first_imgNZ Herald 30 June 2012The former boss of the industry association representing pokie trusts says the system is corrupt and needs total reform. Former Community Gaming Association executive director Francis Wevers said the incentives to take advantage were too powerful. The result was “endemic non-compliance” and “corruption” in a business which had a turnover of $9 billion. About $850 million was distributed to the Government, the community and pokie trusts. The pokie trusts face extinction under a private member’s bill brought by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell, which would strip the trusts of their powers and create a new system for distributing funding. His proposed bill creates a system where local government would distribute the cash with a focus on making grants to local organisations. The bill has led to pokie trusts organising a revolt among community and sporting organisations, using the spectre of disappearing funding. Mr Wevers said he believed a new system would lead to greater levels of funding going back to the community, though did not believe local government was the right conduit.He said the flaws in the current system gave the hospitality sector too much power, allowing host pubs to command too much of a share of pokie proceeds under threat of shifting allegiance to other gaming trusts. “Right from the start, the hospitality sector has seen the requirement for money to go back to the community as an imposition.” read more

first_imgNewsHub 20 April 2016Family First Comment: And to think there’s discussion going on about legalising and going soft on this activity! Massey University’s just revealed its latest annual Illicit Drug Monitoring System study.It’s based on interviews with more than 300 frequent illegal drug users and captures the 2014 New Zealand drug scene.10 Fast FactsSeventy percent reported fewer people were using synthetic cannabis in 2014.Fifty-five percent thought access to synthetic cannabinoids had become ‘more difficult’ in 2014.The proportion of Alcohol and Drug Helpline callers seeking help for synthetic cannabis fell from 9 percent in 2013/14 to 2 percent in 2014/15.The availability of cannabis declined slightly from 2006 to 2014, including a sharp decline from 2013 to 2014.Seventy-two percent report increased buying and selling of drugs via social media and encrypted websites.Seventy-six percent said they could purchase methamphetamine within an hour in 2014, up from 51 percent in 2011.Twenty-nine percent of meth users experienced a ‘drug overdose’ in 2014, up from 15 percent in 2013.Nearly two-thirds of drug users admitted doing something under the influence of drugs which they later regretted.Forty-six percent of the injecting drug users, 42 percent of the methamphetamine users and 19 percent of the ecstasy users had suffered from a mental illness.Fifty-three percent of the frequent injecting drug users and 20 percent of the frequent methamphetamine users reported they needed ‘a lot’ of help to reduce their drug use in 2014. up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more 7 June 2016Family First Comment: What rights?!Clinton’s pro-abortion views are longstanding. In March 2009, Hillary Clinton received Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger award at an event in Houston.  During the event, Clinton said that emphasizing and promoting abortion is a key issue in President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. She also defended taxpayer funded abortions for poor women.During this election, Hillary has slammed a new law in Indiana banning abortions on babies with Down syndrome.During an interview on The View recently Hillary Clinton said an unborn child just hours before delivery should have no Constitutional rights. Her comments came just days after Clinton said unborn children simply do not have any Constitutional rights, which would include the right to life.In February, Clinton defended partial-birth abortions: “My husband vetoed a very restrictive legislation on late-term abortions, and he vetoed it at an event in the White House where we invited a lot of women who had faced this very difficult decision, that ought to be made based on their own conscience, their family, their faith, in consultation with doctors. Those stories left a searing impression on me,” she continued.Clinton has said more taxpayer money needs to go to the Planned Parenthood abortion business and Clinton demonstrated her unyielding commitment to abortion and the Planned Parenthood abortion business, accepting their endorsement during a pro-abortion rally — saying she would be the abortion business’ president.