KUSI Newsroom Posted: April 26, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — In-state University of California students got a financial reprieve Thursday, with the system opting to forego a vote on a proposed tuition hike in favor of pushing the state for more funding.“Raising tuition is always a last resort and one we take very seriously,” UC President Janet Napolitano said. “We will continue to advocate with our students, who are doing a tremendous job of educating legislators about the necessity of adequately funding the university to ensure UC remains a world-class institution and engine of economic growth for our state.”The Board of Regents had been expected to consider a 2.7 percent boost in base tuition. While that vote will no longer happen, the regents could revisit the issue “depending on the outcome of budget negotiations in Sacramento.”UC officials said they will look to secure an additional $140 million in state funding above what was already proposed for the coming year in the governor’s budget proposal.The announcement echoed a decision announced last week by California State University Chancellor Timothy White, who said the CSU would also focus on lobbying the state for additional funds rather than pursuing a tuition hike.“In light of California’s strong economy, California’s students and their families should not be saddled with additional financial burden to attain public higher education,” White said. “We will continue to make the case to lawmakers, who represent all Californians, that an educated citizenry should be at the top of the state’s highest priorities.”In January, the UC Board of Regents approved a 3.5 percent increase in non-resident supplemental tuition, taking it from $28,014 in 2017-18 to $28,992 for 2018-19, a $978 increase. Board members said at the time that the increase could be eliminated if adequate state funding is secured. KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter April 26, 2018 University of California decides against raising in-state tuition
Camas Police are seeking information on a man who approached an elementary student in the hallway of one of the district’s schools Tuesday during a community basketball practice.The man exited the building upon hearing others entering the hallway, school district officials said, adding he committed no crime. School district officials did not identify the district school where the incident occurred.The man had gray hair, a long beard and a tattoo of an eagle next to his eye and a tattoo of a flame under his eye, a school district media release said. He wore a green New York Jets hat and a green jacket with leather sleeves. Witnesses reported seeing him driving a blue Ford Explorer or Ford Bronco.People are asked to call School Resource Officer Debrah Farland at 360-607-9229 if they see this person around area schools or have seen him before.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has received White House approval to nominate three-star Navy Adm. Michael Gilday to become the next Chief of Naval Operations, Defense News reported Thursday.If confirmed by the Senate, Gilday, currently the Director of the Joint Staff, would be promoted over several four-star colleagues who will remain in their current roles. Gilday and other senior Navy leaders met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday where they received his approval to move forward his promotion and nomination, according to the report.Gilday’s appointment to CNO would replace the Navy’s current top military official, Adm. John Richardson.Richardson was originally scheduled to be replaced Aug. 1 by Adm. Bill Moran.Last week Moran abruptly declined the appointment and requested retirement after Spencer raised new questions about Moran exercising poor judgment involving a past professional relationship.Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Hartland ADC AUTHOR
Sasha Soboleff discusses the role of Alaska Native corporations at the his home in the Mendenhall Valley in November. (KTOO video still)The mission of Sealaska Corp. is to strengthen people, culture and homelands. It pays its shareholders cash dividends and supports Alaska Native culture through the Sealaska Heritage Institute and other programs. But do Alaska Native corporations like Sealaska help their shareholders climb the economic ladder?Listen nowSasha Ivan Soboleff was 26 when the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or ANCSA, was signed into law on Dec. 18, 1971.“I was teaching in Kake at the time, and I signed up on Kake Tribal, so I have 100 original shares and I was on the original board of incorporators for Kake Tribal,” Soboleff said. “I also belong to Sealaska Corp., because that’s the large regional corporation.”Sealaska is one of 12 for-profit regional Alaska Native corporations the legislation created. It also created many village corporations, including Kake Tribal. Alaska Natives at the time, like Soboleff, enrolled as original shareholders.Sitting in his small apartment in the Mendenhall Valley, Soboleff said he doesn’t think Native corporations can help with economic mobility.“The business nature of ANCSA corps., which is the formation of an economic vehicle called a profit-making business, is not the way the culture of Southeast Alaska Natives … thinks, or exists,” Soboleff said.Sasha Soboleff was born in Juneau in 1945. That was five years after his parents, Walter and Genevieve Soboleff, moved back to Juneau from the Lower 48. He said his parents instilled in him the value of hard work.