24. 09. 2018
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A nurse’s view: Fighting Ebola one day at a time in Sierra Leone – National

A nurse’s view: Fighting Ebola one day at a time in Sierra Leone – National

It’s the children who distress me most.” — MSF nurse Anja Wolz

Today the Ebola story appears to be all about numbers – big numbers. The World Health Organization released a plan for bringing the seemingly unstoppable Ebola outbreak in West Africa to an end.

It estimates the work will cost US$490 million.It suggests by the time the outbreak is over, more than 20,000 people may have contracted the virus.  For context, the largest previous outbreak occurred in 2000 in Uganda, when 425 people were infected.It sets a goal of stopping the outbreak in six to nine months. It’s not a projection or a promise — the WHO is calling it a goal. It’s a telling word choice.It estimates 3,580 international and national personnel will be needed to make this all work.

These are numbers unlike anything the world has ever seen before in relation to Ebola, and frankly few in public health would have ever dreamed — nightmared  —  of a scenario like what the world faces now with the outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

(Fingers are still crossed that Nigeria has contained the spread there, sparked by an infected government official from Liberia who travelled to Nigeria. So far Nigeria has recorded 17 cases, including the Liberian man, and six deaths — all from that one importation.)

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The plan, which the WHO calls a roadmap, is critically important work. But it’s hard to take in and it tells a story in numbers.

Ultimately, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a story about people. The people whose families and communities are being wiped out and the hugely courageous people who are trying to save lives and stop the spread of this hellish virus.

Anja Wolz is in the latter group of people. A nurse with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Wolz is working at Kailahun, Sierra Leone. She has written a first-person account of the gruelling and relentless work the national and international health-care workers fighting the outbreak face day after day after day.

She says the worst thing about the work is dealing with the children — orphaned, confused, sick and a heartbreak to caregivers whose instincts are to offer consoling hugs. The PPE — personal protective equipment, a.k.a. layers of head-to-toe coverings — the health workers must wear make hugging and even talking to the children difficult.

Wolz’s account can be read on the website of The New England Journal of Medicine, which was published Wednesday along with a slide show of photos that show the rudimentary facilities where these health-care heroes are trying to save lives. People who want to know the story behind the large numbers in the WHO’s containment plan can find it in Wolz’s words.

Today the WHO said to date at least 3,069 people in these West African countries have been infected with Ebola, and 1,552 have died.

©2014The Canadian Press

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24. 09. 2018
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Rob Ford apologizes for ‘embarrassing’ council – Toronto

Rob Ford apologizes for ‘embarrassing’ council – Toronto

TORONTO – Rob Ford is sorry.

The mayor began what could be his last council session with a speech thanking his fellow councillors and apologizing for “embarrassing” council.

“I know I put this council through some challenges, I know I embarrassed council and I want to thank sincerely the deputy mayor for taking on the reins and I can’t thank you enough for taking the job on,” the mayor told said during a five-minute speech in council chambers Thursday morning.

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The deputy mayor assumed many of the mayor’s responsibilities in November amid an ongoing police investigation into the mayor and Ford’s admission he smoked crack cocaine despite several months of denial. The police investigation is ongoing.

Thursday’s council meeting is the last before October’s election, which could end the Ford’s mayoral tenure (though a new Forum Research poll indicated he could be gaining popularity, placing him in second place behind John Tory). Ford remains popular with many city constituencies despite lying about everything from his substance use to city finances and policies.

The mayor mentioned several councillors by name and thanked some regular opponents like Gloria Lindsay-Luby, and Karen Stintz.

Councillor Peter Leon, who was selected for Ward 3 after councillor Doug Holyday was elected MPP for Etobicoke Lakeshore (a seat Holyday lost just months later), is “the nicest guy” Ford said he’s ever met.

The mayor sounded like he was choking back tears when in a trembling voice he thanked his brother, campaign manager and most strident advocate, Councillor Doug Ford.

“I did mislead you, I did coerce you, I had to do something to get you into the seat,” he said.  “I appreciate you having my back 24/7 and it’s been a challenge and I really want to thank you for being my best friend and all I can say is, Queen’s Park, you have no idea what’s coming up to you next.”

The mayor appeared to be alluding to his brother’s MPP ambitions – ambitions Doug Ford has recently downplayed even after announcing he won’t run again for council.

