Monday, November 26

British report

From the original Ovi magazine (Ovi lehti in Finnish)

Brown hits back on forces funding

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has rejected criticism from five former military chiefs about the treatment of and funding for the armed forces. He said he had "nothing but praise" for the forces, and was putting more money into defense "than ever before".

Former chief of staff Lord Boyce said making Des Browne defense and Scottish secretary had been an "insult". Tory leader David Cameron has written to Mr. Brown asking him to divide the roles between two people. Asked about the criticism, the prime minister, who is in Kampala, Uganda, for a Commonwealth summit, said, "I have got nothing but praise for our armed forces. I have visited them in Iraq and Afghanistan and what they are doing are acts of great courage.”

Gordon Brown did visit them in Iraq and most likely that’s the problem because it is where he has shown bad treatment to them - he should have never gone!!!


Bird flu restrictions are over

A national ban on bird shows and pigeon races due to bird flu has been lifted, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

The ban had been in place across the country since bird flu was confirmed at a farm in Suffolk on 12 November. But Defra said the restrictions would remain within the restricted surveillance and protection zones in Suffolk and Norfolk.

That was really scary news especially coming before Christmas, the time people definitely eat birds. It seems as though over the last few years we have become so worried with all these epidemics that the smallest incident is enough to scare us all and attract the worst restrictions and all kinds of measures.


Treasury denies discs 'cover-up'

Chancellor Alistair Darling is standing by his version of events of how discs containing the personal details of 25 million people went missing. The Treasury said there was nothing in e-mails released on Thursday to contradict the chancellor's account. The e-mails suggest a senior manager was involved - something not mentioned in Mr. Darling's statement to MPs.

It comes as opinion polls suggest the data loss crisis has badly dented public confidence in the government. A Populous poll for the Times suggests those backing Labour's ability to handle economic problems has been more than halved to 28%, with just a quarter deeming Prime Minister Gordon Brown's administration "competent and capable".

Who knows how much more we will hear in the next few weeks. The worst part I can imagine for the Labour government is that they definitely lost 2.5 million …votes!!!


Mourinho says NO for England post

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho does not want to succeed Steve McClaren as England manager, BBC Sport understands. Mourinho, 44, has been out of football since leaving Stamford Bridge in September but is believed to be waiting for a club rather than a national post.

I’m sure it has something to do with the money; the English Football Association is not exactly a Russian mogul!

Saturday, November 24

Spanish report

From the original Ovi magazine (Ovi lehti in Finnish)

Alicante murder suspect made TV plea for his ex to take him back

He appeared on a popular talk show broadcast just days before his ex girlfriend was fatally stabbed. It’s been revealed that the man in custody for the murder of a Russian woman in Alicante this weekend appeared on an Antena 3 talk show recently to ask his ex girlfriend to take him back.

The Información newspaper names the suspect as Ricardo, and says he appeared on the programme ‘Diario de Patricia,’ in a show which went out last week. It seems the couple had split up a month ago and he wanted to restart their relationship. His ex partner, named by Información as Svetlana, refused his public plea, and was stabbed in the neck on Sunday, allegedly by Ricardo. She died in hospital on Monday morning.

This is like Big Brother and all the reality shows put together! It is amazing how far people go for their 10 minutes of fame or how low TV has gone!


Her nude photos on the net

A 20-year-old man from Madrid is in custody, after he posted photos of a young girl from Murcia on the Internet because she refused to have sex with him, and now faces charges of corruption of minors and child pornography.

He first contacted the girl through an Internet chat room, and obtained the photographs, some of them in the nude and in what are said to be erotic poses, under the pretext that he worked for a model agency. He then threatened to post them on an adult site if she refused to give in to his demands for sex, and finally went ahead with his threat.

Well, she did model in the end, didn’t she? What I don’t understand is what she thought while he was taking the photos! Did she think that it was a naïve innocent photo shoot? Suddenly all these prejudice jokes about blondes came true.


Immigrant found hidden beneath a bus in Albolote

An immigrant who entered the country illegally was arrested in Albolote on Tuesday, when he was discovered hiding beneath a bus from Morocco, which had travelled to Spain empty of passengers.

He was found when the driver heard knocking sounds coming from beneath the vehicle, and was taken into custody by the Civil Guard. EFE said he appeared to be in good health.

From one side this is shocking news and you feel like wishing the Spanish government allows the man to stay there and from the other side you wonder how many more and in how many more ways. Living in Finland I found often difficult to explain this situation to people who get something like …14 illegal immigrant cases a year while in south Europe the number jumps up to 14 …a minute!

Wednesday, November 14

World Diabetes Day

From the original Ovi magazine (Ovi lehti in Finnish)

According to the World Health Organization, in 2006 at least 171 million people were diagnosed as suffering from diabetes. Diabetes in one of the top five most significant diseases and, in combination with the other two ‘developing countries’ diseases, high blood pressure and heart problems can be proven lethal.

In just the United States alone, 20.8 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2005, while another 6.2 million people were undiagnosed and another 41 million people were in pre-diabetic status. These scary numbers are the reality of our modern world. Diabetes, especially Type II, is the combination of heritable situation and the life style that includes a bad diet and little exercise. We must understand that diabetes, Type, I and II, is chronic and there's no cure - the only defence is the lifestyle of the diabetic.

I’m not a doctor myself, so you'll have to find the doctors and institutions to give you all the help and information you may need, plus the internet can also provide forums for diabetics suffering from both types; they can give you some help but most of all support. As I said, I’m not a doctor and I'm certainly not pretending to be one, on the contrary I am a diabetic and I found out my situation in 1994. All the signs were there I just didn’t see them or never had the right information to even recognise them.

Not that there was lack of information, there was plenty available in hospitals and doctor’s surgeries. It was just nowhere around, nobody had told me that being forty, having a lifestyle full of stress, an uncontrolled diet and no exercise was asking for problems. For over two years I had all the symptoms by the book, I was constantly thirsty and hungry, I was gaining weight quickly and, at the same, I was then losing it just as fast. However, I always had the excuse of being too busy all the time. I started having problems with my eyes and kept thinking I must check them… when I’m not too busy. I always had something more important to do, but then two years after I found myself in hospital bed following a cardiac episode and a diabetes waiting in the corner.

Since then my life has changed. It had to change by force and over a decade later it still has its ups and downs. For many of these ups and downs I am to blame because I had to learn new tricks and that was not always easy – especially for an old dog like me. It would have been definitely easier and much simpler if I had the right information at the right time.

I’m not going to tell you the differences between diabetes I and II, but there are many and they are both dangerous, especially if we don’t take the right precautions. As I said, there is no cure for diabetes but there is definitely management that can lead to a normal life - don’t forget that one of the strong symptoms in diabetes is physiological, such as depression and manias.

In the case of diabetes II, doctors practice an operation called gastric bypass surgery that treats patients with 80-100% severely obese diabetes, but again you must ask a doctor, who can give you better information.

November 14th is World Diabetes Day and a good chance to find some more information about one of the worst contemporary diseases.