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Irish people have dared to speak on abortion. Our government must listen | Grainne Maguire

The story was that abortion could be tolerated in only the most limited of circumstances. Then 99 members of the public were asked what they thought

In 1916, when revolutionaries were putting the final touches to the proclamation of independence, the manifesto of the Irish state, there was one phrase that maintained holding everything up: should it be addressed to the men of Ireland as Pdraig Pearse insisted, or the men and women, as James Connelly argued? Connelly won, but whose revolution it actually was is still up for debate 101 years later.

Last weekend, a national assembly set up by the taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to debate access to abortion in Ireland announced its results. Abortion is still illegal in Ireland( as was the case in Northern Ireland) and Kenny, in the dying days of his leadership, is reticent to lead on the issue. So instead 99 members of the public the Citizens Assembly picked to represent the hearts, intellects and conscience of middle Ireland, were sent away to consider the facts and present their results. Contrary to everyones expectations they voted overwhelmingly not only to recommend legalising abortion but under circumstances more liberal than anyone guessed possible.

The narrative up until now has been that abortion in Ireland could be tolerated in only the most limited of circumstances. There are good abortions: fatal foetal abnormalities, rape, incest. And then there are bad abortions: women who for whatever personal reason no longer want to be pregnant. The spectre of British-style abortion loomed in the public conscious, the worry that unrestricted access would result in feckless women discontinuing pregnancies on caprices, giddy on cosmopolitans during Sex and the City binge-watches.

It seemed to become socially acceptable to casually dismiss the two sides of the abortion debate as being as bad and as extreme as each other. That the anti-choice side groups that regularly display gruesome images of late-term abortions outside public builds, set up fake counselling services to frighten pregnant teens into continuing their pregnancies, and claim abortion leads to infertility are in their style, just as extreme as the pro-choice side. Theyre the ones that argue its a matter best left between a woman and her doctor.

Ireland is still a very conservative country. News organisations sent their religion affairs reporter to cover the assemblys seeing , not their health correspondent. The Irish prime minister casually uses the phrase abortion on demand in interviews. Images of heavily pregnant women and newborns illustrate abortion news tales. There was even the jaw-dropping audacity of Sinn Fin until very recently bragging it was a pro-life party.

I grew up in a typical midlands household in Ireland, and like most Irish people I went to a Catholic primary and secondary school. Up until my early 20 s, when abortion became more real and less philosophical, I was unthinkingly anti-abortion. I remember the day we encompassed it in religion class. There was one chapter on it in our book, and at the end 10 reasons set out above it was wrong and two why some people thought it was OK. There was little deliberation. A room full of curious, intelligent, ambitious young lady, and our minds were as certain, closed and stupid as an unread book.

There was a really lovely young geography educator at our school. A few years after I left school, she got pregnant and then found out she had cancer. She decided to stop the treatment because it would set her pregnancy at risk. She miscarried, then slipped into a coma and died. Its not my place to even imagine the hopeless loneliness of her selection, but in a culture that told her motherhood mattered above all else, I wonder how much choice she truly had. Or was what she felt she had to do so obvious, she merely couldnt find her way out of it? I wish she had been more selfish. I wish she had insisted her own life was worth fighting for.

Centuries of colonisation do strange things to a nations male psyche. For a long time, females were daughters or mothers but never comrades, never equals: loved but never really liked. Those who didnt play by the rules could be sent away to laundries and never seen again. The classmate that never came back to school, the sister that couldnt be mentioned again, all those empty chairs a warning to the women left behind. Play by the rules or the bogeyman will come and get you.

The assemblys recommendations are just that, recommendations. They are not legally binding. We now have to wait for government to discuss and decide on the wording of any referendum that might take place. It is unlikely to be as liberal as I would like, or as the recommendations themselves. Despite all this, I still have hope because, just as with the recent referendum to legalise same-sex matrimony, I eventually heard the voice of the kind, sensible, compassionate Irish people I know and love. I have hope that we might eventually have a country worthy of the women and men that live there. Until that happens, its not my revolution.