Torontonians go to the polls on October 27.

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24. 09. 2018
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Canada ranked one of top countries for scientific literacy – National

Canada ranked one of top countries for scientific literacy – National

TORONTO – Canada ranks higher than 10 other developed nations in scientific literacy, or the ability of citizens to read and fully comprehend a lengthy article about science in a newspaper, according to a report released Thursday by the Council of Canadian Academies.

The report said 42 per cent of Canadians “grasp basic concepts and understand general media coverage of scientific issues.”

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READ MORE: EQAO urges review of applied high school courses after low test scores

That is higher than Sweden at 35 per cent and the U.S. at just under 30 per cent. Japan was last at about five per cent, it said.

The findings are based on a 2013 survey of 2,000 Canadians and an assessment of relevant international data, according to the authors.

The data was not all conducted at the same time. The data on Japan was collected in 2001, the European data in 2005, and as science literacy has been increasing generally all over the world in the past decade, these rankings may not be perfect, said Arthur Carty, chair of an expert panel involved in the report and executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.

The survey measured Canadians’ attitudes towards science and tested their knowledge with simple true-or-false questions, such as “electrons are smaller than atoms” (answer: true).

The report – Science Culture: Where Canada Stands – is the most comprehensive look at public scientific engagement, attitudes and knowledge since 1989, its authors said.

In the past 25 years, Canadians have become more knowledgeable and engaged on scientific issues, though fewer people believe science holds the key to radically solving social problems, the report said.

Ninety-three per cent of Canadians polled said they have an interest in “new scientific discoveries,” ranking first among 35 nations, it said.

A third of respondents reported visiting a science or technology museum in the past year, and almost a quarter said they had signed petitions or joined street demonstrations on scientific issues such as oil pipelines, nuclear power or biotechnology.

The survey also found interest in science was more prevalent among younger, wealthier and well-educated respondents, and higher among men than women.

Scientist and broadcaster Jay Ingram said that while he’s heartened that Canadians do relatively well on measures of scientific literacy, it’s also important to remember that 58 per cent of Canadians do not have basic scientific knowledge.

“While 87 per cent of survey respondents [know] that the . . . earth goes around the sun is pretty good, that still leaves 13 per cent of Canadians who haven’t absorbed the astronomical knowledge of several centuries ago,” said Ingram, who was among 14 experts who compiled the report.

The panellists also examined the results of standardized science test scores of 15-year-olds, administered worldwide by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Canada ranked 10th out of 265 countries in 2012.

These scores have declined since 2006, said Carty, the panel chair.

“That raises some concerns about future performance and particularly our competitiveness vis-a-vis the science and technology giants of Asia,” said Carty.

It is important that Canada create and maintain a “science culture,” defined by the panellists as a society that “embraces discovery and supports the use of scientific knowledge and methodology,” the report said.

Leadership and vision are important in supporting science in Canada, but Ingram said the ultimate goal should be the fostering of a science culture that endures regardless of political leadership or policy.

The report also suggests targeting inequalities in access to science resources, in order to make the discipline inclusive and accessible to all Canadians.

“It’s all about ensuring that individuals in all segments of society have the opportunity to share in the wonder and excitement of science,” said Marc LePage, panellist and president of Genome Quebec.

“Perhaps the hockey analogy is that now we’re in the quarter finals,” said LePage. “The next step for us is to shoot for the Stanley Cup.”

The Council of Canadian Academies describes itself as a non-profit organization that “supports evidence-based, expert assessments to inform public policy development in Canada.”

In the survey conducted for the group, EKOS Research polled 2,000 Canadians via landline, mobile or online response. EKOS says it has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points 19 times in 20.

©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 04. 2019
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Saskatchewan acting on recommendations made after boy, 10, kills six-year-old

Saskatchewan acting on recommendations made after boy, 10, kills six-year-old

REGINA – The Saskatchewan government and a child welfare agency are reporting progress on 18 recommendations made after a 10-year-old boy killed a six-year-old boy.

Social Services and the Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services have provided their first quarterly update to recommendations made by children’s advocate Bob Pringle in May.

Pringle found there were significant gaps in aid provided to the 10-year-old by the tribal council, the local child welfare agency on his case.

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Social Services says, among other things, it has held a joint training session with First Nations child and family services on safety plans.