“I will always defend Planned Parenthood and I will say consistently and proudly, Planned Parenthood should be funded, supported and protected, not undermined, misrepresented and demonized,” Clinton said. “As your president, I will always have your back.”At a speech to the Women in the World Conference in April 2015, Hillary Clinton argued, “Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care (aka. abortion) and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced,” In order to expand worldwide access to abortion, she suggested that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”In May 2015, the U.S. House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn babies 20 weeks and older from excruciating late abortions. In addition to a statement slamming House lawmakers for advancing the bill, Clinton tweeted, “When it comes to women’s health, there are two kinds of experts: women and their doctors. True 40+ years ago, true today.”At a presidential forum at Drake University, Clinton called ending the life of another human being a “fundamental human right.”The first order of business for Clinton and her friends at the abortion company is to force Americans to pay for abortions with their tax dollars by attempting to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which has protected Americans from funding most all abortions since the late 1970s. Upheld by the Supreme Court, the Hyde Amendment is now a target of abortion advocates who have moved from pro-choice to pro-abortion — forcing Americans not only to accept unlimited abortions before birth but to pay for them. read more

first_imgNewsHub 21 December 2016Family First Comment: It’s time for politicians to stop sitting on their hands and bowing down to the alcohol lobby as they did last year when the laws were reviewed.Emergency room doctors are calling for changes to alcohol laws following a survey that’s found nearly one in four emergency department (ED) patients are there because of booze.A snapshot of every New Zealand emergency department by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine has found a quarter of patients were there because of alcohol-related issues.That compares to one in seven when the survey was conducted last year.Waikato Hospital emergency department clinical director John Bonning said the results were ” absolutely diabolical”.“The level of harm these people cause to their own health is bad enough but they also divert time and resources from other patients, including older people and young children,” he said.“They put an undue strain on our emergency departments and can be rude, aggressive, or – in the worst circumstances – even violent towards doctors and nurses.”READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

first_imgPublic Discourse 12 June 2017Family First Comment: “Doctors currently have no way of predicting which gender dysphoric children will persist in their gender dysphoria, and yet they are pushing the minimum age for irreversible hormone therapy and surgery as low as possible.”And in NZ also!!Doctors currently have no way of predicting which gender dysphoric children will persist in their gender dysphoria, and yet they are pushing the minimum age for irreversible hormone therapy and surgery as low as possible.According to the wisdom of the day, kids experiencing gender dysphoria need to be treated affirmingly as early—and as radically—as possible. For the time being, surgery and hormone therapy have to wait until age sixteen. But before that, adolescents can be prescribed puberty blockers, and even younger children are encouraged to transition “socially,” by adopting the name, dress, and mannerisms of their preferred gender.All of this is in spite of the fact that gender dysphoria in children sees very low rates of persistence—ranging from 2.2% to 30% in males and from 12% to 50% in females, according to the DSM-5. As Dr. Kristina Olson, a research psychologist at the University of Washington, put it, “We just don’t have definitive data one way or another.” The truth is that no one can predict whether a gender dysphoric kid will feel the same way years later. That’s why Olson is leading a study of 300 trans kids that will track outcomes over twenty years. “To be able to, hopefully, answer which children should or should not transition,” she said. In the meantime, many of those children will be encouraged to go ahead and make life-altering medical decisions in light of scientific ignorance.Standards Are Getting Looser, Not More StringentThe standard medical and social response to gender dysphoria is to encourage and affirm the child’s self-diagnosis and to provide hormone therapies and unnecessary social and medical gender transitions without thoroughly exploring alternative effective treatment plans.In fact, a team of international doctors affiliated with The Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and the World Professional Association of Transgender Health—all of which are held in esteem in this field of medicine—is rewriting treatment guidelines so that a medically induced gender change may be recommended for children even younger than sixteen. This represents a huge departure from what were already lenient guidelines for treating children who feel they are in the wrong gender.Until now, the guidelines recommended giving preadolescent children puberty blockers to give more time to decide about going forward with more invasive treatment. But under the new guidelines, the more invasive treatment of cross-gender hormones will be recommended for children younger than age sixteen. Many physical effects of hormones, such as reduced bone density and reduced fertility, are irreversible. Other risks haven’t been studied at all.READ MORE: read more

