honor of Stress Awareness Month, which runs throughout April this year, I want to share with you the formulas I’ve discovered for managing workplace stress.Letting Go of the “Invincibility” MythAs we begin to address workplace stress, I believe we need to start by reminding ourselves that we are not invincible.Remember when we were teenagers and thought we were invincible? We did stupid things like drive too fast, drink too much, and play with fire (either literally or figuratively). Many of us were lucky to make it out of our teens alive, what with our cavalier attitude toward mortality.At some point (usually in our late 20s or early 30s), many of us start to realise we aren’t actually invincible. People we know die. We stop doing the blatantly stupid stuff and start doing more of the “adult” stuff, such as working long hours, stressing over how great the front yard looks, or lying awake worrying about missing a deadline at work.But it turns out the “adult” stuff can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. We work 60-plus hours a week as if there are no consequences. We run around creating the perfect household, trying to be the perfect partner, the perfect parent, or the perfect community pillar. We get stretched thin with obligations, deadlines, and trying to prove our worth. In other words, we are still acting as if we’re invincible.The truth of the matter is that we are not invincible. We burn out. We get sick. We are vulnerable. In fact, stress is responsible for 75-90 per cent of all doctor’s office visits. Stress contributes to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune diseases  .In other words, stress shouldn’t be ignored. The good news is, coping with stress is actually pretty simple.Three-Step Plan for Managing Workplace StressTo effectively manage stress, we need to address it in at least three areas of our lives: our physical health, our mental health, and our sense of purpose. Below, I’ve detailed stress-relieving tips for each of these areas.One: Start By De-Stressing Your BodyIn modern life, we spend far more time engaging our bodie’s stress responses than we do engaging our relaxation responses. This has serious consequences for our physical health, as too much stress can accelerate the aging process, suppress our immune systems, and leave us feeling fatigued and depressed  .Since stress is a physical and hormonal chain reaction, the first place to start is using your body to interrupt the response. Indeed, the foundation for living a stress-free, physically energized life lies in what we eat, how (and how often) we move, and how much we sleep. The following are some of my favorite tips for eradicating stress on a physical level.Stress-Relieving Tips for the Body1. Eat whole foods. Processed food can cause us to feel anxious and can even contribute to ADD. We can prevent these symptoms by eating whole foods, eating more fruits and vegetables (especially green ones), and getting a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids from salmon or seeds such as hemp, chia and flax. Nourishing your body will make you better prepared to take on whatever challenges you’ll face at work.2. Exercise regularly. Physical activity releases feel-good, stress-relieving chemicals. Every time you find your stress level on the rise, get up and move. You can stretch, run in place, dance, or walk around the office or building. Doing so gets your blood and endorphins flowing, makes you happy, and turns off your flight or fight stress response. Boost the physical benefits of moving by taking several deep, cleansing breathes that trigger your relaxation stressor.3. Get enough sleep. Work stressors are magnified when we’re sleep-deprived and foggy-brained. Aim for eight hours of sleep each night. Sleeping well can help you solve problems with a clearer mind and even boost your intelligence.Two: Remember To De-Stress Your MindWhen I ask audiences the question, “What is stress?”, I typically receive answers such as “deadlines,” “traffic,” “over-commitment,” “not enough time,” and even “having to deal with “stupid” people.” These answers suggest that many of us believe stress is something that happens to us. In reality, stress is merely our response to all those external factors.The stress response is a function of our autonomic nervous system’s flight-or-fight response. Specifically, stress is triggered by a thought or belief that we are in danger — and our body then goes into overdrive producing cortisol and adrenaline to help us get out of danger as fast as possible.Let’s repeat that for emphasis: Stress begins in our minds via a thought or belief. Thus, an important key to neutralizing stress is to fuel our minds with more positive, happy, gratitude-filled thoughts in order to trigger our stress responses less often.Stress-Relieving Tips for the Mind1. Cultivate gratitude. Things will go wrong throughout our workday, or at least not according to plan. This is inevitable. We can take the sting out of these negative events by focusing on what’s great in our life. Each