The ministry also says it’s now doing program reviews on First Nations child welfare agencies on a yearly basis, rather than the old practice of every three years.

Pringle noted that the 10-year-old boy had behavioural issues and said he probably should not have been in the community unsupervised when the six-year-old was killed in August 2013.

Legislation prevents Pringle from naming the boys.

The RCMP said at a news conference last September that Lee Bonneau died after being found injured in a wooded area not far from the Kahkewistahaw First Nation community centre.

Lee was not a member of the First Nation, but was visiting the reserve with his foster mother, who had gone to play bingo.

Lee was last seen walking with the older boy outside the reserve’s recreation complex.

The 10-year-old was too young to be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Below is the complete report:

Saskatchewan acting on recommendations made after boy, 10, kills six-year-old

©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 04. 2019
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NASCAR’S Tony Stewart to return to competition – National

NASCAR’S Tony Stewart to return to competition – National

ABOVE: Tony Stewart announces return to racing following deadly accident

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tony Stewart will return to Sprint Cup competition Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ending a three-race hiatus taken after he struck and killed a fellow driver during a dirt-track race.

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The three-time NASCAR champion has not raced since his car hit Kevin Ward Jr. at an Aug. 9 sprint car event in upstate New York. Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen the next morning, then skipped the races at Michigan and Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stewart, who was described by police as “visibly shaken” the night of Ward’s death, has been in seclusion ever since. Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice-president Brett Frood had said the team was putting no timetable on his return to the No. 14 Chevrolet and the emphasis was on giving Stewart time needed to get him “in a better place than he is.”

READ MORE: Tony Stewart ‘grieving’ over death of Kevin Ward, won’t return until ready

Stewart’s only comment since Ward’s death was a statement the day after the crash in which he said “there aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.”

Ward had climbed from his car after it had spun while racing for position with Stewart. The 20-year-old walked down onto the racing surface waving his arms in an apparent attempt to confront Stewart.

Tony Stewart in seclusion as fatal crash investigation continues

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Tony Stewart in seclusion as fatal crash investigation continues
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NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hits and kills on-foot driver in race Saturday(WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Authorities said the first car to pass Ward had to swerve to miss hitting him. The front of Stewart’s car then appeared to clear Ward, but Ward was struck by the right rear tire and hurtled through the air. He died of blunt force trauma.

It was not clear if the 43-year-old NASCAR superstar will be charged in Ward’s death. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero has said investigators did not have any evidence to support criminal intent by Stewart. Povero said this week he has no new updates on where the investigation stands.

Meanwhile, Stewart will move forward with his career and attempt to salvage his season.

NASCAR released a statement Thursday saying that Stewart was eligible to return because he “has received all necessary clearances required to return to all racing activities.”

READ MORE: Stewart crash probe focuses on lighting, track

Stewart, who has 48 career Cup wins in 542 starts, is one of the biggest stars in the garage. His peers have been protective of him as questions emerged in the aftermath of the crash, and it pained them that Stewart was grieving in private and had cut off communication with so many of them.

NASCAR rules state a driver must attempt to either qualify or race the car in every points-paying event to be eligible for Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, unless a waiver is granted.

Since Ward’s death, NASCAR has announced a rule that prohibits drivers from exiting from a crashed or disabled vehicle – unless it is on fire – until safety personnel arrive. Last week, Denny Hamlin crashed while leading at Bristol and stayed in his car until safety personnel arrived.

But Hamlin then exited his vehicle and angrily tossed a safety device at Kevin Harvick as he passed by moments later. He was not penalized.

©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 04. 2019
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Fast and healthy back to school lunches – Toronto

Fast and healthy back to school lunches – Toronto

TORONTO – Back to school means reviving a lot of old routines, but that doesn’t have to include basic, boring lunches.

Susan Hay visited Rose Reisman at Glow Fresh Grill to learn how to spice up a lunch bag so it comes home empty – and most importantly, keeps your child healthy and energized.

Reisman is famous for her simple and delicious yet health-conscious food. She came prepared with tips for parents to make healthy choices when choosing ingredients.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

For the classic sandwich, Reisman recommends avoiding white bread and processed proteins such as deli meats and cheeses. Instead, choose from the wide variety of whole grain breads, pitas and wraps available. For a healthier protein with more impact, choose roasted meats and real cheese.

