Ampersand Digital: social responsibility and Covid-19

first_img Ampersand Digital: social responsibility and Covid-19 Topics: Legal & compliance Marketing & affiliates People Legal & compliance The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has seen operators, regulators and governments in multiple countries take action to ensure players are protected from gambling harms during nationwide lockdowns. Ampersand, Clarion Gaming’s open source discussion forum, held its inaugural online edition to discuss what these efforts mean for the sector. By Ewa Bakun and Robin Harrison The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has seen operators, regulators and governments in multiple countries take action to ensure players are protected from gambling harms during nationwide lockdowns. Ampersand, Clarion Gaming’s open source discussion forum, held its inaugural online edition to discuss what these efforts mean for the sector.The gambling industry faces a significant hit from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.Huge swathes of the land-based gambling industry has been shut down as countries implement social distancing measures to slow the virus’ spread. With sports around the world suspended, the online gaming industry’s largest component (42.5% of European online revenue in 2019, according to H2 Gambling Capital) is being eroded.Currently H2 estimates that gambling gross win across all channels and markets is set to fall by 15.6% year-on-year, to $399.4bn, taking global revenue below 2013 levels.And yet, in the current climate, there is a growing momentum behind further restrictions on the industry. Spain has already tightened advertising restrictions further, banning bonuses and limiting operators to audiovisual advertising between 1am and 5am. The Swedish government is warning operators to reduce advertising, and may even consider banning online casino to avoid excessive play.In the UK, the vocal Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group wants operators to set a £50 daily spending limit for all customers. Portugal’s parliament, meanwhile, has passed a motion to amend the country’s gambling legislation to allow for “partial or total limitations on access to online gambling” during the Covid-19 enforced lockdown.Yet in this climate, Ampersand members were united in viewing the current situation as an opportunity for the industry, with 76% believing it gave operators a chance to test and refine player protection strategies.Indeed, the industry has already mobilised to voluntarily impose new controls to protect customers. Across Europe, operator associations have coordinated action to commit to moderating their advertising, and avoid exploiting the crisis to encourage excessive play.“Crisis can be your best friend,” said Alan Feldman of the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute. “This is the time for the industry. Things differ across the markets but [the industry] has tended to trail behind on the subject of responsible gambling. It lags behind regulations, and had to be told what to do by governments.
“We need to see a shift to focus on customer safety and customer health rather than simply compliance,” Feldman explained. “The industry can own this space, and it must.”The survey conducted alongside the assembly, saw 68% of participants favour introducing additional safeguards during the pandemic. However some argued against new restrictions, arguing that it was in fact “surprising” that the industry was so ready to impose new controls.“If you need to take extra measures, you are already doing it wrong,” Grand Casino Luzern chief executive Wolfgang Bliem said. “As a strictly regulated business, we have the tools in place to monitor customers, and take action when we see problematic behaviour, so I don’t see any need to add additional measures.”Another added: “Given the abnormality of the current time, it’s difficult to imagine building tools or measures for the short-term that will be immediately transferrable when ‘normality’ resumes.”Another participant argued that the voluntary restrictions missed the bigger picture.“I think the industry as a whole is perceived on being on the ‘outside’ who it is easy to blame when a scapegoat is needed,” B Spot’s Jamison Selby said. Therefore efforts should go beyond responsible gambling, and form part of a broader corporate social responsibility effort.