evening, write down three things you are grateful for. They can be as simple as seeing a gorgeous sunrise or being complimented on your new pair of shoes.2. Meditate regularly. A consistent meditation practice — even if it’s only five minutes a day — may help lower blood pressure, and can help us control the thoughts that can trigger stress. The next time you get stressed because your boss just added another task to your already overflowing to-do list, stop and take a breath. Shake out your body, sit back down and meditate for five minutes.3. Learn to say “no”. Being overbooked, overworked, and overcommitted will lead to stress. We often feel obligated to say “yes” to everything for fear we won’t be liked. But the greatest act of stress relief is exercising your right to say no. You can be polite but firm: Explain to others that you are overcommitted and that you must say no. And yes, you can even tell your boss “no”; just explain that one more project will mean the quality of your work will drop. Negotiate priorities.Three: Don’t Lose Sight of Your PurposeEach of us is more than the work we do. We are creative, in relationships, spiritual, and passionate. Connecting with our whole selves by fueling our sense of purpose is the keystone for less stress and more happiness, both in the office and outside of it.“What’s that?”, you say? What is purpose and what does it have to do with stress? As I’ve written before, purpose can be thought of as a person’s calling in the world — but it’s really broader than that. It encompasses everything from meaningful work, to relationships, to the hobbies that brings us joy and meaning. Purpose is the expression of our own unique spirit.When we starve our purpose — by not engaging with our work, suppressing our creativity, or ignoring our relationships (including the one with ourselves) — we trigger our stress response. When our life is full of nothing but work and obligations, we begin to feel bitter, resentful, depressed, and even angry. The antidote to these feelings is to focus on fueling all facets of our life. Bonus: Doing so will give us even more for which we can be grateful.Stress-Relieving Tips for Your Purpose1. Schedule quality social time. When we’re working crazy hours, we can find ourselves detached from our relationships. Each week, schedule some time with a loved to just be together, hang out, and laugh. No work talk allowed, and no checking the smartphone. Disengage from work and reengage with those that matter.2. Get creative. Remember how much fun you had as a kid doing crafts. You might have stopped because your last creation wasn’t perfect, or because you didn’t have the time. But it’s important to carve out some time to be creative and tap into your inner kid. Creativity can include anything from cooking dinner, handwriting a card to a friend, or creating a vision board. Get out the scissors and glue stick and just play.3. Get spiritual. Regardless of what “spirituality” means to you, one thing is certain: When we are overworked and chronically stressed, we can forget about our place in the bigger picture. Connecting with your spiritual roots through prayer, meditation, chanting or other rituals is an excellent way to get perspective on what’s stressing you and relieve that pressure. Another simple tip? Pull out a world map and reflect on how big the earth is, and where you fit in.Managing Workplace Stress: The TakeawayWe cannot eliminate or escape stress at the workplace. It is a fact of modern life. Yet we can neutralise stress in all areas of our lives by fuelling our lives with meaningful actions, thoughts, and beliefs. We all deserve to live a happy, contented life. It’s never too late to start making yours.How will you neutralise stress this week? Share your plans in the comments, below!The author, Laurie Erdman, JD, MS, CHHC, is an expert coach, speaker, and writer who works with companies and individuals to extinguish burnout and unleash potential and profitability. Laurie is the creator of the Burnt Out To Balanced SystemTM and author of Burnout. Identify It. Extinguish It. Ignite Your Life. The opinions expressed herein are hers and hers alone. To learn more about Laurie, visit www.LaurieErdman.com.Focus on your food to prevent overeating at mealtime>25 health and fitness resources you may have missed>40 days of meditation: Bring friends>