Yogurt can also be a fan favourite. Parents can make it even better by choosing Greek yogurt and adding natural sugars like honey, maple syrup or fresh fruit. A fruit kebob is colourful and appetizing and can similarly be kicked up a notch by sending yogurt as a dip.

The ever-popular pizza can also make its way into the lunch bag. Avoid store-bought pizza, but put together your own ready-to-assemble pizza kit with a tortilla or bagel as a base and grated cheese and tomato sauce ready to go.

Attractive packaging seals the deal –just add a unique lunch box to your back to school list.

The best part? All these ideas and fast and easy to recreate with your kids – and they’re guaranteed to satisfy.

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23. 04. 2019
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N.B. Election Notebook: Aug. 28 – New Brunswick

N.B. Election Notebook: Aug. 28 – New Brunswick

FREDERICTON, N.B. – As party leaders and candidates hit the road across New Brunswick campaigning for the upcoming provincial election, Global News will keep track of where they are and what they’re saying in our election notebook.

Read all 2014 New Brunswick election notebooks

Here’s what happened Thursday, August 28.

Liberals: Youth employment and the north


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Liberal Leader Brian Gallant was in Moncton Thursday promising to introduce a Youth Employment Fund in the hopes of stopping the flow of young people from the East to the West.

Gallant says the fund would provide six-month placements including training and work experience for unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 29.

He says the program, modeled after a similar fund in Ontario, would ultimately give young people the skills they need to find full-time jobs in the province.

Gallant says a Liberal government would subsidize 1,500 placements a year at a cost of $7,800 per placement.

The Liberals also promised to refocus and create the Northern and Miramichi Infrastructure and Capital Funds. The Northern fund would be set at $20-million/year for six years while the Miramichi fund would have access to $5-million/year for six years.

Gallant says the funds would be meant for projects that hire locally, lowering the North’s 15 per cent unemployment rate.

Green Party: Local food

The Green Party unveiled their plan to get more New Brunswickers relying on locally grown food.

Leader David Coon was in Saint John Thursday, promising to create a local food security act. He said he would work to engage provincial institutions including schools, hospitals, seniors homes, Crown agencies and government offices into building a provincial food economy.

Coon said he would also direct a local food labeling program so New Brunswickers can easily identify food produced in the province.

NDP: Economic development

NDP leader Dominic Cardy spoke to a Saint John business group revealing his economic development vision.

Cardy says he would close the Department of Economic Development, keeping the elements that worked and putting them under the Department of Finance.

He said he would also introduce a new jobs tax credit to reward companies that create new jobs and increase the New Brunswick Investment Tax Credit cap to $500,000 – making it the highest on the Eastern seaboard.

People’s Alliance: Natural resources

The People’s Alliance of New Brunswick are proposing a forestry ombudsman to work within the Department of Natural Resources who would oversee contracts and deals made between the province and companies.

If elected, they also promise to not allow companies to use wood from Crown land as a so-called ‘weapon against private citizens’ who make their living off of private woodlots.

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23. 04. 2019
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Southwest ring road plans include diverting Elbow River – Calgary

Southwest ring road plans include diverting Elbow River – Calgary

CALGARY- A mock up of the southwest ring road is raising eyebrows, due to the scale of the plan which includes diverting a river.

Alberta Transportation released a 3D video of the project, which is being built to link the Trans-Canada Highway to Macleod Trail. Plans include building a concrete channel to divert the Elbow River, where the highway would cross from Highway 8 to Anderson Road.

However, officials stress that the rendering is by no means final.

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“This is very early in the whole design plan,” says Bob McManus from Alberta Transportation. “There’s no detailed engineering work, there needs to be open houses and consultation which will be done in Calgary later this year, there needs to be environmental impact assessments.

“We’re a long way from seeing any shovels in the ground or any work of that nature.”

Critics are already voicing concern about the part of road that will cross Weaselhead Flats, which is home to plants and wildlife such as loons, swans, even black bears.

“It’s devastating to the ecological integrity of the wetlands and the Elbow River, and the natural area and the diversity of the area,” says Lisa Dahlseide, executive director of the Weaselhead Preservation Society. “The Elbow River meanders and sweeps across the river valley, creating the ecosystems that you see here. And they’re going to change drastically with the loss of biodiversity if that river is locked into place.”

