Browsing articles in "World News"

To Raise Interest Rates Or To Leave Them Alone? The Federal Reserve Must Decide

Sep 18, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on To Raise Interest Rates Or To Leave Them Alone? The Federal Reserve Must Decide

As the Federal Reserve considers whether or not to raise interest rates, they have a growing complication to factor in: raising interest rates doesn’t seem to have the same effect on the economy that it used to.

Former U.N. Rights Human Rights Chief Outlines The State Of The Geopolitical Climate

Sep 18, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Former U.N. Rights Human Rights Chief Outlines The State Of The Geopolitical Climate

NPR’s Audie Cornish speaks with Zeid Raad Al Hussein, who recently stepped down from his post as United Nations human rights chief, about his thoughts on the state of human rights.

Vontae Davis Ends NFL Career By Walking Off Field During Halftime

Sep 17, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Vontae Davis Ends NFL Career By Walking Off Field During Halftime

Vontae Davis decided to end his NFL career Sunday at halftime, while the Buffalo Bills were playing the Los Angeles Chargers. NPR’s Audie Cornish talks with ESPN reporter Mike Rodak about the decision.

Residents Allowed To Return To Their Homes After Gas Explosions North Of Boston

Sep 17, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Residents Allowed To Return To Their Homes After Gas Explosions North Of Boston

NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with Mayor Dan Rivera of Lawrence, Mass., about a series of natural gas explosions on Thursday that burned homes and resulted in one death.

Typhoon Mangkhut Reaches China As The Philippines Searches For Survivors

Sep 16, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Typhoon Mangkhut Reaches China As The Philippines Searches For Survivors

In the grips of Typhoon Mangkhut on Sunday, waves crashed against the coastline in Zhuhai, southern China’s Guangdong province. The storm has torn through the Philippines, Hong Kong and Macau.

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In the grips of Typhoon Mangkhut on Sunday, waves crashed against the coastline in Zhuhai, southern China’s Guangdong province. The storm has torn through the Philippines, Hong Kong and Macau.

Liang Xu/AP

Typhoon Mangkhut began to lash southern China on Sunday, the latest stop along a destructive path that has left dozens dead and many missing.

At least 64 people have died in the Philippines, according to The Associated Press. Two people were reported killed in China’s Guangdong province, according to Chinese state media.

As the typhoon approached the Pearl River Delta, the country’s National Observatory issued its highest alert level. Hundreds of flights were canceled. Thousands of fishing boats were called back to port. And more than 2.4 million people were relocated, according to the AP.

Typhoon Mangkhut Makes Landfall In China After Dozens Killed In Philippines

In Hong Kong, videos posted to social media showed buildings swaying, roofs torn off, scaffolding collapsing and windows blown out by fierce winds. Gusts of winds reached up to 127 miles per hour, NPR’s Rob Schmitz reported, sending debris flying. On flooded streets that resembled rivers, some residents traveled by canoe.

Waves along the Hong Kong coastline reached as high as 40 feet, according to The New York Times. Authorities were preparing to protect two nuclear plants, Taishan and Yangjiang along the coastline. “All emergency duty personnel of Taishan Nuclear Power have been on the job, all preparations have been implemented, and the Taishan Nuclear Power Base is ready,” managers said in a statement, according to the Times.

After the typhoon hit Macau, 15 people were reported injured and 20,000 households lost power, according to the South China Morning Post. Electricity supplier Companhia de Electricidade de Macau said it suspended power to low-lying areas and will return it when the water level recedes.

Yaonan Li, a resident in downtown Zhuhai, some 15 minutes outside Macau, told NPR the government was nervous about the typhoon but had learned its lesson from a typhoon last year. “The Zhuhai city government spent the financial subsidy that they received from the central government last year on rebuilding the city,” paving new roads and reinforcing sidewalks, he said.

The government announced the closure of its bustling casinos, heritage sites and museums. Schools will be suspended for a day, the South China Morning Post reported.

Mangkhut arrived in China after making landfall Saturday morning on Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. With sustained winds of more than 120 mph, it was stronger than Hurricane Florence when it made landfall with the Carolinas.

Dozens of people have died and more are feared to be trapped by landslides, especially in the Cordillera mountain region.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte traveled to Cagayan province Sunday to assess the damage and recovery efforts. “I share the grief of those who lost loved ones,” he said, calling it “an act of God,” according to the Philippine News Agency. He also said he was “very, very satisfied” with the government’s overall response.

