Tag: Scotland News

Benefits and public sector wages ‘could be frozen’ to pay for coronavirus crisis

Rishi Sunak could freeze benefits and public sector wages to pay for the coronavirus crisis (Picture: Getty Images/Rex)Rishi Sunak is reportedly …

Benefits and public sector wages ‘could be frozen’ to pay for coronavirus crisis

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

TUI cancels holidays to Spain until 9th August

UK tour operator TUI has confirmed it has cancelled all holidays to mainland Spain up to and including Sunday 9th August 2020. TUI had cancelled all …

TUI cancels holidays to Spain until 9th August

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

BBC News Headlines from around the UK

Passenger at Heathrow international arrivals

Life takes another small step back to normality today, as quarantine requirements are dropped for travellers arriving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 59 countries and 14 British overseas territories. It means those who have been on holiday in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium and Germany will be exempt from the requirement to isolate for 14 days. A slightly different list of exemptions applies in Scotland, meaning people travelling from both Spain and Serbia will still have to go into quarantine, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said concerns about the prevalence of Covid-19 persisted. Scotland is also making the use of facemasks compulsory in shops.

However, despite World Health Organization warnings that the pandemic is still accelerating globally, across the UK lockdown restrictions are being eased in light of a declining number of infections. Ministers announced on Thursday that beauty salons in England could reopen from Monday, followed by indoor gyms and swimming pools on 25 July. Open-air concerts and theatre performances in England will also be permitted with “a limited and socially distanced audience” from this weekend.

Children’s playgrounds and community centres in Wales will be able to reopen from 20 July, while Northern Ireland has brought forward the reopening of indoor fitness studios and gyms, along with bingo halls, amusement arcades and cinemas. Scotland has begun to allow people to visit each other indoors and stay overnight, and has set dates for reopening bars and restaurants, hairdressers and barbers, and the tourist industry.

Some 20,000 deaths in care homes have already been directly linked to coronavirus. Now, Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society are warning of a  “hidden catastrophe” among those in residential care, brought on by the “enforced separation” of lockdown. UK government advice – in place since April – to avoid visits in all but exceptional circumstances has caused a deterioration in residents’ mental and physical health, the charities say. They are calling on the health secretary to treat relatives of care home residents with dementia like key workers, by offering them the same access to care homes and coronavirus testing as staff. The Department of Health and Social Care says it will set out further details “shortly” on how it can “carefully and safely” allow visits.

Police stop-and-search tactics are often criticised as being used disproportionately against people from ethnic minorities. Now, the Independent Office for Police Conduct is to review whether officers racially discriminate . The head of the watchdog says it will “establish the trends and patterns which might help drive real change” in England and Wales, where stop-and-search powers are nine times more likely to be used against black people than white counterparts. Earlier this week, the Metropolitan Police apologised to athlete Bianca Williams over a stop-and-search incident. Cases are already being investigated in London, Birmingham and Greater Manchester in which it is alleged police used excessive force, and in some cases Tasers, against black men.

“We’ve always pictured having the big, fat Indian wedding,” say Vishal Panesar and his fiancee Ravika Sabh, almost in unison. Like thousands of couples, Londoners Vishal, 25, and Ravika, 24, had to postpone their wedding after the coronavirus pandemic struck.

It was meant to be a lavish affair with three separate events and 400 guests. But current measures imposed on weddings and gatherings mean the prospects of a big blowout are slim. Vishal and Ravika have cut down their guest list but are still keen to see whether a wedding with more than 30 guests is possible.Read full analysis >

Sheetal Parmar

BBC Asian Network

Composite image featuring Times and Mirror front pages

“You’d better shape up,” says a Grease-inspired Metro, in its report heralding the reopening of England’s gyms and other leisure facilities. The Times echoes the government’s preferred slogan – “work out to help out” – while also reporting the prime minister intends to ban promotions on unhealthy food. Salons, which can reopen from Monday, are the focus of the Daily Telegraph, which says “normality edges closer”. Other papers focus on what the Daily Mirror calls a “jobs hell”, in light of Boots, Burger King and John Lewis saying they would cut staff. The paper says it brings job losses since the coronavirus crisis began to more than 150,000. The Financial Times says the announcements left Chancellor Rishi Sunak under fire, reporting that an influential think tank criticised his £30bn package to avert job losses as “poorly targeted”. Read the review.

Instagram Network to block LGBT ‘conversion therapy’ services

Police Probationary officer charged with neo-Nazi terror offence

Notre Dame Spire will be rebuilt exactly as it was

Oklahoma Court rules half of land to be Native American

Total Fitness chief executive Sophie Lawler

An induction to post-lockdown gyms

3D image of a locust

See a swarm of locusts in your room – in 3D

Danny Trejo

From addict, to armed robber, to movie star

12:00 Funeral cortege of Dame Vera Lynn pauses in her home village of Ditchling, coinciding with a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypast.

