Baby Boxes Aim To Reduce Cot Deaths 

The baby box programme launched at University Maternity Hospital Limerick (UMHL) will provide free baby boxes for infants to sleep in.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-West Correspondent

A Scandinavian baby care concept which has dramatically reduced infant mortalities such as cot deaths in Finland was introduced to Irish mothers-to-be yesterday.

Made from durable cardboard, the box can be used as a baby’s bed for the first eight months of life. The box prevents babies from rolling onto their tummies, which experts say can contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The baby boxes come with a foam mattress, waterproof mattress cover and cotton sheet.

Education material with advice from healthcare professionals on reducing risks to babies, is also included in the baby box pack.

The use of baby boxes has been credited with helping reduce infant mortality rates in Finland from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 2.26 per 1,000 births in 2015.

Ireland’s infant mortality rate is 3.7 per 1,000 births.

The concept already adapted in Britain, Canada and the US was introduced to this country yesterday at UMHL, the first Irish maternity hospital to embrace the idea.

As well as the baby boxes, new mothers will be presented with clothing and educational materials.

Dr Mendinaro Imcha, consultant gynaecologist/obstetrician UMHL, said:

“The baby box programme is a proactive approach to improving the health and safety of the newborn child and parents. We are combining tradition with current technology and supporting the newborn child’s family with online education material covering a broad range of essential topics and postnatal care.”

Margaret Gleeson, chief director of nursing and midwifery at the UL hospitals group, said up to 5,000 baby boxes will be distributed to new mothers who give birth at UMHL over the coming year.

Ms Gleeson said: “The baby boxes are a thing of beauty and there is the invaluable education element of this initiative which makes this truly patient-centre.”

Tipperary-based tattoo artist, and expectant mother, Karen Smith did the artistic designs which decorate the UMHL baby boxes.

She said: “The whole meaning behind my design is rebirth. I thought the butterfly was the perfect symbol for the baby box. It is a symbolic creature in many cultures and lends itself to all manner of colourful and fanciful adaptations, in this case our beautiful baby box.”

Jennifer Clery, chief executive of the US-based The Baby Box Co, said: “We are delighted to expand our baby box programme to Ireland and look forward to this new collaboration here in Limerick at the University Maternity Hospital. The baby box is an innovative integrated programme to support parents and improve maternal and infant healthcare outcomes globally.”

UMHL is the second largest maternity hospital in the country, outside Dublin and cares from women from Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, North Kerry, North Cork and areas of Offaly.

Source: Baby boxes aim to reduce cot deaths | Irish Examiner

Maple Leafs, Browns, Cubs, Canucks On List Of Sport’s Longest Active Title Droughts 

PHOTO: The Sharks and Bulldogs celebrate during their preliminary final victories. (AAP/Getty)

By Jon Healy

September 26, 2016

This year’s AFL and NRL grand finals could play host to two drought-breaking victories.

The Western Bulldogs and Cronulla Sharkswill contest the last match of the year in their respective codes on the weekend with the chance to end decades of heartache for their fans.

The Bulldogs, or Footscray Football Club, have not only gone decades without winning a flag, but have only reached one other season decider since taking out the title in 1954.

In that 1961 fixture, Footscray jumped out to an early lead, but kicked just 2.4 (16) in the second half while Hawthorn booted 67 points to hammer them by 43.

They had one shot, one opportunity, one moment, to seize everything they ever wanted … and they let it slip.

Cronulla, meanwhile, has been in the top flight rugby league competition since 1967 and never won it all, missing out in the 1973, 1978 (via a replay) and 1997 (Super League) grand finals.

So, can one or both of these teams shake the monkey off their backs and get off this list of some of sport’s most title-hungry teams?

Chicago Cubs — No World Series win since 1908

Cubs fans look on during the 2008 MLB playoffs

Long-suffering fans … The Cubs faithful look on during another loss during the 2008 playoffs.(Getty Images: Jamie Squire)

Baseball might do superstition better than any other sport, and the Curse of the Billy Goat is one of its best.