At Least 14 Dead In Carolinas And 'The Worst Flooding Is Yet To Come' In Some Areas

The National Food Authority planned to release nearly 5,000 bags of rice to relief agencies and local government units, the Philippine Information Agency stated.

The Philippine Red Cross shared video and images of rescue efforts, including a nighttime search for families in “neck deep floods.” The ceiling of a district hospital, “leaving the emergency room, laboratory, Out Patient Department, terrace and lobby unusable,” it said.

The military planned to send two C-130 airplanes and 10 helicopters for relief and rescue operations, according to CNN.

By 8 p.m. local time in China, the Hong Kong Observatory said winds had weakened. It downgraded its warning level for the typhoon. “As gales and violent squalls are still occurring in places, precautions should not yet be relaxed,” it added.

Mangkhut is expected to move west over northern Vietnam.

Democrats Call To Delay Kavanaugh Vote After His Accuser Goes Public

Sep 16, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Democrats Call To Delay Kavanaugh Vote After His Accuser Goes Public

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 6, 2018.

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Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 6, 2018.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said on Sunday that the Senate should delay further action on confirming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until newly revealed allegations of sexual assault from 35 years ago are investigated by the FBI.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called for the delay shortly after The Washington Post published a story naming the woman who says that Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her when they were both teenagers.

The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, spoke to the Post on the record and confirmed details that had previously been reported in other outlets, including The New Yorker.

Kavanaugh Denies Allegation Of Sexual Misconduct During High School

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told the Post about the alleged incident. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

To Manage Dementia Well, Start With The Caregivers

Sep 15, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on To Manage Dementia Well, Start With The Caregivers

illustration of hands holding a head

illustration of hands holding a head

When Kate Sieloff’s husband, Karl, began acting strange, she didn’t know where to turn. Her hard-working, affectionate spouse was suddenly having fits of anger and aggression. He stopped paying the bills. Karl, 56 at the time, was an engineer at General Motors, where he’d worked for more than 40 years. But some days he didn’t even show up for work, finding it too hard to get out of bed.

Because the problems were sporadic, most people in her life couldn’t see what was going on. They told Kate, of Romeo, Mich., that she was imagining things. Doctors suggested that Karl was depressed and tried him on a variety of medications. When he began depleting their savings on impulsive purchases, and grew even more aggressive and violent, her son—a neurologist at the University of Michigan’s medical center in Ann Arbor—insisted she bring Karl to his hospital for evaluation. Doctors there quickly diagnosed him with frontotemporal dementia.

For Kate, the diagnosis was a relief, but she still felt overwhelmed and needed help coping with her husband’s illness. Getting his diabetes medications under control, and starting him on a mood stabilizer and a new antidepressant helped control his mood swings while restoring some of his loving personality.

But there is no drug that can prevent or stop the eventual progression of dementia. What she needed was something that could help make her day-to-day caregiving more tolerable, and strategies to help him when the confusion set in.

Things changed when she and Karl went to see Helen Kales and her team at the Program for Positive Aging.

Kales, a geriatric psychiatrist who practices at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, has developed a behavioral approach to dementia care, one that puts the caregiver first and emphasizes training and support for them as much as for the patient. By teaching caregivers new ways to solve old problems, and to respond to their own needs in as well as those of their loved ones, the approach helps ease their burden while simultaneously improving the patient’s experience. It’s a bit like airplane safety rules directing passengers to put on their own oxygen masks before helping someone else.

One of the most important aspects of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is understanding the diseases. The difficulty, Kales explains, isn’t the memory loss, per se, but the behaviors that accompany it — everything from anger to petulance to violence to depression.

“We think about dementia as a problem with memory, but it’s really behavioral,” says Kales. “If you look at the medications being used, they’re all psychiatric and used to managed behavior: antipsychotics, antidepressants, and sleep medication. Anxiety medication. We even use mood stabilizers.”

Risky Antipsychotic Drugs Still Overprescribed In Nursing Homes

Yet despite the millions of dollars spent on these drugs, she says, study after study has shown that their efficacy in treating dementia is typically quite small.

Rather, research suggests that it’s far better to use behavioral and environmental approaches — ones that are sensitive to, and focus on, the needs of a patient, Kales says. “Particularly when you train family caregivers to deliver them in the home.”

