Area chiropractors recommend gearing up, taking it slow when shoveling – Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea Tribune

Area chiropractors recommend gearing up, taking it slow when shoveling
Albert Lea Tribune
With every new snowfall, a few cases of winter weather-related injuries show up in the waiting room, an Albert Lea chiropractor said. “You're not always thinking to be prepared when you're going out,” chiropractor Amy Sahr said. Sahr is a chiropractor

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Nurse may have killed at least 86 people in Germany, prosecutors say

A nurse in Germany who was convicted of murdering two patients through overdoses of heart medication may have killed nearly 100 people throughout his career, prosecutors revealed on Monday. 

Niels Hoegel, 40, was convicted in 2015 in the death of two people and the attempted murder of two others at a hospital in the northwestern town of Delmenhorst. Hoegel was sentenced to life in prison, but prosecutors uncovered more people they believe he had killed. 

“Eighty-four killings … leave us speechless,” John Kuehme, police chief in Oldenburg, said. “And as if all that were not enough, we must realize that the real dimension of the killings by Niels H. is likely many times worse.”

Kuehme said Monday they began investigating after Hoegel was convicted of attempted murder in another case. Deaths of hundreds of former patients in Delmenhorst and Oldenburg were investigated, leading them to unearth evidence of 84 other killings he had not been convicted of. The identities of the 84 people were not released. 

The number of actual murders is likely higher because some possible victims were cremated, making it impossible to gather evidence, Kuehme said. 

Hoegel, who worked at Oldenburg hospital from 1999 to 2002 and in Delmenhorst from 2003 to 2005, admitted during his trial he enjoyed the feeling of being able to resuscitate his patients when they went into cardiac arrest. He also told investigators he killed patients in Oldenburg and brought about 90 patients to “cardiac crisis.” 

Kuehme blamed local health authorities for failing to contact officials when they suspected possible wrongdoing. Medical workers’ suspicion about Hoegel could have traced back to as early as April 2003, when they noticed the number of resuscitations. 

“If the people responsible at the time, particularly at the Oldenburg clinic but also later in Delmenhorst, hadn’t hesitated to alert authorities — for example police, prosecutors —” Hoegel could have been stopped earlier, Kuehme said.

Prosecutors are expected to try Hoegel on at least some of the additional killings, but Germany’s judicial system does not allow for consecutive sentences, so future convictions won’t affect his life term.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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‘Evolve’ for PC just got much easier to play and now it’s free

Evolve just leveled up.

The 2015 game from Turtle Rock Studios is entering into what the developer calls “Stage 2.” That means a lot of different things, but the biggest change of all: Evolve is now free to play in beta on PC, with console versions to follow once the beta testing concludes.

If you’re not familiar with it, Evolve is a competitive game that pits four distinctly different hunters against a large, powerful monster on the surface of an alien world teeming with life.

The monster has a large pool of health and a range of abilities that you can upgrade or evolve as it feeds. Meanwhile, each hunter fills one of four roles Trapper, Medic, Support and Assault that define their weapons and gear.

The game was criticized when it launched for a variety of things. The progression system for unlocking new hunters and beasts was very restrictive. Playing with anything less than a full group tilted the balance toward the monster.

It was also just a confusing release, with three different editions and an unclear path to post-release content. Studio founders Chris Ashton and Phil Robb referred to the launch as a “DLC shitstorm” in a letter announcing the Stage 2 changes.

“The DLC shitstorm hit full force and washed away peoples enthusiasm, dragging us further and further from that first magical pick-up-and-play experience,” they wrote.

Stage 2 changes up some of the game’s most basic rules for monster hunting, including one that gives all hunters not just the trapper the ability to create a temporary arena that traps the monster in a small enough space to fight it.

The revised Evolve makes a bunch of other changes that all seem to orbit around the same, basic idea: make the game more accessible.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean a shift away from Turtle Rock’s earlier esports push for Evolve, it’s no longer the focus for the studio, Stage 2 lead designer Brandon Yanez clarified in a statement provided to Mashable.

“Theres still that place where if you want to play ranked games and go competitive, that is cool because Evolve still has all of that,” he said.

“Thats not a focus for us right now. Our focus is getting as many people as we can to enjoy Evolve. With the changes we made, its a little more of a lighthearted pick-up-and-play experience, but we still include spectator mode and ranked play in Stage 2 at launch, so the tools are there for competitive players to run with.”

