Sunday, 30 December 2012

In Ireland, Carbon Taxes Pay Off - NYTimes.com

In Ireland, Carbon Taxes Pay Off - NYTimes.com

DUBLIN — Over the last three years, with its economy in tatters, Ireland embraced a novel strategy to help reduce its staggering deficit: charging households and businesses for the environmental damage they cause...

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Stop Subsidizing Obesity - NYTimes.com

Stop Subsidizing Obesity - NYTimes.com

Not long ago few doctors – not even pediatricians – concerned themselves much with nutrition. This has changed, and dramatically: As childhood obesity gains recognition as a true health crisis, more and more doctors are publicly expressing alarm at the impact the standard American diet is having on health.
“I never saw Type 2 diabetes during my training, 20 years ago,” David Ludwig, a pediatrician, told me the other day, referring to what was once called “adult-onset” diabetes, the form that is often caused by obesity. “Never. Now about a quarter of the new diabetes cases we’re seeing are Type 2.”...

Dakar mosque decked in Christmas lights as mostly Muslim Senegal joins in holiday cheer - The Washington Post

Dakar mosque decked in Christmas lights as mostly Muslim Senegal joins in holiday cheer - The Washington Post

It looks a lot like Christmas in Senegal, where 95 percent of the 12.8 million residents are Muslim. Even the Grande Mosquee, a mosque that dominates the city’s skyline, is aglow in holiday lights.
“When they go to school, the children learn about Santa,” says Lo, wearing a flowing olive green robe known as a boubou. “We are born into the Senegalese tradition of cohabitation between Muslims and Christians. What is essential is the respect between people.”
Senegal, a moderate country along Africa’s western coast, has long been a place where Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully. Most Christians here are Catholic and live in the south of country and in the capital...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Kenny urged to follow IMF line

Kenny urged to follow IMF line

The Government has been urged to abandon severe budget cuts in line with observations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Yesterday, the IMF said Ireland could delay some of the cuts required under its bailout programme if the economy grew more slowly than expected next year.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Corruption Perceptions Index - 2012

Corruption Perceptions Index - 2012

Transparency International has just issued its Corruption Perceptions Index 2012. The scale ranges from one hundred (“highly clean”) to zero (“highly corrupt.”) One hundred-sixty-seven countries were surveyed this year. The African countries with the highest scores were those that usually do best on such scales: they are small (Botswana, sixty-five; Cape Verde, sixty; Mauritius, fifty-seven.) Among the larger states, Ghana (forty-five) and South Africa (forty-three) did the best, as they usually do in that category. At the bottom were Chad (nineteen), Sudan (thirteen), and Somalia (eight.) Among larger African states, Ethiopia’s score was thirty-three, Kenya’s was twenty-seven, Nigeria’s twenty-seven, and Congo-Kinshasa’s was twenty-one...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Schools ban photos to stamp out cyber bullies via @independent_ie

Schools ban photos to stamp out cyber bullies via @independent_ie

SCHOOLS have been told to ban all students from taking photographs of other pupils or members of staff under new guidelines to combat cyber bullying.

The radical advice from secondary school managers is the latest move in the drive to combat electronic bullying through social media websites, text and picture messaging, email, chatrooms and gaming sites.

In its advice to 400 schools sent out last week, the Joint Managerial Body (JMB) said the only exception should be when the pictures were specifically required for a school project.

The damage caused by cyber-bullying, which has been linked to some recent teen suicides in Ireland, has forced schools to improve their response to the fast-growing problem.

A ban on the generally harmless activity of taking photographs in school, other than in limited circumstances, shows the extent to which the management body has to go to protect its staff and pupils in the age of social media. ..

The simple magic of learning to spell

The simple magic of learning to spell

Your child has picked up a book, understood what they’ve read and now, in the third part of our literacy series, it’s time to help with spelling
Who needs spelling? Isn’t that what spell-check is for? Well despite advances in technology, there is still a need for children to learn to spell in order to write and convey their thoughts. Spelling is essential for written communication.
Many people will remember the Friday spelling test: learning lists and lists of words, only to write them down and have your classmates correct them – gold star optional.
The problem with this method is that being good at memorising lists of words is no guarantee that a child will be able to reproduce the same words at a later date. There are many reasons why children struggle with spellings...