first_imgStuff 2 July 2017Family First Comment: So does this mean that Family Planning having been giving yet more incomplete and harmful advice?!Interesting quote in the article though..“I love, and adore, and idolise my daughter, and in hindsight, I am so glad the pill did not work, but I took the ECP to prevent a pregnancy.”#chooselifeClinics and pharmacists are prescribing the morning-after pill to women, too embarrassed to warn them it is unlikely to work for any woman of above-average weight.In May last year, Terrie Caldow, 33, had no idea her weight would mean the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) would not prevent an unwanted pregnancy when she went to a sexual health clinic in Tauranga.Weighing more than 70kg at the time, Caldow says she was not told her weight was a risk factor. The pill didn’t work – she now has a five-month-old daughter.Despite a warning issued by Medsafe in 2014, pharmacies are failing to warn women their weight could render the ECP ineffective.Pharmacies visited by women journalists, asking for the ECP, failed to follow the dispensing guidelines, which instruct them to refer women of above-average body-mass index to a doctor. And that experience was echoed by other women.The Medsafe warning was issued after research revealed the most popular type of morning after pill made from Levonorgestrel was ineffective in preventing pregnancies in women weighing more than 80 kilograms, and became increasingly ineffective in women over 70kg.READ MORE: read more

first_imgBruce Logan 25 July 2018Bruce Logan warns us that contrary to the libertarian credentials of ACT’s David Seymour, euthanasia will encourage the old, disadvantaged & disabled to undervalue themselves, and will actually decrease individual freedom.David Seymour, the ACT member for Parliament and sponsor of the Euthanasia Bill claims libertarian credentials (Herald, July 3). Excellent. One could say a number of good things about libertarianism. Not least, its grasp on the notion of citizenship freedom and its suspicion of over-reaching state power.However, like many libertarians Mr Seymour finds himself advocating something other than what his philosophy advocates. His demand for euthanasia might look like increasing individual freedom, but it doesn’t. It’s quite the opposite.The confusion lies in a misplaced faith in the law to control our lives and make us better. Unfortunately, the law is not a nurse; it’s a schoolmaster who would discipline us everywhere. There are, however, good laws and bad laws. Good laws encourage conscience while bad laws negate it. The End of Life Choice Bill is bad law because it will compromise first the individual conscience and ultimately public morality.Implicit in Mr Seymour’s bill is the assumption that law should be used to create new personal freedoms, the right to kill under certain circumstances, when it should be preserving the self-evident freedom of the right to life. It fails to comprehend the transcendent foundation of human dignity. It  is an ideology that presumes universality when its vision is limited by contemporary human rights theory. It is presumptuous in its claim to understand the mystery of human suffering.Euthanasia might first appear to be an enhancement of freedom by widening the contemporary fixation with choice, but it is not possible in this context, or any context, to distribute choice justly. It will, in fact limit the choice for a great deal more people than for those very few people who might appear to benefit. The very nature of Mr Seymour’s bill undervalues the complexity of human decision making because it will undermine sensitive family dynamics. It creates too great an opportunity for relatives to coerce family members to hasten their own death.In New Zealand the law says that one citizen must not kill another. Mr Seymour’s Bill would claim that it is permissible, under certain conditions, for some people to kill others. Immediately that compromises the freedom of those citizens the law says we may assist to bring about their death.Government power, the use of positive law, to influence human behaviour is a very blunt instrument. At best, with some obvious practical exceptions, it can only say what must not be done not what should be done. Every law passed that presumes a utilitarian understanding of human dignity is one more subtle movement towards increasing state power over the lives of its citizens.At the outset euthanasia might look like an action of mercy, one of compassion when in fact it is probably motivated by pity; an emotion that wants to get rid of pain and discomfort as quickly as possible. Compassion one the other hand will share in the anguish and suffering of the patient. Any law that permits assisted suicide threatens the outworking of that compassion.The vexatious conflict surrounding Mr Seymour’s bill is that he casts the intimacy of human relationships within a human rights framework. He says, “the end of life choice is the last great human rights issue.”The language or rights prevails. But as influential French philosopher Simone Weil said decades ago, the language of rights ultimately cannot build or sustain a common life.