Thursday, 20 November 2014

Obesity costs global economy an estimated €2tn a year

Obesity costs global economy an estimated €2tn a year

The global cost of obesity outweighs that of alcoholism, drug use or road accidents and closely rivals that of armed conflict and smoking, according to a new study.
The cost of obesity is estimated at $2 trillion - equivalent to 2.8 per cent of the world’s economic output, the study found. This makes it one of the top three global social burdens behind smoking and armed violence, war and terrorism..
The research, which was carried out by consultancy firm McKinsey, reveals that obesity is now responsible for about 5 per cent of all deaths a year worldwide.
More than 2.1 billion people - equivalent to nearly 30 per cent of the global population- are overweight or obese. That is almost two and a half times the number of adults and children who are undernourished. 
A number of studies conducted in Ireland show that two out of three Irish adults, and one in four primary school children, are overweight or obese.
“Obesity is a major global economic problem caused by a multitude of factors. Today obesity is jostling with armed conflict and smoking in terms of having the greatest human-generated global economic impact,” the report said.

More than 2,000 men suffer domestic abuse, says Amen

More than 2,000 men suffer domestic abuse, says Amen

"Almost 8,000 incidents of domestic abuse were reported from more than 2,000 men last year, the support service for male sufferers of domestic violence Amen, has said. According to Amen’s 2013 report, the number of domestic attacks on men is roughly the same as 2012.  
But the charity said it is seeing a large increase in the number of men coming for face-to-face counselling.
The number of face-to-face meetings with men complaining of abuse has risen by about 64 per cent on 2011, says Amen service manager Niamh Farrell..."

Five-year-old girl scarred for life awarded €75,000 damages in Circuit Civil Court

Five-year-old girl scarred for life awarded €75,000 damages in Circuit Civil Court

"
A five-year-old schoolgirl, who will be scarred for life after she struck her head against a table in a Dublin crèche was on Tuesday awarded €75,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Barrister Emmet Carty told the court that in April 2012 Madison Davis was about to place a cup on a table at The Little Children’s Crèche in Tallaght, Dublin, when she tripped and fell, striking her forehead.
Mr Carty said little Madison, who was almost three at the time, suffered a deep laceration above her left eyebrow. She had been taken to the National Children’s Hospital in Tallaght.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the laceration was closed with steri-strips and the following day it was stitched under anaesthetic. The wound had left a visible permanent 2.5 centimetres-long scar over her left eye..."

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Ethics of Infection - NYTimes.com

The Ethics of Infection - NYTimes.com

“PRIMUM NON NOCERE” or “First, do no harm” is supposed to be the guiding principle of health care workers. And within civil societies, at least, not harming others is considered every person’s moral, ethical and even legal responsibility.
The heated debate over whether it’s responsible for health care workers who treated Ebola patients to go grocery shopping or bowling or get on a cruise ship before the end of the disease’s 21-day incubation period raises a larger question: What is everyone’s duty to prevent transmission of infectious diseases?
Is it ethical to go to the gym when you have a cold, visit a nail salon when you have a foot fungus or board an airplane with a stomach bug? What about the morality of sending your kids to school when they have, say, a green runny nose or were not vaccinated? Are you a bad person if you don’t get a flu shot?
When it comes to “do no harm,” the problem is defining harm and the risk of inflicting it, as well as what constitutes reasonable measures to impose on someone to minimize that risk.
“Risk is a function of two things — probability that harm will occur and severity of that harm, should it transpire,” said Lawrence O. Gostin, a professor of law at Georgetown University who specializes in public health law and human rights.
And those two factors, he said, have a rough inverse relationship. That is, the more severe the potential harm, the less probability, or risk, we are willing to assume — much less allow someone else to assume on our behalf...

The Ultimate Fatal Attraction: 5 Reasons People Join ISIS-Carnegie Middle East Center

The Ultimate Fatal Attraction: 5 Reasons People Join ISIS-Carnegie Middle East Center

The appeal of the Islamic State to Arab and Muslim youth is hard to understand. Many assume religion or social media is the main draw for the increasing numbers who are uprooting their lives to join the militants in Iraq and Syria. But this is not the full story.

