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VA report: Returning vets at risk for suicide

first_imgWASHINGTON – Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are at increased risk of suicide because not all Veterans Affairs health clinics have 24-hour mental care available, an internal review says. The report released Thursday by the department’s inspector general is the first comprehensive look at VA mental health care, particularly suicide prevention. It found that nearly three years into the VA’s broad strategy for mental health care, services are inconsistent throughout the agency’s 1,400 clinics. Several facilities lack 24-hour staff, adequate screening for mental problems or properly trained workers. Among the other recommendations: VA clinics and Pentagon military hospitals must better share health information, particularly for patients who might return to active-duty status. The department should ease criteria for inpatient post-traumatic stress disorder. Currently only veterans with “sustained sobriety” get treatment; this bars help for many who report increased drug and alcohol dependency as ways to alleviate stress. The VA should create a database to help track patients at risk for suicide. Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said he hoped the VA would place a high priority on suicide prevention given the thousands of veterans suffering from psychological wounds. “We can not afford to nickel and dime our nation’s heroes,” he said. “If we do, we’ll be paying for it for a generation.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With about one-third of veterans reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, it is “incumbent upon VHA (the Veterans Health Administration) to continue moving forward toward full deployment of suicide prevention strategies for our nation’s veterans,” the report stated. In a written response, the VA’s acting undersecretary for health agreed with many of the recommendations. Michael Kussman noted that the VA recently has placed suicide prevention coordinators in each medical center. The report comes as already strained troops and veterans say they are suffering more psychological problems due to repeated and extended deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In a study this month, a Pentagon task force issued an urgent warning for improved care. In the inspector general report, investigators echoed some of those concerns in calling for additional staffing and better training in VA facilities. It said about 1,000 veterans who receive VA care commit suicide every year and as many as 5,000 a year among all living veterans. The report, which was requested last year by Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, said clinics should work harder so veterans can seek treatment without feeling stigmatized. It recommended additional screening for patients with traumatic brain injury. last_img read more

Govt accused of ‘deafening silence’ over west Donegal flooding response

first_imgDeputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has lashed out at the Government’s total inaction and non-responsive approach to recent flooding in west Donegal.The Donegal TD’s concerns come following heavy rain at the end of last month that severely damaged infrastructure – including a bridge that leads to a family home in Gaoth Dobhair. “I am particularly referring to both the Senior Minister and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, neither of whom have visited the Donegal Gaeltacht since taking office apart from a fleeting appearance at the Cabinet meeting held recently in Gleann Colm Cille,” said Deputy Pat the Cope. “The callous, cold and non-responsive reply by the Government to calls for assistance to deal with the aftermath of the flooding only reinstates an already well-held belief that if you are from Donegal you simply do not matter to this Government.“This contrasts greatly with the response of the then Government in 2009 when on that occasion a cross-departmental response in conjunction with Donegal County Council was assembled within 24 hours .“But, this Government simply does not respond to calls of assistance particularly as it seems if you are from west Donegal,” added Pat the Cope.“In my years in politics,  I find the attitudes of some of the Government Ministers astounding, to say the least, this is a Government of indifference towards the people with an overarching attitude of they could not care less about the plight of ordinary people of west Donegal,” stated Pat the Cope. “I again challenge the Ministers in office and most especially those within departments that have a responsibility to assist in times of natural disasters and the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Sean Kyne, to immediately act and put in place a response to the recent west Donegal flooding.“Many areas suffered damage, with road and other infrastructural damage, drainage destroyed and access to areas cut off; this requires funding to be put right and to be fully reinstated,” added Pat the Cope.“The people of west Donegal deserve the same response as was given to other areas of Ireland after flooding – but, to date that has not happened in this case.“This is a Government of much talk but followed as always by total inaction, the silence is deafening from the Government and their response is non-existent.”Govt accused of ‘deafening silence’ over west Donegal flooding response was last modified: September 9th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Boks give White winning send-off