“If you say to someone who has ears to hear: ‘What you are doing to me is not just’, you touch and awaken at its source the spirit of attention and love. But it is not the same with words like ‘I have the right . . .’ or ‘you have no right to . . .’ They invoke a latent war and awaken the spirit of contention. To place the notion of rights at the centre of social conflicts is to inhibit any possible impulse of charity on both sides.”Consequently, it becomes inevitable that a human life will be valued by its usefulness. Mr Seymour’s bill is thoroughly utilitarian. Its internal logic would have us devalue the old, the disadvantaged and the disabled. Indeed, it will encourage the old, the disadvantaged and the disabled to undervalue themselves.Bruce Logan is a Board member of Family First New Zealand.last_img read more

first_imgNewsHub 14 August 2019New Zealand’s cannabis-related hospitalisations have more than doubled in the past decade.New statistics, collected by the Ministry of Health, show that in 2008 only 192 people were released from hospital with a primary cannabis diagnosis. However, by 2018, this had increased to 505.Otago University Professor Joseph Boden, who has been appointed to New Zealand’s expert panel on cannabis, says the increase is probably due to a combination of factors.“One is that people are more aware these days of the harms associated with cannabis, and may be more accurate in attributing their symptoms to their use of cannabis,” he told Newshub.“Second is that [as] in overseas jurisdictions, cannabis use is becoming more normalised, so patients may be more willing to admit to it during a medical examination in the ED.“Third is that there may be some error of measurement, such that patients say that they have used cannabis when they have in fact used synthetic cannabis.”“The evidence shows the number of hospital admissions rise when recreational marijuana is legalised, in Colorado there was a threefold increase in emergency room visits,” says Paula Bennett, National’s spokesperson for drug reform.“The increase is because of wider availability of recreational marijuana, combined with limited education on the harms it causes, and a natural willingness of people to try it once it becomes legal.“We can’t rule out children getting their hands on marijuana mistakenly if edibles, drinks and lotions are available. They are marketed to appeal to younger people.”Family First national director Bob McCoskrie says the fact remains there is no ‘safe drug’.“These stats will only worsen if marijuana is legalised in New Zealand and the marijuana industry floods the market with highly potent cannabis concentrates – edibles, dabbing (smoking highly concentrated THC) and vaping – as they have in all other jurisdictions where dope has been allowed,” he told Newshub.“This should sound the warning bell that marijuana is absolutely a health issue, which is why the law is so important for protecting public health and safety. A soft approach would be a disaster.”“At a time when New Zealand’s mental health system is bursting at the seams, why would we legitimise a mind-altering product which will simply add to social harm? It’s patently obvious that legalisation will increase its use and harm. So-called ‘regulation’ doesn’t change the fact that drugs harm.”READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

first_img Share BusinessNewsRegional Digicel owner denies bribery by: – March 24, 2011 Share DUBLIN, Ireland, Thursday March 24, 2011 – An investigation in Ireland has found that Digicel owner Denis O’Brien made payments to a former government minister to help him secure a mobile licence 16 years ago that helped him make a fortune and branch off into his lucrative mobile phone operations in the region – a charge he has vehemently denied.Justice Michael Moriarty, who headed the tribunal, concluded that OBrien paid Ireland’s former Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications Michael Lowry significant sums of money and, in exchange, Lowry gave O’Brien, “substantive information (that was) of significant value and assistance” to his Esat Digifone company securing Ireland’s second mobile licence ahead of rival bidders, in 1995.The final 2,350-page report published