NS court approves opioid lawsuit deal as some claimants say it falls

first_imgHALIFAX – Jayne Turner couldn’t change an out-of-court deal in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of OxyContin on Tuesday, but she had her say before a Nova Scotia judge on how the prescription painkiller forever altered her life.“I lost a husband and everything he represented. … All that could have been, never can be,” the New Brunswick woman told Justice John Murphy, a few minutes before he ruled in favour of accepting a class action settlement of $20 million to be paid by Purdue Pharma.Murphy became the second judge to approve a settlement of the national lawsuit. With acceptances in Ontario and Nova Scotia, it must now go before judges in Quebec City and Regina before the settlement is finally completed.Turner drove seven hours from Grand Manan, N.B., for Tuesday’s hearing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.Speaking quietly in the small, almost empty courtroom, Turner told the judge how her husband — Robert (John) Turner — started on the prescription painkiller in the late 1990s as part of a study he’d hoped would help him cope with debilitating back pain.It helped the lobster fisherman haul his gear in the first year, but as the dosage rose he became addicted and lapsed into periods of deep fatigue and mood changes, Turner said.On April 30, 2012, Turner fell asleep and toppled off his lobster boat, with a coroner determining his body was coping with a large dose of OxyContin, she said.Turner was one of nine people listed by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ray Wagner, as objecting to the $20 million agreement, with $2 million going to health authorities and about a quarter expected to be assigned as legal fees.Murphy said the average pay out for between 1,000 and 1,500 Canadians might amount to between $13,000 and $18,000, depending on how many people qualify.The judge thanked the 51-year-old for her submission and said it, along with a submission by Adam Spencer of Moncton, N.B., gave him “pause.”However, Murphy ruled he would accept the proposed settlement, echoing the decision of an Ontario Superior Court judge that the amount falls within a “zone of reasonableness.”The Nova Scotia judge said he accepted arguments that if the case had proceeded to trial there were formidable legal obstacles to overcome and it could have meant years more of delay in the 10-year-old case.“If the case proceeds to litigation, there is a significant risk that the claims against the defendant will not succeed,” he said.The plaintiffs had argued that the U.S.-based manufacturer didn’t provide adequate warning about potential addictions.However, Purdue did not admit liability in the national settlement.In addition, Wagner — whose firm launched the action in 2007 — says there were legal arguments the company could rely on against his case, such as the role doctors played in prescribing the drug.The lawyer said one of his concerns is that Canadian regulators have never stepped in to launch a prosecution or thorough investigation of the marketing methods used for the prescription painkillers.There “are a lot of questions asked about why there wasn’t regulatory action, but that is for another place,” he said in court.Matthew Herder, director of the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University, said the Food and Drug Act allows for charges if there has been false or misleading marketing about a drug. The law professor said Canadian governments have been reluctant to use this power, and noted civil lawsuits can end without an assignment of legal liability.“I think what bothers me is that there doesn’t have to be any admission of guilt,” Turner said Tuesday.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img read more

Oland has pretrial conference ahead of second murder trial in death of

first_imgSAINT JOHN, N.B. – The case against Dennis Oland has been put over until next week for more pre-trial conferences ahead of his retrial for the murder of his father.Oland was charged with second-degree murder in the 2011 death of Richard Oland and is due to face another trial in October.Oland was in court Tuesday when lawyers met for a short time and put off the next hearing to Monday in Saint John, N.B.He was found guilty in 2015 of his father’s murder, but the province’s appeal court overturned the conviction in October 2016 and ordered a new trial.The financial planner’s first trial in Court of Queen’s Bench lasted 65 days, and court documents indicate a retrial could last just as long.His 69-year-old father was found face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.An autopsy showed he suffered 45 sharp and blunt force blows to his head, neck and hands, but no murder weapon was ever found.last_img read more

