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High levels of screen time linked to cancer and heart disease
Scotland Created: 27 May 2018
Researchers at the University of Glasgow analysed the amount of time 390,089 people spent looking at TV and computer screens during leisure time.

They found that the association between a high level of screen time and poor health was almost twice as strong in those with low fitness levels.

Professor Jason Gill said the findings could affect public health guidance.

Discretionary screen time - watching screens during leisure time - is said to be a contributor to sedentary behaviour which is associated with higher risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease.

Professor Gill, one of the lead authors of the study, said: "Our study shows that the risks associated with sedentary behaviour may not be the same for everyone, with the association between leisure time screen use and adverse health outcomes being strongest in those with low levels of physical activity, fitness or strength.

"This has potential implications for public health guidance as, if the findings are causal, these data suggest that specifically targeting those with low fitness and strength to reduce their sedentary behaviour may be an effective approach."
Health promotion

The researchers analysed the behaviour of 390,089 people from the UK Biobank.

They found that higher levels of screen time were associated with a higher risk of "all-cause mortality" as well as a higher risk of both heart disease and cancer.

The findings were independent of physical activity, grip strength, BMI, smoking, diet and other major confounding factors, including socio-economic status.

Study author Dr Carlos Celis said: "If the discretionary screen time health associations we found in this study are causal, it suggests that people with the lowest levels of strength, fitness and physical activity could potentially gain the greatest benefit from health promotion interventions aimed at reducing sedentary behaviours.

"While fitness testing can be difficult to measure in healthcare and community settings, grip strength is a quick, simple and cheap to measure, so could easily be implemented as a screening tool in a variety of settings."

The study is published in BMC Medicine.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BBC News, 24 May 2018

Some potentially good news, maybe UK farmers will think twice before allowing masts on their land!
Scotland Created: 23 Jan 2016
Pressure on phone mast rents
BT'S TAKEOVER of mobile giant EE in a £12.5billion deal given final clearance by regulators last week could be bad news for farmers letting land for mobile phone masts.
According to rural property specialists Savills, the recent history of the telecoms market suggests that the takeover is likely to lead to increased pressure on farmers from telecoms agents striving to drive down rents for mobile phone sites.
As well as the takeover of EE - itself formed from a merger of Orange with T-Mobile - rival firm O2 is in the process of acquiring the 3 network, further complicating an industry landscape that features joint infrastructure ventures by O2 and Vodafone, and by 3 and EE, in the names of Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) and Mobile Broadband Network (MBNL) respectively.
Savills warned that all this change within the sector had lead to confusion, with misleading information in the public domain about what is a fair rent for a mast site, and bewildered farmers receiving numerous letters from agents, often located outwith Scotland, threatening to make sites redundant if new terms, at greatly reduced rents, are not accepted.
Savills Rural director Kenneth Munn said: "Most of these letters have been veiled threats and we have been able to protect farmers' interests. However we know there are instances where farmers have given in to the pressure and accepted new leases on considerably poorer terms and much lower rents. This has taken place when there is no evidence of market rents falling.
"In the vast majority of cases, there should be financial incentive for the landlord to agree to an effective assignment to a new company, especially where this is to be a network sharer such as CTIL or MBNL," advised Mr Munn. "Needless to say the rent increases, and or lease premiums payable, will vary from site to site.
"It is imperative that landlords do not sign any letters, however innocuous they may appear, without having first spoken to their agent or solicitor."
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir

Pressure on phone mast rents
Scotland Created: 21 Jan 2016
BT'S TAKEOVER of mobile giant EE in a £12½ billion deal given final clearance by regulators last week could be bad news for farmers letting land for mobile phone masts.

According to rural property specialists Savills, the recent history of the telecoms market suggests that the takeover is likely to lead to increased pressure on farmers from telecoms agents striving to drive down rents for mobile phone sites.

As well as the takeover of EE - itself formed from a merger of Orange with T-Mobile - rival firm O2 is in the process of acquiring the 3 network, further complicating an industry landscape that features joint infrastructure ventures by O2 and Vodafone, and by 3 and EE, in the names of Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) and Mobile Broadband Network (MBNL) respectively.

Savills warned that all this change within the sector had lead to confusion, with misleading information in the public domain about what is a fair rent for a mast site, and bewildered farmers receiving numerous letters from agents, often located outwith Scotland, threatening to make sites redundant if new terms, at greatly reduced rents, are not accepted.