“They came back here and they ran into terrible racism. They weren’t allowed to rent. They weren’t allowed to apply for jobs, but to their persistence, they started making it, and so the Soboleff family has always followed that mold,” Soboleff said.Soboleff is a retired school teacher and principal. He’s the grand president of the Alaska Native Brotherhood. He said the Native corporations fail to support the culture, and the distributions don’t make up for it.“I barely even recognize except a couple of times a year when they give out one or $200,” Soboleff said. “It doesn’t set the standard for making a culture come alive. … It doesn’t recognize where you live, the lands that your clans and your family has had for years where you pick berries or you go fishing, or where you dry the foods that are going to be due, or you have seaweed. It doesn’t do any of that.”Rosita Worl disagrees. She is also an original shareholder and recently retired from being a board member of Sealaska Corp. after 30 years. She said the purpose of the corporation is more than just monetary.“In addition to our economic responsibilities, through employment and dividends, we also have a host of other responsibilities, and things to meet our mission objectives, like scholarships, things to grow, help out shareholders so they could lead a healthy lifestyle.”Nathan Soboleff, Sasha’s nephew, received one of those college scholarships and an internship with Sealaska. Now he manages grants at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, where he has his own office.Nathan Soboleff got a few shares of Sealaska and the village corporation Kootznoowoo from his father. Financially, they’re not worth much.“I think I received a shareholder check of like $5 before,” Nathan said.What matters more to Nathan is the connection to the land.“Not having some kind of ownership to that land is sad, and a lot of people do have strong feelings about having some kind of ownership, even if it’s not in the modern sense of private ownership … but knowing that it’s still Haa Aaní, it’s still our lands, is important,” Nathan said. “And if you don’t have any of that shared ownership in there, there’s something missing.”Nathan Soboleff has three young children and looks forward to passing some of his shares along to them.“They are growing up being raised Tlingit-Norwegians, and they culturally know who they are, and where they’re from, and in the near future, you know, within the next six or seven years, I will give them some of my shares,” Nathan said.Rosita Worl said she’d like to see Sealaska develop that connection to the land further by advocating for more subsistence rights for its shareholders.“I’m not saying that we have to go back to a hunting and fishing economies, but I want to see us … moving forward in a way that brings us into the 21st centuries but also allows us to sustain our traditional cultures,” Worl said.Rosita Worl, and Sasha and Nathan Soboleff are just three voices among tens of thousands of shareholders in more than 200 Alaska Native corporations.
Meghan Markle and Prince HarryGetty ImagesHas Queen Elizabeth disowned and booted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royal family as she cannot take any more defiance from the couple?This was the cover story on this week’s National Enquirer. The magazine has also claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been banished to Malta.The supermarket tabloid has claimed that due to their behaviour, disregard for protocol and the ongoing tension with Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Queen decided to keep them away from the Buckingham Palace. The outlet has maintained that they were the only magazine to know about the Majesty’s decision.Apparently, both Meghan and Harry “got the shock of their lives” when they learned about the Queen’s decision. A palace insider has revealed to the tabloid paper that both Prince William and Kate Middleton agree with the Queen’s decision of throwing them out.Sources have revealed to the paper that after hearing the news, Meghan was so angry that “she threw her ring at Harry.” The media outlet further correlates the above quote by pointing it out how Meghan’s diamond engagement ring was not on her finger during her recent visit to London’s Canada House. Citing this, the source concluded that the couple are “headed for the rocks.”The article goes on to state how Prince William and Prince Harry have vowed to never speak again and even Prince Charles, it claimed, scolded his youngest son and booted him saying, “You’re not a part of the family anymore.”However, Gossip Cop has ridiculed the above story and put forward several instances which go on to prove that nothing of that sort has ever happened in the royal family. Recently, at the Commonwealth Day service inside Westminster Abbey, both Harry and William were seen chatting with each other, it said. Even Kate Middleton greeted the Duchess of Sussex with a kiss on the cheek, added the report, debunking the gossip.What will happen in the coming few weeks is that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be moving out of Kensington Palace to stay at Frogmore residence. There is no more to it, assert reports.