first_img26 November 2007Five weeks after the Springboks’ victory in the World Cup final brought the curtain down on the South African rugby season, the Boks were back in action in Cardiff on the weekend, facing Wales in Jake White’s final match after 54 tests as coach.They wanted to give White a winning send-off and, despite the layoff and missing a number of key contributors from the World Cup win, John Smit and company managed that goal without too much difficulty as they defused the Welsh Dragons’ challenge and scored a comfortable 34-12 victory.Not surprisingly, there were some signs that the Boks were not in peak form. The lineouts, without kingpin Victor Matfield to rule the roost, lacked their usual dominance, while the defence, although well organised, didn’t display quite the level of knock-’em-down first-time tackling exhibited in the World Cup.Invaluable abilityHowever, given the long break from match play, and the fact that the Welsh players are in in the middle of their season, it was a good performance from South Africa, who showed off the invaluable ability to convert opportunities into points almost every time they ventured deep into the home team’s half.The win ensured the Springboks remain atop the world rankings and it also saw John Smit becoming the first man to lift the new Prince William Trophy, which was handed over by the royal himself.There was clearly an air of confidence about the Springboks and, after the game, Smit described the contest as “fun” to a television interviewer, while holding his daughter on an arm.Paid tribute to WhiteHe paid tribute to Jake White, saying the test had been a celebration of the impact the outgoing coach had had on the lives of the players.The excellent relationship between the coach and the captain is something that has stood out since the Springboks lifted the World Cup and it is doubtful that South African rugby has ever witnessed a better rapport between the Bok team leaders.During the match, Wales enjoyed more possession and territory, but they couldn’t break down the Springboks’ defences excepting through kicks, which helped the Dragons cross the South African tryline twice. Contrast that with the SA attack which when presented with opportunities sliced the Welsh defences to shreds to run in five tries.First pointsFrancois Steyn got the scoreboard ticking after four minutes when he nailed a long distance penalty attempt to put South Africa 3-0 in front.Wales, meanwhile, were holding their own in terms of territory and possession, but the Boks looked stronger at scrum time, although they conceded a few balls on their throw-in at lineout time.It took until halfway through the first half for the Springboks to crack the home team’s defences.Opening tryAttacking from a lineout, the ball was taken into a ruck and made available quickly. It was moved to the left and a short pass from flyhalf Andre Pretorius put Juan Smith through a gap. He handed off a would-be tackler and then carried a second player over as he slid across the line for opening try of the contest.Pretorius added the extras to put South Africa 10-0 ahead.Wales should have reduced the deficit to seven points after 25 minutes, but James Hook pulled a sitter of a penalty to the left of the uprights.Three minutes later, the Springboks moved further ahead. After surging deep into the Wales half down the left, the ball was moved smartly to the right where Jaque Fourie found himself with an easy run in to score in the right-hand corner.The conversion was off target, but the lead had increased to 15 points.Superb planned moveFourie added a second try only three minutes after his first after a superb planned move from an attacking lineout.The ball was fed to the backline where an inside pass put winger JP Pietersen into a gap. He offloaded with good timing and finally Fourie raced through onto a pass that put him in the clear for a well-executed five-pointer to the left of the posts.Pretorius slotted the easy conversion to extend SA’s lead to 22-0.With halftime just two minutes away, Wales finally got themselves onto the scoreboard.Wales respondAttacking down the left, fullback Morgan Stoddart kicked ahead. The ball kept low, not bouncing up as Ruan Pienaar expected, and the Welsh recovered just short of the tryline.Colin Charvis then forced his way over for his 22nd try in tests, making him the leading try scorer among forwards in history.Hook failed with the conversion attempt, leaving South Africa 17 points clear as the halftime whistle sounded with the score 22-5 in favour of the world champions.Buoyed by their try just before the break, the Welsh started the second half determined to make further inroads into the Springboks’ lead, but they were once again undone by the clinical finishing of the men in green and gold.Easy tryWorking the ball well from the left to the right, Bryan Habana made the running for the South Africans when he raced through a half gap. Once the Bok flyer was on his way there was no stopping South Africa.He drew the final man in defence and passed out to JP Pietersen who cantered over for an easy try.Another conversion by Pretorius made the score 29-5 in South Africa’s favour.A few minutes later, SA lost substitute Albert van den Berg for 10 minutes when he was sinbinned for playing the ball on the ground with the Welsh pressing on South Africa’s tryline.Welsh tryIn his absence, Wales applied the pressure, but they couldn’t find a way through the South African defence until Hook put in a cross-kick into the corner where Stoddart gathered, fell down, and grounded the ball before being pushed over the sideline.Hook, from a difficult angle, nailed the conversion to move Wales into double-figures at 29-12 in arrears.With a little more than 10 minutes to play, South Africa again demonstrated their ability to strike from broken play when Ryan Kankowski crowned his debut with a fine try.Debut highlightFrom a turnover, the ball was moved to the right. Kankowski received it with two men outside of him and one defender to beat.Sensing that the man in front of him was in two minds, he threw a dummy and raced away through the gap to score from 30 metres out.Francois Steyn fluffed the conversion, but it mattered little as the Springboks went on to a convincing 34-12 win.Boks’ recordThe victory brought South Africa’s record for 2007 to 14 wins in 17 tests, including the last 10 in succession.It also brought Jake White’s record as Springbok coach to 36 wins in 54 tests, with one draw, for a win rate of percent 68.His last test under his belt, White now has only the Boks’ match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday to oversee and then it is all over for the man who led South Africa to the Rugby World Cup title in Paris. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