Savills Rural director Kenneth Munn said: "Most of these letters have been veiled threats and we have been able to protect farmers' interests. However we know there are instances where farmers have given in to the pressure and accepted new leases on considerably poorer terms and much lower rents. This has taken place when there is no evidence of market rents falling.

"In the vast majority of cases, there should be financial incentive for the landlord to agree to an effective assignment to a new company, especially where this is to be a network sharer such as CTIL or MBNL," advised Mr Munn. "Needless to say the rent increases, and or lease premiums payable, will vary from site to site.

"It is imperative that landlords do not sign any letters, however innocuous they may appear, without having first spoken to their agent or solicitor."

Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Scottish Farmer, 21 Jan 2016

Abhorrent Animal Cruelty, and in the name of science!
Scotland Created: 3 Jun 2015
An elephant seal wearing a wireless sensor designed and made at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews.
The seals have gathered information from some ofthe harshest polar environments on the planet;" which will now be made available to academics around the world.

LARS BOEHME/PA WIRE
from "I" from the Independent

And another view from the : All Analytics Academy
Those Data-Driven Elephant Seals
Ever since I shared the details of what is arguably one of the coolest big-data projects to date -- photographer Rick Smolan's Human Face of Big-Data project -- I haven't been able to stop wondering one thing. Do elephant seals, one of the big-data stars mentioned in Smolan's press release, really like having antennas glued on their heads to map the oceans?
Noreen Seebacher
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir

Looking for EHS sufferers for research documentary & webplatform
Scotland Created: 12 Aug 2014
Hello all,

My name is Gemma Barendse and I work as a research assistant for filmmaker Marie Lidén in Glasgow.

We're working on a documentary and a webplatform about electrosensitivity. We would like to get in contact with people who are electrosensitive and would like to share their experiences. We're also interested in hearing from journalists, activists and researchers.

If this is something you'd be interested in, please contact me at gemmabarendse {-at-} gmail.com
(note: substitute {-at-} with @ )

All the best and thank you,
Gemma

See also this forum thread:
http://www.mast-victims.org/forum/index.php?action=vthread&forum=1&topic=5790
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Gemma Barendse, 11 Aug 2014

Residents do battle again over phone mast
Scotland Created: 27 Mar 2014
Residents in Canmore Street are preparing themselves for their second struggle against a mobile phone mast being sited near their homes.

A massive campaign mounted in 2004 prevented the installation of a third generation phone mast at the BT exchange in the street.

At that time the councillors’ collective decision was swayed by 260 letters of objection as well as a 960-signature petition against the mast’s installation.

The company has recently lodged an application with Angus Council for a 12-metre tall radio pole fitted with a 30cm radio dish at the same
location.

Several nearby residents, however, have again lodged objections on the grounds of the dish’s possible visual impact on their properties and concerns over health.

Alison Simpson, whose home is next to the exchange, said: “This is the second time they’ve applied for this and I don’t know why they
 need it.

“It’s so tall it will be visible from all around and all but two of our windows will look out at it.”

Mrs Simpson’s husband, Brian, also said he felt there were other locations the dish could have been located away from houses.

He said: “There’s a mast up at Balmashanner and one at the Market Muir. Surely there would be room for a 300 millimetre disk on one of them.

“We spend a lot of time in the garden during the summer and it will be overlooking that.”

Alan Petrie, the Simpsons’ neighbour, also said he has concerns on health grounds about a radio dish being sited close to people’s homes.

He continued: “Why put it there? It’s one of the lowest points in town, and there are hills all around. There have also been reports of people being affected by radio waves. There are so many going around and no-one knows how their effect is.”

A BT spokeswoman said that the location had been chosen partly because it was felt the pole would have a minimal visual impact.

She added: “The purpose of this mast is to enhance mobile coverage on the outskirts of Forfar. The pole is located within the boundary of our BT exchange building and planners deliberately sited it at the rear of the exchange to minimise the impact on visual amenity.

“It is adjacent to a local car park which has floodlighting so it was felt it would be in keeping with existing street furniture.

“The radio dish meets all the relevant international public safety level guidelines. BT will of course comply with any planning guidelines that are required by Angus Council.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Forfar Dispatch, 27 Mar 2014

Mobile ‘not spots’ may become hot spots
Scotland Created: 8 Dec 2013
Eleven ‘not spots’ in the Western Isles have been identified and earmarked for the installation of new mobile phone masts to improve coverage.