“Part of the discussion rests on where these companies sit within the ecosystem of their local markets, and not just as a piggybank for government looking for tax revenue,” he argued. “They [must] become citizens within the communities they service.”It should also be noted that while there was a general consensus in favour of new controls, the exact nature of the steps operators should take was less clear. Of a series of measures proposed by Clarion, only a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy for affiliate partners was supported by more than 40% of respondents as being ‘very effective’.Next up was an increased roll-out of safer gambling messaging, a measure 33.3% of respondents believed to be very effective. And while a ban on referring to Covid-19 in communications was seen as effective by 29.2% of respondents, making it the third most popular option, this was queried by many during the discussion.Some suggested that the pandemic could provide an opportunity for operators to build goodwill, such as by paying out on all bets for cancelled or postponed sporting events. United Airlines has even branded its efforts to help customers experiencing difficulties as ‘United Together’. It could be argued that with CSR initiatives such as LeoVegas’ LeoSafePlay or GVC’s Changing for the Bettor, this is already occurring in our sector.However doing so in the time of Covid-19 is not so simple. With operators not permitted to mention the virus in their marketing, participants queried whether this would violate this prohibition.“We’ve been told to back off and avoid being associated in any way with Covid-19,” one pointed out.This, they argue, could be a missed opportunity.“We want to cater to human needs, so even if we simply want to say we’re providing entertainment during this time, our hands are tied,” they explained. “We aren’t even allowed to refer to [Covid-19] even to tell people to gamble responsibly.”Of all the potential controls put to Ampersand members, those that were most roundly rejected as counter-productive were those proposed by the industry’s major critics.The £2 stake limit for online slots, first proposed by the Gambling Related Harm APPG in November 2019, then reiterated as a potential step during the pandemic, was seen by 56.5% as causing more harm than good.Participants were equally dubious about the £50 daily gambling limit put forward in the early days of the crisis – 52.2% believed it to be counterproductive.Many argued that those accusing the industry of “piggybacking” on the pandemic to boost revenue were in fact doing the same to achieve their own goals.One argued that the social responsibility measures taken by the industry during the Covid-19 crisis would effectively set benchmarks for any possible restrictions on operators.This is particularly pertinent in markets such as Italy, Sweden and – with the government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act coming up – Great Britain.“The issue that bothers me is despite that survey being an adequate reflection, the political response will be ‘so what, this should be your guiding principle anyway’,” experienced industry consultant Lee Richardson said. “All this is really doing is re-establishing what this new benchmark is.”Ultimately, however, Ampersand members were united around the need for balance, and a focus on proportionate action. PR stunts would be dismissed as such, one noted.And if operators had unnecessarily strict actions imposed on them which served only to erode their revenue with no actual evidence these provided better protection to players, this could come at the detriment of the regulated sector.“If RG requirements tank a legal operator, the black market will fill the void,” one participant said. “And they will have no RG measures at all.”Ampersand is Clarion Gaming’s global think-tank initiative. Close to 3000 industry professionals are part of it to participate in regular online surveys and meetings, share best practice and learn from one another. Learn more about Ampersand here. 23rd April 2020 | By contenteditorcenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Mobile Online Gamblinglast_img read more