As more people survive into their 80s and 90s, there are more people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias than ever before. And the burden is one that primary-care physicians can’t handle alone.

“We realized we needed to do something different,” Kales says. “We just can’t train enough physicians to provide dementia care. Instead, we need to take the daily treatment and management of these patients out of the hands of physicians and put it into the hands of the caregivers themselves.”

It’s an important move. Researchers have shown that the majority of people with dementia are cared for at home by members of their family. And that those family members, in turn, have higher incidence of stress and depression, as well as lower overall quality of life.

“The trick seems to be in training family caregivers to spot triggers of behavior and problem-solve around those triggers, to look for underlying causes and then creatively develop strategies,” Kales says. But such approaches are rarely employed because there’s no systematic way to teach people how to use them.

That’s where Kales’ DICE approach comes in. The method — an acronym representing the four main steps of the process — trains those who look after people with dementia to thoughtfully address behavioral issues. Those steps are: Describe a behavior, thinking about what happens and the context in which it occurs; Investigate its possible causes; Create and implement a plan to address the behavior; and evaluate the results to determine what worked.

No one had ever provided family caregivers with such a user-friendly method before, says Katie Brandt, the director of Caregiver Support Services for the Frontotemporal Disorders Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.

“[Kales] took theories about dementia care and behavior management and turned it into a step by step approach that people can apply,” she says.

Family Caregivers Exchange Tips, Share Stories To Ease Alzheimer's Losses

Here’s how it can play out. Ideally, instead of giving someone a Valium because they’re particularly cantankerous, caregivers would look deeper, analyzing the behavior to figure out why it’s occurring. This can take extra effort when dealing with a patient who can’t communicate in a linear way, or at all, about their experience. In this and other ways, it’s not unlike caring for an infant.

As an example, Kales points to one of her patients, who came into the clinic with his daughter. The daughter mentioned that her dad had been extra ornery that morning, swatting at her as she tried to get him into the car. A physical exam showed that he was experiencing pain in one of his arms, so Kales sent him for an X-ray, which revealed a torn rotator cuff.

“Someone could cover that over with a medication, sedate the gentleman, and he’d continue to have the painful, pathological condition that requires treatment,” she says.

Often, caregivers are given list after list of things they could do to make a house safer or a day of caretaking go more smoothly. But, Kales says, “None of those approaches are really effective for all people. The solution is really in the tailoring of the approach to the symptom, the situation, the caregiver.”

Kales’s clinic has had success teaching DICE to their caregivers. And for Sieloff, the difference has been life-changing. She’s learned to better understand her husband’s dementia, to help him stay calm and feel in control, and to create solutions for some of his more irascible moments.

With the program’s help, she has taken control of her finances, applied for different kinds of assistance, and come up with practical ways to help Karl: a daily routine with limited choices; activities, such gardening, that hew to his interests; and small cards that say, “Please understand my husband has dementia,” which she can hand strangers to de-escalate moments when his anger gets out of control.

Beyond that, working with people in the program has helped her own state of mind. Before her husband’s diagnosis, family members and even some therapists had blamed her for Karl’s problems, or believed she was making them up. “I needed to be absolved,” she says. “For the longest time, people told me it was my fault and I felt so much guilt. I wasn’t sleeping at night. Now I’m sleeping well.”

The University of Michigan team hopes to make such help universally available. They’re creating publications and online tools to help those outside their clinic, and just published the first pilot study of a web-based DICE tool called WeCareAdvisor. For the study, caregivers answered a series of questions online and the tool selected from nearly 1,000 strategies to create a behavioral “prescription” for them to try. If the new strategies didn’t help, they ran through the process again, testing new approaches. They also received an informational resource on dementia and daily messages of encouragement and motivation. At the end of the month-long trial, caregiver distress had decreased significantly.

Brandt has seen similar results teaching DICE in the Boston area. “We know that care-giving is a threat to your health,” Brandt says. “And caregiver stress not only impacts the quality of life of the caregiver, but also impacts the quality of life and quality of care of the person living with dementia.”

After coaching caregivers in her clinic, she says that it appears to reduce stress, while helping them feel confident and more prepared for the challenges that pop up. Massachusetts General Hospital is now looking to adapt Kales WeCareAdvisor, which was developed primarily with caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients in mind, for use in frontotemporal dementia.

Kales says that a printed DICE manual should be available for sale at the end of October and an interactive website—which will contain video modules and e-simulation trainings—at the end of November.