Map of Brazil locating a jail some 28 km from the Amazonas state capital of Manaus, where 15 inmates were killed in clashes on Sunday. Photo: AFPClashes between inmates killed 15 people at a jail in Amazonas state in northern Brazil on Sunday, the regional prison authority said.The clashes broke out around 11:00 am (1500 GMT) during visiting hours at the facility, located some 28 kilometres (17 miles) from the state capital Manaus.”It was a fight between the inmates. There had never been deaths during the visits,” Colonel Marcos Vinicius Almeida told a news conference.An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the fight, Almeida said.Almeida emphasized that authorities had reacted within minutes to the Sunday violence, preventing a potentially worse result.In January 2017, the same facility was the scene of a prison rebellion that lasted almost 20 hours and left 56 people dead.Brazil has the world’s third largest prison population, with 726,712 inmates as of June 2016, according to official statistics.The population is double the capacity of the nation’s prisons, which in 2016 was estimated to be 368,049 inmates.Along with severe overcrowding, Brazil’s prisons are plagued by gang violence, while riots and breakout attempts are not uncommon.
Tuesday, October 24th, Houston Public Media partnered with Esperson Gallery to host the second Art of Leadership forum. This time the subject was “Recovery+ Rebuilding: Urban Planning” focusing on where we go from here. Joining the panel were Texas House Urban Affairs Chair Carol Alvarado, City of Houston Chief Resilience Officer Steven Costello, and Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards. Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse moderated the discussion. Share
Story Links Australia’s Emma McKeon won bronze in 56.61 and Elena di Liddo broke her own Italian record to take fourth in 57.07. Australia’s Brianna Throssell (57.09), Worrell Dahlia (57.11), and Sweden’s Louise Hansson (57.16) a nail behind. France’s Marie Wattel took eighth in 57.29.Print Friendly Version University of Louisville swimmer Kelsi Worrell Dahlia finished sixth in the world in the 100M butterfly finals at the FINA World Championships last night in Gwangju, Korea. Kelsi Worrell Dahlia touched in 57.11 to take sixth. The event was won by Canada’s Maggie MacNeil, who won in an upset of favorite Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden. Sjostrom took an early lead, nearly a second ahead of MacNeil, who made the turn sitting in fifth. MacNeil powered past her to win in 55.83 to the Swede’s 56.22. Sjostrom had held all 10 of the all-time top 10 times in the event and was one of two women to ever break 56.
Stay on target The Yakuza franchise has enjoyed a big boost in popularity this generation, especially in the West. Last year saw the release of Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami. The former is a prequel to the entire franchise, while the latter is a remake of the first game. It comes as no surprise to see the second installment also get the remake treatment in the form of Yakuza Kiwami 2. Like its predecessor, it is another excellent remake that manages to feel like an all-new game.Yakuza Kiwami 2 picks up almost directly after the original Kiwami. Following the tumultuous events of the previous game, series star Kiryu Kazuma now lives a peaceful existence. Since this wouldn’t make for an engaging gaming experience, it’s not long before Kiryu returns to the world of Japanese organized crime. He is the only one who can prevent an all-out war between two rival gangs. Things get personal when the head of one gang sees Kiryu as a direct rival. He’ll do anything to ensure he’s the only “dragon” in the Japanese underworld.AdChoices广告While Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a sequel, it does an admirable job of getting newcomers up to speed. Near the beginning, players have the option to view the events of the previous installment. This consists of cutscenes lifted straight from the game with narration by Kiryu. If you’re a first-timer, I highly recommend watching all of the cutscenes. This game’s story is highly dependent on the previous one. If you’ve already played Yakuza Kiwami, you can go ahead and skip this part and jump straight into the action.Besides the obvious graphical overhaul, Yakuza Kiwami 2 features content not found in the original Yakuza 2. The two most notable additions are a Clan Creator mode and a campaign focusing on Goro Majima. The former is a rather elaborate tower defense game involving Japanese wrestlers. The latter shows what happened to the beloved eye patch-wearing character after Yakuza Kiwami. On top of that, the entire game has a reworked script and voice-overs. Even if you’ve played Yakuza 2, there’s plenty new here.Structurally, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is no different from other entries. There are two main districts for players to visit: the fictional cities of Kamurocho and Sotenbori. Each city contains all manner of shops where players can dine or play mini-games. The streets are full of NPCs going about their daily lives. Some of these non-playable characters give the player sub-quests to fulfill. And it wouldn’t be a proper Yakuza experience without a whole lot of fighting. If you’ve played Yakuza games, then you’ll feel right at home here.The combat mechanics are every bit as deep as those found in fighting games. Kiryu can attack opponents with a series of punches and kicks. Various button combinations perform different attacks. Kiryu can also use weapons already on his person or dropped by enemies. These include knives, swords, clippers, brass knuckles, handguns, and more. Our hero can also use objects found in the environment. These include bicycles, traffic cones, billboards, furniture, and pretty much anything not nailed to the ground. Combat is so varied (and random) that it never ever