Despite ample opportunity Dildo NL brewery dodges salacious beer names

first_imgDILDO, N.L. – A recently opened brewery in Dildo, N.L. says it’s mostly eschewing lewd puns in naming four new beers, in spite of ample opportunity.The unusually named small town provided the Dildo Brewing Company and Museum with a chance to give its beers naughty names, but co-owner Angela Reid said they’ve managed to keep it classy — for the most part.“We had a lot of fun, and of course, we had many ideas,” she said in a phone interview Sunday. “It’s always fun naming beer.”The building has been a museum for years, but it’s recently been renovated to make it equal parts museum and brewhouse.The names of the new beers are inspired by the sights and culture of the Newfoundland community. Reid said they act as a tribute to the small town, while also poking fun at its provocative name.“We’re trying to, as much as we can, keep things local and keep things a little bit light as well,” said Reid.The punniest beer on the list is “I’se Da Bye-PA:” an IPA referencing the traditional foot-stomping Newfoundland folk song “I’se The B’y.”Written in the Newfoundland English dialect, the name translates to standard English as “I’m the Boy.” Reid said the new beer is “a reflection of Newfoundland and our slang.”More locally, “Blonde Root 80” is a blonde ale referencing Route 80, a coastal highway which runs along the northwestern coast of the Avalon Peninsula — and leads to the brewery.Made with beets, “Red Rocks Ale” references a popular nearby fishing spot.And last but not least, “Stout Dildo” is not, as it may sound, a lascivious play-on-words of the adult toy with which the town shares a name.The beer, which brewmaster Lionel Rodrigues describes as having a “coffee, toffee flavour,” is a shout-out to the community’s friends in South Dildo.“I’m a big fan of the double-entendre,” he laughed. “I jokingly call it an homage to our South Dildo neighbours.”Rodrigues, who recently turned to beer after spending more than 20 years in the wine industry, said the Newfoundland and Labrador craft beer industry is beginning to gather steam.While the province had a late start, a number of breweries have cropped up in recent years — and it seems as though the government is eager to support them.The Dildo Brewing Co. and Museum recently received a $300,000 grant from the federal and provincial governments to help set up processing facilities.“I’ve always loved craft beer,” Rodrigues said. “Now that it’s here, I consider myself really lucky to be a part of it.”He said the town’s name is sometimes met with incredulity: recently, he said an equipment shipment to the brewery was held up in U.S. customs for nine days after there was some confusion over the name of its destination.In his childhood years, Rodrigues said he and his friends had to lie about where they were from while signing up for a national fundraising event over the phone because they would get hung up on when they told the truth.Reid, however, said living in Dildo is just like living anywhere else.“We’re definitely a community that’s proud of who we are,” she said. “First and foremost, we’re proud Newfoundlanders, but we’re also very proud Dildonians as well.”“We own it, and we’re all good about it.”Reid added that she hopes everyone can stop by and “get a little taste of Dildo.”last_img read more

New National ratings no better than Mansbridges but CBC isnt worried

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News, says the network is “comfortable with the audience numbers and the anecdotal reaction to the program so far.”“We anticipated that it would take time for the audience to adapt to what is a new format on television,” says McGuire, adding it’s still “early days” for the new show.READ MORE For the debut of the new National — now hosted by Ian Hanomansing, Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton and Andrew Chang — 739,000 viewers were tuned in for the first 30 minutes on CBC, while 601,000 were still watching for the second half.But subsequent nights saw ratings peak between the high 300,000 to low 600,000 range. From left, Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing are the new hosts of CBC’s The National. (NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter The CBC says it’s “comfortable” with the early buzz for its revamped The National, even though the debut newscast’s ratings were only on par with the kind of numbers Peter Mansbridge used to draw.And they’ve slipped since last Monday’s first broadcast.On a randomly chosen Monday night in January, when Mansbridge was still anchor, The National on the main network had an estimated audience of 734,000 viewers during the first half-hour of the show, dropping to 584,000 viewers in the second half. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Doc Walker to play the Lido Theatre

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Country Duo Doc Walker will bring their Acoustic Songs & Stories from the Heartland Tour to Fort St. John and the Lido Theatre this February.Doc Walker, presented by Moose FM will perform on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at the Lido Theatre starting at 8 p.m.  Tickets will be $40 plus fees and taxes.Tickets go on sale Friday October 12, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the Systems Sound Source or online at energetictickets.ca With over 20 Top 10 singles in total, Doc Walker is one of the most recognized Canadian country acts of the past two decades. The group has received multiple Canadian Country Music Awards, including Fans’ Choice, Group or Duo of the Year, CMT Video of the Year, Single of the Year, and Country Music Program or Special of the Year. In addition, Doc Walker has been nominated for several JUNO Awards for Country Album of the Year, including a win in 2009 for the album Beautiful Life. Country legends Doc Walker released their new album, Weathervane. The first single from the new record, “Heart of the Heartland” pays homage to small town pride across the country.Produced by Gavin Brown and Dave Wasyliw, and written by Chris Thorsteinson, Dave Wasyliw, Todd Clark, Gavin Slate, the song was inspired by hometown pride, fond memories of youth and continuing to find new inspiration in one’s roots, in this case, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and Winnipeg, which has long been home for bandmates Dave Wasyliw and Chris Thorsteinson.“Heart of the Heartland is about all of the lives that were lived, and all of the memories that were created in a now dying town. One man’s connection to the broken concrete and dilapidated structures that harbour the ghosts of his entire childhood, and his unshakable hometown pride,” says bandmate Dave Wasyliw. “In short, Weathervane is the record we’ve always wanted to make. We don’t set out in a specific direction when we start writing for an album. We write, and write, and re-write. Much like a weathervane, it’s almost as if we’ll lick our finger, and hold it to the wind to see if we are on the right track.”last_img read more

UN envoy condemns Israels killing of Palestinians in Gaza

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed-Larsen, said he was particularly disturbed to hear that two children were among those killed.Sending his sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the envoy called on Israel “to abide by its obligation under international humanitarian law to avoid the use of disproportionate force in densely populated areas and to protect the civilian population.”