BJP ally meets Raju Shetti, sparks talk of ‘fourth front’

first_imgRashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) chief and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally Mahadev Jankar met Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti in Pune on Tuesday, setting rumour mills buzzing overtime as the election inches closer.According to sources, Mr. Jankar, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Development in the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet, held an hour-long meeting with Mr. Shetti where the duo reportedly discussed possibilities of forming a ‘fourth front’.Mr. Jankar, who offered stiff competition to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule from Baramati in 2014, is reportedly disgruntled with the BJP for sidelining smaller constituents like his RSP. Mr. Jankar, a tall leader from the Dhangar community, was elected MLC in 2015 and inducted into the State cabinet the next year.Mr. Shetti, on his part, has been long frustrated with the slow response from Congress over seat-sharing.“Both leaders have been disaffected with the shoddy treatment meted out by their respective alliance partners [the BJP in Mr. Jankar’s case and the Congress-NCP in Mr. Shetti’s case] and deliberated on the possibility of opening a ‘fourth front’ consisting of smaller parties. However, nothing concrete has been decided as yet,” said a Swabhimani Paksha leader, speaking to The Hindu on condition of anonymity.Mr. Shetti, on his part, said it was “a casual meeting”, and added that there was no real discussion about opening up a ‘fourth front’ as Mr. Jankar would have to pull out of the NDA first.Mr. Shetti also held a meeting of his party’s core committee after which he said he had given the Congress time till March 13 to make up their minds.In addition to the Hatkanangale Lok Sabha constituency in Kolhapur, Mr. Shetti has demanded the Buldhana and Wardha seats from the Congress-NCP alliance.“We have already announced our decision to go it alone in the general election if the talks with the Congress fail. We are resolved to contest 15 Lok Sabha seats and will announce our list of candidates by March 13,” Mr. Shetti said.He said his party was eager to join in a combine to defeat the ruling BJP, but clarified that the Swabhimani Paksha would join in the grand coalition led by the Congress and the NCP only if his party was given its due.“If the Congress does not respond to our ultimatum, we will have no alternative but to go our own way…our candidates have worked for more than two decades at the grassroots and we feel that we ought to be given the seats we have asked for,” said Mr. Shetti, a two-time MP from the Hatkanangale Lok Sabha constituency.last_img read more

The revised NTL 2018 draw is ready!