gets boring. This is good considering how one spends so much time one spends in combat.Upgrades also help keep combat interesting. Everything from fighting thugs, eating at restaurants, and completing side quests awards players with points. They can use them to upgrade different attributes like health, strength, and defense. Players can also use points to unlock new fighting skills and passive abilities. You may have to do some grinding to acquire enough points to unlock new abilities. Given the number of activities available, you probably won’t have to actively grind very often.Like Yakuza 6, Yakuza Kiwami 2 runs on the Dragon Engine. Not only does this engine produce a stunning looking game, it also streamlines the overall experience. Players can now enter and exit buildings without seeing a loading screen. Transitioning into battles is just as effortless, and battles can even take place indoors. Fighting itself feels extremely smooth when compared to previous entries. Players can now run from a fight if they want. The new engine also makes it possible to have many more characters on-screen at once. Of course, this also means Kiryu can fight larger groups of foes. Japanese cities have many citizens and the Dragon Engine makes the game feel more authentic in that regard.The Dragon Engine breathes new life into the familiar locales of Kamurocho and Sotenbori. These familiar places look entirely new thanks to the updated graphics. The new engine gives everything in the environment a wonderful sense of realism. The new particle, lighting, and water effects also help make the world feel more alive. Those who’ve played Yakuza 6 will understand what I’m talking about regarding the Dragon Engine’s capabilities. First-timers will simply appreciate the gorgeous and detailed Japanese streets. This is as close as you can get to visiting Japan without actually being there.While the story of any Yakuza game is crucial, for me, the real heart and soul of the franchise lies with its various sidequests and mini-games. As you travel the world, you’ll run into many eccentric characters making strange demands. What makes these scenarios hilarious is the seriousness with which Kiryu undertakes them. Whether it’s posing for a photo shoot or finding someone’s lost cat, Kiryu is all business. Some quests have you simply finding an item or beating the crap out of dudes. Others are more involved. The biggest, most intricate side mission involves running a hostess club. But no matter their scope, the sidequests give the game a degree of charm you might not expect from a title with such a weighty story.Players can also unwind by playing mini-games. Games like miniature golf or batting cages will be familiar enough to Western audiences. Other activities like shogi or mahjong will feel completely foreign. Thankfully, each mini-game comes with exhaustive instructions on how to properly play them. I personally have a hard time wrapping my head around something like mahjong, but I’m glad it’s there for folks with patience to learn the rules.If you don’t want to play mini-games, you can visit any of the restaurants and convenience stores and fill up on some delicious Japanese food. Like every activity, eating provides players with experience points and bonuses. Some plate combinations actually give extra experience points. This encourages users to experiment with different plate combos. In general, it’s always good to visit restaurants to see what’s on the menu.My absolute favorite mini-games are found in the arcades. Since Yakuza is a Sega property, it’s no surprise that arcades have Sega games. Yakuza Kiwami 2 features fully playable versions of Virtual-On and Virtua Fighter 2. These are two of my favorite games of all time — especially Virtua Fighter 2. Both titles look and play great. There’s also a UFO catcher in the arcade. Like in the real world, using these machines to grab toys and prizes can be very frustrating since the catcher has such a loose grip. Whether you’re playing an arcade classic or pulling your hair out thanks to the UFO catcher, the arcades are awesome places to spend your time.Yakuza 2 is one of the most celebrated entries in the series so it’s right that it gets such a fantastic remake with Yakuza Kiwami 2. Everything about the game, including its graphics, story, characters, combat, side quests, mini games, and overall presentation is top notch. It truly feels like a brand-new entry despite being a remake. If you’re a fan of the franchise or have started the journey by playing Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami then picking up Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a no-brainer.Revisit this team’s game Yakuza 0 with the hands-on review on the game’s sixth edition. Check out the Fancy Collector’s Edition on the game too. Read our hands-on review of this creative team’s other game H1Z1:Battle Royale. Stay up to date on all PlayStation 4 games news here. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. PlayStation 4 Becomes Fastest Console to Sell 100 Million‘Death Stranding’ Is Your PlayStation 4 Holiday Exclusive
Kolkata: A century-old athletic club in central Kolkata’s maidan area was reduced to ashes after a fire broke out on Monday morning, police said. The cause of the blaze, which erupted at Wari Athletic Club around 5.40 am, is yet to be ascertained, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said, adding, four fire tenders were pressed into service. The fire was brought under control by 6.10 am, he said. “It can be a result of a short circuit. We are trying to find out the actual reason,” the officer said. An attendant of the club suffered minor injuries due to the blaze and has been taken to hospital, police said. “The fire damaged the entire club tent. The trophies, kits of players, documents, television sets… everything was gutted,” Wari Athletic Club’s general secretary Prabir Chakraborty told PTI.