You can read more about the significant gameplay changes in a new update from Turtle Rock. If you purchased the game at any point before the July 7 free-to-play beta launch, you also enjoy a variety of “Founders” benefits that you can look at right here.

Evolve‘s Stage 2 is going to remain a PC-only change for the length of the beta. Once it’s done, Turtle Rock confirmed that the free-to-play approach will migrate to the console versions of the game as well.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

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Maybe, on Obamacare, Republicans Should Just Punt

A quote often attributed to former Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes suggests There are three things that can happen when you throw a pass, and two of them are bad. Apocryphal or not, thats how Im starting to feel about the GOPs plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The more I talk to conservative-leaning health care policy expertssources that had previously helped me understand the debacle that would become Obamacarethe more convinced I am that this could all go horribly wrong.

The train is rushing down the tracks toward the cliff, said one health care policy expert.

Or maybe not. Despite President Trumps issuing of an executive order on day one, congressional plans to repeal the law are reportedly being pushed to mid-to-late February. Having spent the last six (or so) years promising to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), Republicans now find themselves with the thankless task of fixing Americas health care system.

This forces conservatives into what amounts to a no-win binary choice: Either health care isnt an appropriate responsibility of government (which is politically untenableespecially when your partys president disagrees with the premise), or you are attempting to find a more free-market way to do the things Obamacare aimed to dojust with more carrots and fewer sticks.

Conservative philosophyfrom Burke to Hayeksuggests that comprehensive plans are a fatal conceit; the world is too complex to plan. The notion that Republicans could magically fix the largest sector of the worlds largest economy is dubious, at best.

But that ship has sailed. No matter the fate of the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama already accomplished a huge legacy-guaranteeing paradigm shift: It is now understood that it is the federal governments job to make sure everyone has access to health care insurance.

Even President Donald Trump agrees with this promise of universal coverage, telling The Washington Post recently: Were going to have insurance for everybody There was a philosophy in some circles that if you cant pay for it, you dont get it. Thats not going to happen with us.

Ive been through all the conservative alternatives, and many of them have good components. Why not allow people to purchase across state lines? Yes, maybe tax deductions and refundable means-tested tax credits (as Avik Roys Transcending Obamacare plan suggests) could be used to incentivize obtaining coverage. Portable Health Savings Accounts seem like a fine idea. The new plan proposed by Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) would create an auto-enrollment feature. And maybe, as Sen. Rand Pauls (R-KY) plan suggests, virtually anyone will be able to form or join a large group to get coverage.

Each of these plans consists of some good ideas. But its like a novice trying to solve a Rubiks Cube. Every conceivable scheme or solution creates new problems. None of them solve the problem because this problem is simply too complicated to solve.

The idea that in this new political era, Congress and this new administration are going to remake health care is not realistic, says James C. Capretta, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). There are no simple one-line solutions to the problems. The tentacles of the current system run very deep because the system has been built up over decades. And that means change will necessarily be incremental.

In other words, instead of throwing a Hail Mary and risking a huge interception, Republicans might be better off just trying to gain a few yards and move the ball down the field.

So how could a realistic (and not disastrous) health care system look? According to Capretta, the most plausible (and simplistic) plan would (A) retain the employer-based system (replacing the Cadillac tax with a better designed upper limit), (B) provide tax credits for people outside the system, and (C) provide Medicaid for everyone who cant afford health insurance.

You can look at this, Capretta conceded, and say, Boy, doesnt this sound like the Affordable Care Act? And the answer is yes. But the details in this plan are essential. And changing the details to be more market-orientedmore driven by consumer preferencesreally makes a difference.

There is little reason to believe that Republicans will end up with something this simple, but even if they do, its not like they will end up with some perfect free-market plan. By winning the presidential election, Republicans are now like the dog that caught the car.

It feels like Bushs Social Security all over again, one senior industry official told me. Its really hard to see how this ends up with as many people being covered at the same or lower costs. Its a mess.

Even that may be a best-case scenario. Social Security reform was a bust that wasted President George W. Bushs second-term political capital, but Republicans didnt repeal Social Security. There is always the danger that this could go catastrophically wrong.

Should Republicans actually kick off a new administration by engaging in a fools errand that is almost guaranteed to backfire?

Sometimes you have to punt.

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Taking a look at the year in nutrition

As always, it was a good-news, bad-news year in nutrition, this one marked by controversial study findings, sombre obesity statistics, updated food regulations and encouraging news stories.

