Members of Irish Defences could have hairs pluck under new drug screening process

first_imgMembers of the Irish Defence Forces could have hairs plucked out to test for illegal drugs as part of their new €130,000 screening process.The Defence Forces have put out a tender in search of a company to take over their drug testing programme for the next four years.According to a report online, soldiers currently only have to go through urine testing but the tender for the new programme says that a requirement for hair testing may arise. Urine testing has a very short window of detection and can only pick up drug use that occurred in the last few days.However, hair tests can pick up drugs that were taken up to 90 days before the screening.The chosen firm will carry out between 20 and 30 workplace drug testing operations per year in barracks across the country.They will select troops at ­random and with the aim of examining around 2,000 per year. Testing will also take place at a tiny number of overseas locations where Irish military is currently on peacekeeping missions.The Defence Forces estimate that the new screening process will cost €130,000 excluding VAT.A spokesman told the Irish Sun: “Compulsory random drug testing has been in use in the Defence Forces for well over ten years.The unlawful ­possession, supply, or use, of a controlled drug, is incompatible with membership of the Defence Forces.”Earlier this year, it was revealed that 78 soldiers failed drug tests over the last ten years. Some 62 soldiers were sacked after failing the tests with 16 other members of the Defence Forces staying in their positionsMembers of Irish Defences could have hairs pluck under new drug screening process was last modified: August 25th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Boss Laudrup salutes players after stunning Swansea victory

first_imgNew Swansea boss Michael Laudrup saluted his players after their blistering start to his reign.It was a stunning opening to the season from the Swans, whose 5-0 victory at QPR left the home crowd stunnedLaudrup said: “That was impressive. Winning the first game – on my debut and also the debut of the team in the second season in the Premier League – away 5-0 is something nobody could have dreamt of.“I’m very happy for the players. Last season I think the first away win was in January and it’s very important you know you can win an away game, because it gives you confidence for the rest of the season.“We hit the bar twice in the first half and I don’t think anyone can say that we didn’t deserve that result.“We all know there will be bad days, bad weeks and maybe even bad months, but it’s important to take results like that and use it.”See also:The QPR v Swansea City quizFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

SA to target organised crime

first_img1 July 2008While organised crime makes up a small percentage of total criminal activity in South Africa, it still wreaks havoc on society and is therefore being paid special attention by the government, says Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula.He was briefing the media in Pretoria this week, following the release of the latest crime statistics, which point to a continued decline in crime levels in the country – though the government has conceded that they still remain unacceptably high.“Organised crime continues to be a big problem because of the damage it inflicts on society. Firearms are used in many organised crime cases and people are killed, including innocent bystanders,” Ngakula said.“Organised criminal gangs are also involved in the illicit drug trade, which is affecting many of our people, especially the youth. The organised gangs also use their ill-begotten financial resources to corrupt people.”Organised crime groupsThe South African Police Service identified and investigated 145 organised crime groups during 2007/08, most of whom were involved in drug-related crime, motor vehicle theft and hijacking, fraud, corruption, and trafficking in non-ferrous metals, precious metals and stones.“[A total of] 131 syndicate leaders and 375 syndicate members (or runners) were arrested,” Nqakula said. “This means that 27.41% of the organised crime projects that were under investigation for the period under review were taken to court.”Of the total arrests of 1 274 062 made by the police during the period under review, 170 097 were for social related contact crimes and 24 592 for violent organised crime.Police analyst Chris de Kock said, however, that there had been a significant decrease in cash-in-transit robberies, which is a highly organised type of crime, with the number of cash-in-transit heists decreasing from 467 to 395 between 2007 and 2008.Shifting attention elsewhereHowever, De Kock warned that the gangs involved could have shifted their attention somewhere else, such as automatic teller machine (ATM) bombings.“One of the latest developments involves attacks or bombings aimed at ATMs. During 2005, only 12 such incidents were recorded, which escalated to 54 incidents during 2006, 386 incidents during 2007 and a projected total of 538 for 2008.” He said. “The increase between 2005 and 2007 alone stands at 374 cases, namely from 12 to 386 incidents.”De Kock said that during the past three to four months, since the successful strikes against cash-in-transit robberies, the nature of ATM bombings had advanced.The criminals involved had recently shifted their attention from less populated areas to the metropolitan areas or cities themselves, with more affluent areas also being targeted.Previously, the criminal gangs were only made up of two or three members, however, gangs of 10 to 14 heavily armed men in at least two vehicles were now carrying out these robberies. The bombings were also becoming more sophisticated as gangs were using double bomb blasts as opposed to only one.De Kock said these changes had resulted in more monetary gain and more police casualties.Positive resultsOn the whole, the crime trends show that the government has made various interventions to fight crime in the country, with Police stations being beefed up with more officers and better resources and community or geographic policing being increased to curb crime in informal settlements.Partnerships with communities, business, labour movements and religious sectors had also yielded positive results.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Kinship of the golden grapplers

