Transgender passport changes possible 3 July 2012New Zealand could soon follow in Argentina’s footsteps by making it easier for transgender and transsexual people to change their gender on their passports. But some in the trans community say gender shouldn’t even appear on passports, which is something the United Kingdom’s Home Office is looking into. Instead of F or M under “gender”, they argue that it should instead be left blank. The New Zealand Passport Office is looking at changing its policy, which dictates that transsexuals and transgender people can have an X instead of an F or M on a passport. The gender can also be changed following a Family Court declaration, which allows a birth certificate to be altered. A declaration is only made if the person has medical evidence showing that they are in transition from one gender to another, such as undergoing hormone replacement therapy, or have had gender reassignment surgery. But from September, those in the trans community might be able to change their gender on their passport without the declaration or medical evidence, something only Argentina has allowed its citizens to do. The move would only relate to passports and was only in its consultation phase, a Department of Internal Affairs spokesman said. read more

Govt confirms digital technology to be added to school curriculum

first_imgNewsTalk ZB 9 December 2017Plans to add digital technology to the school curriculum have been re-confirmed by the Labour-led Government.Digital technologies will be taught from years one to 10, with options to specialise in years 11, 12 and 13 by 2020.Education Minister Chris Hipkins said he commends the work of the previous Government for their work on this.“It’s been widely embraced by industry, by employers. I think the consultation exercise around it has been really sound.”Digital studies will be progressively introduced to the school curriculum over the next couple of years.The reason it won’t be fully introduced until 2020 is because Hipkins does not want to rush the program.“We obviously don’t want to impose a degree of compulsion until we’re confident the sector’s ready for that. There’s a lot of professional development required for the teachers, there’s more resource material development required.” read more

Potent cannabis increases risk of serious mental illness, says study

first_imgBBC News 20 March 2019Family First Comment:people who used cannabis on a daily basis were three times more likely to have a diagnosis of first episode psychosis, compared with people who had never used cannabisThis increased to five times more likely for daily use of high potency cannabis#SayNopeToDopeSmoking potent ‘skunk-like’ cannabis increases your risk of serious mental illness, say researchers.They estimate around one in 10 new cases of psychosis may be associated with strong cannabis, based on their study of European cities and towns.In London and Amsterdam, where most of the cannabis that is sold is very strong, the risk could be much more, they say in The Lancet Psychiatry.Daily use of any cannabis also makes psychosis more likely, they found.Experts say people should be aware of the potential risks to health, even though the study is not definitive proof of harm.Lead researcher and psychiatrist Dr Marta Di Forti said: “If you decide to use high potency cannabis bear in mind there is this potential risk.”Dr Adrian James from the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “This is a good quality study and the results need to be taken seriously.”The findingsThe researchers found:Self-reported daily cannabis use was more common among patients with first episode psychosis, compared to controls – 29.5% (or 266 out of 901) of patients versus 6.8% (84/1,237) of controlsHigh-potency cannabis use was also more common among patients with first episode psychosis, compared to controls – 37.1% (334/901) versus 19.4% (240/1,237)Across the 11 sites, people who used cannabis on a daily basis were three times more likely to have a diagnosis of first episode psychosis, compared with people who had never used cannabisThis increased to five times more likely for daily use of high potency cannabisThere was no evidence of an association between less than-weekly cannabis use and psychosis, regardless of potencyThe authors estimate that one in five new cases (20.4%) of psychosis across the 11 sites may be linked to daily cannabis use, and one in ten (12.2%) linked to use of high potency cannabis.In London, a fifth (21%) of new cases of psychosis might be linked to daily cannabis use, and nearly a third (30%) to high potency cannabis.Removing strong cannabis from the market would lower London’s psychosis incidence rate from 45.7 to 31.9 cases per 100,000 people per year, the scientists estimate.For the South London region they looked at, that would mean 60 fewer cases of psychosis each year.In London, a fifth (21%) of new cases of psychosis might be linked to daily cannabis use, and nearly a third (30%) to high potency cannabis.Removing strong cannabis from the market would lower London’s psychosis incidence rate from 45.7 to 31.9 cases per 100,000 people per year, the scientists estimate.For the South London region they looked at, that would mean 60 fewer cases of psychosis each year.READ MORE: read more