As far as Seiloff is concerned, the sooner the better. “I can’t imagine where I would be without the DICE clinic,” she says. “It’s given me a whole new life. I’m trying to tell everyone I know about this.”

Lauren Gravitz is a science writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Nature, The Economist, Aeon, Discover, The Oprah Magazine, and more. Find her at www.laurengravitz.com and @lyrebard.

Typhoon Mangkhut Kills At Least 12 As It Roars Through Philippines Towards Hong Kong

Sep 15, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Typhoon Mangkhut Kills At Least 12 As It Roars Through Philippines Towards Hong Kong

Residents walk on flooded streets as typhoon Mangkhut batters their city on Sept. 15 in Tuguegarao, Philippines. Typhoon Mangkhut battered northern Philippines as it made landfall Saturday morning leaving at least 12 people dead.

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Residents walk on flooded streets as typhoon Mangkhut batters their city on Sept. 15 in Tuguegarao, Philippines. Typhoon Mangkhut battered northern Philippines as it made landfall Saturday morning leaving at least 12 people dead.

Jes Aznar/Getty Images

Typhoon Mangkhut has ripped through the Philippines, causing swift damage and at least 12 deaths. The over-525-mile-wide storm is now heading for Hong Kong.

Formerly classified as a super typhoon, Mangkhut is known as Ompong in the Philippines — as NPR’s international correspondent Julie McCarthy reports, the government gives it a “Filipino cast” to engage the public. The ferocious storm arrived in the Philippines at around 1:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, with sustained winds of over 120 mph. It was downgraded to the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane after it made landfall, according to the Associated Press.

It struck northern Luzon, the biggest island in the Philippines, a terrain home to over half of the country’s population featuring both mountains and farmland. As rain fell non-stop for hours, the country’s rice-producing region was flooded. The Red Cross predicted before Mangkhut’s landfall that it will destroy 1 million tons of rice. Reuters reports 42 landslides throughout the country — some deadly.

Francis Tolentino, an adviser to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, spoke from the disaster zone on Saturday evening, according to the Associated Press. He said at least 12 were dead in the northern Philippines, including an infant, and that the toll could climb as reports are investigated.

The National Defense Office has confirmed two deaths to NPR: Two rescuers were killed in a landslide in a mountainous region. The agency is also investigating more reports, including three more who have allegedly died in a separate landslide and four cases of missing persons.

Historically, typhoons of this magnitude generate hundreds, sometimes thousands of deaths. 2013’s Super Typhoon Haiyan — a more powerful storm than Mangkhut — killed more than 6,000 people in the Philippines. Officials were worried that Mangkhut could be just as catastrophic.

“We really learned a lot from the Haiyan experience,” Catherine Cabarles, a school teacher in Quezon City, told NPR before Mangkhut arrived. “After that Haiyan experience … many of us are evacuating to higher places.”

Before the storm made landfall, Civil Defense used that knowledge to pre-position hundreds of thousands of food packs. Police were deployed near the impact zone to prevent looting, and armed forces prepared to take the lead on search and rescues.

More than 4 million people were declared at risk from the storm, and around 87,000 evacuated, with 105,000 are staying in temporary shelters, according to Reuters. Communication is cut from many areas and high winds are preventing responders, meaning it’s too early for a full assessment of damage. “In a storm this intense it’s difficult to imagine that more damage isn’t out there,” McCarthy said.

Residents stand by a flooded road following the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut in Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines, on Sept. 15.

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“The poor families living in [the Northern Philippines] have less capacity to recover quickly,” Jerome Balinton, a Humanitarian Response Officer with Save the Children in Santiago City, told NPR. “They are not well-equipped to immediately cover, for example, the need for shelter repair, the need to replace their household essentials.”

“The schools will definitely be affected,” Balinton said. “If these schools or communities don’t have enough capacity to immediately repair their school infrastructure or replace the teaching and learning materials, surely the typhoon will cause a long-term impact to children’s access to education.”

As shown from the Himawari 8 satellite, Typhoon Mangkhut heads towards Hong Kong.

YouTube

As it exits the Philippines, typhoon Mangkhut is predicted to hit Hong Kong on Sunday.

The city is bracing for its impact: Many businesses and homes are shuttered, nuclear power plants in the storm’s path are “in combat readiness” and hundreds of flights from the Hong Kong International Airport have been cancelled, according to the South China Morning Post. The Post also reports Hong Kong’s Civil Aid Service has deployed staff to “help residents take precautions” and appeal to those in the most risky areas to evacuate.

