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Tag Archive: UK


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Spina Bifida Resource Network

Folic Acid Everyday

Folic Acid Everyday!

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Folic Acid Everyday!

How much do you know about Folic Acid? Here is our Folic Acid Top 10.

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Find Tasty Recipes! Eat Your Greens and Beans! Foods like leafy greens, broccoli, beans and avocado are high in folate! Here are recipes high in folate.

Facts About Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. Learn more about Spina Bifida and how to prevent it with our Spina Bifida Fact Sheet.

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Scott BauerUnited States Department of Agriculture

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The Telegraph

Adding folic acid to bread and flour would save hundreds of babies, say health experts

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition is calling for folic acid to be added to bread and flour

Folic acid should be added to bread and flour to prevent hundreds of babies being born or aborted every year with diseases like spina bifida, health experts have urged.

Although pregnant women have been urged to take folic acid supplements for decades the rates of

neural tube defects – birth defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord – have not fallen.

“Implementing advice to add folic acid to flour would reduce the risk of birth defects, such as spina bifida, in pregnancy”
Dr Alison Tedstone, Public Health England

The Food Standards Agency has recommended that folic acid be added to bread and flour, like in the US, but the government has still not acted on the advice.

In research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), experts from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), said voluntary measures were failing.

 

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A property is surrounded by flood water, England. ©Toby Melville
Torrential rain has brought flooding to counties across the north of England, causing major disruption to train services, roads and farmland. Soldiers have been deployed to build flood barriers in Lancashire and Cumbria.

The Environmental Agency (EA) issued severe flood warnings this weekend, indicating a risk to life.

It confirmed that 180 millimeters of rain fell over some parts of northern England on Saturday night.

A handful of homes are thought to have been affected. Experts fear up to 1,600 properties could be at risk.

Train services in north Wales have been disrupted by higher river levels in Powys.

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Flood risk is reducing but river levels remain high in northern England. Stay : http://ow.ly/UI78m 

According to the EA, flooding risks are higher for Cumbria and parts of Lancashire, western parts of North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

Fifty British soldiers were deployed to build flood barriers to protect homes vulnerable to flooding, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed.

The troops from 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment spent Friday and Saturday working in the region.

Several images, videos and vines have emerged on social media, showing the damage floods have caused to communities.

 

 

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Eastern Daily Press

08:00 12 November 2015

Brian, who has three ears, is believed to be between four and ten years old.

Brian, who has three ears, is believed to be between four and ten years old.

We’ve all heard about cats having nine lives but have you heard the one about the cat with three ears?

Staff at a Norfolk rescue centre were equally perplexed when one intrepid feline arrived sporting an extra ear.

As Feline Care Cat Rescue in East Harling continue to care for the moggie, it is hoped its owner will now step forward. Brian, as he has been affectionately called, arrived at the centre on Monday after being caught in one of the centre’s traps after setting off security alarms at a nearby business.

Manager of the centre, Molly Farrar, said: “We expected it to be one of our own cats who’d been causing problems so this handsome, mature gentleman was quite a surprise to us.

“We’ve cared for plenty of cats with one eye, three legs or six toes and several cats with no tail left, but this is our first three-eared cat.

The centre is hoping that Brian has not been dumped but has simply got lost.

Miss Farrar, 38, said: “He’s obviously very distinctive with his extra little ear so someone must be missing him or recognise him.

“He’s in a bit of a tatty and skinny state. He’s been in the wars a bit and has a fractured canine tooth and ear mites so he obviously needs looking after.

 

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Residents horrified as gaping 20-foot SINKHOLE opens up on housing estate built over abandoned colliery

  • Huge 20ft sinkhole has opened up on a residential street above old working mine in Gosforth area of Newcastle
  • The huge crater fell in above an abandoned colliery just before 10am with residents reporting a ‘rumbling sound’
  • No one was injured in the incident but police and council officials remain on site investigating cause of incident

Residents have been left horrified after a 20ft sinkhole suddenly opened up on a housing estate built over an abandoned colliery.

The huge crater appeared above old mine workings at Craster Square in the Coxlodge area of Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, just before 11am today.

Dramatic pictures show the sheer size of the deep hole, which stretches the width of the road, and how it has left one lone car stranded on a driveway.