“Magic Johnson has a real crisis on his hands, and I would be surprised if he and Rob Pelinka aren’t talking about the possibility of trading Lonzo Ball.” “Magic Johnson has a real crisis on his hands and I would be surprised if he and Rob Pelinka aren’t talking about the possibility of trading Lonzo Ball.” — @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/tehnC9KuCr— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) February 13, 2018 LaVar Ball is abroad in Lithuania, but still somehow managing to undermine the Lakers with recent comments that Lonzo would refuse to re-sign with the team unless they signed all three of his sons.Colin thinks most of what LaVar says is irrelevant, but his most recent remarks create a serious crisis for Magic and the organization.On a weekend where Magic wants to use hosting the All-Star Game as a showcase to potential free agents, LaVar’s comments couldn’t come at a worse time. Colin believes if L.A. plans to make an aggressive run at LeBron James and Paul George or other top shelf players, they have to at least consider getting the constant distraction of LaVar out of the picture by trading Lonzo.Colin likes Lonzo as a player, but if the choice is between sticking with him in a long term rebuild or creating an overnight super team with LeBron James and Paul George, Rob Pelinka and Magic have to at least start taking calls. Advertisement
Tags: Canada Share Tuesday, January 2, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> OTTAWA — The Trudeau government should create a new watchdog to handle public complaints about the Canada Border Services Agency, says a federally commissioned report.The report, prepared for Public Safety Canada, also recommends the proposed body be able to look into trends and any systemic problems at the border services agency.The new watchdog, the Canada Law Enforcement Review Commission, would scrutinize both the border agency and the RCMP, given the frequent overlap between the two enforcement organizations.The June 2017 report by former Privy Council Office chief Mel Cappe, now a professor at the University of Toronto, was obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act.Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, would not comment directly on Cappe’s recommendations, but said the government is working on legislation to create an “appropriate mechanism” to review CBSA officer conduct and handle complaints.“The government is committed to ensuring that our border services are world class and worthy of the trust of Canadians.”The border agency’s thousands of employees manage the flow of about 100 million travellers – as well as some 16 million commercial shipments – entering Canada annually. They collect, analyze and distribute information concerning people and goods at border points, air terminals and seaports.More news: Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksBorder officers can stop travellers for questioning, take blood and breath samples, and search, detain and arrest citizens and non-citizens without a warrant. The border agency faces tough questions about its role in immigration detention following in-custody deaths.The agency’s internal recourse directorate handles complaints from the public, and other bodies including the courts, the federal privacy commissioner and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal examine various concerns about the agency’s work.But the border agency is not overseen by a dedicated, independent review or complaints body.Civil libertarians, refugee lawyers and committees of both the House of Commons and Senate have called in recent years for stronger arm’s-length monitoring.The Liberals have taken steps to keep closer tabs on the border agency’s national security activities by creating a special committee of parliamentarians to review federal security services and proposing a super-watchdog of civilian experts to complement that work.The body Cappe proposes would fill remaining gaps by providing independent scrutiny of the border agency’s law-enforcement activities and addressing complaints from travellers.The new watchdog could look at everything from a shipper’s concern about foot-dragging on a customs decision to the treatment of mentally ill immigrants.Cappe notes that in 2015 there were fewer than 2,400 complaints about border officer actions from travellers. “The need for review is not based on evidence of a misdirected or broken agency. Rather, it is the principles of accountability and transparency that suggest the need for a new review body.”More news: Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalThe proposed body would roll in existing powers of the civilian review and complaints commission for the RCMP.It would cover the policies and actions of the Mounties and border agency, with power to initiate reviews. The minister and the two agency heads would also be able to direct or request reviews from the commission.It should have authority to share information with other review bodies and the ability to “follow the thread” of evidence, Cappe says.The commission, with a chair and four or five commissioners, would have power to compel documents and witnesses, as well as authority to dismiss frivolous complaints. Cappe suggests it issue non-binding recommendations to the RCMP and border agency to preserve the accountability of the agencies.In addition, the border agency should publish service standards or codes of conduct for officers and establish a public advisory committee to assist management, Cappe says. Report calls for new watchdog to handle border complaints By: Jim BronskillSource: The Canadian Press
