Coronavirus: ‘Earlier lockdown would have halved death toll’

Former government adviser Prof Neil Ferguson was giving evidence to a committee of MPs.
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Coronavirus: US death toll passes 2,000 in a single day

America now has half a million confirmed coronavirus cases but the outbreak may soon begin to level off.
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Coronavirus: US records highest death toll in single day

More than 1,800 deaths were recorded on Tuesday including that of influential folk singer John Prine.
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‘The Toll’: Film Review

A rideshare with a giggly geek driver who may be a serial killer. The staggering-through-the-ink-black-woods-with-nothing-but-a-flashlight look and mood of “The Blair Witch Project.” A mystic schlock demon like Candyman, the Slender Man, or the spectral figures from “The Strangers.” A Victrola in the middle of the road, cranking an ancient warbly ditty à la “The […]

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Coronavirus: UK changes course amid death toll fears

Ministers were warned hundreds of thousands of people in the UK would die without stronger measures.
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Coronavirus: Italy reports biggest daily jump in death toll

Officials say 49 more people have died, marking the country’s largest daily increase in fatalities.
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Coronavirus: Senior Chinese officials ‘removed’ as death toll hits 1,000

Hubei officials lose their jobs in the most high-profile ‘removals’ of the coronavirus outbreak.
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Frustrated Embiid says losing ‘taking toll on me’

Despite coach Brett Brown saying he liked “the spirit” of the 76ers, Joel Embiid acknowledged the frustration of the team’s four-game losing streak was “taking a toll on me.”
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GPs ‘shun full-time work as pressures take toll’

Nearly half of GPs now work part-time with a drive to increase numbers under threat, regulators warn.
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GPs ‘shun full-time work as pressures take toll’

Nearly half of GPs now work part-time with a drive to increase numbers under threat, regulators warn.
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The Emotional Toll of a Cutthroat Work Environment

A recent article in the New York Times revealed the bruising workplace environment at Amazon. The gist? Amazon employees are encouraged to poke holes in one another’s ideas, give secret feedback about coworkers and work incredibly late hours (emails after midnight, anyone?). The takeaway was that Amazon pushes its employees beyond their limits.

But Amazon is not alone in this approach. As a New York City psychotherapist and former attorney, I understand when my patients complain of grueling hours, cutthroat competition, and the sacrifice of personal and family time. Today’s competitive corporate culture forces many people to confront a real-life conflict between personal and professional goals, productivity versus pleasure. Whether you work at Amazon or elsewhere, a demanding workplace environment can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health if you are unprepared for the risks and tradeoffs. While professional success is a most worthy achievement, it should not come at the cost of your physical or emotional health.

Work-life balance is familiar term, but what exactly does it mean? It means being conscious of the choices and tradeoffs you are willing to make to get ahead. It means knowing what is important to you and what you are willing to sacrifice for added money or prestige. It means acknowledging your particular strengths and weaknesses and not trying to fit into a workplace culture that doesn’t suit your disposition. It means balancing what you have to do to earn incremental income with the personal cost. It also means making work bearable, and acknowledging when workplace stress is negatively impacting your life.

Maintaining a work-life balance takes intention and planning, but it is possible for every one of us when we set it as a priority. Even the most hard-driving people make decisions about where they draw the line. Here are a few things to think about when you are faced with work-life conflicts:

Don’t let inertia set in. If you feel stressed in a way that is affecting your mood, keeping you up at night, or causing conflict in your marriage or with other family members, then it is time to do something about it. Focus first on your relationships at work- with a boss, colleague or even an assistant — to better understand if there is underlying tension. Strained work relationships can undermine self-esteem and impede productivity, but they also increase tension at home, causing conflicts with a spouse or children. If you notice work relationships are a frequent source of conflict it’s time to address them before the problem gets worse.

Re-set priorities at different stages of life. Tradeoffs change at different stages of life, so at each major life event — marriage, children, elderly parents, illness, death of a loved one, or any traumatic event — take a pause. Ask yourself if more money or added prestige is worth missing important life events, like a Little League game or time with an aging parent? Think in terms of short- and long-range goals and responsibilities. What do you want or need to achieve today? Where do you want to be 5 years from now? Think of each decision as a tradeoff between present and future goals and personal and professional commitments.

Talk to someone. It’s vital to remember that the simple act of talking to someone can bring relief and improvement in your lifestyle and mental health. People often seek counsel because they experience symptoms of distress, but are unsure of the cause. Marital problems may be caused by work conflict and vice versa. By talking it through will you gain insight into the source of the conflict. Find someone you trust — a mentor, a counselor, friend or family member. Seek support if you feel that something is off.

Be realistic about how you manage stress. Not everyone is the same when it comes to their ability to tolerate stressful events and a demanding work environment. Some people thrive on the competition and pressure, but it’s not for everyone. Don’t feel the pressure to conform to someone else’s way of working unless you are prepared. As Socrates said: “Know thyself.”

Examine what success really means to you. Does success mean a large bank account, the acquisition of skill or expertise or being of service to others? Make sure you define success for yourself. You don’t want to look back on the sacrifices you made and ask: “Is that all there is?” Make sure that your definition of success is your own.

The bottom line? A cutthroat and bruising workplace environment is not for everyone. Know yourself. Don’t feel pressure to conform. Define what success means to you. Take a step back and evaluate your priorities. Don’t be afraid to draw a line in the sand. And whatever you do, don’t be too hard on yourself.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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Candy-Hauling Man Used ‘James Bond’ Device To Hide License From Toll Booth: Cops

Pablo Ortega

(Reuters) – A trucker accused of using a James Bond-style retractable bumper to evade a $ 95 toll on the George Washington Bridge has been charged with using burglary tools, police said on Thursday.

Hauling a load of candy across the bridge toward New York City on Wednesday, Pablo Ortega flipped a switch on his dashboard as he approached the toll gates over the Hudson River. That engaged a device that tilted up the truck’s bumper and attached license plate, said Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police.

“The officer positioned at the toll booth sees the bumper lift to a 90-degree angle. This makes it unreadable to the EZ-Pass reader,” Pentangelo said, referring to the electronic device that collects the toll from vehicles at the bridge entrance at Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The Port Authority, which operates the bridge, charges a $ 95 toll for an 18-wheeler crossing the Hudson into upper Manhattan.

Authorities also found the rear license plate of the red 1997 Peterbilt tractor-trailer was obscured with grease and unreadable.

Ortega, 45, of the New York borough of Queens is the owner-operator of the big rig. He was charged with tampering with public records and possession of burglary tools. It was not known how many times he had used the device.

“He did volunteer that the kit cost him about $ 2,500,” said Pentangelo, noting its legal use is to protect bumpers from getting scraped at construction sites and other places with uneven pavement.

The device is the most sophisticated used so far by a toll scofflaw, said Pentangelo, noting others have created homemade devices to lift up the license plate itself or have used tape to obscure the plate.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Bill Trott)
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