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Dekker defends under-fire Holland Casino

first_img8th September 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has defended land-based monopoly Holland Casino in response to written questions from an MP regarding its responsible gambling practices, but acknowledged the casino does not keep track of individual player losses. Casino & games Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has defended land-based monopoly Holland Casino in response to written questions from an MP regarding its responsible gambling practices, but acknowledged the casino does not keep track of individual player losses.The questioning followed a local news story on a player who lost €250,000 gambling at one of the operator’s properties.This prompted Socialist Party politician Michael van Nipsen to ask Dekker whether the operator tracked player spending, and whether this information was shared with customers, in the form of a an on-screen or printed summary of activity. Van Nipsen also queried whether Holland Casino had policies in place to flag unsustainable gambling when it was spotted.Dekker said Holland Casino has policies in place to prevent problem behaviour, but admitted that it does not actually keep track of how much a player has lost.“When asked, Holland Casino informed me that it does not register the winnings and losses of players on a structural basis,” he said. “It is therefore not possible to give a player a printout of those amounts after a playing session.“Holland Casino’s prevention policy is aimed at early identification of risk and problem behavior. It uses various indicators for her risk analysis, and the frequency of visits is automatically registered,” the Minister explained. “If a player is at risk of gambling addiction, the gaming behavior is monitored more closely, but even then it is not possible to draw up an exact balance of the amounts won and lost.”Dekker added that collection of personal data must be done in a way that does not infringe on an individual’s right to privacy.“The collection of personal data must keep pace with the risks that arise,” he said. “This follows from the statutory duty of care, which means that licensees take measures and facilities that are necessary to prevent gambling addiction as much as possible.”However, he said he couldn’t comment on whether Holland Casino’s addiction prevention policy is compliant with gambling regulations, as this would be a question for gaming regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).Next, van Nipsen asked about Holland Casino’s practices in dealing with VIP customers, namely whether the operator tracked their behaviour, down to their preferred drinks orders.Dekker replied that this was an exaggerated example, but said he had been informed that Holland Casino does keep track of certain preferences for VIPs. The operator does in fact track favourite foods and drinks of these customers, he explained, though only after players have given their consent to this information being collected and tracked.“Holland Casino indicated that these products are not offered when the player arrives,” he said. “A player participating in the VIP program can order a drink, just like other players. In such cases, Holland Casino knows what the player’s favourite is.”Van Nipsen next asked about how the operator monitors and tracks the effectiveness of its addiction prevention plan, and whether the operator was obliged to refer players to addiction treatment professionals when they displayed signs of problem gambling. Dekker responded that the monopoly “provides players with extensive information about addiction treatment”, but cannot force a customer to seek this treatment.Van Nipsen also asked the Minister whether cash machines in the operator’s facilities were not subject to limits imposed on automatic teller machines in other venues, but Dekker said players would have the same daily limits in casinos as elsewhere.Dekker said this was the responsibility of the KSA, which is currently looking into Holland Casino’s player protection policy, but couldn’t comment while this investigation is ongoing.The Socialist Party MP next asked Dekker if Holland Casino was adequately resourced to protect players.Dekker said “there is room for further improvement of the assurance of addiction prevention,” and said this was why the Remote Gaming Act contains new, stricter player protection requirements, including self-exclusion system Centraal Register Uitsluiting Kansspelen (Cruks).The Remote Gaming Act will come into force on 1 March, 2021, after Dekker announced a further delay in its launch to the legislature last week. The Act’s launch was previously delayed from July 2020 to January 2021.In related news, the KSA has published its roadmap to the new, later launch date of the Act. It will publish the provisional list of requirements regarding licence applications this month.Online operators must test national self-exclusion system Cruks in October and can provide input on regulations in November, before a final version of these rules is published in January.In July, the Dutch government notified its revised gambling regulations to the European Commission. Players are required set maximum credit allowed on their account, while licensees must create a policy on addiction prevention. Bonuses will be restricted and players and operators will be barred from advertising gambling-related services between 6am and 9pm, while players may also not receive promotions in this time. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwittercenter_img Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Dekker defends under-fire Holland Casino Regions: Europe Western Europe Netherlands Email Addresslast_img read more

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Centum Investment Limited (CTUM.ke) HY2017 Presentation

first_imgCentum Investment Limited (CTUM.ke) listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Investment sector has released it’s 2017 presentation results for the half year.For more information about Centum Investment Limited (CTUM.ke) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Centum Investment Limited (CTUM.ke) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Centum Investment Limited (CTUM.ke)  2017 presentation results for the half year.Company ProfileCentum Investment Limited is an equity firm specialising in investing in areas of growth, developmental capital and buyouts and seek to make equity investments between US$2 and US$20 million. The company invests in enterprises in the agricultural, education, healthcare, energy, financial services, insurance, information and communication technology, food and beverages, catering, automotive, publishing, real estate, power and FMCG sectors. In the beverage sector, it invests in businesses manufacturing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and carbonated soft drinks. These companies operate in and serve the needs of domestic markets in Africa sub-regions. In most private equity investments, it prefers to acquire a controlling and significant minor stake in the company. The head office of Centum Investment Company is in Nairobi, Kenya. Centum Investment Limited is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchangelast_img read more