The last time the Cubs reached the World Series, in 1945, Billy Sianis tried to get into game four to watch his team go around against Detroit at Wrigley Field.

Unfortunately, Sianis had with him a goat — he was the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern — and security refused to let the animal in because you cannot bring random animals to sporting events, especially those that have a reputation for eating everything in sight.

The story goes, Sianis appealed Cubs owner PK Wrigley, who also denied the goat entry, prompting Sianis to exclaim: “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more.” And win they have not.

But, with the Cubs currently boasting the most wins in the MLB, and the Sharks and Bulldogs heading to deciders, 2016 could be the year for a hard rain to fall on some sporting droughts.

Toronto Maple Leafs — No Stanley Cup win since 1967

Toronto Maple Leafs dejected against Buffalo

PHOTO: Toronto has not returned to the finals since its last title. (Getty Images: Bruce Bennett)

Think about Toronto as the NHL’s South Sydney Rabbitohs.

This hockey-mad city saw its Maple Leafs lift the Stanley Cup 13 times, but not once since 1967.

Once again, they have not even stumbled into the finals once in the interim.

Although, maybe that is for the best considering when the Vancouver Canucks, who have never won the title, lost their third finals in 2011 the city was almost burned to the ground.

Cleveland Browns — No title since 1964

Robert Griffin III's injury troubles sum up the luck of the Browns in the NFL

PHOTO: Robert Griffin III’s injury troubles sum up the luck of the Browns in the NFL (Getty Images: Jason Miller)

Mercifully, LeBron James and the Cavaliers quenched the city of Cleveland’s thirst for a trophy by winning the 2016 NBA title, but football (and any other sporting) success still alludes ‘The Land’.

The Browns won an NFL title in 1964 but have not won or even reached the last game of the season in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

With a miserable name like the Browns, voted by fans as an homage to former heavyweight boxing champion and Cleveland native Joe ‘The Brown Bomber’ Louis, making fun of this sorry lot is almost too easy.

Unfortunately, while some other teams on this list seem to have some upside and hope in the not too distant future, the Browns appear destined to be terrible for a while yet, having recently signed injury-prone quarter-back Robert Griffin III, who instantly got injured.

Liverpool — No League title since 1990

Gerrard skulks off after woeful Liverpool farewell

PHOTO: The Reds have won other trophies in the interim, but are still looking for another Premier League title.(Getty Images: Dave Thompson)

Some context is required to justify Liverpool’s spot on this list.

The streak is nowhere near as long as the others, but the Premier League is so top heavy that there really is no excuse for one of England’s most storied clubs to miss out for as long as the Reds have.

Of the 26 titles available since Liverpool’s last league win, which was its 11th in 18 seasons, 21 have gone to the other members of the ‘Big Four’ – Manchester United (13), Chelsea (4) and Arsenal (4).

Sure, Liverpool has been usurped by Manchester City in the awesome foursome but that only happened relatively recently and as the drought extends it is becoming increasingly difficult for Reds fans to keep saying their team is a major player in the league.

Source: Cronulla, Western Bulldogs looking to get off list of sport’s longest active title droughts – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Canada’s annual inflation rate sinks to 10-month low of 1.1%, Statistics Canada Said Friday

September 25, 2016

OTTAWA: Canada’s annual inflation rate in August dipped to a 10-month low of 1.1 per cent, the seventh consecutive month it has remained below the Bank of Canada’s 2.0 per cent target, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast the annual rate would edge up to 1.4 per cent from 1.3 per cent in July. The August rate was the lowest since the 1.0 per cent recorded in October 2015.

Food prices exerted the main drag on the overall rate, rising by 1.1 per cent in the 12 months to August compared to a 1.6 per cent year-on-year-increase in July. The recreation, education and reading index grew 1.1 per cent in the year to August, down from 1.9 per cent in July.

The annual core inflation rate, which strips out the prices of energy and some foods and is watched closely by the Bank of Canada, dipped to 1.8 per cent from 2.1 per cent.

The central bank, which says inflation is being influenced by temporary factors, is widely expected to keep interest rates steady until 2018.