Five distinct trends—not including theology or technology—explain the fatal attraction to the Islamic State. And understanding these trends is vital for winning the war against extremist ideologies.

First, Arab education systems have failed. Instead of vital analytical skills or civic values, schools emphasized rote learning and the uncritical acceptance of authority.

History curricula and religious education fostered an us-versus-them mentality along ethnic, ideological, and sectarian lines, making youth vulnerable to external influence. This helped transform the cultural landscape of Arab countries, facilitating the spread of militant ideologies and the early indoctrination of younger populations...

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Top British Spy Warns of Terrorists’ Use of Social Media - NYTimes.com

Top British Spy Warns of Terrorists’ Use of Social Media - NYTimes.com

LONDON — One of Britain’s highest-ranking intelligence officials on Tuesday castigated the giant American companies that dominate the Internet for providing the “command-and-control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals” and challenged the companies to find a better balance between privacy and security.
The statements were made by Robert Hannigan, the newly appointed director of GCHQ, Britain’s electronic intelligence agency. They were among the most pointed in a campaign by intelligence services in Britain and the United States against pressure to rein in their digital surveillance after disclosures by the American former contractor Edward J. Snowden...

How to burn fat faster

How to burn fat faster

How to burn fat faster

Losing weight and toning up can seem like a battle, so anything to speed up the process will make things a whole lot easier.



Here are The Running Bug's tips on how to burn fat faster, try them out this week and see if you notice a difference.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

AeroMobil: Flying car

AeroMobil: Flying car

AeroMobil. Beautiful flying car. Beautifully integrated. Transforms in seconds from an automobile to an airplane. Gives you freedom to move.

AeroMobil is a flying car that perfectly makes use of existing infrastructure created for automobiles and planes, and opens doors to real door-to-door travel. As a car it fits into any standard parking space, uses regular gasoline, and can be used in road traffic just like any other car. As a plane it can use any airport in the world, but can also take off and land using any grass strip or paved surface just a few hundred meters long... 

Braving Ebola - NYTimes.com

Braving Ebola - NYTimes.com

Portraits of those who labor and those who survived at an Ebola treatment center in rural Liberia.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

War on Poverty Turns 50: Are We Winning Yet? | Cato Institute

War on Poverty Turns 50: Are We Winning Yet? | Cato Institute

War on Poverty is 50 years old. Over that time, federal and state governments have spent more than $19 trillion fighting poverty. But what have we really accomplished?Although far from conclusive, the evidence suggests that we have successfully reduced many of the deprivations of material poverty, especially in the early years of the War on Poverty. However, these efforts were more successful among socioeconomically stable groups such as the elderly than low-income groups facing other social problems. Moreover, other factors like the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the expansion of economic opportunities to African Americans and women, increased private charity, and general economic growth may all have played a role in whatever poverty reduction occurred.

However, even if the War on Poverty achieved some initial success, the programs it spawned have long since reached a point of diminishing returns. In recent years we have spent more and more money on more and more programs, while realizing few, if any, additional gains. More important, the War on Poverty has failed to make those living in poverty independent or increase economic mobility among the poor and children. We may have made the lives of the poor less uncomfortable, but we have failed to truly lift people out of poverty.

The failures of the War on Poverty should serve as an object lesson for policymakers today. Good intentions are not enough. We should not continue to throw money at failed programs in the name of compassion...

Africa in Transition » Maybe Better News on Ebola?

Africa in Transition » Maybe Better News on Ebola?

The New York Times and other media are reporting a drop in Ebola infection rates and empty beds in the emergency field hospitals set up by the U.S. military in Monrovia. While there is Ebola all along the border between Liberia and Ivory Coast, Abidjan has not reported any cases. The World Health Organization has stated that Nigeria and Senegal are Ebola free. Perhaps even more important, no new Nigerian cases have been announced since the WHO’s declaration. Especially in Liberia, a public communications campaign on Ebola has taken off.

But, it is too soon to break out the champagne...