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I&M Holdings Limited (IMH.ke) 2020 Presentation

first_imgI&M Holdings Limited (IMH.ke) listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Industrial holding sector has released it’s 2020 presentation For more information about I&M Holdings Limited reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations visit the I&M Holdings Limited company page on AfricanFinancials.Indicative Share Trading Liquidity The total indicative share trading liquidity for I&M Holdings Limited (IMH.ke) in the past 12 months, as of 1st June 2021, is US$9.63M (KES1.05B). An average of US$802.37K (KES87.24M) per month.I&M Holdings Limited Presentation DocumentCompany ProfileI&M Holdings Limited (I&M Bank Group) is a financial services institution providing products and services for the personal, commercial and corporate sectors in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Mauritius. Its product offering ranges from transactional accounts, home and car loans and overdraft and term loans to e-commerce payment and salary processing services, trade finance and insurance premium financing services I&M Bank Group also provides services for foreign exchange, fund transfers, tax payment, bancassurance and agency banking. Its investment management division offers securities accounts and fiduciary services and facilitates the purchase and sale of securities from the stock market and invests in government securities. Its asset finance division caters for personal and corporate clients and covers vehicle and machinery purchases and cash management services. Its head office is in Nairobi, Kenya. I&M Holdings Limitedlast_img read more

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The Rugby Week in Review: May 23-29

first_img Catch up in the Rugby week that was: May 23-29…it’s been a long one… Schalk Brits and co celebrate winning the 2011 Aviva Premiership Everyone loves a Bank holiday, especially when it’s littered with so many sporting events! But what everyone loves more are Championship deciders. And boy have they been eventful…Proud moment: Dad Andy Farrell with son Owen Farrell at TwickenhamTo Twickenham where the Aviva Premiership Final do-over was held between Leicester Tigers and Saracens. The nail-biting final proved to be a tale of the boot, bar the only try scored by James Short nearly on the half hour mark, with an assist by Man of the Match Schalk Brits. In the end Owen Farrell held his nerve and proved his worth, kicking Saracens to their first premiership title beating Leicester 18-22.Thomond Park was the venue for the Magners League Final, on Saturday where Munster proved too much for European Champions Leinster beating them 19-9. They may be the Kings of Europe but Munster brought them back down to Earth with a bump, denying them a fairy-tale end to the season.Marler receiving treatmentEngland faced the Baa Baas at Twickenham on Sunday, with what can be considered a Saxons team. It was a try-fest at Twickenham as it witnessed yet another thrilling game at the weekend which saw the Baa baas claim a 38-32 victory. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Gavin Henson has been added to the unemplyed list, leaving Toulon due to their lack of budget next year and Henson’s probable World Cup commitments with Wales.Wednesday night was the 13th annual RPA Computacenter Rugby Players’ Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel, and the RugbyWorld team must have been well behaved because we were all allowed out for the night. And a beautiful night it was. The winners of the evening were… Finally, a quick look to the goings-on in the Southern Hemisphere…The Waratahs are running low on luck about now, and boy does coach Chris Hickey know it. After their 26-21 loss to the Sharks, their injury bench now includes Sekope Kepu (knee), Ryan Cross (knee), Berrick Barnes (head), plus Drew Mitchell (ankle).center_img LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 28: Saracens coach Andy Farrell tosses a kicking tee to son Owen Farrell during the AVIVA Premiership Final between Leicester Tigers and Saracens at Twickenham Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) Sitting proudly at the top of the Super Rugby table are the Reds, after Quade Cooper kicked (a last minute penalty) them to a 17-16 historic victory over the Crusaders at Suncorp. That’s now 12 straight home wins in case you were wondering.Week in Review: May 16-22 |    May 9-15 |    May 2 – 8last_img read more