12:30 Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford to confirm whether conditions have been met to allow reopening of parts of tourism industry from Saturday, and outdoor hospitality and hairdressers from Monday.

1940 The Battle of Britain begins, as German planes attack shipping convoys off the south-east coast of England – explore BBC Archive material from World War Two.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews – Premier Inn throws open its doors to tourist… #UKBiz #BizNews

Premier Inn throws open its doors to tourists

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/premier-inn-throws-open-its-doors-to-tourists-2t09x6sdx

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Why you should Meditate?

The Many Health Benefits of Meditation

The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its many benefits.

Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.

This article reviews 12 health benefits of meditation.

You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration.

People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.

Please find 12 health benefits of practicing the art of meditation…

Stress Reduction is one of the most common reasons why people try meditation.

1 study, which included over 3,500 adults, showed that it lives up to its reputation for stress reduction.

Normally, mental and physical stress cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines.

The effects of cytokines can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking.

During a 2-month study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress.

Another study, on nearly 1,300 adults, demonstrated that meditation may decrease stress. Notably, this effect was strongest in individuals with the highest levels of stress.

Research has shown that meditation may also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.

SUMMARY: Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress. Meditation can also reduce symptoms in people with stress-triggered medical conditions.

Less stress can lead to less anxiety.

For example, an 2 month study of mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce their anxiety.

It also reduced symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, paranoid thoughts and panic attacks.

Another study, followed up with 18 volunteers 36 months after they had completed an two-month meditation program. Most volunteers had continued practicing regular meditation and maintained lower anxiety levels over the long term.

A larger study in 2,466 participants also showed that a variety of different meditation strategies may reduce anxiety levels.

For example, yoga has been shown to help people reduce their levels of anxiety. This is likely due to benefits from both meditative practice and physical activity.

Meditation may also help control job-related anxiety in high-pressure work environments. 1 study found that a meditation program reduced anxiety in a group of nurses.

SUMMARY: Habitual meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, phobias, paranoia and obsessive-compulsive behaviours.

Some forms of meditation can also lead to an improved self-image and more positive outlook on life. 

2 studies of mindfulness meditation found decreased depression in over 4,600 adults.

1 study followed 18 volunteers as they practiced meditation over 36 months. The study found that participants experienced a long-term decrease in their levels of depression.

Inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which are released in response to stress, can affect mood, leading to depression. A review of several studies suggests meditation may reduce depression by decreasing these production of these inflammatory chemicals.

Another controlled study compared electrical activity between the brains of people who practiced mindfulness meditation and the brains of others who did not.

Those who meditated showed measurable changes in activity in areas related to positive thinking and optimism.

SUMMARY: Some forms of meditation can improve depression and create a more positive outlook on life. Research shows that maintaining an ongoing habit of meditation may help you maintain these benefits long term.

Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self. 

For example, self-inquiry meditation explicitly aims to help you develop a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to those around you.

Other forms teach you to recognise thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating. The idea is that as you gain greater awareness of your thought habits, you can steer them toward more constructive thought patterns.

A study of 21 women fighting breast cancer found that when they took part in a tai chi program, their self-esteem improved more than it did than in those who received social support sessions.

In another study, 40 senior men and women who took a mindfulness meditation program experienced reduced feelings of loneliness, compared to a control group that had been placed on a wait list for the program.

Experience in meditation may cultivate more creative problem solving.

SUMMARY: Self-inquiry and related styles of meditation can help you “know yourself.” This can be a starting point for making other positive changes

Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention. 

For example, a study looked at the effects of a 2-month mindfulness meditation course and found it improved participants’ ability to reorient and maintain their attention.

A similar study showed that human resource workers who regularly practiced mindfulness meditation stayed focused on a task for longer.

These workers also remembered details of their tasks better than their peers who did not practice meditation.

1 review concluded that meditation may even reverse patterns in the brain that contribute to mind-wandering, worrying and poor attention.

Even meditating for a short period may benefit you. 1 study found that 4 days of practicing meditation may be enough to increase attention span.

SUMMARY: Several types of meditation may build your ability to redirect and maintain attention. As little as 4 days of meditation may have a noticeable effect.

Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young. 

Kirtan Kriya is a method of meditation that combines a mantra or chant with repetitive motion of the fingers to focus thoughts. It improved participants’ ability to perform memory tasks in multiple studies of age-related memory loss.

