News Ireland daily BLOG by Donie

Monday 26th October 2015

HSE to review the link between red meat and cancer

Executive to examine if changes to hospital diets needed in wake of WHO report.

       

The International Agency for Research on Cancer report also suggested that red meat was a likely cause of some cancers.

The HSE is to review new research which suggests processed and red meat can cause cancer to determine if changes are needed to dietary and nutritional policies for patients in hospitals and other public healthcare facilities.

World Health Organisation (WHO) experts said on Monday that bacon, ham and sausages were as big a cancer threat as tobacco. Experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded 50g of processed meat eaten daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent.

The report also suggested that red meat was a likely cause of some cancers. The IARC, part of WHO, put processed meat such as hot dogs and ham in its group 1 list, which includes tobacco, asbestos and diesel fumes, for which there is “sufficient evidence” of cancer links.

Red meat, including beef, lamb and pork, was classified as a “probable” carcinogen in the IARC group 2A list that also contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in many weedkillers.

‘Limited evidence’

The lower classification for red meat reflected “limited evidence” that it causes cancer. The agency for research on cancer found links mainly with bowel cancer, but also with pancreatic and prostate cancer, it said.

The Government did not comment on possible implications of the findings on Ireland’s €3 billion meat industry.

However, European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said it was likely to have an immediate impact on eating habits, when speaking at the Macra na Feirme conference in Co Cork at the weekend before the report was published.

The HSE said the report linking red and processed meat to cancer was detailed and complex. “It will require careful consideration . . . to determine what action, if any, is needed regarding changes to nutritional plans for public health services.”

A spokesman for the Irish Farmers’ Association said consuming recommended quantities of red meat was well recognised by medical experts as being beneficial to health.

The Irish Cancer Society said avoiding or limiting intake of processed meat can help to reduce the risk of certain cancers.”

An Irish boy of (15) arrested in connection with massive TalkTalk cyber attack

      

General view of the Talk Talk Headquaters in west London

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in Northern Ireland in connection with the TalkTalk cyber attack, the Metropolitan Police said.

The teenager was detained in Northern Ireland on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences, the Metropolitan Police said.

He has been taken into custody at a County Antrim police station where he will be interviewed later.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “An arrest has been made in connection with the investigation into alleged data theft from the TalkTalk website.

“At approximately 4.20pm, officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), working with detectives from the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit, executed a search warrant at an address in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

“At the address, a 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences.

“He has been taken into custody at a County Antrim police station where he will later be interviewed. A search of the address is ongoing and inquiries continue.”

The investigation is being carried out by the Met’s cyber crime unit, the PSNI’s cyber crime centre and the National Crime Agency.

A TalkTalk spokesman said: “TalkTalk can confirm that we have been informed by the Metropolitan Police of the arrest of a suspect in connection with the cyber attack on our website on October 21.

“We know this has been a worrying time for customers and we are grateful for the swift response and hard work of the police. We will continue to assist in the ongoing investigation.”

TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding said earlier she still was unsure how many of its four million UK customers had been affected by the attack, which had affected the telecoms giant’s website rather than its “core systems”.

Jesse Norman, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, is leading an inquiry into the alleged data breach.

Officers are investigating a ransom demand sent to the the phone and broadband provider by someone claiming to be responsible and seeking payment. The firm said it was not sure if the message was genuine.

The latest breach is the third in a spate of cyber attacks affecting TalkTalk in the last eight months, with incidents in August and February resulting in customers’ data being stolen.

TalkTalk saw more than a 10th of its value wiped off in trading today as shares plummeted more than 12%, adding to the 4.3% drop suffered on Friday

Ireland’s waiting times to see GPs have doubled in last five years

     

Patients are waiting twice as long as they did five years ago to see their GPs, says the the National Association of General Practitioners.

In a survey of 600 of its members, the NAGP found that the waiting time for a patient seeking a routine appointment was just under 10 hours in 2010.

In its latest research, earlier this month, it found that the average is now a day and 10 hours, meaning instead of a next-day appointment, most patients who call their local surgery now need to wait two days.

Half of GP practices said they see patients in the same day, and 13% offer appointments within three hours, but patients at one-in-seven surgeries wait three days.

Even for urgent appointments, the average wait is now five hours, compared with two hours in a similar survey five years ago.

Only 9% of GPs said routine waiting times are lower than they were in 2010.

Launching its Patient Wait campaign, NAGP chair of communications, Dr Yvonne Williams, said the trolley count operated by the Irish Midwives’ and Nurses’ Organisation is one of the few quality-and-efficiency barometers of the Irish health service that is easily understood by the public.

The association plans to issue monthly results, from December, of a waiting-time survey among a panel of 200 GPs to monitor any changes.

“These figures show how much pressure general practice is under, at the moment, and act as a warning sign for the safety of patients,” Dr Williams said.