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Target recalls 560,000 Easter toys

first_img April 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm Target recalls Easter egg toys that could ‘grow’ inside the body if eatenTarget has recalled a few children’s Easter and Dino toys due to the risk of them being ingested.The recall involves the following water-absorbing toys that were sold at Target stores nationwide from February 2017 through March 2017 for about $1.00:Hatch & Grow Easter EggsEaster Grow ToysHatch Your Own DinoIf the small toy is ingested, it can expand inside a child’s body and cause intestinal obstructions, resulting in severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and could be life-threatening. Surgery is required to remove the toy from the body, if ingested. Medical professionals and parents should be aware that there is a possibility that the toys might not show up on an x-ray.Hatch & Grow Easter Eggs and Easter Grow Toys have model number 234-25-1200 on the back of the product’s packaging. Hatch Your Own Dino Egg has model number 234-09-0016 on the label inserted in the product’s packaging. The pink, blue, or purple Hatch & Grow Easter Eggs include a white bunny, brown bunny, or butterfly. The Easter Grow Toys include a yellow chick, brown bunny, or white bunny. The Hatch Your Own Dino Eggs are purple or yellow/green and contains one of eleven dinosaurs.Consumers should immediately take this recalled toy away from children and return it to any Target store for a full refund.Use this link to learn more. Mama Mia Reading about what could happen if a child ingested one of these recalled Easter toys that expand and could cause a bowel obstruction brings back memories to me. Not because of a child ingesting one, or even myself, but it takes me back to a time when my mother was very sick and I kept trying my best to get her to a doctor and she would refuse saying that she just had a stomach virus and leave me alone, I will be ok. Three days went by and I had to get a little aggressive and hard on her, I hate to admit, but I cried and showed off to a small degree arguing with her. She couldn’t keep anything down. Not water, not medicine, nor food, and I begged her to let me call an ambulance or take her to the doctor. No she said. West Nile Virus was big at the time, and honestly, that is what I kept telling her was wrong with her, but I was wrong! You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Finally I convinced her to go and I called the ambulance. They took her to Fla. Hospital Apopka. The ER doctor, Dr. West, who took Dr. McBride’s place, ran tests and he found what was wrong, it was an obstructed bowel. He saved my mom’s life. They sent her immediately to Fl. Hospital Altamonte, where she was scheduled for surgery or else she would die. She had the surgery, was in there almost a month, and the surgeon said gangrene was at the point of starting to set in. She wasn’t allowed any water or food that entire time, only was fed glucose, and was only allowed to sponge her dry mouth with a wet sponge on a stick. After her surgery, her stomach that was blown up balloon size, deflated down to a caved in appearance. She was given intravenous potassium that made her cry, as she said it burned like she was on fire, but they said it was necessary and they couldn’t give her anything orally that she could ingest that most likely would go straight to her lungs and cause pneumonia. My mother’s bowel obstruction was caused from a previous surgery to remove part of her bowel due to pockets forming off to the sides of a weakened bowel, plus she had a hernia repair. Somehow the much older surgery many years previously had caused scar tissue to form and that lead to this bowel obstruction. She left the hospital and had to be re-habed at Sun Belt Nursing Home here in Apopka for two weeks. She got alright, was released back home, and she and I were going everywhere together, but she did pass away about 3 months later. So an intestinal obstruction is nothing to play around with! I really miss my mom today, when I think back on Easters of the past and how we went everywhere together. Reply April 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm Mama Mia Mama Mia April 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Please enter your name here Reply center_img UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 April 16, 2017 at 6:33 pm 4 COMMENTS Please enter your comment! Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Remember those crazy dolls that came out in the past that the kids fed the dolls the fake French fries that came with their dolls, and they chewed them in and then…….little girls long hair too, and some little girls hair was ripped from their scalp! OMG. Mama Mia TAGSRecallTarget Previous articleAre prosecution rates at the core of Richard Anderson’s plea deal?Next articleOrange TV provides transparent government Dale Fenwick RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Reply Wow you really have to be careful and watch what kids put in their mouth. Also the laundry pods that kids think are edible, and the Fabuloso cleaner that kids think looks like Kool-Aid……oh my gosh. Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replylast_img read more