Many of the stories that made headlines (and the ones that didn’t) offered takeaways that can help us improve our diets in 2018 and beyond. Here are five big issues that I paid attention to, and why you should, too.

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This fall, Health Canada announced that as of Sept. 15, 2018, it will be illegal for manufacturers to add partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fats, to food products. This is probably the most important change to our food supply in decades.

There is no safe level of trans fat in the diet; any amount of intake is believed to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A steady intake of trans fat is also associated with a greater risk of Type 2 diabetes.

To avoid trans fats January through August, 2018, read labels. Choose foods with zero grams of trans fat. Avoid products that list partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, hydrogenated oil or shortening as an ingredient. (Partially hydrogenated oils are often listed as hydrogenated oils.)

Saturated fat controversy continues

It was a back and forth year for saturated fat, the type found in fatty meats and dairy products. In April, three cardiologists published a headline-grabbing editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine debunking the idea that saturated fat clogs arteries.

Then, in June, the American Heart Association (AHA) released an advisory report to clear up the confusion surrounding the link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. After an analysis of the scientific evidence, the AHA’s review refuted the notion that saturated fats are not tied to heart risk.

Reducing saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats (found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, olives, avocado) was shown to benefit heart health. So was replacing saturated fats in the diet with whole grains.

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My advice for 2018? Watch your saturated fat intake, but don’t forget about the rest of your diet. The best-studied diets for cardiovascular health emphasize fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils, nuts and unsaturated oils and limit refined carbohydrates and red meat.

Childhood obesity at all-time high

In October, a comprehensive study published in the Lancet revealed that the number of obese kids, between the ages of 5 to 19, worldwide has skyrocketed tenfold over the past 40 years.

A contributing factor to childhood obesity: a sedentary lifestyle. A fact that, last month, prompted Canadian experts in exercise physiology and obesity and the non-profit group ParticipAction to release 24-hour movement guidelines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Recommendations for stronger, fitter, healthier kids include tummy time for babies and at least one hour of “energetic” play spread throughout the day for one-to-four-year-olds.

To help foster lifelong healthy eating, get your kids in the kitchen more often. Have them help you plan and prepare nutritious meals.

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Kids who cook are more likely to eat a wider variety foods. Plus, cooking with your child provides an opportunity to talk about health and healthy ingredients.

Gluten-free diet’s nutrition questioned

This year, scientists warned against following a gluten-free diet if you don’t have a medical reason to do so.

In March, findings from a large observational study suggested that eating a low-gluten diet increased the odds of developing Type 2 diabetes, presumably because it’s lacking in fibre.

Two months later, European research showed that, compared to gluten-containing products (e.g., breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, cookies), gluten-free alternatives were usually more calorie-dense, higher in fat and lower in protein.

Whether you avoid gluten for health reasons or simply because you prefer to do so, replace gluten-containing foods with alternatives that deliver fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Include gluten-free whole grains such brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum, millet and teff in your daily diet. Sweet potato, beans and lentils also deliver fibre-rich, gluten-free carbohydrates.

Plant protein popularity soars

It was a good year for protein, especially plant protein. A growing number of consumers decided to eat less animal protein for health reasons combined with environmental concerns, which fuelled the growth of plant protein in 2017.

This translated to more protein-rich plant foods on grocery store shelves, from Ripple’s plant-based milks (made from yellow peas) to Catelli Protein pasta (made from fava beans). Expect to see a continued rise in plant-based offerings next year.

Diets that include more plants are tied to protection from heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. Plant foods such as beans and lentils, edamame, tofu, nuts and seeds deliver protein along with fibre, vitamins, minerals and countless phytochemicals.

In 2018, aim to include at least five plant-based meals (breakfast, lunch and/or dinner) in your diet each week.

Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based private-practice dietitian, is director of Food and Nutrition at Medcan.


UK election: Hung parliament projected in shock defeat for Conservatives

An exit poll projected a hung parliament following Britains general election Thursday, in what would be a crippling political defeat for Prime Minister Theresa Mays Conservative government.

The exit poll, commissioned by the U.K.s three main broadcasters and released after the polls closed at 10 p.m., projected the Tories to hold 314 seats, down 16 from their total at the end of the last Parliament. The Labour Party was forecast to gain 37 seats for a total of 266, the Scottish National Party was projected to lose 20 seats for a total of 34, and the center-left Liberal Democrats were projected to have 14 seats, up five from the last Parliament.