 

The huge 20ft sinkhole appeared on a residential street, in front of a set of garages (pictured), above an abandoned colliery at Craster Square in the Gosforth area of Newcastle upon Tyne just before 11am today. No one was injured but the site has now been cordoned off

No one was injured when the 20ft crater (pictured) suddenly appeared, although police and officials remain at the site this afternoon

No one was injured when the 20ft crater (pictured) suddenly appeared, although police and officials remain at the site this afternoon

The sinkhole was reported to the police by a resident called Doreen, who said she was sorting out her garage when she heard 'rumbling'

The sinkhole was reported to the police by a resident called Doreen, who said she was sorting out her garage when she heard ‘rumbling’

 

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Anonymous plot bonfire night Million Mask March

Protesters hold up their Guy Fawkes masks on the Liberty Bridge during a demonstration by supporters of the Anonymous movement as part of the global "Million Mask March" protests, in Budapest, November 5, 2014. © Bernadett Szabo
 
Activist collective Anonymous have released details of the 2015 Million Mask March, which will see coordinated demonstrations in cities across the globe protesting against corruption, human rights abuses and censorship.

Following in the footsteps of previous marches, the worldwide demonstration will take place on November 5, coinciding with bonfire night in the UK.

This year’s message is “building a better future through collective action,” a statement from the group released on Monday reads.

The London march in 2014 attracted over 1,000 participants who marched through the city center wearing distinctive Guy Fawkes masks, which have become the unofficial emblem of the movement.

Fawkes, part of a band of persecuted English Catholics, was captured and executed by the British state after attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. His image was popularized by the 2005 film adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel V for Vendetta.

 

 

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Country Living
Rebecca Shinners

When an adorable seal named Celebration was only a few days old, she found herself already fighting for her life: After being separated from her mother, the baby was stuck in the mud in Frampton Marsh nature reserve in the UK.

Luckily, help quickly arrived on the scene, but Celebration’s rescuers were certainty not who you’d expect. Ian Ellis, who was bird-watching nearby, spotted a herd of 30 cows all gathered in one area. Upon closer inspection, he was surprised to see a little seal pup in the middle of the group.

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TASS Russian News Agency

Bomb-destroyed houses spotted in Syrian locality where Russian warplanes not used

October 16, 21:10 UTC+3

This territory has never been in the hands of the Islamic State, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Andrey Kartapolov points out
© AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Traces of airstrikes against household buildings have been found at the Syria-Jordan border, where Russian warplanes have performed no missions, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Andrey Kartapolov said on Friday.

“We have spotted ruins of household buildings destroyed by bombing near the settlement of Kherbet Ghazala at the Syrian-Jordan border,” he told a briefing for foreign military attaches and journalists.

“Russian warplanes have never performed any missions there and, as far as we know, the Syrian aviation has not been used there either,” he stressed. “This territory has never been in the hands of the Islamic State. Moreover, this area has been controlled by the Free Syrian Army since 2013.”

He demonstrated photos of the area featuring bomb-destroyed buildings. “You can see on these photos that there are no signs of military activity around these cottages, there are no military hardware, not even signs of military hardware. These are regular gardens and fields with buildings to keep farming tools,” he said.

“Why destroy these buildings? It looks like somebody’s pilots were just training their skills or dropped bombs to report to their command about completed mission,” Kartapolov said.

 

 

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Independent

Russia in Syria: Moscow air strikes ‘have killed thousands of civilians’ already, warns UK Defence Secretary

Michael Fallon says Russia’s ongoing operations raise risk of accidental confrontation with Western forces
Mr Fallon says Russia is prolonging the war by targeting all opponents of President Assad Mr Fallon says Russia is prolonging the war by targeting all opponents of President Assad EPA

Russian airstrikes in Syria may have killed “several hundred” civilians already and raise the risk of accidental confrontation with Western forces, the Defence Secretary has said.

But Michael Fallon said Russia’s intervention should not “divert” Britain from combatting Isis and restated his intention to extend the RAF’s bombing campaign to Syria.

In a sharp condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Syria, Mr Fallon told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme that Russia was prolonging the war by targeting all opponents of President Assad.

“What [Russia] is doing is propping up the Assad regime, making the resolution of all this more difficult. They are prolonging the conflict and civilians are being killed,” he said.

“The RAF strikes are done to very strict rules of engagement. They’ve been striking in Iraq for a year where so far there have been no civilian casualties. The Russians have been at it in Syria for a couple of weeks and independent reports estimate that they’ve killed several hundred people already.”

 

 

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CNN

U.S. official: Doctors Without Borders ‘did everything right’ before airstrike

Washington (CNN)The initial findings of an investigation into a U.S. airstrike against a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan have concluded that the U.S. government was aware the site was a hospital, two U.S. officials told CNN Friday. But that information did not get passed to the correct military personnel, they said.

The officials declined to be identified because the investigation remains ongoing, and both emphasized the initial information could still change as the investigation proceeds. But Doctors Without Borders (MSF), who ran the hospital, “did everything right in informing us,” one of the officials said. The location of the hospital “was in the military database” of restricted sites such as hospitals, mosques and schools that U.S. pilots are not allowed to strike even if insurgents are present.