first_imgThere was first the example. And the instant transmission of ambition. The year was 2000, and the extended Phogat household in Bhiwani district’s Balali village was electrified by the news from Sydney. Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari had won a bronze medal, India’s lone prize at the Olympics and the first ever,There was first the example. And the instant transmission of ambition. The year was 2000, and the extended Phogat household in Bhiwani district’s Balali village was electrified by the news from Sydney. Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari had won a bronze medal, India’s lone prize at the Olympics and the first ever for an Indian woman. And to hear it now from 24-year-old Babita Phogat, still to shake off the gold dust from her medal for freestyle wrestling at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, is to draw a direct line: from Malleswari’s medal to Mahavir Singh Phogat rounding up all the children in the extended household to hit the fields running to train for their big chance.Mahavir, a former wrestler, coached his daughters, son, nephews, nieces in what he knew best, and how he knew. But even he could not have known what he’d start. His eldest daughter, Geeta, struck gold in the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, and in 2012 became the first Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Olympics. Babita had a silver in Delhi, and upgraded to gold in Glasgow. Cousin Vinesh, not yet 20, too is back home from Glasgow with gold, trying to blink away sleep as she strikes a pose in the family training centre at the edge of their fields. The family is not quite done yet. Younger cousins stray in and out, and count off the cadet or junior level titles they hope to target. Oblivious to the commotion and the hunt for the misplaced Glasgow medals, young Jenny, not yet five, is training away at the machines. Far-off branches of the Phogat family tree are winding back to the Balali homestead to enlist in Uncle Mahavir’s gold quest.advertisementCousins Vinesh (left) and Babita Phogat Glasgow Commonwealth games gold-winners, at their home in Bhiwani, HaryanaLegend has built over time about the social norms the Phogat girls combated-or glided by, depending on the narrator’s inclination. But back home for a victory chakkar of the village, the state capital, Delhi’s television studios, before leaving for training and trials for the Asian Games, Babita and Vinesh wear the struggle lightly on their skin. Yes, there was chatter back then in the early days, says Babita, when they entered the akhara with its mud patch. (The mat came later, with the first stirrings of success.) “What will happen, folks in the village said,” recalls Babita. “We were practising with boys, we talked to them, we wore shorts.” “But we were children then,” Vinesh adds. “What do children know about all this (social convention)?” The medals put a firm lid on such objections anyway.Who would ostracise a champion? But Babita, in the open-faced, large-hearted, cheerful manner of India’s contact sportspersons, concedes the significance of her achievements in India’s, and particularly Haryana’s, context, of their collective edge as examples that defy the systematic exclusion of women, starting with female foeticide. “Don’t kill them,” she pleads. “Look at us. We are also girls. They can get ahead of us.”Perhaps they underplay their defiance of gender stereotype in order to present themselves as role models for their sport and its tradition of lifelong dedication. Babita notes the upsurge of interest locally in wrestling each time they win at a big tournament. “But they want quick results,” she says. “They don’t see that it took us 10-12 years of training to get this far.”Babita’s moment of glory in GlasgowThose bygone days of training are a subject of much nostalgia in the Phogat household, a spark for shared memories to be recounted and, it appears, in each telling, to acquire a more cohesive and dramatic narrative line. “Papa would have us up at 3.30 a.m.,” Babita recalls as much with a faux groan as a wistful yearning for the times back when they were all children (“bachpan ke din”). “We would practise for two/two-and-a-half hours. In the fields Papa had made a ground for running. We would then rest at home for 20 minutes, bathe, eat and go to school. In class, we would often nod off, especially when the teacher was at the blackboard. Sometimes she would just let us sleep. Then home and an hour’s rest. Then train again. On Sundays we would get rest from school, but not from training!” Vinesh, younger and more slightly built than her cousins (she competes in the 48 kg category, Babita and Geeta in 51-55 kg), recalls being reluctant to hit the mud patch with her cousins for fear of getting hurt. “Tauji (Mahavir Phogat) would ask, tu gulab ka phool hai (are you a rose or what)?”Mahavir was a strict taskmaster, and Babita chuckles over the tricks they’d attempt to get out of training. Sometimes he would wander off and return to check them for sweat as proof of training. The children would wet their foreheads with dew from mustard leaves. He had installed an inverter, so power outages would not disrupt training. They’d hook it up to the refrigerator, so that when there really was an outage, the battery was already drained.advertisementNow they don’t need the spectre of punishment to keep them on the mat. But even as they work on their technique and speed, the stories nominate them as mascots for a sport that suddenly needs its women athletes that much more. Wrestling is still recovering from the threat last year of exclusion from the Olympic Games, and making itself more inclusive by increasing the number of categories for women while cutting some for men. Babita’s eyes gleam as she rattles off the new equation: “For men, two medals less, from 7 to 6 each in freestyle and Greco-Roman.For women, two more, from 4 to 6. So it’s even, 6-6-6.” (Women only compete in freestyle.) Wrestling dates back to the ancient Olympics, but to clinch its modern salience it desperately needs to be seen to be doing right by its women, who were admitted to Olympic competition only in 2004 at Athens.The Phogats say they intend to be at the 2016 Rio Olympics in large numbers, but for now are off to Lucknow, for training and trials. The World Championships overlap with the Asian Games, and such is the Japanese and Chinese domination of women’s wrestling that the first placed will head to the Asian meet in Incheon, South Korea. Women before, like mountaineer Santosh Yadav, had started breaking out of the inherited gender mould in Haryana. Wrestlers before, like Delhi’s Sushil Kumar, got 21st century India interested in an ancient calling. The Phogats’ unique role as change agents may be to invite ever more aspirants into their capacious, and flamboyantly told, family saga.To read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more