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Access Group creates not-for-profit division

first_img  19 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Business software solutions provider Access Group has established a not-for-profit division to consolidate and enhance its work with charities and third sector organisations.It already has 820 charity and not-for-profit clients and claims that 15% of top-tier charities use Access Group products.The new division will be headed by Rob Barr who joins the Group having worked for over 15 years in the software sector for companies including Iris and Epicor. He has helped implement solutions for small organisations and the largest member bodies and charities. Advertisement Howard Lake | 19 June 2013 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Access’ acquisition of thankQ at the end of last year enables it to offer integrated financial software and CRM fundraising. As well as HR and payroll solutions, it recently launched Access aCloud platform for clients, including charities, to use to handle document management and team management functions.Barr said: “Access’ already strong portfolio of tightly integrated on-premise and cloud solutions has recently been bolstered by the acquisition of thankQ… I’ll be responsible for the direction of the product roadmap, ensuring it remains relevant to the sector, alongside the integration of new products into the suite through internal development and acquisition.” Access Group creates not-for-profit division About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

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NCBA Rolls Out New Event for 2021

first_img Facebook Twitter The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Wednesday announced the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention Winter Reboot. Planned for February 23-24, the event allows the organization to come together for industry news, updates, education and networking.NCBA says Winter Reboot attendees will receive a sneak peek into plans for the Cattle Industry Convention and the Cattlemen’s College, moved to August of this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.NCBA CEO Colin Woodall says, “This virtual experience will provide vital industry updates and education as we start the New Year.”Winter Reboot sessions include an NCBA Washington, D.C. issues update and expectations with the new administration. Ten educational programs will be offered covering topics such as sustainability, as well as a tech tool introduction. A virtual marketplace will also be featured during the Winter Reboot to allow attendees interaction with leading agribusinesses.Registration for the Winter Reboot is now open, and details about the event can be found at convention.ncba.org/winter-reboot. SHARE NCBA Rolls Out New Event for 2021 Facebook Twitter Previous articlePurdue Extension Offers Virtual Inheriting Farmland WorkshopNext articleHeightened COVID-Related Measures Slow Product Movement Into China NAFB News Service Home Indiana Agriculture News NCBA Rolls Out New Event for 2021 By NAFB News Service – Jan 7, 2021 SHARElast_img read more

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Concerns about vaping health effects rise as hospitalizations increase