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Nurofen class action could yield very small individual payments, lawyer says

Painkiller manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser settled an Australian class action over its specific pain range last month

A $ 3.5 m class action over Nurofen tablets that falsely claimed they could target specific types of ache could yield very small payments for individual claimants, if everyone who bought the products steps forward.

The painkillers manufacturer, Reckitt Benckiser, resolved the class action over its specific ache range at the federal court in Sydney last month.

According to the terms of that settlement, which was reached on behalf of claimants by law firm Bannister Law, each person who claimed to have bought the relevant painkillers between 2011 and 2015 would receive a situate sum in compensation per packet.

If the settlement is under-subscribed; that is, if the total amount claimed at the end of the settlement period is less than whatever funds remain once the third-party settlement administrator has been paid, then the leftover funds are returned to Reckitt Benckiser.

But if there are too many claimants for everyone to be paid the decide fee, the funds get paid to individual claimants will be adjusted at a pro rata rate.

Say only$ 2m is claimed out of the $3.5 m, and its $500,000 for the administrator and there is still$ 1m there, that money will go back to the respondent, Bannister Law lawyer Diane Chapman, who conducted the class action, told Guardian Australia.

But if there are 10 million Australians who applied for the funds it may only be a one-off pay of not a very large amount.

Chapman said that scenario was not out of the question.

Any person who bought one of the designated products between 2011 and 2015 is eligible to join the class action by applying online and then filling out a statutory declaration, which will be emailed out.

No proof of buy is necessitated, but those who claim to have spent more than $200 on the painkillers may be audited to determine both the veracity of their assert and the size of their settlement.

As of 31 July, the date the settlement was agreed, the class action had 1,700 members. A spokesman for Bannister Law said that number was growing daily.

The final number of members will not be determined until four months from the settlement hearing, which will be before the federal court in Sydney on 20 September.

Reckitt Benckiser was penalty $1.7 m by the federal tribunal in 2016 for misinforming customers about its range of specific pain products, which were variously packaged as targeting migraines, tension headaches, period ache and back pain. The fine was afterward increased on appeal to$ 6m, the highest-ever penalty for misinforming conduct under Australian consumer law.

Nurofen confessed to the court that all products contained exactly the same active ingredient, 342 mg of ibuprofen lysine, and none were more or less effective than any of the others at alleviating a specific source of pain.

The products were more expensive than standard Nurofen products, which use a different ibuprofen formula.

Chapman said some customers, particularly those with chronic pain issues, had expended several thousand dollars on the products.

There is a real social justice issue in this case, Chapman said. Theres a lot of people out there that would like to know that Reckitt Benckiser has done the incorrect thing and consumers have got some recompense.

Reckitt Benckiser did not respond to a request for comment.

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Fresh reasoning: Trine Hahnemann’s Danish cuisine recipes

While still based in tradition, Danish cuisine has embraced new flavours, foreign ingredients and a lighter touch, says Trine Hahnemann

We Danes have stopped thinking about the dinner as revolving around meat and potatoes. More things are eaten raw than my grandmother would have imagined.

While my cooking is quite different from my grandmothers it is still deeply rooted in tradition, but I use stronger flavours, more spices, more fresh herbs, different techniques. I grew up with cauliflower boiled to demise or in a gratin with white sauce. Now I serve it in endless ways: raw, fried in butter, as a pure with chilli.

Inspiration from around the world has entered modern Danish cooking, and texture and combinings have shifted. It is lighter, a bit more complex in flavours, but without giving in on seasonality and still recognising the benefits of maintaining things simple.

Spelt tart with spinach, Jerusalem artichokes and feta

This tart is ideal for everyday cooking and not that hard to induce. Its also perfect for guests, as it can be made the day before, then heated up to serve. Serves 4-6.

For the pastry:
plain flour 100 g, plus extra for dusting
wholegrain spelt flour 100 g
ocean salt 1 tsp
butter, chopped 75 g
skyr( quark) or fromage frais 75 g

For the fill:
Jerusalem artichokes 200 g
olive oil 2 tbsp
garlic cloves, chopped 2
spinach 500 g
eggs, beaten 5
full-fat crme frache 100 ml
feta cheese 200 g, crumbled
freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp
ocean salt 1 tsp
freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp

Begin with the pastry. Mix both flours with the salt in a large bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips. Mix in the skyr( quark) or fromage frais. Knead the dough gently with your hands simply until the ingredients are combined.( Alternatively, pulse all the ingredients together in a food processor, adding a little water if the dough does not come together .)