The society is also concerned the channel won’t be able to handle a major flood.

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23. 03. 2019
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Alberta chiefs boycott consultation meetings

Alberta chiefs boycott consultation meetings

EDMONTON – A dozen northern Alberta chiefs say they will boycott the province’s attempt to implement legislation to regulate consultation with industry over development on their lands.

“We’re sick and tired of someone telling us what to do and thinking for us,” Rose Laboucan, chief of the Driftpile First Nation, said Thursday. “We can think for ourselves.”

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Laboucan is one of 12 chiefs who hand-delivered their message to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Frank Oberle as he waited for them to show up at a meeting to discuss the Alberta Consultation Levy Act.

The boycott means no Treaty 8 chief will meet with government representatives on the act. Nor will technical staff co-operate with government staff in the field.

The chiefs want the legislation rescinded. If it isn’t, they say they will file a lawsuit over it.

Read More: First Nations say Alberta silencing their voice

The legislation, which has been passed but not enacted, attempts to standardize and regulate how industry must consult with aboriginals about development on their lands.

A single government office is to set standards for when consultation is required and how much is enough. It is also to outline what would be necessary for what kind of project.

A levy on industry is to be imposed to ensure First Nations have enough resources to fully participate. The law would allow for benefits agreements between individual bands and companies to remain private, although the deals would be part of provincewide data that would be released.

Aboriginals have objected since the bill was first introduced in early 2013. They say they were handed a finished piece of legislation instead of being consulted when it was being drafted. They also say their numerous submissions to government on the bill were ignored.

Read More: Alberta First Nation drops lawsuit over oilsands project: company

They suggest it gives them no voice in choosing which land is made available to industry and imposes restrictive timelines on small bands already struggling to keep up with proposed development.

“We’re tired of the Alberta government undermining us as First Nations,” said Steve Courtoreille, chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation. “It’s time we pushed back.

“Every First Nation has the right to say how they want to be consulted.”

The legislation proposes an industry levy, to be distributed by government, to help First Nations pay for research and other costs associated with considering development proposals. Courtoreille questioned the intent of that money.

“They’re offering bribes to get First Nations to sign off — which means selling out.”

Oberle called the word unfortunate.

“‘Bribe’ is a horrific term,” he said.

Oberle said industry and government had agreed with First Nations that they required more funding to ensure they can play a meaningful role in the consultation process, and that the proposed levy on industry is meant to supply that funding.

Oberle said his staff has met repeatedly with aboriginal leaders and have offered to change parts of the legislation, including clauses that would have forced the disclosure of any deals between industry and bands.

“I’m disappointed the chiefs of Treaty 8 have chosen this path,” he said. “We have more talking to do.”

The government will not rescind the act, Oberle said.

The boycott is the latest in a number of conflicts between the provincial government and aboriginal groups, mostly over influence on industrial development in northern Alberta.

Lawsuits have been filed over project approvals and the province’s new regulatory regime that explicitly prevents panels from hearing constitutional arguments. The government’s main planning tool in the oilsands region is universally opposed by area bands and is the subject of a legislative review.

Bands are also angry that they’ve been shut out of regulatory hearings.

Oberle says the relationship with aboriginal groups is “great,” pointing to expenditures on restoring reserves after flooding in southern Alberta last summer.

“I make no apologies for Alberta in its relationship with First Nations,” he said.

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23. 03. 2019
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Germany puts plane, lasers on stand-by for possible volcano eruption – National

Germany puts plane, lasers on stand-by for possible volcano eruption – National

BERLIN – Germany has put a specialized aircraft and a network of laser measuring stations on stand-by in case Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano erupts.

The transport ministry says the measures are designed to swiftly determine the threat to airline traffic from ash spewed into the atmosphere by an eruption.

WATCH: Aerial footage of Bardarbunga Volcano

Germany’s transportation minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said Thursday that the laser measuring stations can detect ash concentration up to an altitude of 12 kilometres (7.5 miles).

READ MORE: 500 earthquakes rock Iceland volcano in just a few hours

The 2010 eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajokul in Iceland caused some 100,000 flights across Europe to be cancelled because officials worried the ash could damage jet engines.