first_imgThank you to everyone for your patience and understanding. The revised NTL and Elite 8 draws have now been released: 2018 Updated NTL DrawThe conditions of the fields and the weather are improving hour by hour so we’re looking forward to games commencing at 8am tomorrow (Thursday 8th March)!Info on game formats:All preliminary-round matches on Thursday and Friday will be played under a 30-minute touchdown turnaround format. Games will revert to 2 x 20-minute halves on Saturday for finals.Touchdown Turnaround Format (Preliminary Rounds): All preliminary-round matches on Thursday and Friday will be 30 minutes in lengthTeams will turnaround after each touchdown scored, i.e. they will defend the score line they just scored onThere is no half-time Saturday Matches (and all Finals):All finals and play-off matches will remain as 2 x 20-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time (unless further weather impacts)The Women’s T-League Quarter Finals on Friday will be played as 2 x 20-minute halveslast_img read more

4 days agoWATCH: Liverpool ace Oxlade-Chamberlain clashes with angry Man Utd fans

first_imgWATCH: Liverpool ace Oxlade-Chamberlain clashes with angry Man Utd fansby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool ace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain clashed Manchester United fans after full-time at Old Trafford.The midfielder was clearly told to “F*** off” while talking to one fan, while another rejected his offer of a fist bump.It’s not clear why the 26-year-old went to the home fans after the end of the 1-1 draw.Some viewers on social media claimed that Ox had been getting some stick from that section of the crowd while warming up.Oxlade-Chamberlain involved in row with Man Utd fans as smiling star told to ‘f*** off’ and has fist bump rejected It is not clear why the smiling Ox went over to the fans. The incident took place after the 1-1 draw between Man Utd and Liverpool at Old Trafford pic.twitter.com/x6b86Lx20t— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) October 20, 2019 About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Shutdown enters 52nd day in Kashmir Valley

first_imgSrinagar: Normal life remained affected in the Kashmir Valley for the 52nd consecutive day on Wednesday with public transport off the roads even as few vendors set up stalls here, officials said.Main markets and other business establishments continued to remain closed; however, few vendors set up stalls on the TRC Chowk-Lal Chowk axis here. Public transport was mainly off the roads, even as few inter-district cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in some areas of the city, the officials said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkMovement of private cars was unhindered, they added. There was no classwork in schools as efforts of the state government to open educational institutions have not borne any fruit as parents continued to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety, the officials said. Mobile services remained suspended in Kashmir except in Handwara and Kupwara areas in the north, while Internet services — across all platforms also continued to be snapped in the valley, they said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenThey said the authorities would take a call on the resumption of mobile as well as Internet services, especially leased-line and BSNL Broadband, at an appropriate time. There are apprehensions of mobile and Internet services being misused by anti-national elements to fuel violence in the valley, they added. The officials said there were no restrictions anywhere in the valley, but the deployment of security forces continued in vulnerable areas to maintain law and order. Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on 5 August when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate the state into two Union territories.last_img read more