Support For Legalising Cannabis Continues To Drop – Poll

first_imgSayNopeToDope NZ Media Release 29 May 2020A new poll – the first to be taken after the proposed bill to regulate cannabis was published by the Government – reveals that support for legalising cannabis for recreational use continues to drop.The survey by Curia Market Research shows that 50% of New Zealanders said they plan to vote against legalisation, and only 35% are planning to vote in favour. 15% are undecided or wouldn’t say. Ignoring the undecided voters, the potential result is 59% against and 41% in favour. Strongest opposition comes from men, older voters and National voters. Labour voters appear split on the issue.This polling is consistent with previous polling on the issue. The Horizon Research poll shows support for legalising has plummeted from 60% late 2018 to just 39% in 2019. This is a similar trend to the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll (39% support, down from 43%), and the Newshub-Reid Research Poll (41.7% support).“We’re stoked that our messaging and our SayNopeToDope campaign is getting through to families. It is clear that while Kiwis strongly support a compassionate response to those in real need with a cautious and researched approach around cannabis medicine, when they thoughtfully consider the real implications of legalising recreational use, they completely reject the proposal – and rightly so.”Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used by adolescents. In US states that have already legalised the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh tax revenues from marijuana. These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, sustained marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.“At a time when New Zealand’s mental health system is bursting at the seams, why would we go and legitimise a mind-altering product which will simply add to social harm?”ENDSlast_img read more

Green Party officially endorses state recognition of polygamy / polyamory

first_imgJust to confirm – the Green Party officially support the state having to give legal recognition to polygamy and polyamory (a.k.a. ‘open relationships’)! Well, that promise didn’t last long, did it!#marriageonemanonewoman This is not surprising, because once you change the definition of marriage once, then further changes will consequently happen under the guise of ‘human rights’ and ‘equality’. In 2004 during the Civil Unions bill, the Greens said “Marriage as understood in our society, and as formalised in law, is a specific culturally and historically bound institution. …This bill does not affect the Marriage Act. It does not change in any way the structure, the validity, of the institution of marriage.” Source: read more

Yemenis fleeing air strikes find refuge in Djibouti

first_imgAU calls for restraint following Syrian air strikes The tiny state of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa has become a refuge for thousands of Yemenis fleeing the Saudi-led air strikes and fighting in Yemen. Nearly 9,000 refugees from the conflict torn Arab country are sheltering in the country, increasing the strain limited resources. CCTV’s Maria Galang reports Air Algerie flights resume but more strikes threatened Related Yemenis fleeing violence at home find refuge in Somalialast_img

UK priest who fled after fleecing flock jailed in England

first_imgFaithInternationalLifestylePrint UK priest who fled after fleecing flock jailed in England by: Associated Press – July 28, 2015 138 Views   no discussions LONDON (AP) — A British judge has jailed a runaway priest for two years and eight months for pocketing church funds.Simon Reynolds had fled to Germany last week while he was in the process of being convicted but returned to England and turned himself in.Judge Julian Goose said in Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday that he wasn’t convinced by defence claims that the missing 24,000 pounds ($37,500) was due to poor administration by the 50-year-old priest.He said Reynolds had abused the trust placed in him by the church community by keeping funds used to pay for weddings, funerals and graveyard markers.Reynolds’ lawyer said the priest was so stressed when he left court during jury deliberations that he mistakenly booked a flight to Duesseldorf, Germany, instead of Dublin, Ireland. Tweet Sharecenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

Zika virus ‘scarier’ than thought — US health officials

first_img Tweet 35 Views   no discussions InternationalLifestylePrint Zika virus ‘scarier’ than thought — US health officials by: – April 12, 2016 Share Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institutes of Health (NIH), speaks about the Zika virus during a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, April 11, 2016. (Photo: AFP)WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) – The Zika virus is “scarier” than previously thought, US health officials warned Monday as they urged Congress to unblock funding to fight the mosquito-borne virus linked to birth defects.President Barack Obama’s administration has asked lawmakers for $1.9 billion to boost preparedness and response to Zika, a poorly understood virus which has been linked to severe brain damage in babies — but the request has stalled.Borne by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, Zika has spread quickly to more than 30 places in Latin America and the Caribbean since last year.Rare cases of sexual transmission of the virus have also been recorded.“We absolutely need to be ready … Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters at the White House.“We continue to be learning (about the virus) pretty much every day. And most of what we’re learning is not reassuring,” she added.Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said there were still a lot of unknowns.“Bottom line is we still have a lot to learn,” he said.“And we really do need to learn a lot more, because this is a very unusual virus.”Fauci said he had to draw money from other areas for Zika research, stressing that “we really don’t have what we need.”“If we don’t get the money that the president has asked for, we’re not going to be able to take it to the point where we’ve actually accomplished what we need to do,” Fauci said.“When the president asked for $1.9 billion, we needed $1.9 billion.”Hundreds of thousands of people in the US territory of Puerto Rico could become infected with Zika by year’s end, US health officials have cautioned.center_img Share Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