on Tuesday highlighted payments amounting to almost £900,000 (US$1.4 million), made or facilitated by O’Brien for properties in the UK, which the tribunal linked to Lowry.The tribunal said it was satisfied that the payments and other benefits were related to the awarding of the licence and accused the former minister of a “cynical and venal abuse of office”.But both O’Brien – who is Ireland’s richest man according to Forbes magazine which this month put his fortune at US$4.2 billion – and Lowry have denied the allegations. O’Brien, who sold Esat Digifone to British Telecommunications (BT) for US$2.4 billion in 2000 and earned US$240 million from the sale a year before going on to launch one of the largest mobile companies in the Caribbean, said the report was “fundamentally flawed” and was strictly based on the opinions and theories of the tribunal.“I wish to state in the most categoric terms once again that I never made any payment to Michael Lowry in his capacity as a government minister, as a public representative or as a private citizen,” the Digicel chairman said in a statement issued after the release of the report.O’Brien wants probe into judge’s conductHe went further, calling for an investigation into Justice Moriarty’s conduct. According to O’Brien, the judge admitted last year to making two errors which had been used to substantiate “false theories”.“The reason these errors were admitted was only because they had been uncovered by the diligent work of members of the legal profession. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the chairman makes no reference to the concealment of crucial correspondence by the tribunal from the office of the attorney general over an eight-year period. It has been evident from the outset to me and to many other witnesses before this tribunal that the final report would be designed to damage the reputations of many reputable people,” he said. “I believe it is now incumbent on the judiciary to investigate the conduct of Mr Justice Michael Moriarty and the tribunal legal team for the manner in which they conducted themselves.”Digicel also issued a statement yesterday saying that it was in no way affected by or involved in the tribunal report.“The tribunal is made up of one member, Mr Justice Moriarty, who is expected to present what is referred to as a “reasoned expression of opinion” relating to the matters he has investigated. As a “reasoned expression of opinion” the report has no legal effect or consequences,” it said.Digicel went on to sing O’Brien’s praises, describing him as “the driving force behind revolutionising mobile communications across the Caribbean and the Pacific, making mobile communications accessible to all and ensuring that customers benefit from best value, best service and the best network”. It said that O’Brien’s vision, drive, energy and integrity continue to be integral to Digicel’s success that includes having 32 mobile licences across the globe, more than 11.5 million customers, and 5,500 employees worldwide. Lowry, meanwhile, also contended that the report has no basis in law.“I intend to study the report in detail and in due course, to challenge its veracity,” he said.The tribunal had been set up in 1997 to probe his financial affairs as well as those of former prime minister Charles Haughey. The circumstances surrounding the awarding of the licence to the Esat Digifone consortium – the biggest contract ever awarded by the State to a private company – had been the focus of the work of the tribunal since 2007.Source: Caribbean 360 News Tweetcenter_img Share 311 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring!last_img read more

first_img Share Sharing is caring! 60 Views   one comment Photo credit: tpwd.state.tx.usWe sometimes whistle to entertain ourselves, in song, to get the attention of others, and even to attract birds. The 3rd Whistle Like A Bird Contest will provide persons who are skilled in imitating the songs and calls of Dominican birds with another opportunity to come up against each other in a friendly, competitive setting.This year’s contest will be staged at the Alliance Francaise Auditorium, on Thursday 19th May 2011 from10:00 a.m., as part of the 2011 Caribbean Endemic Birds Festival. The event is being organised by the Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.Six (6) contestants will be called upon to imitate three Dominican birds of their choice. Jubinot Honoré of Dublanc, the winner of the 2010 competition, will come up against the 2009 winner Christine Luke of Pont Cassé for the first time, and one new contestant, Marcus Benjamin of Roseau. The other participants in the contest are Vigile Laurent of Goodwill, and Edison St. Jean and Jefferson Warrington of Warner.The winner will receive a cash prize and a night for two compliments Castle Comfort Lodge.Dominica Vibes News Tweetcenter_img Share Share LocalNews “WHISTLE LIKE A BIRD” CONTEST by: – May 18, 2011last_img read more