Bijnore A TikTok user has emerged as the prime su

first_imgBijnore: A TikTok user has emerged as the prime suspect in three shocking murders that have taken place over the past five days in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnore district. Thirty-year-old Ashwini Kumar is a drug addict, who uses the alias of Johnny Dada and uploads TikTok videos of himself posing as a ‘villain’. He also posts violent Facebook messages like ‘I will destroy everything’, ‘Devil is ready now’ and ‘See my havoc’. However, he has no criminal record and was known to be a harmless man, until he shot a local BJP leader’s 25-year-old son and his nephew, 26, following a dispute on September 27 in Barhapur area in Bijnore. After the cold-blooded murders, he fled the busy market waving a pistol. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Three days later, Ashwini barged into the house of 27-year-old Nitika Sharma firing indiscriminately at her and fled from there. Nikita was a local girl, who used to work with a hotel in Dubai and had come home for her wedding in Bijnor. She was to marry a sub-inspector posted with CISF in Chennai on December 2. However, she died a day after she was shot. According to Nitika’s family, Ashwini had made advances at her in 2002, when he used to frequent her uncle’s place in Daulatabad and was spurned by her. She later got a job in Dubai and settled there. The episode was forgotten, or so they thought. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka Gandhi “It is likely that Ashwini was upset with the news of her wedding and wanted to settle scores,” a police official said. However, police are yet to establish motive in the other two murders he committed four days earlier. Ashwini, a graduate, comes from a humble background in Barhapur town of Bijnore. His father was a clerk in a sugarcane cooperative society in Dhampur tehsil and his elder brother works in a private company in Dehradun. According to the family, Ashwini also used to work with a private firm in Delhi, but abruptly gave it up. His family believes that his drug addiction affected his mental health. Meanwhile, additional security forces have been deployed in Bijnore and a reward of Rs 25,000 has been announced for anyone providing any information about his whereabouts. Bijnore Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Tyagi said, “We have formed eight teams and a combing operation is underway to trace him. Posters announcing the bounty and carrying his pictures and personal details of Ashwini have also been put up at various locations. Locals are being requested to alert the police about his whereabouts.”last_img read more

Mumbai One coach of a Mumbai local train derailed

first_imgMumbai: One coach of a Mumbai local train derailed on Wednesday morning after one of its wheels came loose. Railway officials said while no injuries were reported, services on the line had to be suspended.According to officials, the wheel of a Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Bandra local came off between Mahim and King’s Circle stations around 11:30 am. As a result, services on the stretch had to be suspended. Trains, however, were running normally on the CSMT-Panvel leg of the line. According to officials, a Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level enquiry has been constituted by the GM of Western Railway to look into the incident. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

New Delhi Telecom regulator Trai will take additi

first_imgNew Delhi: Telecom regulator Trai will take additional time to finalise its views on Over-The-Top (OTT) norms and issues around lawful interception and security are expected to be the key focus, an official said. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) deliberations on the issue may take at least one more month to conclude, as it is looking at international practices and regulations around OTTs, particularly on security-related aspects. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraOTT services refer to applications and services that are accessible over the internet and ride on an operator’s network. Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and Hike are some of the popular and widely-used OTT services. A senior Trai official said that the regulator wants to take a “practical approach” to the OTT issue. Moreover, OTT usage is also benefiting telcos given the spike in data consumption and traffic, and hence any argument about such services merely riding free on telecom networks is no longer as compelling. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysEconomic aspects, therefore, are not the prime focus any more, said the official. “Now largely it has boiled down to security issue…questions like how the security concerns can be addressed, how other countries have dealt with security concerns. The problem has become a little limited – it is not as big as it was, when we started,” the Trai official said. Last year, Trai had issued its consultation paper — Regulatory Framework for Over The Top Communications Services’ – to debate whether OTT players should be brought under the regulatory regime. Of late, many of these platforms have come under intense scrutiny, and the Indian government is also proposing changes in IT rules to seek greater accountability from these firms, in the backdrop of the apps being used for circulation of fake news and misinformation. While issuing its discussion paper last year, Trai had made it clear that the scope of its consultation would be regulatory issues and economic concerns pertaining to those OTT services that are same or similar to the services provided by telecom service providers (TSPs). In the consultation paper, Trai had also sought the industry’s views on which OTT services should be regarded as the same or similar to those offered by telecom operators, and if “substitutability” should be the main criteria for comparison of regulatory or licensing rules applicable to TSPs and OTT service providers. Trai has also sought industry’s opinion on whether there are issues surrounding lawful interception of OTT communication that need to be resolved in the interest of national security and whether responsibilities of OTT service providers and telecom service providers should be distinct. “Now the question is of regulatory imbalance, on the issue of lawful enforcement…This is not only regulatory imbalance, it has implications on security of the country. So the argument is now limited to security-related issues,” the TRAI official said. Trai is looking at how other nations have dealt with such issues. “Security is not just India’s concern, it is a concern for every country,” the source said adding that TraiRAI has scheduled internal presentations and is likely to finalise its view in another month or so.last_img read more