Chart it: U.S. troop engagement in Afghanistan

Military investigators are reviewing all available audio tapes and other technical data that may have passed from a command center to the air crew, and also to a special operations forces unit on the ground that was talking to the plane.

Investigators are also looking at whether the crew may have voiced concern about engaging any target in that area of Kunduz since it did not appear to meet the criteria for U.S. airstrikes. Under the “rules of engagement” strikes are permitted to protect U.S. forces, to hit targets associated with al Qaeda or to prevent mass casualties among Afghan forces.

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As US Bombs Iraq and Syria, Who Exactly Is Being Killed?

Pentagon provides scant information about people dying at its hands, while reports of civilian casualties emerge from the ground

The rubble of a home reportedly hit by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike in Kafar Daryan in Syria. (Photo: Sami Ali / AFP/Getty Images)

As the United States passes week seven of its expanded war on Iraq, and week two of air strikes across Syria, a critical question remains unanswered: Who exactly is dying in the air bombardments?

Many fear this question will remain unanswered. “I’m concerned that the U.S. is not held to the same standard as other countries when it comes to violating international law and killing civilians,” Raed Jarrar, Policy Impact Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, told Common Dreams.

The U.S. military and government have provided virtually no information about civilian and combatant casualties and have denied on-the-ground reports that innocent people are being killed and wounded in the escalating attacks.

But this official version of events is contradicted by mounting reports from Syria. As recently as Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that overnight U.S. coalition bombings of alleged ISIS positions in northern and eastern Syria took civilian lives, the exact number unspecified. Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman told the Associated Press that a strike on a grain silo in the town of Manbij in Aleppo province “killed only civilians there, workers at the site. There was no ISIS inside.” He added that the bombings “destroyed the food that was stored there.”

The U.S. military on Monday denied the civilian deaths to Reuters but presented no evidence backing its claims. A U.S. Central Command statement released Monday offered no further information about civilian or combatant deaths, stating that air strikes were conducted against a “ISIL vehicles within a staging area adjacent to an ISIL-held grain storage facility near Manbij,” in addition to other targets.

The Observatory is not the only organization to sound the alarm on civilian deaths. Human Rights Watch released a report on Sunday that apparent U.S. missile strikes on Idlib in Syria on September 23 killed at least seven civilians. “Three local residents told Human Rights Watch that missiles killed at least two men, two women, and five children,” reads the report. Video footage from local residents and the Shaam News Network, available on the HRW website, appear to verify that civilians were wounded and killed in the strikes. According to some estimates, as many as 24 civilians were killed in coalition air strikes on this day.

Pentagon Spokesperson Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby denied those civilian deaths as well, again offering no evidence. “This is a pretty remote area of the country, mostly just desert. It’s not — it’s not urban,” he told the Associated Press. “We don’t believe that there’s much reason to be too concerned about any collateral damage, you know, to civilian property, that kind of thing.”

But numerous journalists say their contacts corroborate reports of civilian deaths, including Foreign Policy’s Shane Harris, who tweeted:

The Pentagon has also claimed that civilians are spared in its ongoing bombings of Iraq, which now number over 240 strikes since August eighth. But the U.S. has offered no evidence backing this claim, and the National Iraqi News Agency has reported that civilians have died in U.S. strikes on the country. Numerous voices from Iraq and across the world warn that the renewed U.S. war in the country is bringing further militarization and death to ordinary Iraqi people, who are squeezed between siege from ISIS and strikes from above.

According to Jarrar, the failure of the U.S. to account for the Iraqis killed in the 2003 war raises serious concerns about U.S. accountability and honesty over who it kills. “There is strong evidence that the U.S.-led attacks have killed dozens of civilians in Syria in the last few weeks and killed tens and thousands of civilians in Iraq over the last decade, and we haven’t seen any investigations into these crimes,” said Jarrar. “There is no reason to believe the U.S. will investigate itself.”

Robert Naiman, policy director for Just Foreign Policy, told Common Dreams, “There is a big danger here that U.S. air strikes in Syria are going to resemble the drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen in the sense that there is no accountability for who is killed. We have reports of civilian casualties from people in the area and the U.S. government says, ‘No, they are bad guys.’ There has to be some public accountability for what happens when there are allegations of civilian casualties.”

According to Jarrar, the U.S. hand in civilian deaths extends beyond direct bombings. “The indirect U.S. intervention is left unchecked as well: U.S. training and funding and equipping proxy groups in Iraq and Syria. There is very strong evidence that many of the U.S. allies that have been receiving us military assistance and training and equipments have been committing gross human rights violations and the U.S. has not been held accountable.”

