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#JaVotes2016: JLP supporters injured in car crash

first_img The accident took place along the 10 Miles Main Road, Bull Bay. The route 97 JUTC bus was headed to 11 Miles, Bull Bay, with the car heading in the opposite direction. According to Detective Inspector Neville Graham of the St Thomas police division, the driver and his lone passenger suffered what he deemed to be minor injuries. Blood, however, could be seen on the side of the roadway which onlookers said were that of the victims. The driver of the JUTC bus was unharmed. Two Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters had to be rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital after the car they were travelling in collided with a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus.last_img read more

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Team SA to debate at Model UN

first_imgParticipants at the 2008 SA Model UNconference in the Cape Town MetropolitanCouncil debating chamber.(Image: SA Model UN) The imposing headquarters of the UnitedNations in New York.(Image: United Nations) The Johannesburg Model UnitedNations gets underway. (Image: AmericanInternational School of Johannesburg)Janine ErasmusAt the end of March a team of young South Africans heads to the US to represent their country at an international Model United Nations debate hosted by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The South African participation is organised by South African Model United Nations and Education Africa.The silver-tongued team has come through a series of testing events on both a provincial and national level, to claim their place in one of the world’s foremost schools debating competitions. From 2 to 5 April 2009 Team South Africa will face up to 2 500 other pupils from all over the world.The Model United Nations (UN) authentically simulates specific UN organs or conferences, such as the General Assembly, Security Council, World Bank, International Court of Justice or the Human Rights Council. Conferences may also replicate intergovernmental organisations such as the European and African Unions, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.Model UN programmes are run in schools and universities all around the world. In Africa there are programmes operating the length and breadth of the continent, including the Cairo International Model UN, the East African Model UN, the Johannesburg Model UN, the Nigerian International Model UN, and the Zambia Model UN at the International School of Lusaka.Stepping into diplomatic shoesDebates are modelled on those held in the UN General Assembly and, to further recreate the atmosphere of that hallowed chamber, pupils are required to step into the shoes of international diplomats of UN member countries.Each team is assigned a country to represent, and must convincingly embody the policies of their allocated country in various spheres, such as relevant international issues, debate and consultation, and development of solutions to world problems. Teams must therefore research and thoroughly understand their allocated country’s political, economic, social and cultural policies.The 2009 conference will feature a number of key committees including the UN Development Programme, the 2007 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Bali, The UN Human Rights Council, and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Crisis committees include Iraq 2003, the UN Security Council, the World Health Organisation, and the Peloponnesian War of 431-404 BC.All these structures are designed to give participating pupils an in-depth experience and understanding of global issues through investigation, communication and diplomacy.Debating their way to the topThe Model UN programme was established in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. For pupils, the first step to debating on the international stage is participation in training workshops at provincial level. Schools are briefed on rules and procedures, as well as the topics of debate. Each team of four – two from an under-privileged school and two from an advantaged school – is allocated a country to represent in the debate.These teams then go forward to the provincial competition, where both topics and adjudicators are selected with the assistance of the UN. The winning team from each province becomes eligible to take part in the national event, and is assisted by a university tutor, usually from a political science or international relations background, in their preparations.The stakes are high as this is the stage during which the national team is selected. The national team comprises 12 members – the four from the winning team and one each from the other eight provinces.The finals for the 2009 international event took place in Pretoria in October 2008, with debate focusing on two hot topics; humanitarian intervention versus sovereignty in the case of Myanmar following Cyclone Nargis; and the indictment of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court. KwaZulu-Natal walked away with top honours, and a further eight pupils were selected to complete the team.Education Africa, a Johannesburg-based non-profit organisation, co-ordinates the programme while the United Nations Information Centre assists with policy direction and adjudication.  The South African Model United Nations provides tutoring and topic selection, and chairs the debates.South Africa’s young public speakers have done the country proud in previous years, and it is expected that the 2009 event will be no exception. In 2006 the team walked off with nine out of the 12 international awards, taking two Outstanding Delegate awards, three Honourable Mention awards and four Mentions for their representation of Nigeria.In 2008 Team South Africa, representing Tanzania, brought home the award for Best Delegation as well as two Honourable Mentions. And nine of the 12 students won individual awards for outstanding performances in their individual committees.Stuart Meyer, chair of the schools development programme of the South African Institute of International Affairs, commented, “It was a wonderful time to be South African. Seeing our pupils walk down the aisle of the mighty hall of the General Assembly, two small dots to thunderous applause as they received their prizes, was a truly emotional moment marking a great achievement.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesFraser-Moleketi takes top UN jobEducation in South AfricaUseful linksSouth African Model United NationsUnited Nations in South AfricaEducation AfricaCornell Model UN Conference 2009South African Institute of International AffairsUnited Nations Information CentresModel United NationsGlobal issues on the UN agendaDepartment of Educationlast_img read more