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  • Eruption risk reduced at Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano, but warnings remain

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©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 03. 2019
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5 ways to beat the winter blues and stay happy beyond ‘Blue Monday’ – National

5 ways to beat the winter blues and stay happy beyond ‘Blue Monday’ – National

The third Monday of January is not the most depressing day of the year, according to mental health professionals — despite what others might have you believe.

It was dubbed “Blue Monday” in 20015 by a travel company that wanted to encourage people to book winter escapes.

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But it could be argued that people do have reason to feel a little blue this time of year. For one, the high of the holidays has worn off and been replaced by the harsh reality of your Christmas spending (and eating). Being in the depths of winter with seemingly no end in sight also doesn’t help.

Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to get through the slump.

1. Vitamin D and light therapy

Up to 10 per cent of North Americans are said to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Experts have suggested the feeling of sadness associated with the disorder is partially due to a lack of Vitamin D, which is produced by natural light.

“Vitamin D is what is called the sunshine hormone [or the] sunshine vitamin,” Dr. Venkat Gopalakrishnan, department head of pharmacology at the University of Saskatchewan, told Global News in December.

People can boost their vitamin D levels by drinking milk, eating fatty fish or taking a supplement, he said.

WATCH: Maintaining vitamin D levels key to battling seasonal depression

One of the other most common treatments for SAD is light therapy, which involves the use of special lamps for about an hour a day to mimic the type of light a person receives on a sunny day.

Tabletop units can range from about $70 to around $200.

READ MORE: Light therapy benefits for non-seasonal depression as well: study

2. Stay active

If you’re one of those “January joiners” who resolved to get fit this year and have already fallen off the bandwagon, don’t worry.

You still can (and should) get back to a workout routine. Any health professional will tell you that physical activity is not only great for your body, but also your mind.

Exercise releases endorphins that can be a great stress-buster.

And there are plenty of ways to work on your fitness this winter while enjoying the great outdoors.

WATCH: January is the time of year that many people resolve to get fit but many people are also facing new financial realities. Here are some tips that won’t break the bank.

3. Spend money on experiences, not things

Psychology professor Tom Gilovich of Cornell University says you’ll be happier — and your happiness will last longer — if you spend your money on experiences (like travel and concerts), rather than things (like clothes and gadgets).

He’s spent more than 12 years studying the subject.

There’s a simple thought experiment Gilovich has used to demonstrate this. He asks his test subjects to think of the three best things and experiences they’ve ever purchased. Then he asks them to tell him about themselves.

“People take their most significant experiences and embed them in their narratives much more than their material goods,” he said.

“Ultimately, we are the sum total of our experiences.”

Gilovich explained that we feel more connected with our loved ones when we share an experience with them.

WATCH: It turns out owning that pair of Manolos is not going to help you be happier after all. A study shows people who spend money on experiences instead of things are much happier.

4. Give unto others

In addition to spending on experiences, research shows spending on others makes us feel good.

“We tested this idea in poor countries where many of our participants reported having trouble meeting their basic needs,” Elizabeth Dunn, a UBC psychology professor, said in 2013.

“And even in these relatively impoverished areas of the world we find people are happier when they spend money on others rather than themselves.”

READ MORE: Happiness from giving to others may be a universal trait, say authors from UBC and Harvard

There seems to be a biological explanation for it.

“There is what’s called dopamine, which is a hormone and a neurotransmitter, that is released into your brain if you do help,” Alisha Sabourin, a Edmonton-based therapist, told Global News in 2014.

Dopamine sends a surge of excitement to the brain, which reinforces the act of giving.

The benefits can include decreased anxiety and blood pressure, along with an increased feeling of self-worth.

Volunteering has been shown to be particularly good for people with depression, as it gets them out of the house and socializing.

WATCH: Su-Ling Goh explains why it feels so good to give

5. ‘Happy wife makes for a happy life’

There may be some scientific proof to that cheesy line you always hear at weddings.

A 70-year study out of Harvard suggested that the key to a long, healthy life is a happy marriage. Owning a puppy and hanging on to a group of good friends can help as well.

A happy relationship is what kept the majority of the men in the study thriving. Only four of the 31 men who stayed single were still alive when the study wrapped up..

Meanwhile, more than a third of those with companions were still alive even into their 90s.

“The finding on happiness is that happiness is the wrong word. The right words for happiness are emotional intelligence, relationships, joy, connections and resilience,” George Vaillant, a Harvard psychiatrist who directed the study for 32 years, told the Daily Mail in 2012.