US private employers add 158K jobs in March fewest in 5 months

US private employers add 158K jobs in March, fewest in 5 months, as construction hiring falls by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Apr 3, 2013 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – A survey shows U.S. companies added fewer jobs in March compared with the previous month, as construction firms held off on hiring after three months of solid gains.Private employers added 158,000 jobs last month, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday. That’s down from February’s gain of 237,000 and January’s 177,000.Construction companies didn’t add any jobs in March, after average monthly gains of 29,000 in the previous three months.Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the hiring surge during the previous months likely reflected a jump in rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. Moody’s helps compile the monthly report with ADP.The ADP report is derived from actual payroll data and tracks total nonfarm private employment each month.The report suggests that the government’s March payroll figures, to be issued Friday, may come in below economists’ forecast of 195,000 net jobs.Zandi said the drop job growth last month wasn’t significant and that the underlying trend in monthly hiring is roughly 175,000. That’s about where it’s been for two years. Zandi expects the government’s employment report will show hiring at that level in March.“I don’t think anything substantively changed in the month of March,” he said.Still, there are some signs that the health care reform law may be causing smaller companies to hold off on hiring, Zandi said. That law requires companies with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health insurance to their employees. To make that point, Zandi pointed to mid-sized retailers, hotels, restaurants and service companies — all of which slowed hiring last month.Other reports suggest that the job market is improving. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week but is still lower than in February. That means companies are cutting fewer jobs and may post higher net gains.And a closely watched survey of manufacturing activity showed factories hired in March at the fastest pace in nine months. read more

Valeant boosts Allergan offer threatens to take deal directly to shareholders

Valeant boosts Allergan offer, threatens to take deal directly to shareholders MONTREAL – Valeant Pharmaceuticals increased its hostile offer to buy Botox-maker Allergan on Wednesday and threatened to bypass the board by taking it directly to shareholders.However analysts suggested, the Quebec-based company may have to raise its offer again if it wants to be successful.“Our first impression is that the Valeant offer is rather disappointing. It does not really alter the fundamental value of the offer,” said Ronny Gal of Bernstein Research.Valeant upped the cash component of its offer by US$10 to US$58.30, while the stock portion remained unchanged at 0.83 of a Valeant share giving the bid a total implied value of about US$163.67 per share or almost US$50 billion total.It also offered pay up to about US$25 per share contingent on the success of Allergan’s eye drug Darpin, a treatment for a cause of blindness in the elderly, that is under development.“We hoped for something more imaginative, like substantially altering the share of cash and stock Valeant will use or a more substantial increase in the value offer,” Gal said.Valeant CEO Michael Pearson said the new offer responds to concerns that the previous bid was “a little low” and didn’t reward Allergan shareholders for potential gains from Darpin.“The real message we continually got back is Allergan shareholders want this deal to occur but they wanted a higher price,” he told an investor presentation in New York.In addition to the contingent payments, Valeant committed to invest US$400 million in Darpin and keep the employees responsible for its development.Pearson said Valeant is awaiting U.S. regulatory approval to hold a ‘referendum’ of Allergan shareholder in late June or early July and then follow it up if necessary with a formal vote if the California-based company’s board and management continue to refuse any face-to-face negotiations.“We are open to any and all approaches to try to get this deal consummated,” he said during the nearly four-hour event.Pearson added Valeant is not willing to “continually increase” its offer until it meets directly with Allergan, and will not increase the share component because its shareholders don’t want to further dilute their ownership.Valeant’s (NYSE:VRX, TSX:VRX) shares closed down US$3 at US$126.95 on Wednesday trading in New York and down C$3.02 at C$138.11 in Toronto.Allergan’s shares fell US$8.90 to US$156.12 on the New York Stock Exchange.The offer by Valeant has the backing of Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP — Allergan’s biggest shareholder at 9.7 per cent — which has agreed to take only stock in the transaction.Allergan (NYSE:AGN) said Wednesday it will review the revised offer and “pursue the course of action that the board believes is in the best interests of the company and all of its stockholders.”The company has been harshly critical of Valeant and raised questions about its ability to cut US$2.7 billion of expenses without disrupting the business if it is successful in acquiring the company.Some analysts have said Valeant will have to substantially boost its offer to as much as US$200 per share including a larger cash portion because Allergan is “well-positioned” to grow as an independent company.Analyst Vamil Divan of Credit Suisse said the offer is better, but may not be compelling enough given Allergan’s strong outlook.“Given that the majority of the offer would still be in Valeant stock, how one values Valeant stock goes a long way to determining the true value of the deal,” he wrote.Neil Maruoka of Canaccord Genuity said Valeant could further increase its bid because the updated offer was a smaller increase than anticipated.“While this higher offer might not yet be enough to fully sway Allergan shareholders, we believe that it could lead Allergan’s board to engage with Valeant,” he wrote in a report.Earlier Wednesday, Valeant said it has agreed to sell the rights to five dermatological products to Nestle S.A. for US$1.4 billion.“By selling it ahead of time we have eliminated one more one roadblock in terms of our integration with Allergan and we were able to get a price that was more than five-time sales, so we think it also created real shareholder value,” Pearson told the New York audience.Valeant said Nestle expects to complete its acquisition of Galderma S.A. in July. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and Valeant said it’s not contingent on a successful transaction with Allergan.The five anti-aging skin treatments being sold by Valeant to Nestle are Restylane, Perlane, Emervel, Sculptra and Dysport.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted May 28, 2014 5:18 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