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Procedure aims to ease symptoms in patients with treatmentresistant depression

first_imgTORONTO – For the last seven years, Sky Zazlov has been fighting the demon of major depressive disorder — and none of the numerous medications, myriad types of therapy or other interventions she has tried have been able to lift the black cloud of despair that has enveloped her life.“It affects hygiene, sleep, diet, emotions,” Zazlov, 40, said of the severe treatment-resistant depression she developed in 2011.“It affects everything, how I interact with my family, whether I’m able to keep friendships, whether or not I can get out of bed and wash my hair and brush my teeth,” said the mother of a 12-year-old boy, who is no longer able to work as a 911 dispatcher in Toronto.“You feel numb sometimes and empty a lot of the time. There’s not a lot of interest in doing anything or seeing anybody or talking to anyone.”The symptoms she describes are classic hallmarks of major depression, which affects about a quarter of the Canadian population at some point in life. Almost 14 per cent of people will suffer recurrent bouts of severe depression; among those, about one in 10 will fail to respond to at least three standard antidepressants and be deemed treatment-resistant.It is a story Zazlov knows all to well.“Nothing has worked well, nothing has even worked OK up to this point.”So in desperation, Zazlov agreed to take part in a six-patient clinical trial of a cutting-edge procedure that uses ultrasound beams directed into the brain to alter a pathway known to be at least in part responsible for such psychiatric conditions as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder.Early Tuesday morning, she became the third patient with intractable depression to be treated at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with MRI-guided focused ultrasound, a non-invasive procedure that sends more than 1,000 beams through the skull to a tiny target in each hemisphere of the brain.Her head shaved and fitted with a halo-like helmet, Zazlov was placed in an MRI scanner, which transmitted images of her brain to computer screens in an adjacent room. Using those images, doctors were able to pinpoint the four- to five-millimetre areas of her brain and precisely deliver the ultrasound beams.Those focused beams create a lesion in the region known as the anterior limb of the internal capsule — medical speak for a kind of circuit or information highway that connects the frontal lobes to emotional centres deeper within the brain, and which is implicated in depression and other mood disorders when its function goes awry.The idea is to “disrupt the activity in a circuit that’s not functioning properly, to effectively reset the activity of that circuit,” said Dr. Nir Lipsman, principal investigator of the trial, the first in North America to use focused ultrasound to try to overcome treatment-resistant depression.The beauty of the procedure is that it’s non-invasive, said Lipsman, a neurosurgeon who heads Sunnybrook’s Centre for Neuromodulation.MRI-guided focused ultrasound doesn’t require holes to be drilled in the skull or a probe passed through the brain, which is the case with such surgeries as deep-brain stimulation, another technique that’s been used to alter the pathway and mediate depression and OCD, for instance.“Now we can generate the same lesion under real-time image guidance without making an incision,” he said.The next challenge is to see if the procedure will be effective — something that won’t be known for at least several months, said Dr. Anthony Levitt, director of the hospital’s brain sciences program and a trial co-investigator.“What I anticipate us seeing in the earliest stages is some change in mood, not necessarily positive or consistent,” he said of Zazlov and the other trial participants.The patients won’t “necessarily feel wonderful and fabulous and recovered … but in that first two months you can see a variety of changes, just evidence that we have tampered with the mood-regulating system. It hasn’t yet adapted itself, it hasn’t come to a settled place, which takes two to six months or more.”Zazlov, who admitted to being apprehensive before undergoing the hours-long procedure, said she enrolled in the trial because she felt she had nothing to lose, even if “they don’t know if it’s going to work.”“I’ve done so many trials of medications, different classes of medications,” she said, following up with a lengthy list of therapies, from individual and group counselling to cognitive processing therapy for trauma, to many rounds of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, in which magnetic pulses are passed through the skull to specific regions of the brain.Some showed promise but then side-effects would set in and it would become unbearable, she said.“I’m not looking for a magic pill, I’m not looking for a magic bullet … I would like to think that this has the potential to make me somewhat OK, Zazlov said of the ultrasound procedure.“I’m hoping that I can have a day where I can get out of bed and I can have a day where I can not feel so hopeless and feel that despair — it’s brutal.“I’d like,” she said pausing with a sigh “to be able to live.”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.last_img read more

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VoD services are becoming more accessible with pu

first_imgVoD services are becoming more accessible, with public service broadcasters leading the way, according to a new survey by ATVOD.Subtitled programmes for those with impaired hearing are now being provided on at least 18 UK VOD services according to the survey.Channel 5, ITV and STV all now provide subtitles for more than 70% of the on demand programming available through their websites, with commercial VOD services Curzon and Viasat coming close to matching that performance, said ATVOD.ATVOD (the Authority for Television On Demand) is the independent co-regulator for the editorial content of UK video on demand services.last_img read more

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