The value of Canadian retail trade unexpectedly fell in July, dipping by 0.1 per cent from June as gas station sales dropped for the first time in four months, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted sales would increase by 0.1 per cent. Statscan revised June’s data to show no change from May after initially saying sales had fallen by 0.1 per cent.

Sales decreased in five of 11 subsectors while in volume terms, sales grew by 0.3 per cent. Gas station sales fell by 3.0 per cent, pulled down by weaker pump prices.

AUTO PARTS SECTOR

Motor vehicle and parts dealers, the largest subsector, posted a 0.2 per cent drop in sales, the fourth decline in five months. Food and beverages stores, the second-largest sub-sector, saw sales edge down by 0.1 per cent.

Sales at furnishing and home furnishing stores decreased by 1.4 per cent, while sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores rose by 1.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, Canadian stocks halted a four-day rally as energy producers tumbled with crude, while inflation data that boosted the likelihood of added stimulus sent financial shares lower and an unexpected drop in retail sales weighed on consumer shares.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 0.7 per cent to 14,697.93 in Toronto, paring the best weekly advance since April to 1.7 per cent. The benchmark for Canadian equity has surged 4.5 per cent in the third quarter, pushing its gain this year to 13 per cent.

Nine of the 11 sectors declined Friday, with raw-materials and energy producers losing more than 1 per cent. Oil and gas companies retreated as New York crude slumped as much as 4.1 per cent to trade at around $44 a barrel.

Financial-service firms fell 0.5 per cent on Friday. Only six of the 26 members in the group advanced. Combined the firms make up about one-third of the S&P/TSX. Bank of Nova Scotia fell 0.9 per cent after closing at a record.

Canada’s core inflation rate was the slowest in two years in August, with the pace of consumer prices and overall inflation decelerating. The data spurred bets the economy may need added monetary stimulus. That hit financial shares that would see profits crimped by lower interest rates.

Shares of consumer staples stocks fell after data showed retail sales unexpectedly fell in July. Maple Leaf Foods slumped 1.8 per cent and Loblaw Cos. slid 1 per cent to pace declines.

Raw-materials producers slipped 1.4 per cent. Barrick Gold Corporation and Goldcorp dropped more than 1.2 per cent. Silver Wheaton Corporation slumped 2.3 per cent and First Quantum Minerals fell 1.2 per cent.

Source: gulftoday.ae | Canada’s annual inflation rate sinks to 10-month low of 1.1%

Europe nears trade deal with Canada 

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom at the informal meeting of EU trade ministers in Bratislava, Slovakia | Jakub Gavlak/EPA

With CETA on track, the bloc keeps TTIP on life support.

By HANS VON DER BURCHARDS

September 23, 2016

BRATISLAVA — EU ministers have forged the political momentum required to seal their long-delayed trade deal with Canada but acknowledged that a more contentious pact with the U.S. will not be finalized this year.

At a meeting in Bratislava on Friday, the ministers drew up a plan to sign up to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Ottawa on October 18.

This sudden acceleration toward the diplomatic finish line was only possible after German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel earlier in the week secured overwhelming support for CETA at a convention of his often skeptical Social Democratic Party.

The SDP vote was followed by a similarly massive majority in the Bundestag.

Europe’s accord with Canada has become a defining test of whether Brussels is still able to steer the EU’s trade policy and the pact seemed in mortal danger while Germany’s commitment remained in question.

In Bratislava, Gabriel said he was now “very optimistic” that all 28 countries should be able to throw their weight behind the pact after months of tortuous diplomacy.

In addition to concerns in Germany, CETA’s advocates have needed to confront objections from Romania over visa reciprocity and Belgium’s Wallonia region about the rights of foreign investors to sue governments.

The most significant remaining hurdle, however, is Austria, where Social Democratic Chancellor Christian Kern has struck an increasingly hostile tone towards free trade.

Many diplomats, however, predicted that Vienna would ultimately sign on October 18, not least because of pressure from Berlin.

Source: Europe nears trade deal with Canada – POLITICO