Comments are closed. West coast fatalities force rethink on rail staff safetyOn 1 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today The safety of workers on the UK’s railways has been thrustsharply into the spotlight following the deaths in February of four workers onthe west coast mainline near Tebay on the edge of the Lake District. Initial investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), BritishTransport Police and the Railway Inspectorate revealed that although the wagonwas fitted with brakes, they were not functioning properly. As a result of the fatalities, Network Rail insisted that the brakes on allsuch trailers are thoroughly tested prior to use. In addition, it hasstipulated that metal wedges be used in front and behind any decoupled unit.The trailer involved in the incident had been held in place by wooden blocks. However, the RMT union, which represents rail maintenance workers, hascalled for a blanket ban on the use of the wagons until the investigations arecompleted. The four fatalities were part of a group of 10 maintenance staff working onthe line. Three others were injured. Concerns have also been raised over new safety helmets that may have meantthey could not hear the approaching wagon. Ironically, in February, the HSE published a new volume of its RailwaySafety Principles and Guidance series looking at the safe movement of trains. In a series of unrelated incidents earlier in February, Network Rail’sinfrastructure division was fined £20,000 for failing to inspect linesidefencing near Windsor, Berkshire, where, a year earlier a US serviceman was struckand killed by a train. Also in February, Network Rail and Balfour Beatty’s rail infrastructure armwere fined £300,000 after a four year-old was electrocuted on a live rail atStrood, Kent in 1999. New statistics published by the HSE have shown that slips, trips and fallsremain the most common cause of injuries on the railways. From April 2002 to the end of March 2003, slips, trips or falls resulted in86 major injuries to staff and 460 passenger injuries requiring hospitaltreatment. A further 1,199 passengers were admitted to hospital following accidents onstairs and escalators at stations, including two deaths. On 16 March, the Railway Inspectorate is holding a free, one-day seminar toraise awareness about this issue. The seminar takes place at the National Railway Museum in York. For furtherdetails call Jill Moore, on 0161 952 8358. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
Home » News » Conveyancing fraud – cases are on the rise previous nextRegulation & LawConveyancing fraud – cases are on the riseFraudsters hacked emails to seller’s solicitor and stole £340,000 proceeds of a property sale.The Negotiator8th June 20160666 Views Reports of conveyancing fraud are on the rise and it isn’t just the conveyancer – or even the seller that can lose out. While the seller obviously is most at risk as it is their money that is taken by the fraudsters, the estate agency handling the sale risks reputational damage, just by being involved in a sale that goes so badly wrong.So agents need to be aware of the risks, as well as the methods used by the criminals.In one incident, Paul and Ann Lupton sold a flat they had bought for their daughter for £340,000. Two days before the set completion date, Mr Lupton’s solicitor emailed requesting his bank account details for the sale proceeds to be paid into. Mr Lupton duly replied, sending his Barclays bank account number and sort code.The email was intercepted by cyber criminals, using extremely sophisticated technology that examines millions of emails to identify patterns of data that could contain valuable information. Posing as Mr Lupton, the cyber criminal emailed the Luptons’ solicitor again – from the same email account – and told the firm to disregard the previous details and send the money to the fraudulent account instead.The solicitor sent the funds intended for the Luptons, worth just over £333,000 after fees and charges, to the fraudulent bank account. A few days later, Mr Lupton called the solicitors to chase the payment and the crime was discovered. Both parties contacted Barclays and the police.Safeguarding strategies:Firms have a responsibility to look after their clients’ money. However, do they have the necessary facilities to do so in a situation such as this? Would email encryption or the use of fax for confidential and sensitive information be a policy firms should adhere to for all future scenarios of this nature?Government security service Get Safe Online, which offers advice on protecting against fraud, said the Luptons’ case was a stark reminder of how sophisticated cyber criminals had become.Tony Neate, head of Get Safe Online, said, “In this case, the user would have had no idea that their emails had even been intercepted by a criminal or that the money had been fraudulently hijacked. It goes to show the importance of protecting online accounts in as many ways as possible.“Your first line of defence for your email account is a strong password that is different to other online accounts and is changed regularly. Protecting your devices with security software and regularly installing updates will also help.”The Solicitors Regulation Authority said member firms were responsible for safeguarding client funds and must replace any money that was “improperly withheld or withdrawn from a client account.”Outcome:Barclays was the account provider for all three involved: the solicitors, the fraudsters and the Luptons. The account was frozen and £271,000 was returned to the Luptons, still leaving them £62,000 out of pocket. The firm in this case denied they were at fault due to the sophistication of the fraud, but after eight months their PI insurer paid out and reimbursed the Luptons.Get Safe Online Solicitors Regulation Authority Barclays conveyancing fraud cyber criminals June 8, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