CIE Tours opens London office to support growing British businessCIE Tours opens London office to support growing British businessTop tour company CIE Tours International has opened a London office. The expanded corporate footprint comes at a pivotal point for the 86-year-old company, long known for its guided tours in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, and reinforces CIE Tours’ commitment to providing transformative travel experiences throughout Britain. The new outpost complements CIE Tours’ thriving Dublin-based office in Ireland as well as its headquarters operation out of Morristown, New Jersey.Located near Blackfriars Underground Station in the heart of the city, the London office is an ideal new European base for CIE Tours, and executives are on hand to support travelers with the company’s British tours. The London team is tasked with forging important partnerships with regional entities and is in the throes of developing new European vacation packages that will further elevate the CIE Tours travel experience. The office opening comes on the heels of other big news for CIE Tours, namely its expansion into new markets, starting with Iceland and Italy.Commenting on the strategic investment, CEO Elizabeth Crabill remarked, “Demand for authentic, meaningful travel experiences throughout the U.K. continues to grow, and London – as the beating heart of Britain – was a natural choice for our newest office. The team in place brings incredible expertise to the business and will be focused on supporting our British guides and guests, as well as sourcing new products and opportunities.For more information or to book a tour, visit CIE Tours, call 800-243-8687, or connect with a travel professional. Source = CIE Tours
By Andria KadesFigures released this week showing that Cyprus has the lowest suicide rate in the whole of the European Union may not accurately reflect what appears to be an enviable statistic, mental health experts have warned.For a start, not all suicides may be reported as such, while the figures do not show the levels of attempted suicides and other forms of serious self-harm.On the face of it the figures are certainly encouraging. According to research published by Eurostat, in 2015 four in every 100,000 took their own lives in Cyprus – the lowest in the EU. Greece had five suicides and Italy six per 100,000.On the other end of the scale was Lithuania with 30, by far the highest rate of death due to intentional self-harm among all the member states. The average suicide rate stood at 11 per 100,000 in the EU.In total, 40 people in Cyprus killed themselves in 2015, 31 of whom were men and nine women.In 2016, there were 36 suicides and the same number in 2017.By the end of May 2018, there had been 15 suicides.The reasons given for Cyprus’ low suicide rate are straightforward: the close-knit structure of family life, sunny weather and small distances between people which lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation.But the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness in general remain, despite massive progress in recent years in terms of people being more open about mental health issues. This casts doubts over how accurate the numbers might be.The stigma in Cyprus’ culture and religion, may in some cases mean deaths caused by suicide are recorded under something different out of fear, according to University of Cyprus chair of the psychology department and associate professor Georgia Panayiotou.Traditionally, the church does not carry out the liturgy if someone takes their own life as it is viewed as a sin. Though the past few years have seen an easing of the iron tradition, the stigma is very much alive.This means there is no way to know exactly how many more suicides have taken place.Psychologist and associate professor at the University of Nicosia Andreas Anastasiou said “it wouldn’t surprise me if this happens.”But even if some suicides are misreported, the fact remains that figures are low, and the obvious reasons for this should not be understated according to Anastasiou.There is a clear link to the weather. Sun almost all year round means people are far less likely to have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a kind of depression that is more apparent during the winter time.Reduced sunlight can affect the brain’s hypothalamus from working as it should, in turn impacting the levels of melatonin and serotonin produced, which affect mood and sleep.The culture of the island is also strongly linked to the low suicide rates.