THE PROPERTY DEVELOPER Sean Dunne could now be declared bankrupt in Ireland in addition to the United States, where he is currently based, following a ruling by a court in Connecticut.Bankruptcy judge Alan Shiff has granted a motion sought by one of Dunne’s main creditors Ulster Bank – and supported by the National Asset Management Agency – for bankruptcy proceedings to be brought in Ireland in addition to the US.RTÉ News reports that having sided with the bank, a hearing will now take place in an Irish Court on 1 July to allow bankruptcy proceedings to be served on Dunne before negotiations between US and Irish authorities.Carlow-native Dunne had sought bankruptcy in the US in March where the regime is less severe than in Ireland but the bank – to which he owes some €164 million – argued that most of Dunne’s debt is owed to Irish creditors.Read: Eight things we learned about Sean Dunne from his bankruptcy Attempts to redevelop site failed with An Bord Pleanála refusing planning permission for a 37-storey tower at the site in 2009 and as the property crash took hold of the country the site’s value decreased significantly.Read: Bankrupt developer Sean Dunne reveals liabilities of €718 millionRead: Sean Dunne declares bankruptcy in US In bankruptcy filings made in May, Dunne revealed liabilities of €718 million and assets of €42 million with his main creditors being Ulster Bank, NAMA, Certus – a company handling Bank of Scotland’s portfolio in Ireland – and O’Flynn Construction in Cork.The bankruptcy filings revealed that Dunne has an average monthly income of €17,000 per month, €6,352 of which comes from Mountbrook USA, a company owned by his wife Gayle Killilea, where he works as a project manager.Dunne hit headlines during the property boom when he oversaw the purchase of the Jury’s Doyle hotel site in Ballsbridge in Dublin 4 for some €379 million, an unprecedented amount for the seven acre site.
The state of Black Ops on PS3 is a bit of an embarrassment for developer Treyarch. Players are calling out for multiple fixes and even started a petition that got over 8,000 signatures demanding refunds.Yesterday Treyarch released the latest patch for the game: v1.06 which is meant to fix freezing issues, improve reliability when playing online, and fix a long list of other bugs. But it seems some of the Xbox 360 code managed to make it into the patch.In the multiplayer game mode Search and Destroy information screen there is a message printed in yellow below the mode description. It reads:No Xbox LIVE party chat Obviously there is never going to be an Xbox chat session performed on a PS3, and Treyarch soon realized this releasing a hot fix to remove the message. Users on the Call of Duty forums are rightly stating this is an “Epic Fail.”If nothing else it shows Treyarch may be a bit of a pressure cooker at the moment with so many complaints about the PS3 game, and publisher Activision no doubt pushing for fixes to stop the demands for refunds.Read more at CVG
Wireless networks are becoming increasingly popular as more of us start using smartphones to watch videos, surf the web, and otherwise communicate with each other. Existing 3G networks, and soon 4G networks, will no doubt be pushed to the breaking point unless we find some way of drastically increasing data capacity.The typical way to increase capacity on a network is to add more infrastructure, but that’s an expensive undertaking. It can also be time consuming and frustrating for network operators who have to get permission to put up new towers, or dig up the ground to lay cables. This is especially true in heavily populated areas where more antennas and traffic disruption are not what anyone wants to see.Rice University has come up with a groundbreaking solution, though. One that promises to at least double the capacity of existing networks with the addition of minimal extra hardware. That solution is full duplex wireless communication. This isn’t a new concept, but one that hasn’t been possible until now due to the inherent obstacles it throws up.Full duplex transmission is the equivalent of trying to have two people talk to each other by having them shout at the same time. Such a system shouldn’t work because you can’t hear what each other is saying. Rice researchers solved that problem by using an extra antenna and adding the ability to cancel out one of the signals (voices) locally. So if two nodes are both sending out data, each node cannot “hear” the data they are transmitting while still being able to receive the data being sent to them.In effect, this at least doubles the capacity of the line meaning, for example, a Skype call could have better video resolution as well as clearer audio. Or, more importantly, existing networks aren’t going to grind to a halt nearly as quickly as they do today.If you are wondering how current communication networks manage data, then it depends on what type of network you are operating on. For example, both 3G and ADSL use frequency-division duplexing which manages the throughput of data by altering frequencies, but can be quite wasteful. Full duplex removes the drawbacks as you can use the full throughput of the line in both directions at the same time.The good news is, Rice University has already tested their full duplex solution. It takes advantage of a technology networks are already familiar with MIMO, which involves using multple antennas to improve a signal. The full-duplex system builds on that using the antennas available to implement the cancelling part of the system.Read more at Rice University
