Attention drawn to high suicide rates in Scotland, Russia, Australia

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Attention drawn to high suicide rates in Scotland, Russia, Australia

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Three nations in three continents have seen attention focused on high suicide rates this week. A study found Scotland’s suicide rate to be increasing away from neighbouring England, Russian press and politicians are examining the world’s third-highest teen suicide rate, and new figures showed increasing Aboriginal children’s suicides in Australia’s Northern Territory.

“Until the highest authorities see suicide as a problem, our joint efforts will be unlikely to yield any results,” Boris Polozhy of Moscow’s Serbsky psychiatric center said yesterday. Only fellow ex-USSR nations Belarus and Kazakhstan have higher teen suicide rates than Russia, which is at around 20 per 100,000 nationally. Tuva, Siberia and nearby Buryatiya have rates of 120 and 77 per 100,000 respectively. Thursday saw national children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov say 4,000 youths kill themselves each year.

I have seen websites that offer a thousand ways of killing oneself

Top Health Ministry psychologist Zurab Kekelidze yesterday responded to expert calls for action, promising to “very soon… start implementing” a plan of action to tackle the issue. He said Russian schools, which are criticised for understaffing and perceived inattention to bullying, should teach psychology.

Kekelidze asked the Russian Orthodox Church to help the suicidal, and severely criticised popular online forums dedicated to suicide, where methods are compared. “I have seen websites that offer a thousand ways of killing oneself,” he claimed. Astakhov wanted schools to offer assistance via a social networking presence and tackle online bullying.

The overall national suicide rate is decreasing — down from 42 per 100,000 in 1995 to 23.5 two years ago. The high rate amongst teens is attributed to both school problems and violence at home. Recent high-profile cases include yesterday’s death of a twelve-year-old who hung himself at home in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, and two fourteen-year-olds who jumped hand-in-hand to their ends from a building in Lobnya, Moscow.

Researchers from the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Manchester in England, have been looking at data from 1960 to 2008. Although Scotland had the lower rate until 1968, England and Wales has had the lower rate since. Both areas had increasing rates until the southern side started to fall in the ’90s, and in recent years the gap has significantly increased.

Data was sorted by age, gender, and method; marked increases were seen among Scotsmen aged from 25 to 54 with hanging increasing in popularity. The female rate has remained largely static.

“This study adds to our understanding about patterns of suicide in Great Britain by producing sound evidence on divergences in long-term trends in Scotland compared to England and Wales,” said Professor Stephen Platt, a lead researcher from Edinburgh University’s Centre for Population Health Sciences. “In a future companion paper we will suggest explanations for the persisting higher rate of suicide in Scotland.”

Fellow joint lead researcher Roger Webb of the Centre for Suicide Prevention of Manchester University said the high Scottish hanging rate was “of particular concern as hanging has high case-fatality and is difficult to prevent, except within institutional settings.” He noted “a public information campaign about hanging” could be one way of reducing the rate. Paid for by the Scottish taxpayer, the results appeared in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

In an incident with parallels to the recent Moscow deaths, in 2009 Scottish and British media publicised a high-profile case in which two teenagers leap together from the Erskine Bridge, a famed suicide spot over the River Clyde where an estimated fifteen people kill themselves each year.

We now have a situation in the territory where there are almost as many female as male suicides

This week also saw Howard Bath, Children’s Commissioner for Australia’s Northern Territory, suggest the area had the highest proportion of Aborignal girl suicides in the West. There has been a significant increase since an emergency intervention five years ago in response to a report titled Little Children are Sacred which documented widespread sexual abuse of Northern Territory children and failures by authorities to adequately respond.

A national government-backed Northern Territory suicide inquiry is ongoing and due to report next month. The inquiry has heard clusters of deaths occurred around East and West Arnhem, Katherine, and the vicinity of Alice Springs. The Tiwi Islands had a very high rate from 2000 to 2005, but has now not had a suicide for a year.

Female suicide rates have greatly increased to account for 40% of Northern Territory suicides amongst those aged less than eighteen. “We now have a situation in the territory where there are almost as many female as male suicides,” said Bath. Lack of information is a problem; the all-party inquiry has heard evidence of much under-reporting and poor data collection. The Menzies School of Health’s Gary Robinson called for a Queensland-style register of suicides.

Robinson suggests cannabis-induced psychosis to be a contributing factor but laments “The big problem is nobody keeps any data. Everything is based on impressions.” He also suggested bullying, as in Russia, is a problem while Bath notes violence against women may also take a role. “Aboriginal women are being hospitalised for assault at 80 times the rate of other women… Exposure to violence greatly increases the risk of a person taking their life.” He also notes “I am concerned, as the commissioner, about children who are frequently exposed to violence in the home or in the immediate family.”

As with Scotland, hanging is a popular choice. “The method chosen is usually hanging and it is a particularly lethal method, far more than an overdose,” said Bath. New South Wales, with the nation’s largest indigenous population, has a suicide rate of one per 100,000 but the Northern Territory rate is over 30 per 100,000.