BC NDP claim Liberals would bring back HST despite Clarks denials

B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark places wine bottles in a case as she visits Grey Monk Winery during a campaign stop in Kelowna, B.C., Wednesday, May 3, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward by Laura Kane, The Canadian Press Posted May 3, 2017 2:00 am MDT Last Updated May 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. – British Columbia’s New Democrats are accusing the Liberals of planning to bring back the divisive harmonized sales tax, raising the spectre of a tumultuous time for Christy Clark’s party.NDP Leader John Horgan campaigned Wednesday in Cazba, a Persian restaurant in North Vancouver, where owner Nader Sigari said he was worried about the prospect of a new value-added tax.Sigari said his business was harmed in 2010 after the Liberals introduced the HST, which combined the five-per-cent GST with a seven-per-cent provincial tax and applied to restaurant meals.“I clearly noticed the number of my customers going down,” he said. “When I asked them, they said, ‘When we have to pay 12 per cent tax and almost 15 per cent for a tip, we can’t afford to frequently come like we did before.’ I hope it doesn’t happen again.”Clark has said under no circumstances will B.C. end up with another HST.The Liberals said before the 2009 election campaign they wouldn’t bring in the HST, so its introduction was controversial and ultimately led former premier Gordon Campbell to resign. The tax was repealed after B.C. residents voted against it in a referendum.A panel of business leaders has recommended that the province adopt a value-added tax, which would allow manufacturing companies to pay a one-time tax rather than paying provincial sales tax multiple times throughout the production process.The panel suggested a lower value-added tax for restaurant meals compared with other goods, suggesting 2.5 per cent as a possible rate. Customers pay five-per-cent GST when they eat out, so that would bring the total tax to 7.5 per cent.Clark initially said she was prepared to talk to the business community about the proposal but on Wednesday she was adamantly against the idea.“No. No, John Horgan. No, we are not bringing in a value-added tax,” she said while campaigning at Grey Monk Estate Winery in the Okanagan.“We are not bringing in an HST or a value-added tax. We are freezing personal income taxes. We are freezing the carbon tax,” Clark said.“My plan is to lower taxes or freeze them. John Horgan’s plan is to raise them.”But Horgan questioned why B.C. residents should trust Clark given the Liberals’ denials on the HST during the 2009 election campaign.“British Columbians won’t be fooled again. It’s time to come together, defeat the B.C. Liberals and elect a premier who looks out for regular people instead of the top two per cent,” he said.In Victoria, Green party Leader Andrew Weaver, a scientist and expert on climate change, received an endorsement from prominent environmentalist David Suzuki.Suzuki said he has never officially endorsed a political party before but he is backing B.C.’s Greens because of their stance on climate change.“There is no greater authority on climate in this country than Andrew,” said Suzuki. “There is no better person in this country to guide us into the challenge of climate change. For the future of Canada, we’ve got to start to consider the Greens.”Weaver said the endorsement left him “speechless.”“He’s been an inspiration for me in my scientific career. This is an extraordinary moment for me.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter. B.C. NDP claim Liberals would bring back HST despite Clark’s denials read more

On International Day UN calls for womens full participation in labour force

In Katibougou, outside Bamako, Mali, workers carefully clip plants in a greenhouse where watermelons, sweet peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables are grown. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez VIDEO: Head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, spotlights importance of facilitating a more conducive environment for women in the workplace, noting that the international community should strive to make “the world of work” work for women. She called for construing a different world of work for women: “As they grow up, girls must be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science,” This change needs to start at home and in the first days of school, and include adjustments in parenting, curricula, educational settings and cultural stereotypes propagated in entertainment and advertising. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said women and girls must be ready to be part of a digital revolution and study science, technology and math if they are to compete successfully for high-paying new jobs. In messages for the Day and events around the world, senior UN officials reflected on the significant impact of women’s participation and contribution to the global economy, and international goal of reaching 50-50 equality in employment around the world by 2030. Secretary-General António Guterres noted that leadership positions are predominantly held by men, and “outdated attitudes and entrenched male chauvinism” are widening the economic gender gap. “Around the world, tradition, cultural values and religion are being misused to curtail women’s rights, to entrench sexism and defend misogynistic practices,” the Secretary-General said. He underscored that denying women and girls their rights “is not only wrong in itself; it has serious social and economic impacts that hold us all back.” Closing the gender gap, for example, would add $12 trillion to global gross domestic production (GDP) by 2025. In her message, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, decried the lack of opportunities for women and girls, saying “too many women and girls spend too many hours on household responsibilities.” In her message, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said equality lies in destroying stereotypes. It “lies in ridding the media and collective imagination of prejudice by highlighting the women scientists, artists and politicians who are moving humanity forward in all fields,” Irina Bokova said. She called on governments to invest in education and training, and allowing women to exercise their own choices when it comes to their bodies and their lives – just as men do. “Everywhere, women and men are determined to change things, to denounce discrimination and demand genuine equality, and we must support and accompany them,” said Ms. Bokova.“Join me today in celebrating the courageous and memorable contribution of women in all sectors of our society,” said Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of the UN Economic and Social Council, in his message on the Day. Quiz yourself read more