James du Pavey, who runs an independent estate agency in Shropshire, has completed the most dramatic fund raising challenge by an estate agent this year, flying by powered paraglider from Land’s End to John O’Groats and setting a world record along the way.The 35-year-old set out on Monday at 3.30am from John O’Groats and finished his challenge the day after despite three crash landings including unscheduled stops in someone’s garden, a cricket pitch and a police dog training facility.He completed the journey on Tuesday after 36 hours after travelling 870 miles and climbing to heights of 10,000 feet, a considerable improvement on his previous effort which took seven days.Du Pavey, who runs a three-branch and eponymous estate agency with 24 staff in and around Nantwich and Market Drayton, told local media that: “It’s been exhausting and nerve-wracking with another engine failure six miles from Land’s End. But totally worth it.”Fund raiserThe intrepid estate agent was followed by a ground crew who fuelled his paramotor along the way and has so far raised £8,614 via his Just Giving page for Stoke-on-Trent based charity The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, part of an overall £20,000 fund-raising effort by him recently.“James and his team have been supporting The Donna Louise since 2017,” says its relationship manager Katie Tams.“James’ paramotor challenge really is upping the game though. We can’t say a big enough thank you to James for braving this totally whacky and wonderful challenge; the funds raised will do so much to support the children, young people and families who rely on our services.”James du Pavey Shropshire charity 2019-07-11Nigel LewisAny comments? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Intrepid estate agent sets world record during ‘whacky’ charity flight attempt Intrepid estate agent sets world record during ‘whacky’ charity flight attempt11th July 20190825 Views
Karlee Macer Says No To A Run For GovernorAugust 20, 2019 Staff ReportTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—One potential Democratic candidate for governor is already out just as the race is getting started.Rep. Karlee Macer of Indianapolis released a statement Tuesday saying, “While I stand ready to roll my sleeves up and show our state what it means to be a Democrat, I will not be doing so in a bid for governor.”Macer is among three Democrats who were exploring bids to challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in the 2020 election. Dr. Woody Myers, the state’s former health commissioner, was the first to formally enter the race when he announced in July that he is running. Sen. Eddie Melton of Gary has been touring the state since late spring meeting with Hoosiers as he explores a possible run.“In every corner of our state, there are leaders stepping up to fight for Hoosiers and their families and I’m always ready to work with those who seek to move Indiana forward,” Macer said.Macer has served in the Indiana House since 2013 and in the most recent legislative session joined Republicans in co-authoring House Enrolled Act 1010, which exempts military pensions from state income taxes.She said that she will work for Democrats seeking political office across the state.“I look forward to supporting those stepping up to make change in our cities, correcting the harmful path the Republican Supermajority have led us down, and taking on some of the most crucial Federal policies in our lifetime,” she added.Holcomb formally announced in July that he is running for re-election. At the end of August, his campaign is sponsoring a fundraiser at the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway where a VIP reception costs $2,500 a couple, early arrival is $250 per person and general admission is $50 each.FOOTNOTE: TheStatehouseFile.com is a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
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HMS St Albans will accompany the veterans as they depart Portsmouth. Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: More than 4,000 Armed Forces personnel will lead the nation in marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day with major commemorative events in Portsmouth and Normandy in June.A major national commemorative event on Southsea Common in Portsmouth will be attended by D-Day veterans, VIP guests and service personnel.Members of the public are invited to attend the commemorations in Portsmouth, where a flypast of 26 Royal Air Force aircraft will salute the veterans in gratitude for their service.Up to 300 veterans, who are now all over 90 years old, will leave Portsmouth on a specially-commissioned ferry to attend events in Normandy on the following day. Up to 11 Royal Navy ships will accompany the veterans as they depart Portsmouth to provide a spectacular salute on the eve of the 75th anniversary. Aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will also take part. Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.At 07:26am on 6 June, a lone piper of the British Army will play at Arromanches in Normandy to mark the exact moment the first British soldier landed on Gold Beach.Later that morning, the Normandy Memorial Trust’s statue will be inaugurated by senior UK and French figures in a ceremony at Ver-sur-Mer.Service personnel will then join veterans at Bayeux Cathedral and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery for The Royal British Legion’s traditional annual commemorative ceremonies. Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter said: The Armed Forces are honoured to dedicate so many personnel and assets to this significant commemoration. Our forebears, who planned and executed Operation Overlord, and those who enabled it to happen by fighting in Italy, Africa and beyond, have the enduring respect of our Armed Forces. We will ensure the example of that special generation lives on. 75 years ago troops from 14 Allied countries united together, many on the south coast of Britain, before launching the historic operation to liberate occupied Europe. Britain must always keep the legacy of that special generation alive. I urge people to join our Armed Forces in showing that all of us, young and old, will never forget the price they paid for the freedom and peace we now enjoy.
The diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder has comea long way since the 1970s, with research now showing it is both morecommon and more treatable than once thought.While early doubters dismissed the condition as a Western phenomenonthat arose because researchers pathologized a nonmedical condition,subsequent research identified physiological changes to the brainbecause of extreme trauma and led to the development of a consistentability to diagnose the condition, both in Western and other nations.In fact, while surveys show that 7.8 percent of Americans haveexperienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the numbers are farhigher in some other nations, particularly those that have experiencedintense violence. In Algeria and Cambodia, for example, which sufferedthrough long civil wars, 37 percent and 28 percent of their populations,respectively, have experienced PTSD, studies say.TerryKeane, a longtime PTSD researcher, Boston University psychiatry professor,and associate chief of staff for research and development at theVeterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, described progress in recentdecades in understanding PTSD during a talk at the HarvardSchool of Public Health (HSPH) Tuesday (March 23). Keane deliveredhis remarks as part of the BarryR. Bloom Public Health Practice Leadership Speaker Series,sponsored by the HSPH Divisionof Public Health Practice.Though rates of PTSD are not as high in the United States as in somewar-torn nations, Keane said surveys show that PTSD is nonetheless asignificant problem. Further, he said, studies show that the numbers andthe levels of disability of those suffering from PTSD are higher thanthose of conditions such as major depression and obsessive-compulsivedisorder.In the United States, women tend to develop PTSD at higher rates thanmen, something Keane said is not fully understood but that may berelated to the personal nature of violence against women. About 60.7percent of men experience trauma severe enough to potentially triggerPTSD during their lifetimes, with 8.1 percent of them developing PTSD.For women, 51.2 percent experience trauma, with 20.4 percent developingPTSD.PTSD is caused by an extreme trauma, which Keane described as a“massively disturbing event” that sparks intense alarm, anger, ordistress. The condition is marked by apprehension and avoidancebehaviors.PTSD also imposes an economic burden on society, Keane said, with itssufferers missing 3.6 days a month from work, costing an estimated $3billion in lost productivity annually.“Can you imagine trying to hold down a job when you miss one day aweek?” Keane asked.The biggest cause of PTSD is the sudden and unexpected death of aloved one, Keane said. In that case, PTSD is different from the normalgrieving that such a loss would cause and is triggered by particularlyhorrific or difficult conditions surrounding the death. Other majorcauses of the ailment are wartime combat, sexual violence, and communityviolence.Those suffering PTSD can feel its effects for decades, Keane said.Progress in treating the condition has resulted in several therapeuticapproaches and medicines that can help. Keane said he is very hopefulabout the prospects of identifying and treating patients. One of thebiggest challenges, though, is education to raise awareness.“I am so hopeful,” Keane said. “[We can] turn around a devastatingcondition, a costly condition … if we can just get this [information]out.”