“Long waiting times at emergency departments are a well-established phenomenon of the Irish health system, but these figures confirm that the issue has spread to general practices.

The reduction in, and illogical allocation of, resources within the sector are resulting in a multitude of crises that is now firmly rooted in general practice,” she said.

A HSE report last week warned of a shortfall of between 500 and 1,400 GPs within a decade, unless increased training places, and other measures, are introduced.

Anything between 50 and 140 additional places, each year, for new GPs may be needed, it said, the higher end of the scale taking account of the likely emigration of newly trained specialists.

Although most practices are now signed up to participation in the Government’s system of free GP care for children under six, the NAGP had been opposed to its introduction earlier this year.

It was not involved in negotiations on its operation, which took place between the Department of Health and the Irish Medical Organisation.

The NAGP said extending the scheme will compound current wait times for the sickest patients and put patient safety further at risk.

In Budget 2016, earlier this month, it was announced that free GP care will be extend to all children under 12 by the end of next year.

The association says that the vast majority of funding continues to be ploughed into the hospital system, despite more than 90% of day-to-day patient interactions taking place in general practice.

Almost two-thirds of NAGP members reported seeing more than 15 patients in an average clinic session, with 21% seeing more than 20 at an average session.

Aldi Ireland announces new minimum rate of pay @ €11.50 per hour

   

The new Aldi rate comes into effect on 1 February 2016

Aldi Ireland today announced a new minimum rate of pay of €11.50 an hour, following a period of significant sustained sales growth and store expansion.

In the latest Budget, the Government announced the national minimum hourly rate of pay will increase to €9.15 in January.

The new Aldi rate comes into effect on 1 February and represents an increase of 4.5% on the entry-level pay for store assistants and 10% for stock assistants and caretakers.

Aldi CEO Matthew Barnes said: “We are committed to offering the best pay and benefits in the industry.”

“The success of Aldi in Ireland has been driven by the commitment, hard work and ambition of our employees and we will continue to maintain our leading position on pay,” he added.

Aldi has also announced plans to recruit and train more than 400 people throughout 2016, to support its ongoing expansion in Ireland.

Aldi’s store expansion programme continues apace with the company opening a total of nine new stores here in 2015.

On 19 November it will open in Knocknacarra, Galway and Newcastle West, Co Limerick – its 121st and 122nd stores respectively. It plans to open seven new stores in 2016.

A snow leopards caught on camera

   

The very elusive and endangered, snow leopard are even more threatened than previously thought, according to a new report.

The report, by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) just before World Snow Leopard Day, found that numbers of these big cats have declined by more than 20 percent over the past 16 years.

One reason is that the human population continues to increase in Central Asia’s high altitude region, where snow leopards evolved to exist. The report found that more than 330 million people live within 6 miles of rivers originating in snow leopard habitat.

“As the number of people living in the region grows, the population of snow leopards declines,” WWF spokesperson Lorin Hancock told Discovery News. “With as few as 4000 snow leopards left in the wild, they are increasingly vulnerable to a number of threats.”

Alien hunter claims presence of prairie dog like animal on Mars!

   

Alien hunters have been finding some crazy stuff on Mars and most of them through exaggeration I believe?

And the latest in the series of claims puts a prairie dog like animal on Mars.

According to self-proclaimed alien expert, UFO hunter and YouTuber Paranormal Crucible, Mars rover Curiosity has managed to capture an image of what seems to be a prairie dog like animal on the Red Planet. The “possible hybrid rodent” has been detected in one of the raw images sent back by Curiosity rover and published by NASA.

The image was taken by the rover near gale crater and according to the alien hunter within the image is a small mammal type creature possibly a hybrid species of gundi or prairie dog. In the video, the commentary notes that the alleged animal has a plum body, a small head, and three visible legs. Because the image is of ‘poor quality’ the YouTuber decided to colourize it and then goes onto claim that Mars has mammals similar to those on Earth.

This is not the first time that alien hunters and enthusiasts have claimed presence of animals or buildings or even Gods that resembles those on Earth. Prior to the latest video, there have been claims of ‘god statue’ on Mars, ‘Stonehenge’ on Mars and other similar sightings.

The latest video got picked up by Scott Waring of UFOSightingsDaily and according to him it’s a baby bear. While this is completely bizzare, Waring claims that NASA is deliberately putting images of Mars in black and white to hide details. He even goes onto claim that the creature has real hair as seen from the shadows around its body and that it means that it’s not a statue, but a living creature.

We would like to point out to our readers that the image was taken by a rover and from the angel of the photo it seems that image is of the ground and the alleged ‘animal’ is rather too small – even smaller than a pebble. From what I can make out, it is just a rock and stacks itself in the list of alleged sightings that doesn’t have merit.

However, Waring is so convinced that he will be sending this to the Secretary General of the United Nations requesting the organization to investigate.

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