“Cyprus is a collectivistic country and there is a lot of social support,” Anastasiou said.Loneliness and lack of social support during difficult times is often a reason some may turn to suicide but the close-knit structure of family bonds in Cyprus, coupled with the smaller geographical distances is a huge help, according to Panayiotou.For instance, someone with a mental health issue may have someone to go with them to a psychologist’s visit, someone to remind them to take their medication and someone to help them look after their family, she added.“There are no extreme phenomena of loneliness.”According to Anastasiou the stigma associated with mental health is slowly being erased. “It is far more acceptable,” to get help than it used to be, he said.This is partly through word of mouth and people talking to each other. One person may need help and will hear from someone else who received treatment and this in turn encourages them.This can also be attributed to many of Cyprus’ young having gone abroad.But both Anastasiou and Panayiotou agree that a close-knit society can on some level also exacerbate the very situations it helps to avoid.“You can however get depressed in a collectivist society,” Anastasiou said. The culture is somewhat of a double-edged sword: though it offers the close support it can also have an adverse effect in that people are always acutely aware of people’s opinions.What the neighbour, family and friends will say has always been an endemic way of thinking on the island “but if you change your behaviour because you’re afraid what someone else will say you will become a symptom of someone else’s sickness,” Anastasiou said.Someone’s decision of who they are is not based on self-exploration “but based on what other people want them to be”.This in turn extends to relationships and marriage because the individuals haven’t properly explored who they are.Cyprus Samaritans have been operating for 20 yearsAccording to Panayiotou, the stigma also prevents people from essentially calling things by what they really are. “There may be people suffering from a serious mental illness but the social context and sometimes even health professionals may minimize it into something milder, like anxiety, which may mean that signs of serious distress can go unnoticed and help may not be sought out”“Stigma is sometimes present even in institutions knowledgeable about research. There are times when we carry out questionnaire research. Institutions that review these research may ask us to remove questions about suicide thinking it may encourage someone to end their life – however, asking is the only way to find out if there is a problem, she insists.”What cannot go unreported are the effects of the financial crisis that hit Cyprus in 2013 which created new problems and brought out issues that had been previously brushed under the carpet.According to Anastasiou “the financial crisis made problems that were already there come up (to the surface).”For instance, someone may have had problems with their wife but held a good job, had good income and lived a relatively enjoyable life, so their domestic issues weren’t that obvious.When that person lost their job however, he couldn’t provide for his family and those issues become stronger stress factors.Director of Nicosia general hospital psychiatric clinic Kyriaki Epaminonda Klose told the Sunday Mail that since the crisis, the number of attempted suicides has risen.Dealing with these problems on a day-to-day basis as part of her job, she said “there might be cases every other day,” with people coming in, mostly for taking an overdose.Though it is mostly women who make attempts to take their life (men are more likely to succeed), Klose said there are people of all ages and economic backgrounds that come through the emergency department after an attempted suicide.She said there was an overdose case on Friday and another just two days previously.“There might not be a case every day but every two days, yes.”The problems range from financial to family issues, but there are many times when the person attempting suicide regretted their decision when they felt the effects kick in and reached out for help thus preventing the worst-case scenario.Another concern for Anastasiou is substance abuse. Anastasiou said drugs may induce more panic and even lead up to people hearing voices in their head eventually pushing them over the edge.But what help is available?A quick search online for suicide help brings up two results. In Greek, news articles related to suicide come up and in English, a helpline ran by the Cyprus Samaritans charity.Running for 20 years, the helpline is not exclusively for suicide related issues but can also provide help to anyone which needs it.It is operated by 50 specially trained volunteers between 4pm to 12am.Director for Cyprus Samaritans Robbie (Russel) Robinson told the Sunday Mail they offered the help in Greek, English and German as well as an email service which has been gaining traction by younger people who are more IT friendly.Of course, this leaves a very obvious gap –if someone has suicidal thoughts before 4pm and needs help, there is no suicide specific hotline to call.The charity of course does the best it can with the resources it has available. “We don’t get any grants from anywhere so we have to fund our lines.”Their main source of income comes from