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Hurricanes drive addiction issues into public square

Hurricanes drive addiction issues into public square

Health
In the whirr of preparations for Hurricane Irma, a needle exchange program in Miami's Overtown neighborhood handed out extra syringes to heroin users. Others trying to break from the drug's grasp picked up advance medication from methadone clinics. Disasters cause stress, and stress can cause relapse for people struggling with addiction, whether their problem is alcohol, tobacco, pills or heroin. Authorities planning for the devastating effects of hurricanes now factor in the heightened danger of relapse and overdose. The problems of alcoholism and addiction become more public in a storm, said researcher Andrew Golub of the National Development and Research Institutes in New York, who studied illicit drug users in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. "During a storm, it becomes harder to ...
Public 'tricked' into buying unhealthy food

Public 'tricked' into buying unhealthy food

Health
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceThe UK's obesity crisis is being fuelled by businesses pushing unhealthy food and larger portions on shoppers, according to health experts.The Royal Society for Public Health warned consumers were being tricked by a marketing ploy known as upselling.The tactic involves shops, cafes and restaurants encouraging customers to upgrade to larger meals and drinks or adding high-calorie toppings and sides.A poll suggested eight in 10 people experienced it every week.35% added sides like chips to meal 34% bought a larger coffee 17,000 extra calories on average over a year PAThe most common upsells to be taken included larger coffees, bigger meals, sweets and chocolates and extra sides such as onion rings and chips.Royal Society for Public Health chief e...
Public workers can now apply for student loan forgiveness

Public workers can now apply for student loan forgiveness

Finance
Public workers worry about this loan forgiveness programThose seeking student loan forgiveness from the government's public service program can finally start the application process. After 10 years, the form was made available Friday. At least 600,000 people have expressed interest in receiving debt relief from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which promises to cancel remaining debt for qualifying public workers after they make 10 years' worth of monthly payments. The program launched in 2007 under President George W. Bush's administration. It makes it possible for many people who have big student loans to stay in lower-paying jobs that serve the public, like teachers and public defenders. October will be the first time anyone will have made enough payments to qualify for de...
Philip Hammond: Public servants are paid 'premium'

Philip Hammond: Public servants are paid 'premium'

Business
Philip Hammond said public sector workers receive a 10% "premium" over the private sector, as he defended the government's pay policy.The chancellor told Andrew Marr, the figure was a "simple fact" once pension entitlement is taken into account.He would not comment on reports that he said public servants were "overpaid", adding that ministers should not be discussing private cabinet meetings.John McDonnell said Labour would end the 1% cap on pubic sector pay rises.The shadow chancellor said his party had set aside £4bn on an annual basis, to bring pay in line with inflation.Reality Check: Is public sector pay higher?Pay rises for most public sector workers are set by independent pay review bodies, but have effectively been capped at 1% each year since 2013.Before that, there was a two-year
Philip Hammond says public sector pay has not changed

Philip Hammond says public sector pay has not changed

Business
Philip Hammond has insisted pay policy has not changed and the "right balance" must continue to be struck in terms of what is fair for workers and taxpayers.The chancellor, who is under pressure from colleagues to lift the 1% public pay cap, said he understood people were "weary" after seven years of austerity. But speaking in London, he rejected calls to "take the foot off the pedal".Government must "hold its nerve" in the face of calls for a "different path" of higher taxes and borrowing, he said.Mr Hammond is facing a growing chorus from within his own party for him to reconsider the 1% limit on increases in public sector salaries, which has been in place since 2012.Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson became the latest senior figure to express his support for a rethink on Monday, with sourc...