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Argentine footballer Mascherano announces international retirement

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Argentine footballer Mascherano announces international retirement

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Argentine footballer Javier Mascherano announced retirement from international football after losing 3–4 against France in the Last 16 knockout phase of the FIFA World Cup yesterday.

Mascherano made his international debut on June 17, 2003, at the age of nineteen. Since then, he has won 147 international caps with Argentina, a national record. Mascherano has featured in four different FIFA World Cup tournaments, since the 2006 World Cup.

After the match, 34-year-old Mascherano said, “It’s time to say goodbye and for the younger players to step in.” He also said, “Personally, from now on, I will be just another fan, it’s over” ((es))Spanish language: ?En lo personal, a partir de ahora, seré un hincha más. Se terminó.

In the last four years, Mascherano has won the silver medal at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2015 Copa América ((en))America Cup and 2016’s Copa América Centenario.

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Category:Theresa May

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Category:Theresa May

This is the category for Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 28 December 2018: Police warn new drone owners to obey law after disruption at UK’s Gatwick Airport
  • 6 December 2018: UK Parliament begins debate on Brexit deal
  • 11 June 2017: Theresa May’s Conservative Party wins UK election but loses majority, leaving Brexit plan in question
  • 21 April 2017: Theresa May calls for June general election
  • 18 January 2017: Theresa May’s Brexit speech rules out single market membership
  • 21 November 2016: Senior UK politicians talk at Confederation of British Industry conference
  • 2 October 2016: UK Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger article 50 by end of March next year
  • 19 July 2016: ARM to be bought by SoftBank
  • 11 July 2016: Theresa May to become UK Prime Minister as opposition begins leadership election
  • 9 May 2015: Conservatives win majority in 2015 UK general election
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File photo of Theresa May, 2017. Image: Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.


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US toy retail giant Toys ‘R’ Us files for liquidation in United States

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US toy retail giant Toys ‘R’ Us files for liquidation in United States
Published by
Mar 23

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This morning, United States-based toy retail giant Toys “R” Us filed for liquidation with United States bankruptcy court. The company had about 735 stores in the country which may be closed as a result of the liquidation.

The motion came after the US holidays, after which the company said its revenue fell short of expectations. Toys “R” Us was seeking cooperation with its Canadian business to leave 200 stores open, the court papers said. The company said it would be unable to realize an earlier goal to leave as many as 400 stores open.

The papers filed in the court indicated that the United States holiday sales produced revenue US$250 million short of the expectations. In the report to the court, Toys “R” Us blamed in part its weakened e-commerce business. It wrote, “The stark reality is that the debtors are projected to run out of cash in the U.S. in May 2018.”

Toys “R” Us chief executive officer Dave Brandon said, “This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years.”

Toys “R” Us said it was preparing to sell its businesses in Asia and Central Europe, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

In September 2017, Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in the US and Canada, and a judge allowed a US$2 billion loan.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital Partners, and Vornado Realty Trust purchased Toys “R” Us for US$6.6 billion in 2005. According to CNBC, the company had US$4.9 billion in debt at that time, which made it difficult for the company to adapt to the changing market.

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Chemical firm LyondellBasell collapses

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Chemical firm LyondellBasell collapses
Published by
Mar 23

Friday, January 9, 2009

 Correction — January 17, 2009 

LyondellBasell did not collapse. Although the United States units and an affiliate registered in Germany filed for voluntary bankruptcy protection, the rest of the group, including the Netherlands parent, is operating normally. Sources:

Global chemical manufacturer LyondellBasell — the third-largest private chemical company in the world — has collapsed. The firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, as well as the Dutch equivalent. They had failed to meet a January 4 deadline on postponed debt payments, and talks with creditors failed.

Headquartered in The Netherlands, LyondellBasell is owned by private equity tycoon Len Blavatnik, who had already refused the company a loan to help deal with debt resulting from a $12.7 billion merger between Basell International Holdings and Lyondell Chemical to create LyondellBasell Industries.

The company had already appointed Kevin McShea from Alix Partners to restructure the firm. McShea was assigned speculatively prior to the bankruptcy filing. Access Industries, Blavatnik’s company, refused to extend credit as part of a loan deal brokered in March, a decision Lyondell Chemicals Company, a subsidiary of LyondellBasell, stated they were unhappy with.

LyondellBasell had postponed $280 million worth of interest payments, which Standard & Poor said placed it in “selective default” with a “rapidly weakening liquidity position”. S&P also said that LyondellBasell have debts of $26 billion in a report on the company prior to the firm’s collapse.

LyondellBasell responded with a press release, issuing the following statement: “Standard & Poor’s definition of ‘selected default’ related to our corporate credit rating should not be misinterpreted to suggest that LyondellBasell is currently in default of its bank agreements. As they stated in their press release, ‘This is a default in our opinion according to our definitions and criteria.’ LyondellBasell is not currently in default according to its agreements with its lenders.”

The company met with high oil prices shortly after the expensive merger. This was followed by a general tail-off in demand caused by the ongoing financial crisis. Investors were continuing to bet before the collapse that the firm would restructure under bankruptcy protection, leaving lenders with big losses, potentially over 90% of their investments. The cost of credit protection for LyondellBasell bonds had soared. The creditors include Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, ABN Amro and UBS.