‘Not spots’ are defined as areas were no mobile coverage is available from any mobile network operators. A list of possible locations for the new mast was presented to councillors last week.

The Gazette was told by an industry insider that it is “highly likely” the vast majority of the sites will get 3G coverage following the installation. However a spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport did not confirm this. Instead he said the project “at this stage” is “committing to deliver voice and basic data”.

The development is part of the Mobile Infrastructure Project, which aims to deliver mobile services in rural areas where market-driven investment is not commercially viable. Masts for operators O2, Vodafone, EE and Three will be erected.

The eleven sites are in Back, Shader, Balivanich, Ranish, Cnoc a’ Chonaisg, Lochboisdale, Upper Carloway, Ardroil, Sollas, Nask and Swainbost.

However these sites are not yet guaranteed, and the installation of masts at these locations will be subject to technical and operational considerations along with acquisition and planning constraints.

The next stage will be Site Search and Report followed by Site Agreement with landowners, Planning Applications and finally, Build and Commission. The aim is for the sites to be acquired and built by 2015.

The Western Isles arm of the development is part of the national project which will see £150m of government funding spent on improving coverage all over the UK.

The news was welcomed by councillors at last week’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting - however concerns were raised about the roll-out of 3G. Members agreed to voice their concerns with mobile operator Vodafone.

Cllr Kenneth Murry commented: “3G should be up here in the islands with Vodafone, but they seem to be dragging their feet.”

Speaking after the meeting he added: “The lack of 3G coverage by Vodafone is an issue as they are the dominant supplier of mobile in Western Isles.

“They tend to be reticent in sharing their planned rollout of 3G/4G and with more mobile content available on smart phones and tablets it is leave us far behind rest of UK.”

Responding to the comments a Vodafone spokesperson said: “We’re always looking to improve network coverage and capacity for our customers - we spend more than £2.5 million every day doing this.”

She said the process of developing sites can take up to a year and added: “ Not surprisingly, when upgrading sites, we focus on areas with higher population first but we also have a strong commitment to bring coverage to rural areas.”

She said the company are unable to give out detailed plans of network development, however the Comhairle are given outline plans every year.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Stornoway Gazette, 08 Dec 2013

Government urged to review phone mast planning rules
Scotland Created: 17 Sep 2013
CALLS have been made for phone mast planning rules to be reviewed after a report found more than one-quarter of Scotland has no mobile coverage.

The study published yesterday, backed by the Scottish Government, warned ministers needed to ensure planning regulations were proportionate and did not unduly inhibit the roll-out of communications networks.

The recommendation was welcomed by phone operators, who complained that Scotland's planning regime was far more restrictive than England's.

The call followed extensive research showing hundreds of "not spots," or areas without mobile phone coverage.

It found 27.5% of Scotland was without basic 2G coverage, which allows calls to be made. Even bigger swathes of the country have no 3G signal, which allow smartphones to access the internet and send emails.

Among other ­recommendations, the report urges the Scottish Government to work with telecom regulator Ofcom and phone firms to set up roaming agreements across Scotland. The facility would automatically switch a phone user's network if the only coverage available was from a rival provider. It also calls for a fuller audit of so-called not spots.

The research, commissioned by the Government, was based on 17 million samples taken by ScotRail, the Scottish Ambulance Service and other surveys. Volunteers made 50,000 checks across the country to verify the data.

It revealed 2552 separate not spots, including small inner city pockets, as well as large remote rural areas.

Among the worst-served areas was Argyll & Bute, where 38.9% of the area had no 2G signal and 71.4% was without 3G coverage. Across the Highland council area 37.7% had no 2G and 69.9% no 3G signal. In Stirling, which includes rural and urban areas, 29.2% had no 2G and 47% no 3G.

Glasgow, Dundee and ­Edinburgh enjoyed the best coverage, according to the report.

However the report identified widespread not spot pockets in Scotland's two biggest cities, with one of the largest around Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow. It said: "Contrary to traditional thinking, not spots are found frequently in the urban environment."

The report also highlighted connection difficulties for road and rail users.

Mobile coverage along country roads, even many A-roads, was a significant problem, it said.

It singled out the B709 in the Borders, saying there was no 2G or 3G signal for 90% of its 60 miles.