Disney World MagicBands offer convenience in return for tracking

first_imgDisney World is set to become a lot more convenient for visitors, but in the process expect your movements to be tracked at every turn.Disney World Florida has introduced a new wristband for visitors to wear. They are called MagicBands, and instead of relying on paper tickets or a card that’s easy to misplace, you can instead wear the wristband to gain access to and pay for everything simply by holding it up to one of the many readers located around the park. The bands will grant you access to attractions, to your hotel room, dining, and contains your credit card details for all those impulse purchases throughout the day.In return for that added convenience, Disney expects to learn a lot more about its guests. The MagicBands form one part of a new MyMagic+ system, which will store all the data regarding individuals in your party on Disney’s servers. Effectively Disney will have your personal details on file alongside your credit card, and with the addition of the bands, a history of exactly where you go, what you do, and when you do it.Parents will have control over what information can be shared about their kids, but if you choose not to limit use it could lead to some quite creepy moments around the park. For example, how about a mascot walking up to your kids and greeting them by name? Cool for your kids maybe, but it may feel a bit too intrusive for some.The benefits may outweigh the privacy concerns though. A My Disney Experience website and mobile app will allow you to plan your trip in fine detail and guarantee ride times. So no more queuing, pre-booked dining if you want it, and booking for other experiences on your holiday before you even get there or go to the park.More at Disney, via NBClast_img read more

No Facebook no WhatsApp Three things we learned from a digital detox

first_imgNo Facebook, no WhatsApp: Three things we learned from a digital detox Housemates Dermot and Darren decided to undertake a digital detox to try and spur them on to use their phone less. As part of our Live A Better Life series, they tell us what they learned. Share Tweet Email13 By Dermot Heslin and Darren Ryan http://jrnl.ie/3346729 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 13 Comments Saturday 22 Apr 2017, 8:15 PM Apr 22nd 2017, 8:15 PM Short URL Want more? Get this wellness series emailed to you every Friday this month: FOR FOUR WEEKS, TheJournal.ie is running its Live A Better Life series, with the aim of helping you to have a better relationship with your phone. While we’re advocating small changes and new habits, some people prefer trying a digital detox to totally disconnect. But does it work? Here, we find out.Darren and Dermot are two Irish housemates who are dedicating 2017 to Get Better at Life. On their podcast they take on a new challenge every month to create more space, happiness and wellness in their lives, and then share their experiences with their listeners. As part of the podcast they have recently taken on a ‘Digital Detox’ for two weeks, and here they explain how they got on.Dermot’s Day:“I walk in the front door of our apartment block and head towards the lift. As soon as I press the lift button, it’s like a Mexican standoff has ensued: my hand darts to my pocket, and before I even realise what has happened, I have my phone in front of my face to keep me company on the long and arduous 15 second journey up to our floor. Heaven forbid I’d make that journey alone!”Darren’s Day:“I’m sitting in a café with a great friend and we’re having a lovely time re-connecting and catching up. After a while he excuses himself to go to the bathroom… and I’m secretly delighted. My phone has almost been burning a hole in my pocket. Perhaps there are messages to be read? Maybe some likes on social media…my dopamine receptors are dying for their next hit! Rather than sit there and reflect on our friendship and stay present in the moment, I dive right in and get lost on my phone.”This was the world that we found ourselves in at the start of this year. While we loved technology and the wondrous things it creates in our lives, it was starting to fill almost every free moment we had.Being constantly ‘switched on’ is draining and we were becoming distracted constantly – there is only so much that our minds can take. We needed to find a way to give ourselves a break.And so we committed to a two-week ‘Digital Detox’, which included the following commitments:A complete abstention from social mediaNo emails on the phoneNo news websitesLeaving all our WhatsApp groupsNo phones in our bedroomsA technology curfew of 9pm every night until after breakfast the next morning.We downloaded the Moment app which tracks your phone usage and blocked our favourite websites from our phones.Let’s be honest, it wasn’t the biggest sacrifice that human-kind has ever made, but the experience taught us three interesting lessons:1. We didn’t miss technology at allDermot: After our first few days of stepping away from technology, the biggest surprise was how little we actually missed it. Around the time, there was some mixed news coming from the USA, and I noticed how people around me seemed to be using their phones to feed their rage at Donald Trump’s latest faux-pas. It was lovely to be a bit disconnected from all the chaos.Darren: My old habits weren’t giving up that easily. I’d still automatically scroll across to open emails on my phone despite the fact I knew they weren’t there. A few times I would pick up my phone, look at it for a while before realising that there was nothing there to check. A real winner was turning off our phones at 9 every evening and not turning them on again until after breakfast the next morning. Both of us found we were suddenly finding time to read more at night, and it was a little easier to settle down to sleep.Dermot: It was great to have a bit of space in the morning as well, to start the day gently before being bombarded with data and info. We also found it was a nice surprise to occasionally turn on our computers in work and see an email that we hadn’t already read on our phones earlier that morning.2.  A lot of our technology use was more about distraction than utilityDermot: As we began to remove apps from our phones, we realised that we weren’t really seeking out high-value content or using our phones for a particular purpose most of the time. After we deleted the social media apps, popular websites and email accounts from our phones, we still had this urge to just look at our phones and check something…anything. Eventually I started checking my banking app several times per day. There was never a surprise pile of cash added to my balance.Darren: So it seemed that the draw to pick up the phone was more about responding to an impulse, about distracting ourselves from the present moment, rather than a particularly entertaining function. The content was secondary to the hit involved in just lighting up the screen.It seemed it was something about an anticipation of getting a message, of something new appearing – a bit like that feeling you get right before you realise you didn’t win the lotto. I think we both already knew this on some level, but we needed the full detox to realise fully that this was something akin to an addiction.3. Finding a middle ground is hardDarren: While the digital detox was fun (and definitely recommended), the real challenge came afterwards. Without the strict rules and peer support of the detox, it was very easy to slip back into old habits and we quickly found we had fallen off the wagon.So much of our lives are lived on our phones that it is hard to detach from them, and when the phone is in my pocket the temptation to check it is strong. For me it’s just about trying to find more and more times in the day when I’m offline, and not be too hard on myself when I do slip up.Dermot: Finding a balance between total detox and full on usage is hard, and honestly we haven’t figured it out yet. Practice seems to be important, in particular having set times in the morning and evening where we are technology free. We also both make an effort to leave our phones at home occasionally when we go out, or leave them somewhere out of reach so that when we get an urge to check them, the extra bit of distance gives us a chance to catch ourselves!What we learned overallTaking a couple of weeks off really helped us to learn a lot about ourselves and notice how it was affecting our lives. That has helped us to change some habits, have a slightly healthier relationship with it and to keep a close eye on it as the years go by and technology gets more and more embedded in our lives.We can’t recommend a digital detox highly enough – try it and let us know how you get on.You can hear Darren and Dermot talk in full about their experiences of a digital detox on their podcast ‘Darren and Dermot Get Better at Life’. So far they have taken on challenges in mindfulness, digital detox, gratitude and decluttering. You can tune in on iTunes or visit www.getbetteratlife.orgRead our Live A Better Life series> Dermot Heslin and Darren Ryan 4,006 Views last_img read more