first_imgFacebook World Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution Benton McDonald is a senior journalism and political science double major from Austin, Texas. He has worked for TCU360 since his freshman year and is currently the executive editor. Board approves tuition freeze, RRI actions but doesn’t act on eligibility issue spurred by Williams Thousands of TCU community members receive COVID-19 vaccines as university supply increases printJUUL is the most popular brand of e-cigarette on the market (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)UPDATE: A previous version of this article said that the TCU Pharmacy would provide Chantix to students looking for help with their nicotine addiction. The Pharmacy will only provide the prescription if students present a valid prescription from their physician. No matter where you are on campus, someone around you likely has an e-cigarette. While TCU’s campus is smoke-free, many students get their nicotine fix every day without lighting it up. The use of devices like the JUUL, an e-cigarette the size of a flash drive that emits small clouds of odorless smoke, has skyrocketed over the last decade, with sales increasing by 641 percent from 2016 and 2017, according to the CDC. But what began as a social activity in places like the high school bathroom has now become an addictive and harmful habit for many. One TCU student, who wished to remain anonymous for this story, experienced sharp stomach pains each morning before he hit his JUUL and has since quit. The student said he was smoking “a pod or more” of e-cigarette vapor each day. The nicotine content in one JUUL pod is equivalent to that of a pack of cigarettes, according to JUUL. Many students don’t realize the addictive and harmful effects of e-cigarettes when they first start using them, according to Brad Stewart, the associate director of the TCU Wellness Center.  “They think, ‘Well I just use it socially, like on the weekends partying, I’ll have my JUUL,’ but a lot of times what they don’t realize is that they can become severely addicted to nicotine even from casual usage just once or twice a week,” he said. “And then they start to realize that they’re having more cravings and more cravings.”The rise of e-cigarette usage is not unique to TCU. More than 3 million high school students reported vaping in 2018, according to a study released by the CDC. Among that group, 27.7 percent reported vaping more than 20 days a month. E-cigarette use has increased since the CDC first began tracking the data in 2011. Image courtesy: CDC “Over the last 4 years we’ve seen epidemic levels of increases in JUUL specifically and e-cigarette use in youth,” Stewart said. While the student whom TCU 360 spoke to quit before his health issues worsened, the same is not true for a growing number of people nationwide. A recent rise in vaping-related cases, which has jumped from 94 to 215 in recent weeks, according to CDC press releases, is leaving doctors and health experts without many answers. “Nobody has any idea why all the sudden there’s so much of it going on,” said Dr. Karen Schultz, the medical director of pulmonology at Cook Children’s Health Care System. “It’s baffled everybody.”A Fort Worth-area teen was hospitalized for 18 days at Cook Children’s this past summer, 10 of which were spent in a medically-induced coma with a breathing tube down his throat. While his doctors can’t say with certainty, they believe the failure of his lungs was caused in part by his vaping habit. While this case was the first they had seen at Cook Children’s, Schultz said she has seen an increase in the number of emergency room patients who reported chest pain and shortness of breath due to vaping in the past few months. “Those kids are getting hooked on that stuff, and it’s going to be as hard to come off vaping e-cigarettes as it is coming off of regular cigarettes,” she said. “It’s the same dependency of your body.”The number of e-cigarette users has continued to rise despite a clear knowledge about what products like JUUL contain and how harmful they are to one’s body. “We don’t know what the real dangers are,” she said of e-cigarettes. “It has been around, I think, 10 or 12 years now. It took decades for us to realize the dangers of smoking.” To prevent students from experiencing these life-threatening symptoms, TCU is looking to provide resources for anyone who find themselves with the unwanted habit. The TCU pharmacy will provide Chantix to students who receive a prescription from their doctor and Stewart said they are open to starting group cessation classes in the future.  “We want students to start to realize the damage that they’re causing to their lungs and esophagus,” he said. Another resource the university will lean on is the new smoking age that went into effect Sept. 1, when Texas joined 17 other states in raising the legal age to buy and use tobacco products to 21. Both Stewart and Schultz supported the change but saw it as the first of many steps toward lowering the number of young smokers. “If you’re still choosing to do that, you made that choice for yourself, but we’re not going to create an environment on campus or in the state or in the community that makes that easy for that damage and negative impact to happen to everyone around you,” Stewart said.  Benton McDonald Twitter Settlement reached between TCU, former professor in discrimination lawsuit Benton McDonaldhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/benton-mcdonald/ Linkedin Previous articleHoroscope: September 9, 2019Next articleCity proposes price increase for golf yearly passes Benton McDonald RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Chancellor talks stimulus money, COVID-19 vaccines and more at limited attendance faculty town hall TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Benton McDonaldhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/benton-mcdonald/ Benton McDonaldhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/benton-mcdonald/ + posts Facebook Linkedin Benton McDonaldhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/benton-mcdonald/ Welcome TCU Class of 2025 JUUL is the most popular brand of e-cigarette on the market (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) ReddIt ReddItlast_img read more