Tronc Agrees To Let Its Virginia Newsrooms Unionize

Sep 14, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Tronc Agrees To Let Its Virginia Newsrooms Unionize

Tronc’s agreement to voluntarily recognize the union at The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press came just 10 days after the Tidewater Media Guild formally asked the company to do so.

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Tronc’s agreement to voluntarily recognize the union at The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press came just 10 days after the Tidewater Media Guild formally asked the company to do so.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET

The traditionally anti-union Tronc newspaper company on Friday agreed to allow journalists at its two Virginia newspapers to organize, averting the need for a federally overseen vote, organizers tell NPR.

The move to unionize the combined newsrooms at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk and the Daily Press in Newport News followed successful organizing efforts earlier this year at Tronc’s larger properties, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. The company subsequently sold the LA Times to a billionaire Tronc investor.

More than 83 percent of eligible newsroom employees at the Virginia papers backed the unionization effort, according to organizers.

Tronc’s agreement to voluntarily recognize the union came just 10 days after the Tidewater Media Guild formally asked the company to do so. Tronc initially declined, and on Sept. 6 the guild requested that the National Labor Relations Board oversee a unionization vote.

Like Bigger Peers, Tronc's Virginia Newsrooms Set To Unionize

Under Pressure, Tronc Recognizes 'Chicago Tribune' Union

“Tronc’s voluntary recognition of the union means the journalists will no longer have to hold an election and can start bargaining for a contract,” the guild said in a statement Friday. “Legal protections for all of the included newsrooms take effect immediately.”

In its own statement, Tronc said it “looks forward to a productive bargaining process with union leadership. We remain committed to ensuring that the Virginia Media Group is the leading source for news and information and continues producing the award-winning journalism our readers expect in the communities we serve.”

Tronc completed its purchase of The Virginian-Pilot in May and is combining the leadership and the newsrooms of The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press.

The union would represent more than 100 journalists at those papers and two related publications, The Virginia Gazette and the Tidewater Review.

Lisa Vernon Sparks, a reporter for the Daily Press, called the union’s recognition “a great step forward” and said it will help keep talented journalists in the Hampton Roads area.

The guild said that by unionizing, “the journalists seek to ensure wage equity, fair hiring practices and diversity in the workforce, among other goals.”

The earlier unionization drives at Tronc papers took different paths, though the outcomes were the same.

Before selling the LA Times, Tronc was badly defeated in a federally overseen labor vote at that paper, despite a management campaign to thwart the unionization effort. At the Chicago Tribune, Tronc called for a federally overseen election but ended up negotiating terms of the union’s recognition before an official vote would have taken place.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Tronc — which also owns the New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and other papers — itself is in talks to be sold.

Tronc Slashes 'New York Daily News' Staff By Half

A Flourishing Region, A Withered Paper: Denver Post's Run Of Bad News

Ray BLK Won’t Settle For Less On ‘Empress’

Sep 14, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Ray BLK Won’t Settle For Less On ‘Empress’

Ray BLK is here to hold it down for the ladies. The U.K. artist shines in her new video for “Empress,” a cool, calm and vivaciously confident anthem about this woman’s worth.

The song and Geej Owner-directed video starts off simple enough: Ray recounts a laundry list of suitors who didn’t quite match up. But with a flick of her tresses and a bat of her precisely glitter-gilded eyes, the camera pans out to reveal an entire movie theater filled with women — all ages, colors, creeds and ethnicities — nodding and singing along in solidarity.

“I don’t want to settle for less / ‘Cause I’m an empress / Got to big up my chest / Even if it hurts / When a woman knows her worth,” Ray sings over acoustic guitar.

Meet Ray BLK, Britain's Rising Star Making Feminist RB Anthems

“Empress” is the lead single off the artist’s upcoming debut EP of the same name via Island Records, a project that RAY says is meant to service young women finding their voices.

“When I started making this project, I was just in a space where I reached a peak of self-acceptance and self-love,” the singer told NPR during an interview last month. “There’s a lot of, you know, media telling women not to love themselves, whether that’s with advertisement or whether that’s with Instagram. There’s a lot pulling women down and making them feel not good enough. And I just wanted to uplift people.”

Empress drops this fall via Island Records.

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