Blanchardstown centre vacancies are at nearrecession levels after its €945m sale

first_img Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Take me to Fora Share Tweet Email8 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Sunday 9 Apr 2017, 11:00 AM 26 Comments http://jrnl.ie/3322207 “Just when you get out of recession, rents go up to an unrealistic level. They need to understand that margins aren’t great and we are struggling to keep our head above water and raising rents is making it impossible.” Blanchardstown centre vacancies are at near-recession levels after its €945m sale The shopping centre changed hands last June in Ireland’s biggest-ever single property deal. Short URL Source: CseaTenants’ associationAnother tenant told Fora that a number of retailers in the shopping centre are considering forming a tenants’ association.The organisation, they said, would present itself as a united front to the new owners in a bid to help address rising rents at the centre.A third retailer said they have not noticed a drop in footfall at the centre and are reassured that the same centre management had been retained to liaise with tenants.However, they added that they were concerned about the “faceless new owners”.“We’re scared to say we had a good Valentine’s Day just in case the management puts up rents.”Written by Killian Woods and posted on Fora.ie 35,192 Views THE NUMBER OF unoccupied shops at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre – which sold last year in Ireland’s biggest single property deal – have reached the highest levels since the depths of the recession.In the final three months of 2016, there was just one unoccupied unit at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, according to quarterly figures compiled by property agents Lisney.However a Fora analysis has confirmed that there are now nine unoccupied stores in the centre – with technology retailer Compu B announcing the closure of its store in the centre this week.The vacancy rate is the highest for the shopping centre since the first half of 2012, when there were 12 unoccupied lots in the centre, based on Lisney’s data. Retail spending evaporated at the time as unemployment peaked above 15%.It is believed the Blanchardstown centre’s high vacancy rate during the recession was caused by the centre’s policy of not facilitating short-term leases for ‘pop-up’ stores – an approach other Irish shopping centres had used to keep retail activity going.Out of the nine presently unoccupied units, one lot previously occupied by an electrical retailer already has a new tenant – with Lifestyle Sports opening a secondary store in the main shopping centre to supplement its existing shop in the nearby retail park.Neither shopping centre management nor the centre’s commercial property agent BNP Paribas responded to Fora’s requests for comment when asked about leases for the eight remaining vacant lots. Unoccupied units at Irish shopping centres Source: LisneyClick here for a larger versionLast year Green Property sold the shopping centre to US private equity firm Blackstone in a deal worth €945 million – the most expensive single property transaction ever completed in Ireland.Meanwhile, as the level of unoccupied units in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre increases, prime retail centres across Dublin have been at near-capacity as rents and the economy trend upwards.Commercial property agency Savills noted last year that “since large-scale retail development is still some way off”, retailers can expect further rent increases in the coming years.Savills Ireland director of research John McCartney highlighted that rents in some prime shopping locations have risen by more than a third over the last three years.Rising rentsOne high-profile store to exit the Blanchardstown centre in recent weeks was fashion chain French Connection.Fora understands that its closure was caused by a hike in rent by centre management, although the firm had no one available for comment at the time of publication.A number of current Blanchardstown Shopping Centre tenants have expressed their concern at the number of recent closures in the centre. Many also said that they were worried about rents rising in the centre.One tenant, speaking on condition of anonymity, said their rent has risen “significantly” since Blackstone took control of the centre. They added they were considering a move away from Blanchardstown.“The new owners seem to have a merciless way of dealing with tenants – there is no leeway with them, they just want their money. Apr 9th 2017, 11:00 AM By Fora Stafflast_img read more