Women have caught up with men’s drinking habits That’s according to new research undertaken in western countries. 16,078 Views Image: Shutterstock/Pressmaster Tuesday 25 Oct 2016, 3:03 PM YOUNG WOMEN IN Western countries have caught up with their male counterparts in drinking habits, according to research published today.Women aged 18-27 years old have almost reached parity with men of their age group in three categories of drinking — the likelihood of consuming alcohol, the risk of problem drinking, and treatment for abuse.In the mid-20th century, men imbibed more than twice as often, on average, as their female peers, the researchers found.But women have gradually closed the booze gap at the rate of about 6% per decade and in some areas of drinking outstrip men, they reported in the journal BMJ Open.Drinking patternsThe evidence comes from a review of 68 studies, mostly from Europe and the North America, with data covering more than four million people and drinking patterns from 1948 to 2014.Sixteen of the studies spanned 20 years or more, and five covered periods of at least three decades.The study did not compare precise quantities of alcohol consumed or in the blood, but rather a broader measure of how likely women and men were to consume liquor.“Alcohol use and alcohol disorders have historically been viewed as a male phenomenon,” concluded researchers led by Tim Slade from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia.The new findings, however, “suggest that young women in particular should be the target of concerted efforts to reduce the impact of substance use and related harms”.The gradual closing of the alcohol sex gap was not due to men drinking less, but women catching up, they confirmed.Aggregate figures masked sharp differences between counties.Earlier studies have shown that alcohol consumption is lower, for example, in Asia, where large gaps remain between men and women.In 2012, average per-capita consumption in the OECD club of rich nations was 9.1 litres (16 pints) of pure alcohol per capita, according to a 2015 report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).The report said that worldwide harmful consumption of alcohol rose from eighth to the fifth leading cause of death and disability from 1990 to 2010.- © AFP, 2016Read: Almost one in every four Irish adults smokes – and the numbers aren’t falling> http://jrnl.ie/3045398 Image: Shutterstock/Pressmaster Share13 Tweet Email Short URL Oct 25th 2016, 3:03 PM By AFP Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 55 Comments
Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Nov 2nd 2016, 6:01 AM Wednesday 2 Nov 2016, 6:01 AM Image: Niall Carson PA Wire/PA Images File photo Children do better when minded by relatives and childminders rather than full-time parents, says ESRI The study looked at 9,000 children under the age of 5 in Ireland. 23,518 Views Share275 Tweet Email7 By Sean Murray http://jrnl.ie/3056572 CHILDREN CARED FOR by relatives or figures such as childminders experience fewer emotional and peer problems than children who are looked after by their parents full-time, according to a new report published today by the ESRI and Pobal.The report looked at how children behaved at age three and age five. It based its judgements on children’s social skills, such as sharing and kindness to other children, and their difficulties, such as behavioural problems, emotional difficulties and peer problems, as reported by their parents and teachers.Across the different types of care – care from parents, relative, a non-relative and in a crèche – children had fewer problems when cared for by non-parental relatives or non-relatives, such as childminders, than children cared for full-time by their parents.The study looked at around half of the circa 9,000 children, more than half of whom were cared for by people other than their parents.Children in crechesWhile both parents and teachers did not highlight any major differences in socio-emotional difficulties between children who were in full-time parental care or were taken care of in a crèche, children from the lowest social categories or lone-parent households were shown to benefit more from crèche care.The report did, however, highlight that children who spent over 30 hours a week in a crèche showed a slightly higher level of socio-emotional difficulties compared to children who were taken care of by their parents, only.While figures from the report show differences in children’s social skills and emotional difficulties depending on the type of care they received, it does highlight that other factors such as the child’s health, gender socio-economic background, family structure, and family factors such as parenting style and parental stress had a greater effect on these issues.Boys were more likely to experience some form of emotional or behavioural issues, as were children living in households experiencing financial difficulties and those living in less safe neighbourhoods.