Roll the dough out on a floured surface and butter a tart tin or dish, about 28 cm in diameter. Use the pastry to line the tart tin, then refrigerate for one hour. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4. Line the pastry case with cooking parchment and pour in baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and parchment and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the fill. Peel the artichokes and cut them into 1.5 cm chunks. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the artichokes and saut for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and let it cook for about five minutes; take off the heat. If utilizing fresh spinach, rinse in cold water, then place in a separate saucepan over a medium hot and allow it to wilt. When it is just wilted, drainage really well in a sieve.

Put the beat eggs, crme frache, feta, nutmeg and salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoonful. Fold in the drained spinach and Jerusalem artichokes. Pour the mixture into the pastry instance, return it to the oven and cook for 3035 minutes, or until the fill has set but retains a slight wobble. Serve right away with a nice salad.

Cauliflower, prawns and dill

Raw bargain: cauliflower, prawns and dill. Photo: Columbus Leth

When I was growing up we ate cauliflower raw with a dip. It has inspired this great-tasting salad. Serves 4-6

small cauliflower 1
radishes 10
cooked peeled prawns 200 g

For the dressing:
chopped dill 6 tbsp
chopped chives 6 tbsp
Greek yogurt 150 ml
grated unwaxed lemon zest 1 tbsp
lemon juice 1-2 tbsp
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cut the cauliflower into thin slice, rinse well in cold water then drain in a colander. Slice the radishes. Mix all the dressing ingredients together, with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the cauliflower slicings, radishes and prawns together in a big mixing bowl, then mix in the dres. Season to taste with salt and pepper and perhaps a little more lemon juice for acidity. Leave for 10 minutes then season again and serve.

Warm butternut squash with almonds and herbs

Watercress topped: warm butternut squash with almonds and herbs. Photo: Columbus Leth

I had a dish similar to this one in Seoul, Korea, and this is my Scandi autumn version for the time of year when pumpkins start to be harvested. Serves 4.

butternut squash, unpeeled 1
extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
watercress, to decorate

For the herb topping:
spring onions 2
green chilli, chopped 1
chopped parsley 3 tbsp
chopped mint 3 tbsp
garlic clove 1, grated
lemon juice 1-2 tbsp
butter 2 tbsp
almonds 100 g, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways, scrape out all the seeds, then cut each squash half into slice from the shorter side. Place on a baking sheet lined with cooking parchment, toss with the olive oil and some salt and pepper and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, attain the herb topping. Thinly slice the spring onions. Mix the chilli, chopped herbs, garlic and lemon juice together and set aside. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the almonds and spring onions and cook until browned. Take off the heat and keep warm.

Transfer the cooked butternut squash slicings to a serving dish, stir the herb mixture into the brown buttered almonds and spring onions, then spoon on top of the butternut squash. Finish by decorating with watercress.

Winter apple layer cake

Apple support: winter apple layer cake. Photograph: Columbus Leth

This a classic Danish recipe. The cream is partly inspired by my favourite Danish writer, Karen Blixen. Serves 8.

For the apple sauce:
Bramley apples 600 g
caster sugar 40 g
lemon juice 1 tsp

For the layers:
soft butter 175 g
caster sugar 175 g
egg 1
plain flour 175 g
ground cinnamon 3 tsp
ground cardamom 2 tsp

For the cream:
hazelnuts 100 g
double cream 400 ml
single cream 100 ml
icing sugar 2 tsp

Peel and dice the apples and put them into a pan with the sugar and lemon juice. Let them simmer for 15 -2 0 minutes until you have a smooth sauce. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ gas mark 6. Draw a 20 cm circle use a pencil on 7 sheets of baking parchment. Turn these over and arrange on as many cooking sheets as necessary to fit( you may have to cook these in batches ).

Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in the egg. Mix the flour and spices together and fold into the creamed mixture. Utilizing a spatula, spread the concoction as evenly as is practicable inside each visible circle on the pieces of baking parchment.

Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until the edges start to take on some colour. Set aside to cool on the sheets of parchment on a wire rack. While the layers are cooling, roast the hazelnuts. Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven, then wrap them in a clean tea towel and give them a good rub, so the skins come off. Roughly chop them. Whip both creams with the icing sugar and stir in two-thirds of the hazelnuts.

Assemble the cake immediately prior to serving. Place a crisp layer on a serve plate and add some apple sauce, then add another crisp layer, then some cream. Repeat this layer pattern twice, then add the last crisp layer and some apple sauce on top. Sprinkle the remaining chopped hazelnuts on top and serve right away.

Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge by Trine Hahnemann is published by Quadrille at 25. To order a transcript for 20.50, go to

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US life expectancy drops-off for second year in a row

( CNN) Life expectancy in the United States has dropped again following last year’s decline, which marked the first downturn in more than two decades.

On average, Americans can now expect to live 78.6 years, a statistically significant drop of 0.1 year, according to a report on 2016 datapublished Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. Women can now expect to live a full five years longer than men: 81.1 years vs. 76.1 years.

The last hour the agency recorded a multiyear drop was in 1962 and 1963.

School dinners, lessons evolve to promote healthy living in DC Everest School District – Wausau Daily Herald

Wausau Daily Herald

Shrinking Pringles and other acts of corporate betrayal dedicated ‘shonky’ awardings

It’s all a lie .

Every bite of a Pringles chip is now an act of disloyalty. The salty potato chip has apparently done gone and shrunk on us without warning.

The average length of a Pringles chip has reduced by 9.7 percentage, according to the consumer advocacy group Choice. The chip shrink from 62 millimetres to merely 56 millimetres, it said, and what’s worse, the reduction wasn’t even accompanied by a drop in price.

For its trouble, the junk food won one of Choice’s annual Shonky Awards, which aims to “name and shame” the products taking Australians for the biggest rides.

A Pringles spokesperson told Mashable the decision to put costs up wasn’t constructed gently. “As the cost of constructing them was going up, we unfortunately needed to build in a small price increase with the new cans to help cover some of these costs, ” he said.

Although the Pringles shrinkage was devastating, it was by no means the only offender in 2016. Samsung get tapped for its over-heating phone battery debacle, but Camel Milk Victoria more than deserves its turn in the spotlight.

First, it’s camel milk. But the product also induces some, ah, pretty incredible health claims, including suggesting it can “improve the immune system by fighting off bacteria and infections and aid those who have autism, diabetes, tuberculosis, cancer, belly ulcers and more.”

According to Choice , none of these benefits are permissible health asserts under food health regulation.

Also winning a Shonky Award was Green and Clean literally a bottle of air, ostensibly gathered in the wilds of the Blue Mountain and Tasmania.

The air is sucked into the bottle with a specially-built machine, Green and Clean founder John Dickinson told Mashable in May. “It voices easy get fresh air into a can but it isn’t actually easier than i thought at all. We had mechanical technologist working with us for several months to actually crack the code of how to physically do it, ” he said.

Image: Green and clean

You’ll pay a lot for the privilege of exhaling their air for a lifetime, as Choice pointed out 😛 TAGEND

“A pack of 12 cans sells for merely $246.24, each offering ‘upward of 255 breaths.’ So let’s model that forward. At remainder, an adult takes up to about 14 breaths per minute. That’s 20,160 a day, over 7.3 million a year. An 18 -year-old today can expect to live for another 60 years, taking at least 441 million breaths.

“That’s 1,732, 584 bottles of air, valued at a mere $35,552, 623.68, omitting postage and handling.”

In response, Green and Clean told Mashable Choice’s computation was “ludicrous.”

“They stated ‘1 2 cans defining you back $246.26, and offering upward of 255 breaths.’ Note that each of our standard canisters holds 130 inhalations, with our larger canisters holding 225 inhalations. We also offer discounted costs for larger orders so their numbers are way off.”

Check out Choice’s site for a who’s who of the “shonkiest” around. Guys, get onto together.

Samsung has been approached by Mashable for commentary. Camel Milk’s website appeared to be down as of Thursday local time.

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