Shifting the open enrollment period for health insurance signups could boost enrollments and may help people make better health plan choices, according to a new study.The next open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is set for November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. But in a study published online June 25, 2014 in Health Affairs, Katherine Swartz, professor of health policy and economics at Harvard School of Public Health, and co-author John Graves of Vanderbilt University, said the traditional end-of-year open enrollment period—which overlaps the holiday season—is when many people are financially stressed and more likely to make poor decisions.They suggested that a better time for the open enrollment period would be February 15 through April 15—weeks when low-income people typically receive tax refunds and would therefore be less financially stressed and more able to pay health insurance premiums.Read the Health Affairs article: Shifting The Open Enrollment Period for ACA Marketplaces Could Increase Enrollment And Improve Plan ChoicesListen to a podcast of Katherine Swartz discussing the Health Affairs study: Shifting Open Enrollment Could Increase ParticipationRead a Health Affairs blog about the study: Health Affairs Web First: Shifting Open Enrollment Could Increase Participation Read Full Story
Nieman Fellows in the class of 2015 have selected prominent Turkish journalist and writer Hasan Cemal as this year’s recipient of the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism. Cemal was chosen in recognition of a long career dedicated to championing freedom of the press in Turkey and as a representative of all Turkish journalists working today under increasingly difficult conditions.In a statement, the Nieman Fellows said: “Hasan Cemal and Turkish journalists like him have shown great courage in upholding the importance of a free press in their native land. Bearing witness and speaking truth to power are more necessary than ever in Turkey and other places around the world where journalists face government hostility, harassment, and arrest.”Cemal has served as a reporter, editor and columnist at various Turkish news organizations. He resigned from the newspaper Milliyet last year after Turkish Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally criticized a column Cemal wrote in defense of the paper’s reporting on sensitive negotiations between the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. Under pressure, Milliyet censored Cemal and decided not to publish any more of his columns, prompting him to resign.Cemal is one of hundreds of journalists who have been fired or resigned as a result of the Turkish government’s crackdown on the press. In 2012 and 2013, Turkey jailed more journalists than any other country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. On December 14, some two dozen journalists were arrested under Turkey’s anti-terrorism laws. Read Full Story
Neurons in one specific region of the hypothalamus, known as the avMLPA, triggered torpor when activated. Stimulating neurons in other areas of the hypothalamus had no effect.“When the initial experiment worked, we knew we had something,” Greenberg said. “We gained control over torpor in these mice using FosTRAP, which allowed us to then identify the subset of cells that are involved in the process. It’s an elegant demonstration of how Fos can be used to study neuronal activity and behavioral states in the brain.”Worthwhile goalThe team further analyzed the neurons that occupy the region, using single-cell RNA sequencing to look at almost 50,000 individual cells representing 36 different cell types, ultimately pinpointing a subset of torpor-driving neurons, marked by the neurotransmitter transporter gene Vglut2 and the peptide Adcyap1.Stimulating only these neurons was sufficient to induce rapid drops in body temperature and motor activity, key features of torpor. To confirm that these neurons are critical for torpor, the researchers used a separate virus-based tool to silence the activity of avMLPA-Vglut2 neurons. This prevented fasting mice from entering natural torpor, and in particular disrupted the associated decrease in core body temperature. In contrast, silencing these neurons in well-fed mice had no effect.“In warm-blooded animals, body temperature is tightly regulated,” Sun said. “A drop of a couple of degrees in humans, for example, leads to hypothermia and can be fatal. However, torpor circumvents this regulation and allows body temperatures to fall dramatically. Studying torpor in mice helps us understand how this fascinating feature of warm-blooded animals might be manipulated through neural processes.”The researchers caution that their experiments do not conclusively prove that one specific neuron type controls torpor, a complex behavior that likely involves many different cell types. By identifying the specific brain region and subset of neurons involved in the process, however, scientists now have a point of entry for efforts to better understand and control the state in mice and other animal models, the authors said.They are now studying the long-term effects of torpor on mice, the roles of other populations of neurons and the underlying mechanisms and pathways that allow avMLPA neurons to regulate torpor.“Our findings open the door to a new understanding of what torpor and hibernation are, and how they affect cells, the brain and the body,” Hrvatin said. “We can now rigorously study how animals enter and exit these states, identify the underlying biology, and think about applications in humans. This study represents one of the key steps of this journey.”The implications of one day being able to induce torpor or hibernation in humans, if ever realized, are profound.