Bishop Malzaire is new President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference

first_img 468 Views   one comment FaithLifestyleLocalNewsRegional Bishop Malzaire is new President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference by: Dominica Vibes News – May 9, 2017 Share Share Sharecenter_img Tweet Sharing is caring! Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau Gabriel Malzaire newly elected President of Antilles Episcopal ConferenceBishop of the Diocese of Roseau, Gabriel Malzaire has been elected President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC). The Antilles Episcopal Conference or the Antilles Bishops’ Conference comprises of nineteen dioceses from the Bahamas to South America. Bishop Malzaire, who was ordained Bishop in Dominica on 10 July 2002, told Dominica Vibes in an interview on Tuesday 9 May 2017, the AEC comprises of Catholic churches that are of three different languages. “They comprise the English speaking Caribbean, the French speaking Caribbean and the Dutch speaking Caribbean so those three language areas are covered by the Antilles Bishops’ Conference. As president of the conference, I’ve been appointed as head of the group of nineteen Bishops.”The permanent board as it is referred to, is made up of a president, vice president and a treasurer who serve a three year term. The new permanent board was elected via secret ballot on Thursday 4 May 2017 during their annual one week meeting which ran from April 30 to May 6 in St Lucia. Prior to the election the vice president of the board sends forms to each members who nominates fellow Bishops for the offices. At the meeting two nominees are selected from nominees to run for each office. “I think it is quite humbling because you know to just think that the Bishops have such level of confidence in me is quite humbling for me,” Bishop Malzaire said. However, he added that at the same time there is a lot of work ahead. “In fact I was saying to the people on Saturday evening it will entail a little more travel because we have a lot of meetings.”But, the board has found that web meetings have helped reduce the amount of travelling members does in order to meet and also decreases traveling and ticket costs. Bishop Jason Gordon of Barbados was appointed Vice President and Bishop Gerard County of Saint Vincent was appointed treasurer. Dominican Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix served as president of this board for two terms, from 1991 to 1997.last_img read more

Cayman Islands to develop national energy policy

first_img Sharing is caring! Photo credit: TOWN, Cayman islands (GIS) — The Cayman Islands is arguably facing several challenges in the energy sector that may impede the future development and success of the Islands’ economy and society.Accordingly, under the auspices of the Ministry of District Administration, Works, Land and Agriculture (DAWLA), the government appointed a National Energy Policy Committee (NEPC) on 1 June 2010, tasked with developing a national energy policy.“We are almost one hundred percent dependent on fossil fuel to meet our energy needs. Water and electricity production and transportation are heavily reliant on these imported fuels and these areas are all important cornerstones of our economy and society,” said deputy premier and minister of DAWLA, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.She continued: “The challenges associated with oil reliability, affordability and security, as well as the environmental impact are all major concerns facing our relatively small country. As a government, we must address them; we feel a clear national plan to manage the energy sector is needed going forward, hence the appointment and remit of this committee.”The NEPC is not limiting its work merely to the electricity sector; it is tasked with looking at all aspects of energy requirements and use, including transportation, gasoline products, water supply, building codes, and environmental issues, as well as ensuring dependable product supply lines so that residents receive future continuity of necessary services.Further, the NEPC is working closely with the Electricity Regulatory Authority to promote renewable energy systems for the Cayman Islands which will help in reducing the dependency on oil-based products.Cline Glidden, Member of the Legislative Assembly and DAWLA ministerial councillor is the NEPC chairman and he is under no illusion regarding the daunting task that lies ahead. However, he remains upbeat about both the outcome and the committee:“This is a policy that is timely in examining how we can reduce our dependency on fossil fuel and it is conducive with global environmental trends in seeking ways and means to decrease atmospheric pollutants. The challenges are many, but we need to be proactive rather than reactive,” he commented.Of the 15-member committee, Glidden said, “It covers a good cross-section of the business community, with the sub-committees expected to attract even more numbers and stakeholders. I am confident that it will deliver on its remit in a timely manner.”Caribbean News Now Share Share Tweetcenter_img Share NewsRegional Cayman Islands to develop national energy policy by: – May 31, 2011 30 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

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