“Statistically significant”One of the authors of the report, Helen Russell, associate research professor at the ESRI, told TheJournal.ie that while the differences between parental care and non-parental care were small, they were still “statistically significant”.She said: “There is already a move towards centre-based care as more and more parents make that choice. Relatives still have a very important role to play in childcare and this report shows the benefits that care from a family member can have.There are certainly benefits to children of having forms of care outside the home. New measures to assist those paying for childcare announced in the Budget will certainly help, but the emphasis on quality across all forms of care is paramount.”As announced in the recent Budget, a new subsidy scheme will provide parental-means tested subsidies toward the cost of childcare for children aged six months to 15 years and universal subsidies of up to €80 a month or €900 a year for all children aged between six months and three years.Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone told TheJournal.ie in a Facebook Live interview that she is exploring proposals to bring childminders into the childcare subsidies scheme, and said that she understood that some parents have a “huge preference” to have their children looked after by childminders.The data used to compile this report came from the Growing up in Ireland study, a government-funded study of children being carried out jointly by the ESRI and Trinity College Dublin.The study, entitled, Childcare, Early Education and Socio-emotional Outcomes at Age 5: Evidence from the Growing Up in Ireland Study, is available to view on the ESRI website.READ: Giving parents a tax credit for childcare would have cost nearly €600mREAD: ‘The sector is in real crisis’: New report reveals the cost of providing childcare 37 Comments Short URL File photo Image: Niall Carson PA Wire/PA Images
By AFP Short URL https://jrnl.ie/3356859 SUPPORT FOR SCOTTISH independence has plummeted ahead of a snap election designed to embolden the British government for forthcoming Brexit talks, according to a poll released today.Just 37% of Scots would back independence if another referendum were held “tomorrow”, according to the Kantar poll.Support for remaining part of the United Kingdom remains at 55%– the same percentage that voted no to independence in 2014 and its highest position in any poll since the referendum.Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a snap election on 8 June to try to obtain a mandate for her Brexit plans and dent Scottish National Party (SNP) dominance in Scotland.The SNP have demanded a second independence referendum after Scotland voted by 62% to remain in the EU but was outnumbered by Brexit voters in England and Wales.May insists “now is not the time” for such a vote and, on this issue, appears to have the backing of the Scottish people, the poll suggests.Just 26% back the SNP’s proposed timetable of autumn 2018 to spring 2019, while 18% want a later vote and 46% say there should never be another independence referendum.Tom Costley, head of Kantar in Scotland, said voter fatigue and a weaker economic outlook are among the factors which could have dented support for independence.Kantar interviewed 1,060 people aged over 16 in Scotland between 29 March and 11 April.An SNP spokesman said other polls showed independence support “on a knife-edge” in Scotland.A more recent poll by Panelbase/Sunday Post, conducted April 18-21 and released on Sunday, found support for independence at 43% against 48% in favour of remaining part of the UK.- © AFP 2017Read: US state of Arkansas executes two prisoners in one nightRead: Garda colleagues of Tony Golden ‘will never get over what happened’ to him 83 Comments Support for an independent Scotland is plummeting Just 37% of Scots would back independence if another referendum were held “tomorrow”. Tuesday 25 Apr 2017, 8:35 AM Share201 Tweet Email7 27,015 Views Apr 25th 2017, 8:35 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Share10 Tweet Email1 By Cliodhna Russell Friday 16 Jun 2017, 4:58 PM Jun 16th 2017, 4:58 PM Image: Shutterstock/manushot Image: Shutterstock/manushot No Comments Short URL EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five biggest stories of the day.1. #LONGFORD: A former caretaker at a Midlands GAA grounds has been charged with over 140 offences relating to child sexual abuse.2. #GRENFELL: The death toll from Wednesday’s tower block fire in London has risen to 30.3. #WESTMINSTER: Police in London arrested a man in possession of a knife near to the Palace of Westminster, where the UK parliament sits.4. #RESHUFFLIN: New legislation will be required to allow Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor hold the role of super junior minister in Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s cabinet.5. #WARNING: The National Lottery is warning the public about a Euromillions phone scam. 6,306 Views http://jrnl.ie/3448637 The 5 at 5: Friday Five minutes, five stories, five o’clock… Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Teenager missing from Dublin found safe and well 15-year-old Megan Cooney had been missing since Friday 15 March. Short URL 27,906 Views Sunday 17 Mar 2019, 6:19 PM 8 Comments By Stephen McDermott Source: Brian Lawless via PA ImagesA TEENAGER