On Thursday, an interim allowance was made by a judge for LyondellBasell to seek up to $2.167 billion of loans. There is also an emergency loan paid out of $100 million. As well as LyondellBasell, 79 affiliates have become insolvent. Citigroup has said the collapse will set them back $1.4 billion in unpaid debts.

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Fires at Baxter Immigration Detention Centre in South Australia

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Fires at Baxter Immigration Detention Centre in South Australia
Published by
Mar 22

Saturday, November 12, 2005

34 accommodation units have been destroyed by fire at the Baxter Detention Centre near Pt Augusta in South Australia today. The blaze also gutted a kitchen, laundry, recreational area and officers’ station. The original blaze broke out around 4am ACST in the kitchen of the “White One” compound which houses single men. Fire units took almost three hours to put them out.

Fifty-eight detainees were evacuated from Baxter IDC. Six have been treated for smoke inhalation.

Immigration minister Amanda Vanstone says about 17 rooms have been ruined and others damaged. She says deliberate property damage will not be tolerated and the Australian Federal Police are questioning four detainees over the blazes and anyone found responsible will be charged.

“Anyone with no lawful right to be in Australia should leave irrespective of the behaviour that they’ve undertaken, but if someone with a visa or without a visa to be in Australia engages in criminal conduct that would be taken into account in terms of cancelling a visa,” she said.

The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) said four fires appeared to have been deliberately lit. “The first fire in the kitchen area was followed by three other separate fires within the complex,” an MFS spokesman said.

Refugee rights advocate Pamela Curr said she had concerns about the safety of detainees in the event of a fire because of the electronic doors. She said detainees at a detention centre at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport had been killed during a fire last month because authorities had been unable to manually open the electronic doors. “Thank heavens nobody seems to have been hurt today,” she said. “We’re always on the alert that Baxter is not a safe detention centre”.

Bernadette Wauchope from Rural Australians for Refugees says the destruction will continue until something is done. “They become so desperate that they attempt self-harm or attempt suicide or maybe resort to lighting fires,” she said. “After being locked up for years and years the feeling that they’re isolated and that nobody’s listening to what their stories are, often that, well it does contribute to these kinds of acts,” she said.

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Chef who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ commits suicide

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Chef who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ commits suicide
Published by
Mar 21

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Joseph Cerniglia, a chef who had appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s television show Kitchen Nightmares, has commited suicide. Cerniglia was the owner of Italian restaurant Campania. He jumped off a bridge into the Hudson river on the New York–New Jersey border. At the time of filming in 2007, Cerniglia owed suppliers $80,000.

Officials reported that 39-year-old Cerniglia had jumped off of the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson. His death has officially been ruled as suicide. His body was retrieved from the river after reports of a man jumping off of the bridge.

Ramsay released a statement to the Press Association saying “I was fortunate to spend time with Joe during the first season of Kitchen Nightmares. Joe was a brilliant chef, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and staff.”

Cerniglia told Ramsay about his personal debt when he came to the restaurant in 2007. He said “I am financially in trouble. The debt of the restaurant alone is overwhelming. My personal debt — wife, kids, mortgage — that’s a lot of debt”.

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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008
Published by
Mar 20

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

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Flight lands safely with help from mobile phone text messages

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Flight lands safely with help from mobile phone text messages
Published by
Mar 19

Monday, August 11, 2008

In November 2007, a twin-engine 30-year-old Piper aircraft lost all electrical power on board shortly after departing from Kerry airport in Ireland for a flight to Jersey. Without any electrical power, the pilot was unable to use his radio to contact air traffic control. He was briefly able to re-establish contact with the tower using his cell phone, but that was also disrupted.

The report into the incident published on August 6 revealed how a quick-thinking air traffic controller in Cork started sending directions to the pilot by text message. With this assistance, the plane, with five people on board, landed safely after the undercarriage was lowered manually and air traffic control visually confirmed that it was down. Prior to lowering the undercarriage, the first officer noticed that the nose wheel had failed to retract fully and was actually at half its travel.

“In this incident the positive and proactive initiative of the ATC controller, who, on realising that mobile audio communication from the pilot was intermittent, quickly switched to texting his instructions instead”, said John Hughes, an air accident investigator who reported on the incident. “This contributed to the safe resolution of the incident and, for such, the controller should be commended for his actions.”

The pilot, aged 39 and with 1,900 hours of flying experience, succeeded in climbing to an altitude of 6,500 feet without any problems, but needed to communicate to ensure a safe landing. He originally attempted to contact Kerry airport, and after that failed he made attempts to contact Cork.

The report found that the loss of electrical power was due to the aircraft’s alternators failing to maintain the required voltage, probably due to the battery voltage being insufficient to excite the alternator’s windings. The relay may have been in poor condition after having been subjected to a heavy load following take-off, possibly contributing to the incident.

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News briefs:August 5, 2010

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News briefs:August 5, 2010
Published by
Mar 19
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