May faces another Brexit battle
LONDON – Prime Minister Theresa May’s blueprint for Britain’s exit from the European Union faces a crucial test starting today, when lawmakers try to win concessions from a weakened leader on the government’s legislation to sever ties.
It is yet another battle for May after scandals and gaffes that have brought questions about her leadership into the open. As many as 40 of her lawmakers would support a no-confidence motion against her, according to the Sunday Times newspaper.
But sources in her governing Conservative Party say now is not the time to force her out because despite backing Britain remaining in the EU, even if reluctantly, they think she is still the best option to deliver Brexit. (Reuters)
KINGSTON – The Jamaica Society for the Blind has expressed outrage at the treatment meted out to Opposition Senator Dr Floyd Morris in the Upper House on Friday.
Morris, who is visually impaired, was given several pages of amendments in writing for the debate on the National Identification and Registration Bill.
However, he expressed difficulty and asked for an adjournment of the sitting to facilitate his participation in the debate.
When Government senators voted against his request Morris subsequently walked out. (CMC)
WASHINGTON – The Inter-american Development Bank (IDB) has opened a call for artists from Latin America and the Caribbean who want to offer new perspectives on the region’s development challenges.
The Washington-based IDB said the artists would be able to “demonstrate the immense artistic creativity of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The IDB said artists from Barbados and other territories have until January 7, 2018, to respond to the call. The winning proposals will be displayed in “Sidewalk of the Americas,” a public art installation comprising over 150 artworks. (CMC)
CAPE TOWN – The mother of a five-year-old South African boy who died after falling into a pit latrine at school has broken down in court as she described finding his body.
Michael Komape’s mother Rosina took the witness stand yesterday on the first day of a civil lawsuit.
She and her husband James are suing the Minister of Basic Education after their son drowned.
The Department of Basic Education denies responsibility for his death. (BBC)
DMZ – A North Korean soldier has defected to South Korea at the heavily protected Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), South Korea’s military says.
The soldier was shot and injured by his own military as he crossed to the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area in the village of Panmunjom. The defector has been taken to hospital.
About 1 000 people from the North flee to the South each year – but very few defect via the DMZ, one of the world’s most heavily guarded strips of land. (BBC)
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s army chief has warned those responsible for “purging” the country’s ruling Zanu-pf party to stop, or the military will step in.
The rare intervention comes just a week after President Robert Mugabe sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, once seen as a successor to Mugabe. He has fled into exile. (BBC)
NEW YORK – Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello yesterday requested US$94.4 billion from Congress to rebuild the island’s infrastructure, housing, schools and hospitals devastated by Hurricane Maria. (Reuters)
IT IS NOT USUAL to hear a pregnant woman on returning from her medical checkup say, “I just heard I have diabetes.”
For many, it may seem as if this came out of the blue. But the condition has a special name – gestational diabetes.
One in seven births, worldwide, is affected by gestational diabetes, which medical practitioners see as a severe and neglected threat to maternal and child health.therefore, attention is being paid to this condition today which is being marked as World Diabetes Day ( WDD).
Gestational diabetes is a medical condition that occurs in pregnant women. Medical research into the causes of gestational diabetes suggests that the increased production of hormones prevent insulin from working effectively. If insulin levels are too low, or it is unable to perform its functions, blood glucose levels can rise.
Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes usually has no noticeable signs and symptoms. Gestational diabetes can occur at any time during pregnancy, but doctors typically test for the condition during the second trimester at 24 to 28 weeks, as this is when the condition is known to typically develop. The test may be done earlier if you had high glucose level during previous prenatal visits or first trimester visits, or if you are at high risk for diabetes.
Screening for gestational diabetes can be done in two ways. The first method involves a glucose challenge test where you have blood drawn, you are then asked to drink a glucose solution (sweet liquid). Blood is drawn again for testing after one or two hours. If your blood sugar levels are higher than what is normally expected you will be asked to take a glucose tolerance test (GTT). For the GTT, you are not allowed to eat or drink for at least eight hours prior to testing. You will have blood drawn, you will drink a glucose solution and a blood sample is taken three hours later to test your blood sugar levels. Some doctors may choose to use this test only.
Who is at risk?
Any expectant mother can develop gestational diabetes; in fact, most women develop some insulin resistance during the latter stages of pregnancy. Certain women, however, have a higher risk of developing the condition. Your risk is increased if you are: • overweight or obese • have pre-diabetes • are over the age of 25 • have high blood pressure • have a family history of diabetes • have previously given birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds
Effects on mother and baby
Since your baby gets nutrients from your blood, higher blood sugar may affect it. Your baby may store the extra sugar as fat and this may cause it to grow larger than normal and may make delivery more complicated. They are also at higher risk for having complications immediately after birth such as jaundice, difficulty breathing and low blood glucose levels. Later in life, the baby is also has an increased risk of becoming overweight and developing type 2 diabetes.
For the mother there is a higher chance that you may need a Cesarean section partly due to the large size of the infant. Gestational diabetes may also increase the risk of preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure. Women with gestational diabetes are also at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. Miscarriage, preterm birth, still birth and death soon after birth have also been recorded at higher rates among women with gestational diabetes.
Treatment for gestational diabetes involves maintaining a proper diet and exercising on a regular basis. Your doctor will also most likely ask you to test your blood glucose levels at home on a regular basis. You may additionally be asked to test your urine for ketones. If diet and exercise are not sufficient to maintain normal blood glucose levels, insulin therapy may be necessary. It will be important to adhere to your treatment plan so you and your baby can enjoy healthy lives.
Can you prevent gestational diabetes? Preventing prevent gestational diabetes may not always be possible, but there are steps that you can take to help reduce your risk of developing this health condition.
Lower your body mass index (BMI) – If you are overweight and are thinking about getting pregnant, consider losing the excess weight first.
Exercise – For high risk women, experts recommend engaging in 30 minutes of exercise three to five days. Please talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine; they can help you decide what types of exercise and what level of intensity is right for you.
Maintain a healthy diet – Before getting pregnant, ensure that you are following a healthy diet.
Try to limit sweets and monitor your intake of carbohydrate- rich foods. Include more fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, and reduce processed foods and salt. Your doctor or a nutritionist can help you create a diet plan.
Managing gestational diabetes may seem stressful when combined with all of the other side effects that women can experience during pregnancy. Coping with the disease may seem especially challenging in the early stages of the diagnosis when you are learning to test your blood glucose levels at home, and learning how to manage your diet to avoid blood sugar spikes. The good news, however, is that most women diagnosed with gestational diabetes can successfully control their blood glucose levels and have healthy babies without any complications, as long as they receive proper treatment and monitoring. The other encouraging news is that most women diagnosed with gestational diabetes return to having normal blood glucose levels after the baby is born and no longer require treatment. You will need to be screened for diabetes six to 12 weeks after giving birth. (MEC)