MISSING from Dublin has been found safe and well. 15-year-old Megan Cooney had been missing since Friday 15 March from the Coolock area in the north of the city.Gardaí have now said she has been found safe and well. They thanked the public for their assistance in this matter.With reporting by Hayley Halpin Mar 17th 2019, 6:19 PM https://jrnl.ie/4548138 Share687 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Not so fast: only 10 of 27 developments given special strategic planning have begun construction The scheme was introduced as a key part of the Rebuilding Ireland plan. https://jrnl.ie/4582073 By Ken Foxe Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 10,826 Views Share19 Tweet Email2 Friday 12 Apr 2019, 12:05 AM “[This] arguably undermines the purpose of having a fast-track planning process if there is a subsequent delay in the actual commencement of schemes and delivery of housing units.”The officials said they would need to keep close track of developments as a report on the scheme was due before the Oireachtas in October of this year.The official wrote: “I wonder could we find out the reasons why certain schemes have not yet commenced – is there a normal time lag between grant of permission and commencement?”Up For SaleIn at least one case, a large development in Dublin, the land given fast-track planning was subsequently put up for sale.Developers Marlet were given permission to develop more than 400 apartments in Cabra in March 2018.This permission came just 14 weeks after they applied for fast-track planning, and two weeks within the time An Bord Pleanála has to make such decisions.However, in September, the site was put up for sale with an asking price of €32 million. The property remains listed as available for purchase on the website of estate agents Savills.Internal records from the Department of Housing explained how development in general had been slow despite the fast-track nature of the scheme.Emails said that work had begun on ten sites in the period between May 2018 and February 2019. Of those, only two were considered to be at an “advanced stage”.Progress on one scheme however – a Cairn Homes development in Maynooth, Co Kildare – was described as “remarkable” by an official.Niall Cussen, principal adviser on planning in the Department of Housing wrote: “Finding out why that might not always be the case would be very useful.”In a later email, he said it appeared the majority of the developments that were “non-starters” were owned by four companies.He said they should be contacted individually but it was his understanding that “a few have to do with reshaping development portfolios”.Scheme’s IntroductionThe strategic housing scheme was introduced in June 2017 by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to speed up provision of housing and student accommodation.The temporary arrangements were designed to create “streamlining efficiencies in the planning system” according to Mr Murphy.“We have to make it easier and quicker to get homes built and that is why the action I took … is necessary and welcome,” he said on announcement of the scheme.Lorcan Sirr, a senior lecturer in housing at the Technological University of Dublin, said the effectiveness of the scheme was entirely dependent on developers.He said: “There appears to have been a built-in assumption that development would follow a grant of planning permission, which was hopeful at best, naive at worst.“Applicants have had the benefit of an accelerated planning process – with the knock-on impact on other appeals work in An Bord Pleanála – without the government in several cases getting any benefit.“In fact, the value-add exercise of getting planning permission without building makes land more expensive and the delivery of housing less likely.”A Department of Housing spokesman said the purpose of the strategic housing development regime was to “significantly speed up the planning decision-making process”.He said: “They are temporary arrangements to apply for an initial period of three years, until the end of 2019, with the possibility of an extension of a further two years … subject to a review of its operation and effectiveness.“While obtaining planning permission is an essential step in any project, there are other factors at play that may impact on the commencement of any project, such as phasing of development (having to complete an existing project before commencing on another) and finances etc.”He said separate measures like the vacant site levy were available to local authorities to speed up development where sites continued to “remain vacant and undeveloped”.In a statement, Marlet – whose Cabra site was put up for sale after the granting of planning permission – said: “The strategic housing development initiative is generally working well and we have received a number of planning permissions through it.“We hope to build up to 800 apartments in 2019 and construction is underway on a number of sites.“Occasionally, it makes business sense for us to use a site on which planning permission has been granted to raise finance with which to fund our substantial construction activity.