A review of 12 studies found that multiple meditation styles increased attention, memory and mental quickness in older volunteers.

In addition to fighting normal age-related memory loss, meditation can at least partially improve memory in patients with dementia. It can also help control stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia.

SUMMARY: The improved focus you can gain through regular meditation may increase memory and mental clarity. These benefits can help fight age-related memory loss and dementia.

Some types of meditation may particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others.

Metta, a type of meditation also known as loving-kindness meditation, begins with developing kind thoughts and feelings toward yourself.

Through practice, people learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness externally, first to friends, then acquaintances and ultimately enemies.

22 studies of this form of meditation have demonstrated its ability to increase peoples’ compassion toward themselves and others.

1 study of 100 adults randomly assigned to a program that included loving-kindness meditation found that these benefits were dose-dependent.

In other words, the more effort people put into Metta meditation, the more positive feelings they experienced.

Another group of studies showed the positive feelings people develop through Metta meditation can improve social anxiety, reduce marriage conflict and help anger management.

These benefits also appear to accumulate over time with the practice of loving-kindness meditation.

SUMMARY: Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, is a practice of developing positive feelings, first toward yourself and then toward others. Metta increases positivity, empathy and compassionate behaviour toward others.

The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviours.

Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to redirect their attention, increase their willpower, control their emotions and impulses and increase their understanding of the causes behind their addictive behaviours.

1 study that taught 19 recovering alcoholics how to meditate found that participants who received the training got better at controlling their cravings and craving-related stress.

Meditation may also help you control food cravings. A review of 14 studies found mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce emotional and binge eating.

SUMMARY: Meditation develops mental discipline and willpower and can help you avoid triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, lose weight and redirect other unwanted habits.

Nearly 50% of the population will struggle with insomnia at some point.

1 study compared 2 mindfulness-based meditation programs by randomly assigning participants to 1 of 2 groups. 1 group practiced meditation, while the other didn’t.

Participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn’t meditate.

Becoming skilled in meditation may help you control or redirect the racing or “runaway” thoughts that often lead to insomnia.

Additionally, it can help relax your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you’re more likely to fall asleep. 

SUMMARY: A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control the “runaway” thoughts that can interfere with sleep. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep quality.

Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can be elevated in stressful conditions. 

For example, 1 study used functional MRI techniques to observe brain activity as participants experienced a painful stimulus. Some participants had gone through 4 days of mindfulness meditation training, while others had not.

The meditating patients showed increased activity in the brain centers known to control pain. They also reported less sensitivity to pain.

1 larger study looked at the effects of habitual meditation in 3,500 participants. It found that meditation was associated with decreased complaints of chronic or intermittent pain.

An additional study of meditation in patients with terminal diseases found meditation may help mitigate chronic pain at the end of life.

In each of these scenarios, meditators and non-meditators experienced the same causes of pain, but meditators showed a greater ability to cope with pain and even experienced a reduced sensation of pain. 

SUMMARY: Meditation can diminish the perception of pain in the brain. This may help treat chronic pain when used as a supplement to medical care or physical therapy.

Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart. 

Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function. 

High blood pressure also contributes to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. 

A study of 996 volunteers found that when they meditated by concentrating on a “silent mantra” — a repeated, non-vocalized word, blood pressure reduced by about five points, on average.

This was more effective among older volunteers and those who had higher blood pressure prior to the study.

A review concluded that several types of meditation produced similar improvements in blood pressure.

In part, meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, tension in blood vessels and the “fight-or-flight” response that increases alertness in stressful situations.

SUMMARY: Blood pressure decreases not only during meditation, but also over time in individuals who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and arteries, helping prevent heart disease.

People practice many different forms of meditation, most of which don’t require specialised equipment or space. You can practice with just a few minutes daily.

If you want to start meditating, try choosing a form of meditation based on what you want to get out of it.

There are two major styles of meditation: 

  • Focused-attention meditation: Concentrates attention on a single object, thought, sound or visualisation. It emphasises ridding your mind of attention and distraction. Meditation may focus on breathing, a mantra or a calming sound.
  • Open-monitoring meditation: Encourages broadened awareness of all aspects of your environment, train of thought and sense of self. It may include becoming aware of thoughts, feelings or impulses that you might normally try to suppress.

If your regular work and home environments do not allow for consistent, quiet alone time, consider participating in a class. This can also improve your chances of success by providing a supportive community. 

Alternatively, consider setting your alarm a few minutes early to take advantage of quiet time in the morning. This may help you develop a consistent habit and allow you to start the day positively. 

SUMMARY: If you’re interested in incorporating meditation into your routine, try a few different styles and consider guided exercises to get started with one that suits you.

Meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health. 

You can do it anywhere, without special equipment or memberships. 

Alternatively, meditation courses and support groups are widely available.

There’s a great variety of styles too, each with different strengths and benefits. 

Trying out a style of mediation suited to your goals is a great way to improve your quality of life, even if you only have a few minutes to do it each day.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews as Stamp Duty is to be put on hold to help stimulate the economy…

Stamp duty ‘holiday’ to help rebuild economy

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/stamp-duty-holiday-to-help-rebuild-economy-2t0rhgphg

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Majority of Scots (54%) now in favour of independence says new poll, as Nicola Sturgeon calls for second referendum

THE majority of Scots are now in favour of independence according to a new poll as Nicola Sturgeon calls for a second referendum. Support for …

Majority of Scots (54%) now in favour of independence says new poll, as Nicola Sturgeon calls for second referendum

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews as holidays are back on, with Travel ‘traffic light’ plan… #TravelNews

Holiday season back on with travel ‘traffic light’ plan

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/holiday-season-back-on-with-travel-traffic-light-plan-92sqpzrdr

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews – 1st British Tourists return to Spain… #TravelNews

Braving the costas: first British tourists return to Spain’s beaches

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/braving-the-costas-first-british-tourists-return-to-spains-beaches-b20psrdvd

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews – Info about Coronavirus and a vaccine etc.

When will a coronavirus vaccine be delivered across the UK?

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/when-will-a-coronavirus-vaccine-be-deliverded-across-the-uk-92qk9jm2x

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews for British Holiday Makers #TravelNews

Spain lifts quarantine to welcome back British

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tui-restarts-holidays-to-europe-next-month-tpms32cxg

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews – Facemasks shown to cut spread of #Coronavirus – #CoronavirusNews

Facemasks shown to cut spread of coronavirus

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/facemasks-shown-to-cut-spread-of-covid-19-9r92zfpb8

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews – Housing Market rebounds as sales increase by 137% – #PropertyNews

Coronavirus: Housing market rebounds as sales increase by 137%

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-housing-market-rebounds-as-sales-increase-by-137-wv29j6fjv

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews – Coronavirus Contact Tracing App said to be ready in weeks…

Coronavirus contact tracing app ready in weeks

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-contact-tracing-app-is-nearly-ready-xhmg0s7dh

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Get better sleep to strengthen your immune system

By Glenn Paradise, Dep Slepwear We all know that sleep is important to our health. We get a good night’s sleep and we feel good the next day. 279 …

Get better sleep to strengthen your immune system

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Practical advice on Meditation

Practical advice on Meditation

Practical advice on Meditation
— Read on mindfulnesstomeditation.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/example-post/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Benefits of Meditation

I believe one of the main benefits of meditation, even if only a few minutes a day, is to allow us to create a pause between a stimulus and our …

Benefits of Meditation

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The Times says that; “Devolution is a mess”.

Devolution is ‘a mess’ that jeopardises plans to level up the regions

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/devolution-is-a-mess-that-jeopardises-plans-to-level-up-the-regions-vv937907v

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews – Pubs could open sooner than July…

Pubs could open sooner than July

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pubs-could-open-sooner-than-july-f2fvd0mmk

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Guinness PRO14 boss lifts lid on multi-million pound deal, British & Irish League and how this season will end – Wales Online

The PRO14 recently secured a £125 million investment from CVC

— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/guinness-pro14-boss-lifts-lid-18313859

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews – Due your duty and we can defeat Coronavirus…

Do your duty and we can defeat coronavirus, Britain told

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uks-coronavirus-test-and-trace-system-wont-be-really-ready-for-months-xh736lk2x

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Holidays in the UK could return by July, says the minister | World news

Holidays in the UK could return in early July, the secretary of culture announced, saying the government had ambitious plans to revive the tourism …

Holidays in the UK could return by July, says the minister | World news

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PositiveCoronavirusNews Scotland – Ballet Company offers to help stressed hospital staff

Coronavirus in Scotland: Ballet moves to help stressed hospital teams

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ballet-moves-to-help-stressed-hospital-teams-0kwr66xct

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#ScotBiz – Scottish Garden Centres plea for a rethink…

Coronavirus in Scotland: Garden centres plead to reopen after ‘illogical decision’

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/plea-to-let-garden-centres-reopen-9dbpnsdst

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Love Island ‘delayed until August and could be filmed in the UK’

LOVE Island could be filmed in the UK, according to insiders who say the show has been delayed “until August at the earliest”. The global coronavirus…

Love Island ‘delayed until August and could be filmed in the UK’

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me