READ MORE: How to improve your relationship

If subjects didn’t have meaningful relationships, a pet dog often filled the void, the study noted.

The animals are believed to help keep your immune system strong, while daily walks with pets get owners into the habit of regular exercise — which brings us back to tip number two.

Sexologist Jessica O’Reilly: How to have a healthy marriage

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If all the tips above fail you and you just need a little pick-me-up, there’s always comfort food.

WATCH: Sometimes nothing beats the cozy comfort of a homecooked meal

Watch below: If you’re feeling down today, you’re probably not alone as Monday was officially known as Blue Monday. It’s labelled as the most depressing day of the year but as Su-Ling Goh reports, there’s not a lot of evidence to support that claim.

-With files from Global News

Follow @TrishKozicka

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23. 03. 2019
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Impaired driving cases still far too high: RCMP – New Brunswick

Impaired driving cases still far too high: RCMP – New Brunswick

MONCTON, N.B. – New Brunswick RCMP’s Traffic Services Unit have charged over 523 people for impaired driving so far this year, a number that’s still far too high, says Sgt. André Pepin.

It’s little improvement over the last year when impaired driving charges were up 35 per cent in the Codiac region.

But Pepin said Thursday RCMP are getting more calls from citizens identifying an impaired driver.

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“If you believe the person is impaired then you may save a life so don’t be afraid of calling,” Pepin said.

The numbers are little comfort to Kali O’Dell.

O’Dell’s parents were killed by a drunk driver near Salisbury, N.B. in 2006. She and her little brother were instantly orphaned.

 “Living without my parents is absolutely terrifying,” she said.

“They missed my prom, they missed my graduation, they are never going to meet my boyfriend.”

O’Dell, now 20, has been speaking out publicly against impaired driving for years. But the latest figures seem to show people are not listening.

Last year, RCMP launched a program called Team O’Dell, aimed to improve enforcement.

“They know it’s wrong and should not be doing it, it’s just plain stupidity at this point,” O’Dell said.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving say the numbers could show more people are getting caught.

“Probably 50 per cent of charges that are resulting now are from anonymous calls from people from their cells phones,” said Scott Kennie, with MADD.

If you observe a potential impaired driver, RCMP ask you to call 911, state your location, the vehicle’s description and their direction of travel.

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23. 03. 2019
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The Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine in maps and numbers – National

The Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine in maps and numbers – National

Watch above: Russia denies it, but the evidence of an invasion of Ukraine is becoming overwhelming. Stuart Greer reports.

The situation in Ukraine is once again in a perilous position, with President Petro Poroshenko saying Russian forces have invaded the country’s troubled East.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

The “full-scale invasion,” as Petroshenko called it, prompted an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council Thursday afternoon and condemnation from Canada, the U.S. and European leaders.

Poroshenko’s comment came after two columns of Russian tanks and military vehicle reportedly crossed into the country on Thursday and Grad missiles were fired at a border post.

In the past month alone, the number of people killed in the conflict between the Ukrainian government and separatist groups, aligned with and supported by Russia, has risen sharply. So, too, has the number of Russians getting involved in the conflict.

Global News takes a look at the numbers and geography of the current state of the crisis in Ukraine.

At least 2,249 — Fighting in the east has killed at least that many people in eastern Ukraine since April. That tally does not include the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down on July 17 by artillery fired from the separatist-held territory of Donetsk.

But the number of people killed —including civilians, separatist fighters and Ukrainian troops — has doubled in just the past month. According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOCHR), the death toll on July 26 was at least 1,129. UNOCHR said, at the time, that number was based on “conservative estimates.”

Map: Areas of Ukraine where there has been anti-government or pro-Russia separatist movements since March

1,000+ — NATO said Thursday “well over 1,000 Russian troops” supporting separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine…

20,000 —… But, NATO said there’s at least 20,000 more soldiers assembled on the other side of the Russia-Ukraine border.

Map: NATO released satellite imagery Thursday that it said showed Russian troops in Ukraine.

NATO caption reads: Russian military units moving in a convoy formation with self-propelled artillery in the area of Krasnodon, Ukraine, well inside territory controlled by Russian separatists. The image was captured on 21 August 2014. There is confidence the equipment is Russian, since Ukrainian units have not yet penetrated this far into separatist controlled territory.