Vancouver police searching for bank robbery suspect

first_imgVancouver police are pursuing the suspect of a Monday morning bank robbery at Wells Fargo at 1800 Main St., according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.The robbery happened just before 9:30 a.m., according to emergency dispatcher logs.Police responded to the bank and began searching for the suspect, who allegedly jumped a counter during the robbery armed with a firearm or knife, according to scanner traffic.Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said officers were unable to locate the suspect.last_img read more

Dyche opened up on the transfer difficulties

first_imgIt has been becoming more and more difficult for the smaller teams to compete during the transfer windows as the prices have been getting insanely higher and it has become impossible to sign a player for a reasonable amount of money.Sean Dyche insisted that for his Burnley, it is very difficult to compete during the transfer window as even the newly promoted teams have got more finances than them.The talented coach spoke about this situation as he said, according to Lancashire Telegraph:Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“Brighton’s owner is very wealthy, Fulham’s owner I’m told virtually a billionaire. There’s no jealousy. They’ve all got their own ideas of what they want to do. I want to do a bit of that but I wouldn’t do it at the cost of a club, it’s just not right.”“The challenge is opening the club’s mind enough to go some way to keep up because the whole of the football business is saying ‘all the best with that, we’re going up here’. Stretch and not break. It’s not easy.”last_img read more

ASA Voices Support for Creation of Trade Post at USDA

first_imgIn a letter to House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership this week, ASA and multiple fellow agricultural groups in support of the creation of an Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Citing the importance of trade to the agriculture industry, the groups pointed to areas in which USDA could modernize its approach to agricultural trade issues.”An Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs will provide a singular focus on trade and foster more effective coordination of transparent, rules-based trade policies in other USDA agencies,” wrote the groups. “Such a position will bring unified high level representation to key trade negotiations with senior, foreign officials and within the Executive Branch. It will also allow future administrations to recruit an Under Secretary who has extensive experience in international trade negotiation and policy issues. Furthermore, the creation of this Under Secretary position would help streamline management, create greater efficencies and enhance emphasis in the Office of the Under Secretary responsible for key domestic programs.”last_img read more

Additional Drug Controller Pallavi killed in road accident in

first_imgKhammam: Mahabubabad District Additional Drug Controller Pallavi was killed in a road accident when the car she was travelling in rammed into a lorry parked on the roadside at Tirumalayapalem village on Wednesday. While she died on the spot, the car driver suffered grievous injuries and was shifted to nearest hospital for treatment. The police registered a case and took up the investigation.last_img

AG trying to contain BNP Rizvi

first_imgRuhul Kabir RizviMain opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged on Friday that the attorney general, Mahbubey Alam, is trying to contain the party.“Though the attorney general is the chief law officer of the country, he is trying to use all his influence to contain BNP,” the senior BNP leader told a press briefing at its central office in Naya Paltan.Rizvi criticised the attorney general’s role in BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s case.“The Anti-Corruption Commission filed a leave-to-appeal petition to the appellate division to halt Khaleda Zia’s bail order and it has filed the petition yesterday. Before that, the Supreme Court stayed Khaleda Zia’s bail order in response to an appeal by the attorney general on Sunday. The attorney general becomes happy by causing pains to others,” alleged Rizvi.          Calling this unprecedented, he alleged, “He [attorney general] is not the law officer of the state, rather is the law officer of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.”Rizvi, however, hoped the people expect that the Supreme Court will act neutrally despite all the attempts by the attorney general.The BNP leader claimed that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and its acting chairman Tarique Rahman were convicted in a false case. “And the government did this in a planned manner.”“The way the chief justice was forced to resign at gunpoint and the way the government has established its control over the lower court, the hope for justice has become very thin. And it has been manifested in Khaleda Zia’s case,” he said.Rizvi also informed the media briefing that the party would organise its scheduled public rally in Barisal on 24 March instead of 7 April.last_img read more