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Interview with editor who was threatened by defence secretary

first_img Organisation July 12, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Interview with editor who was threatened by defence secretary to go further News January 13, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders condemns the threats and insults that defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the president’s brother, made against Sunday Leader editor Frederica Jansz during a phone interview on 9 July. “We call on defence secretary Rajapaksa to stop threatening journalists who are doing their job,” Reporters Without Borders said. “In many countries, a government official would have to resign for making such comments and would probably be subject to a criminal prosecution. The justice system cannot turn a blind eye when a secretary openly makes such grave threats.“As our interview with Jansz (below) indicates, recent developments and statements by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other officials show Sri Lanka moving steadily away from the rule of law and its leaders becoming more and more intolerant towards the media. We urge the international community to firmly condemn these verbal attacks on journalists and to put pressure on the government to ensure that they do not go unpunished. Otherwise, self-censorship will continue to increase and journalists who do not toe the line will continue to be exposed to physical reprisals.”During the 9 July phone interview, the defence secretary reportedly called Jansz a “pig” and said “people will kill you.” He then denied threatenig her. GR: People will kill you!!! People hate you!!! They will kill you!!!FJ: On your directive?GR: What?? No. Not mine. But they will kill you – you dirty f…..g shit journalist.Jansz has been threatened several times in the past, above all in November 2009, when she gave Reporters Without Borders an interview about the media self-censorship that is widespread in Sri Lanka. Her predecessor as Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wickrematunga, was gunned down in Colombo on 8 January 2009. Those responsible for his murder have never been brought to justice.This is not the first time that the defence secretary has targeted journalists and openly expressed his hostility to media freedom. He and his brothers, including the president, are on the Reporters Without Borders list of “predators of press freedom.”Following the latest phone threats, Jansz gave Reporters Without Borders an interview about harassment of the media by the Rajapaksa family-led government. Her replies reflect the deterioration in the media environment since the interview she gave in 2009.Reporters Without Borders: Why do you think Gotabaya Rajapaksa allows himself to threaten you so openly on the phone ?Frederica Jansz: Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the second most powerful man in Sri Lanka, next to his brother, the President. He enjoys complete immunity, coupled with the trappings of power inherent to the highest office in this land – that of the president. This is not the first time Rajapaksa has threatened journalists. In fact he has succeeded in cowing Sri Lanka’s journalists into submission. They are terrified of this man and will not dare challenge his abuse of power. Sri LankaAsia – Pacific What is working as a journalist like nowadays in Sri Lanka in both the state-run and privately-owned media ?You can survive as long as you toe the government line. And that is what most media organizations in Sri Lanka have decided to do. Both state and privately-owned media. If you choose to do otherwise the consequences are too big. It’s a price that media bosses don’t want to pay. Does this mean that the Rajapaksa family can do whatever they want and are subject to no restraints, either within Sri Lanka or from the international community ?This is Sri Lanka. My predecessor, Lasantha Wickrematunge, was murdered in broad daylight on his way to work three and a half years ago. His killers continue to roam free. In January 2010, the cartoon journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda went missing. His whereabouts are still not known. The journalists Poddala Jayantha and Keith Noyahr were beaten and tortured to within an inch of their life. The perpetrators of these dastardly acts remain at large. White van abductions continue unabated. The abductors remain at large. So yes, to answer your question, the Rajapaksa family have proved over and over again that they can do whatever they want. There are no limits to what they can do. News News RSF_en Is there really no accountability for government officials ?Not where Gotabaya Rajapaksa is concerned. No. Help by sharing this information center_img Are the threats to be taken seriously ? And if so, why ?Yes. It is well within his power to do me harm, whether or not through abuse of the state machinery that lies at his disposal. Receive email alerts News Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge What message would you like to send to the United Nations, the EU and international institutions in general ?Enough is enough. That is the line that they should be taking with this government. Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Follow the news on Sri Lanka Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists July 29, 2020 Find out more Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial What can and should be done as a priority to improve the situation ?This country is now saddled with an apathetic opposition. Fear has taken a firm hold on civil society. And the media have been effectively cowed into submission. I honestly do not know what can be done in this situation. The fear of getting killed or abducted by a white van now runs too high for people to unite and stand together on issues such as this. And that includes the parliamentarians from the main opposition parties. July 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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