charity shops they have across the country selling clothes or other items.Panayiotou said it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a 24 hour hotline although there are other lines available (for instance the youth help line or the number for help against domestic violence) which operate 24 hours a day and deal with suicide related issues without exclusively branding themselves as suicide helplines.Klose brings up another point – though a hotline would no doubt be helpful, she has her doubts on whether the Cypriot culture would be open to the idea of calling a stranger – perhaps even out of fear the person that picks up the phone will be someone they know.From her own experiences “I haven’t heard someone say they’d call a stranger.”More often, they’ll prefer to turn to family or friends.The experience at the Samaritans however is slightly different.“We’ve seen an increase in the number of calls and especially from Cypriots,” Robinson said.This may be largely due to the fact that the charity has been around for so long and word is now getting round, but also because there is not always an obvious place for people to turn to.“We get about 80 calls per week,” he told the Sunday Mail though the calls range from anything to someone losing their cat to someone being at the end of their tether.Some are regular callers and some are one-off’s, he stipulated.“It can be anything from bereavements, to drugs, drink, family abuse, bullying, lost jobs, homelessness,” Robinson said but the key is that the charity is not judgemental.“What we do is we listen to people. The people that need help are at the end of their tether. We don’t offer advice, we just listen,” and really that’s what a lot of people need – someone to hear them out.“Mental health needs to be viewed like a broken leg. If something happens to your leg, you’ll go fix it. Just because you can’t see the mental health problem doesn’t mean it should be ignored.”Although the charity is now trying to cooperate with local municipalities across the country so word can spread, help available to the public lies either through the private sector where according to Anastasiou there are several professionals available 24/7 or the state sector.Klose outlined outpatient clinics in all cities have psychiatrists, psychologists and community support workers that can visit patients at home to monitor their progress and help out.Asked whether there was adequate staffing, Klose said there were certainly less personnel than other specialties. “We have very few psychiatrists.”Mental health professionals are also on call at the emergency department Klose said as there are instances when people will come to a hospital and express their wish to end their life in a bid to get help.Panayiotou said there are services available – most universities offer counselling centres with fully trained psychologists and NGOs also help.But of course more services are needed.“It is very important to have access to highly credential, competent professionals who also know how to make a very good, accurate and reliable assessment, especially about suicide,” said Anastasiou.As Cyprus becomes more Westernised, the stigma attached to mental health is reduced however the isolation in people’s lives may increase and may give rise to more mental health issues associated with lack of social support, Panayiotou said.What is key however, Anastasiou stipulated is that “it’s not a weakness to seek help. Rather, it takes a lot more strength,” and helps people get on a better path.Where you can call for help:Cyprus Samaritans helpline: 8000 7773 (available 4pm – 12am)Domestic violence support (offered by Spavo association) : 1440 (24 hours)Child and teen helpline: 116111 (available Monday to Friday between 12pm – 8pmand Saturdays between 09:30 – 14:00)Emergency services: 112 or 199Cyprus youth organisation helpline (drugs, relationships, family problems, bullying, depression, grief, sexuality and any other problems): 1410 (available Monday to Friday between 10am to 11pm and Saturday / Sunday between 3pm-11pm)You May LikeWorldemandYou’ll Know If Someone Is A Real Soldier If They Do These 15 ThingsWorldemandUndoInfo-life.xyzBMW Thinks Motorcycles Will Look Like This Self-Balancing ConceptInfo-life.xyzUndoLuxuriousHotels15 Richest People WorldwideLuxuriousHotelsUndo Famagusta municipality says Varosha entry goes against UN regulationsUndoFilm review: Child’s Play ***UndoNew York state decriminalizes pot, stops short of Cuomo’s legalisation callUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
By Stelios OrphanidesThe industrial turnover index rose in March by an annual 2.9 per cent, boosted mainly by increased sales by Cypriot manufacturers and companies in the mining and quarrying industry, the statistical service said.The overall increase in industrial turnover in March resulted mainly from an annual 8.3 per cent increase in the turnover of Cypriot manufacturers, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. Domestic sales of manufacturing companies rose 9.7 per cent in March while exports rose 2.8 per cent.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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