  • About 2 millions and half killed and wounded since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution

 

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© Baz Ratner
Ebola cases in Sierra Leone could have been cut by 50 percent had the UK had set up beds in the stricken nation’s treatment centers just one month earlier, a new report claims.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) suggest had British aid efforts been provided sooner, some 7,500 people could have been prevented from contracting the virus.

During that time frame the UK installed more than 1,500 treatment beds in community centers, and a further 1,200 in specialist Ebola centers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 13,945 people fell ill between September 2014 and February 2015.

LSHTM lecturer in infectious diseases Dr Adam Kucharski and his colleagues say the UK’s involvement saved 40,000 lives. However more deaths could have been prevented had they intervened sooner.

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Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey admitted to hospital ‘in a very serious condition’ http://on.rt.com/6tg4 

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On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry held an extraordinary briefing to discuss the international coverage of Russia’s military operation in Syria.

Russia’s anti-ISIL operation has prompted a smear campaign in the world media, the country’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Tuesday.

Speaking during a briefing in Moscow, Zakharova noted that Western claims that Russia kills civilians in Syria and attacks the moderate opposition were based on unconfirmed data and unnamed sources.

She went on to say that Moscow was surprised at British official statements alleging that Russia is waging an asymmetric war in Syria and committing a mistake.

“If it is a mistake, show us the facts proving that,” she said. “This is how public opinion is shaped. The people who watch television believe these people and they believe it is a mistake,” she added.

 

The burial ground that swallowed its graves: 50 coffin-shaped sinkholes appear in graveyard… in Gravesend

  • Dozens of coffin-shaped depressions have appeared in the ground
  • Authorities are trying to fill the sinkholes in Gravesend cemetery, Kent
  • Weeks of rain blamed for compacting loose soil on top of the graves
  • Visitors have been warned about ‘carpet’ of grass concealing holes
  • Around 50 graves affected by the subsidence over the past days

By Tom Gardner

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Dozens of coffin-shaped pits have opened up across a cemetery after weeks of rain caused the earth to give way over burial grounds.

The alarming sinkhole phenomenon, which have exposed around 50 unmarked graves, raised fears deep cavities might be concealed just below the grass.

Visitors are being warned to watch their step after the giant holes appeared at Gravesend Cemetery in Kent.

Collapse: Coffin-shaped holes have been opening up in the cemetery in Gravesend as a result of earth movements

Collapse: Coffin-shaped holes have been opening up in the cemetery in Gravesend as a result of earth movements

Warning: Visitors have been told to be careful where they step in this Gravesend cemetery after large holes began to open up

Warning: Visitors have been told to be careful where they step in this Gravesend cemetery after large holes began to open up

Several plots have sunk below ground level following weeks of heavy rain. 

Worried cemetery bosses have revealed they have never before seen graves sinking into the ground on such a scale.

A technique known as backfilling has so far failed, as the heavy rain has seen the soil compact down.

Now visitors have been warned to tread carefully – as holes may be lying underneath a mere ‘carpet’ of grass.

The graves, including those at another cemetery in neighbouring Northfleet, have been sinking into the ground over the last fortnight.

The cemetery in Gravesend where the grave plots have started sinking

The cemetery in Gravesend where the grave plots have started sinking

Unsettling: Heavy rain is being blamed for disturbing the earth and causing graves to collapse in on themselves

Patching up: The local council is busy backfilling the sunken graves with more soil

Patching up: The local council is busy backfilling the sunken graves with more soil

A Gravesham Council spokesman said: ‘It is quite common for graves to sink – especially after a period of heavy rain.

‘However none of the current staff has seen anything on this scale. Both cemeteries have been affected but Northfleet is smaller and has been more manageable.

‘There are two main reasons why it has happened.

WHY DO SINKHOLES HAPPEN?

Urban sinkholes are more common after heavy rain, because they are caused by water flowing through channels below ground and eroding away soil or soft rock like limestone.

As the earth is carried into other parts of the ground large caverns can open up, usually unknown to the authorities or the people living above them.

Once the cavern cannot support the weight of the topsoil above it, it collapses into the ground.

One of the world’s largest sinkholes, the Xiaozhai Tiankeng in China, is more than 2,000ft deep.

‘One is graves are backfilled with loose soil and they sink again once that soil gets so wet and heavy it compacts.

‘One of the first areas that showed a problem had been backfilled three times and needed doing again.

‘Secondly in the old section of the cemetery the graves are deeper, so there are larger cavities for the soil to sink into.

‘We have been working hard to top up the affected graves using extra staff from other teams.

‘It is a gradual process but it is a priority to deal with them.’

 

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