Sally Field is playing matchmaker between her son and Adam Rippon

first_imgSally Field is officially all of our mom goals, as she is attempting to set up her son with an Olympian. Sally Field is the best wing-mom ever Rippon preparing to begin his short program. | Photo: YouTubeAt this year’s games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Adam became the first openly gay man to win a medal for the US at any Winter Olympics.He took home the bronze medal in the men’s free skate.How did he do it? He attributed his win to ‘witchcraft’, which is hilarious.Take a look at some of the best responses to the epic wingwoman-ing.Kevin O’Keeffe said: ‘Putting the ally in Sally.’David Eric said: ‘The fact that Sally Field is really pushing for her son to run off with Adam Rippon is just making me love her more than ever.’Slade said: ‘This is just crazy enough to work.’And Michael put it simply: ‘Mother of the year.’Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Her film director son Sam Greisman tweeted on Friday a text he received from his legendary actress mother.Sally Field is the ultimate wing-mom‘Just some really helpful advice from my mom on how to deal with my Olympic crush,’ he tweeted.Just some really helpful advice from my mom on how to deal with my Olympic crush. pic.twitter.com/shYCXwNOMf— sam greisman (@SAMGREIS) 17 February 2018You can see Sam told her: ‘Lol and say what? To date me?? Haha.’And then she replied: ‘Sam… he’s insanely pretty. Find a way..’Sally then retweeted her son’s tweet, and tagged the figure skater.Moms are nothing if not determined to do what’s best for their sons. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) The actress has had her eye on Adam for some time. Earlier this week, she called him ‘amazing’.‘You’re amazing Adam Rippon,’ she said. ‘Your Olympics won’t be about Mike Pence.‘They will be about your excellence and your grace. And all the young boys and girls you’re inspiring.’Adam Rippon would make an excellent son-in-law GAYSTARNEWS- Sally Field’s son apologizes to Adam Rippon for ’embarrassing’ matchmaker tweetsSam Greisman on what went down when he met Adam RipponThis is how Adam Rippon responded to Sally Field playing matchmakerRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/sally-field-playing-matchmaker-son-adam-rippon/last_img read more

Underdogs no more Costa Rica seen as favorites against Greece

first_imgAfter occupying the top spotin the Group of Champions, this small Central American country is now favored for the first time in the World Cup.ESPN’s data-journalism site 538 has given Costa Rica a 57 percent chance of advancing past Greece. English sports betting sites Paddy Power and Ladbrokes give Costa Rica an edge on its European opposition.The Greeks had the weakest group stage performances of any team left in the World Cup. Greece advanced due to a last-second penalty in its match against the Ivory Coast, scoring only for the second time during the three-game group stage. Greece is the only knockout stage team to have a negative (-2) goal differential. ESPN’s Soccer Power Index ranking scored Greece as the worst team of 16 remaining.The stalwart Tico defense further tilts the match in Costa Rica’s favor. La Sele only surrendered one goal — a penalty shot in the opening half versus Uruguay — in its samba through Group D.  In Group C, The Greeks failed to score against Colombia and Japan. They only managed one goal against the Ivory Coast before the penalty that gave Greece the 2-1 victory.“We have to pay a lot of attention to this game, they came out top in the ‘Group of Death,’ Greece coach Fernando Santos told AFP.  “As a result we cannot allow ourselves to underestimate them.”Costa Rica and coach Jorge Luis Pinto seem to dread losing their status as underdogs.“I don’t know if we want to be favorites,” Pinto told AFP. “We don’t feel like favorites. We’ll give it our all. Our results have given us confidence and stability, they demonstrate what we’re worth. We’re well prepared physically and we’ll give our all, with the same respect that we confronted the three world champions.” Friday evening predictions from three oddsmakers. Sports books will not add up to 100 percent due to betting interests. 538 did not make a prediction for for the match going to penalties. Corey Kane/The Tico TimesThe Americas’ successful runCosta Rica is one of several teams from the Americas enjoying success in Brazil. The two regions, CONCACAF (North and Central America) and CONMEBOL (South America), sent a total of 10 squads to the 32 team tournament. Eight of those teams are moving on to the knockout round, with arguably the weakest squads from each half of the Americas going home – Ecuador and Honduras.Costa Rica could end up facing its biggest CONCACAF rival in the next round. Mexico draws a tough opponent in the Netherlands, who dominated their group and finished second overall at the 2010 World Cup. Predictors at 538 think there is a 16 percent chance that Mexico and Costa Rica advance to face each other.Prior to the start of the tournament, an aggregation of predictions showed that Costa Rica was the second biggest longshot to make the knockout round. Now they’re one of only 16 teams remaining — and expected to be among the final eight.<a href=’#’><img alt=’Qualification ‘ src=’http:&#47;&#47;public.tableausoftware.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;Cu&#47;CupOdds&#47;Qualification&#47;1_rss.png’ style=’border: none’ /></a> Related posts:Can Costa Rica defy the odds and conquer Group D (or at least score a goal)? Seriously? Winless England predicted by oddsmakers to beat Costa Rica The Sloth Kong dance Sloth Kong Reigns: Costa Rica conquers Group of Champions Learn About Tableaucenter_img Facebook Commentslast_img read more