“In doing so, we hope this will facilitate the building out of those sites. Such sales have not been a significant part of our business activity.” 10 Comments Short URL FEWER THAN 40% of all the housing developments approved under a special fast-track planning scheme have actually begun construction.Officials in the Department of Housing warned that the slow rate of development could “undermine” the entire plan, a key part of the government’s Rebuilding Ireland plan.Under the scheme, developments of more than 100 units can go directly to An Bord Pleanála for planning with a decision made within 16 weeks.However, there is no obligation on the developer to proceed immediately with construction and concerns are being raised that the system could be used to simply increase property values.Records obtained by Noteworthy, TheJournal.ie’s new investigative journalism platform, show that in February just 10 out of 27 developments given fast-track planning had begun.A senior official wrote in an internal email: Apr 12th 2019, 12:06 AM
https://jrnl.ie/4628992 No Comments Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article The 5 at 5: Friday Five minutes, five stories, five o’clock… 6,973 Views EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five biggest stories of the day.1. #TRIAL: Evidence has been given on the ninth day of the Ana Kriegel murder trial. 2. #CERVICALCHECK: The Royal College of Surgeons has said a judge’s ruling in a case concerning the CervicalCheck scandal could throw the future of the Irish cancer screening programmes into doubt. 3. #ARRESTS: Gardaí investigating an ongoing feud in Drogheda arrested three men this afternoon. 4. #CHELSEA MANNING: The former US intelligence analyst has been freed from jail after two months in custody.5. # RELIEF: A Dublin council has raised €15 million in loans from the Housing Finance Agency to provide first-time buyers access to a government loan scheme. Share Tweet Email Image: Shutterstock/Jennifer Larsen Morrow Friday 10 May 2019, 4:55 PM Image: Shutterstock/Jennifer Larsen Morrow May 10th 2019, 4:55 PM By Cónal Thomas
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Helen Karamoutsos is running a fundraiser that will not only benefit Kids Helpline but see her teaching Greek dancing to orphan children in Cambodia.As a member of women’s organisation, Business Chicks, Helen elected to take part in the Business Chicks Cambodia Challenge, which involves cycling 30km a day around Cambodia, as well as assisting children at the Sunrise Children’s Village orphanage. To qualify, Helen was asked to raise funds for the organisation’s chosen charity, Kids Helpline. “The Kids Helpline can’t run without the support of non-government funding,” she said. “Especially with suicide rates being so high, it is important that children can dial a number where there is a person on the other end who is willing to listen without judgement. I know when I was growing up I felt that I couldn’t speak to my parents and I wish that back then I would have known about it.”Helen’s Big Fat Greek Fundraiser is aiming to raise at least $5,000 and will be held at Pontian Community Hall on September 12. It will feature a Greek theme, door prizes, raffles, a three course dinner, Greek dancing and an opportunity to hear from Kids Helpline speakers. Helen has already raised the funds to support her trip to Cambodia and underscores that all of the money raised on the night will go towards the Kids Helpline.In October, Helen will travel with 39 other Business Chicks members to Cambodia, where she will assist the Australian funded Sunrise Children’s Village orphanage for five days with general activities, as well as teach them to dance Greek style.“We, the generation in our 30s, are the key drivers to create change for the kids of the future,” she says.To purchase tickets to the fundraiser, contact Helen on 0428 699 498.Kids Helpline factsKids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged five to 25 years and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week-free call 1800 55 1800 or online at www.kidshelp.com.au. Each week, over 12,000 kids try to get through to the Kids helpline. However counsellors answer only 6,000 calls and emails each week often regarding very serious issues.Four times each day the Kids Helpline speak with children and young people having suicidal thoughts.One in five calls relate to mental health, self injury or suicide.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Green Guide, The Age’s guide to all things television, has awarded The Slap the top TV show of 2011.The guide said that The Slap had elevated Australian television drama to another level. The eight part mini-series, based on Christos Tsiolkas’s novel of the same name, was ranked amongst the highest rating shows of 2011. In the review of the show, The Age wrote “it had the courage to tell a story visually; to avoid easy exposition. In this welcome instance silence, and sustained close-ups, spoke volumes.”