“It’s still very, very early in the evening,” said Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire. “It’s too early in the night to be drawing conclusions.”

The forecasted result caused the British pound to plummet more than 2 cents against the dollar, falling from $1.2955 to $1.2752 late Thursday. Some investors worry that the lack of a clear Conservative majority would weaken the next government’s hand in the upcoming negotiations to leave the European Union.

Officially, a party needs to win 326 seats to gain a majority in the 650-member House of Commons. However, the actual magic number is closer to 323. The Speaker does not vote and members from Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party which won four seats in the last general election in 2015, do not appear at Westminster.

Though the Conservatives would remain the largest single party, the projected result puts Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — long thought unelectable even by members of his own party — tantalizingly close to the threshold of Number 10 Downing Street.

However, the Liberal Democrats have repeatedly ruled out forming a governing coalition with either the Conservatives or Labour, citing policy differences over the U.K. leaving the European Union.

For May, the projected result could lead to the end of her tenure as Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader and spark a bitter round of finger-pointing over how an election many thought unlosable was lost.

Craig Oliver, a spokesman for former Prime Minister David Cameron, told Sky News that if the exit poll was accurate, there will be “there will be deep and lasting shock” in party headquarters that May’s gamble to call an early election had backfired. 

“It was the biggest gamble a politician has taken for a long time,” Oliver said, “and if that exit poll is right, it’s failed.”

In late April, the Conservatives had led Labour by 21 points in an average of the major national polls, and May was considered the greatly preferred choice for prime minister over Corbyn, a 68-year-old socialist who has opposed British military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and has fought tougher anti-terrorism laws for decades. A stalwart of Labours far-left, Corbyn also shared platforms with Irish republicans in the years when the IRA was setting off bombs in Britain.

The 60-year-old May, who took over as premier after Camerons resignation following the outcome of last Junes Brexit referendum, had called the election three years ahead of schedule. She had envisioned the vote as a referendum on her governments ability to negotiate Britains departure from the European Union.

But Brexit failed to emerge as a major issue in the campaign, as both the Conservatives and Labour said they would respect voters’ wishes and go through with the divorce.

The tenor of the campaign also changed after two Islamist terror attacks in a 12-day span killed 29 people and injured hundreds more. The attacks brought renewed and harsher scrutiny to Mays six-year tenure as Home Secretary, Britains top law enforcement official.

In the wake of the May 22 suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester and the June 3 van attack on London Bridge in the heart of the capital, Corbyn slammed May for overseeing massive cuts to police forces as part of larger spending reductions under the Cameron premiership.

You cannot protect the public on the cheap, Corbyn said over the weekend. The police and security services must get the resources they need, not 20,000 police cuts.

In response, May insisted that her government had “protected the counterterrorism policing budget,” increased the number of armed police officers after several years when it fell, and funded the intelligence services to hire 1,900 more staff.

She also vowed to crack down on terrorism suspects, adding that if our human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change the laws so we can do it.”

The terror attacks were not the only reason May lost ground in the polls. The prime ministers campaigning style was criticized as stiff and lackluster, and some Conservative policy proposals got a hostile reception, including a plan to make pensioners pay for more of their care.

Corbyn, meanwhile, revealed himself to be an unexpectedly savvy campaigner and unveiled several promises that proved popular with the public, including increased spending on the National Health Service, schools and police, as well as the nationalization of railroads and utilities.

Rachel Sheard, who cast her vote near the site of the London Bridge attack, said the election had not gone as expected — and that it certainly wasn’t about Brexit.

“I don’t think that’s in the hearts and minds of Londoners at the minute, (not) nearly as much as security is,” said Sheard, 22. “It was very scary on Saturday.”

While security was on many voters’ minds, it was far from the only issue.

“It’s important, but it’s only one issue amongst several,” said 68-year-old Mike Peacroft. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s at the top. Obviously at my end of the (age) spectrum I’m more interested in things like pensions and so forth, NHS health care — plus schooling, those are really my main concerns.”

In her final message to voters, May tried to put the focus back on Brexit.

“I can only build that better country and get the right deal in Brussels with the support of the British people,” she said. “So whoever you have voted for in the past, if that is the future you want then vote Conservative today and we can all go forward together.”

Corbyn told supporters at his final rally that Labour’s campaign had “changed the debate and given people hope. Hope that it doesn’t have to be like this; that inequality can be tackled; that austerity can be ended; that you can stand up to the elites and the cynics. This is the new center ground.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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