NATO handout

NATO caption reads: “Russian self-propelled artillery units set up in firing positions near Krasnodon, Ukraine. They are supported by logistical vehicles which are likely carrying extra ammunition and supplies. This configuration is exactly how trained military professionals would arrange their assets on the ground, indicating that these are not unskilled amateurs, but Russian soldiers. Russian artillery systems like these have recently shelled Ukrainian positions outside the city of Luhansk in conjunction with a separatist counteroffensive to attempt to break the Ukrainian siege of the city.”

NATO

NATO caption reads: “Military deployment site on the Russian side of the border, near Rostov-on-Don. This location is approximately 31 miles or 50 kilometres from the Dovzhansky, Ukraine border crossing.”

NATO

NATO caption reads: “This photo depicts what are probably six Russian 153mm 2S19 self-propelled guns located in Russia near Kuybyshevo. This site is situated 4 miles, or 6.5 kilometres, south of the Ukraine border, near the village of Chervonyi Zhovten. The guns are pointed north, directly towards Ukrainian territory (see North indicator on image). See image 5 for an overview of where these guns are situated in relation to Ukrainian territory.”

NATO

NATO caption reads: “Wider overview including the position of the self-propelled guns from image 4. Note the North indicator on this image, and remember that the guns are orientated in this location. It is clear that from this location, it would be impossible NOT to fire into Ukrainian territory. This is clearly NOT an exercise; these guns are being used to support separatist forces operating in the territory of Ukraine.”

NATO

3,000-4,000 and zero — Russia Today, the Kremlin-run, English-language news agency, said that is the approximate number of Russian citizens who “joined anti-government fighters” to take on the Ukrainian military. Russia Today also reported the Russian OSCE representative Andrey Kelin said “there are no soldiers or equipment present” in Ukraine’s east.

Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told media that the 3,000-4,000 Russian citizens who have entered the region are volunteers, but said many of them are “military men” who used their summer break to fight for the freedom of the region, according to Russia Today.

READ MORE: Canadian fighter jets edge closer to Russian airspace

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, addressed that claim at the emergency meeting of the UN Security council, saying:

“One of the separatist leaders that Russia has armed and backed said openly that three or four thousand Russian soldiers have joined their cause. He was quick to clarify that these soldiers were on vacation. But a Russian soldier who chooses to fight in Ukraine on his summer break is still a Russian soldier. And the armored Russian military vehicle he drives there is not his personal car.”

READ MORE: More Canadian aid on its way to Ukraine: Baird (Aug. 15)

11 — Russia plans to send 11 new vessels to its Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, Russia’s Ria Novosti reported Thursday. Sevastopol has long been the home port of the Black Sea Fleet.

Since tension from the annexation of Crimea, following the Maidan protests and the toppling of Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych, the Kremlin announced plans to add a total of “30 new ships by 2020” to the fleet.

The vessels to be added to the Black Sea Fleet, according to Ria Novosti, include “two anti-sabotage boats, six service vessels, two diesel-electric submarines and two frigates.”

READ MORE: Ukraine crisis: Are sanctions against Russia working?

Map: Where’s Russia?

The Canadian government, through its Canada at NATO 桑拿会所 account, posted a map reminding Russia where its borders lie, labeling Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula as “Not Russia,” adding Russian soldiers “keep getting lost [and] ‘accidentally’ entering Ukraine.”

In response to Canada’s jab, the Russian Mission to NATO tweeted its own version of the map, saying it is “helping our Canadian colleagues catch up with [the] contemporary geography of Europe.” it also highlighted the Georgian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Canadian map, posted Wednesday, has been retweeted more than 24,000 times and favourited nearly 10,000 times. The Russian map, shared Thursday, has been retweeted more than 300 times and favourited at least 100 times.

6 —Canada promised to send six CF-18 jets Canada to the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania, in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continued Russian involvement in the war.

41 — Canada has a growing list of individuals and entities, in Russia and Ukraine, it has sanctioned in response to Russian involvement in the continuing crisis.

As of Aug. 6, the 41 individuals and entities subject to Canadian sanctions included leaders in the self-proclaimed separatist organizations Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.

The list also includes the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and key figures in the Russian government.

-With files from The Associated Press

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