“It’s far too soon to say whether we could induce this type of state in a human, but it is a goal that could be worthwhile,” Greenberg said. “It could potentially lead to an understanding of suspended animation, metabolic control and possibly extended lifespan. Suspended animation in particular is a common theme in science fiction, and perhaps our ability to traverse the stars will someday depend on it.”Additional authors include Oren Wilcox, Hanqi Yao, Aurora Lavin-Peter, Marcelo Cicconet, Elena Assad, Michaela Palmer, Sage Aronson, Alexander Banks, and Eric Griffith.The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01 NS028829, R01 MH114081, R01 DK107717) and a Warren Alpert Distinguished Scholar Award. The dream of suspended animation has long captivated the human imagination, reflected in countless works of mythology and fiction, from King Arthur and Sleeping Beauty to Captain America and Han Solo. By effectively pausing time itself for an individual, a state of stasis promises to enable the repair of lethal injuries, prolong life and allow for travel to distant stars.While suspended animation may seem a fantasy, a strikingly diverse array of life has already achieved a version of it. Through behaviors like hibernation, animals such as bears, frogs, and hummingbirds can survive harsh winters, droughts, food shortages and other extreme conditions by essentially entering into biological stasis, where metabolism, heart rate, and breathing slow to a crawl and body temperature drops.Now, Harvard Medical School (HMS) neuroscientists have discovered a population of neurons in the hypothalamus that controls hibernation-like behavior, or torpor, in mice, revealing for the first time the neural circuits that regulate this state.Reporting in Nature on June 11, the team demonstrated that when these neurons are stimulated, mice enter torpor and can be kept in that state for days. When the activity of these neurons is blocked, natural torpor is disrupted.Another study published simultaneously in Nature by researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan also identified a similar population of neurons in the hypothalamus.By better understanding these processes in mice and other animal models, the authors envision the possibility of one day working toward inducing torpor in humans — an achievement that could have a vast array of applications, such as preventing brain injury during stroke, enabling new treatments for metabolic diseases or even helping NASA send humans to Mars.“The imagination runs wild when we think about the potential of hibernation-like states in humans. Could we really extend lifespan? Is this the way to send people to Mars?” said study co-lead author Sinisa Hrvatin, instructor in neurobiology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS.“To answer these questions, we must first study the fundamental biology of torpor and hibernation in animals,” Hrvatin said. “We and others are doing this — it is not science fiction.”To reduce energy expenditure in times of scarcity, many animals enter a state of torpor. Hibernation is an extended seasonal form of this. Unlike sleep, torpor is associated with systemic physiological changes, particularly significant drops in body temperature and suppression of metabolic activity. While common in nature, the biological mechanisms that underlie torpor and hibernation are still poorly understood. “The imagination runs wild when we think about the potential of hibernation-like states in humans. Could we really extend lifespan?” — Sinisa Hrvatin The role of the brain, in particular, has remained largely unknown, a question that drove the research efforts of Hrvatin and colleagues, including co-lead author Senmiao Sun, a graduate student in the Harvard Program in Neuroscience, and study senior author Michael Greenberg, the Nathan Marsh Pusey Professor and chair of the Department of Neurobiology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS.Neural TRAPThe researchers studied mice, which do not hibernate but experience bouts of torpor when food is scarce and temperatures are low. When housed at 22 C (72 F), fasting mice exhibited a sharp drop in core body temperature and significant reduction in metabolic rate and movement. In comparison, well-fed mice retained normal body temperatures.As mice began to enter torpor, the team focused on a gene called Fos — previously shown by the Greenberg lab to be expressed in active neurons. Labeling the protein product of the Fos gene allowed them to identify which neurons are activated during the transition to torpor throughout the entire brain.This approach revealed widespread neuronal activity, including in brain regions that regulate hunger, feeding, body temperature and many other functions. To see if brain activity was sufficient to trigger torpor, the team combined two techniques — FosTRAP and chemogenetics — to genetically tag neurons that are active during torpor. These neurons could then be re-stimulated later by adding a chemical compound.The experiments confirmed that torpor could indeed be induced — even in well-fed mice — by re-stimulating neurons in this manner after the mice recovered from their initial bout of inactivity.However, because the approach labeled neurons throughout the entire brain, the researchers worked to narrow in on the specific area that controls torpor. To do so, they designed a virus-based tool that they used to selectively activate neurons only at the site of injection.Focusing on the hypothalamus, the region of the brain responsible for regulating body temperature, hunger, thirst, hormone secretion and other functions, the researchers carried out a series of painstaking experiments. They systematically injected 54 animals with minute amounts of the virus covering 226 different regions of the hypothalamus, then activated neurons only in the injected regions and looked for signs of torpor. “A drop of a couple of degrees in humans leads to hypothermia and can be fatal. However, torpor circumvents this regulation and allows body temperatures to fall dramatically.” — Senmiao Sun