It said Scotland's main rail routes, such as the Glasgow-Edinburgh link, had many sections of patchy coverage "with the high probability a call will cut out more than once during the journey".

It concluded: ­"Significant improvements will be required before mobile communications in Scotland can fully meet customers' aspirations, particularly with the massive growth in use of smartphones and tablet devices."

The Government produced a report last year, Scotland's Digital Future, which said improving mobile coverage was a key ambition.

The Mobile Operators ­Association, which represents the four UK network providers, said 99.3% of the population could get a 2G signal in Scotland, compared with 99.8% in England.

But John Cooke, the MOA's executive director, welcomed the recommendation. He added: "That's important because the Scottish telecoms planning regime is far more restrictive than the corresponding system in England; that's a disincentive to investment in telecoms infrastructure."

A Scottish Government ­spokesman said: "We are working closely with the industry to improve mobile coverage across Scotland, and to address the issues identified in this report to ensure that everyone in the country benefits from world class connectivity."
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Herald Scotland, Magnus Gardham, 17 Sep 2013

Farmers warned over leasing land for mobile phone masts
Scotland Created: 24 Jul 2013
A PROLIFERATION of changes within the telecoms industry over recent years have left farmers and landowners, who have leased their land to the various operating companies, confused and in a vulnerable position, according to land agent Savills.

Mergers and consolidations by operators with mobile phone masts have resulted in many players attempting to rationalise their sites and terminate leases prematurely, without due consideration to the agreed terms.

According to Kenneth Munn of Savills, this could result in operators attempting to terminate over 20,000 sites across the UK.

"The new entity Everything Everywhere for example (a merger between Orange and T Mobile) has already begun consolidating sites and are sending letters to landowners advising of their intention to terminate leases, and asking for landowners' signatures. These letters are often written in a manner which overrides the original lease, allowing the tenant to short-cut their way out of obligations," warned Mr Munn. "There is deep confusion among many landowners as to what their rights are, who among the telecoms players is now the legal tenant, who is the operator and on what network, and what rents and payments are due to the landlord."

According to Mr Munn, the operators' ability to terminate the lease may not be as straightforward as it appears.

He went on: "We have found that many standard leases appear to prevent the operators from terminating leases early.

"Where this is not the case, the landlord is still in a strong position. He can certainly demand rent up front for the unexpired term. In addition, the majority of leases would also require the tenant to reinstate the site.

"This leaves the landlord in a position to negotiate a one-off payment to terminate the lease and potentially, where appropriate, not reinstate. On some of the sites, we are discussing compensation sums in excess of £50,000.

"The value to the tenant of being able to avoid this 'shortcut' out of a telecoms mast lease can be very significant. Landlords should take advice to ensure they are properly compensated for future losses, particularly in respect of rent foregone, before signing any letter."

Market round-up

Lawrie and Symington sold 13 prime heifers in Lanark on Monday to a top of 274p per kg and an average of 250.4p (+6.4p on the week), while two prime beef-bred bullocks levelled at 222p. Eleven prime, dairy-bred bullocks sold to 187.5p and averaged 185.2p (+5.3p).

In the rough ring, 36 beef cows averaged 144p and 35 dairy cows levelled at 119p. Ten OTM cattle averaged 165p.

The firm also sold 639 prime lambs to a top of £99.50 per head and 228p per kg to average 182.2p (-40p). The 420 cast sheep forward saw ewes sell to £117.50 for Texels and £51.50 for Blackfaces to average £57.07 overall (-£2.60).

"The new entity Everything Everywhere for example (a merger between Orange and T Mobile) has already begun consolidating sites and are sending letters to landowners advising of their intention to terminate leases, and asking for landowners' signatures. These letters are often written in a manner which overrides the original lease, allowing the tenant to short-cut their way out of obligations," warned Mr Munn. "There is deep confusion among many landowners as to what their rights are, who among the telecoms players is now the legal tenant, who is the operator and on what network, and what rents and payments are due to the landlord."

According to Mr Munn, the operators' ability to terminate the lease may not be as straightforward as it appears.

He went on: "We have found that many standard leases appear to prevent the operators from terminating leases early.

"Where this is not the case, the landlord is still in a strong position. He can certainly demand rent up front for the unexpired term. In addition, the majority of leases would also require the tenant to reinstate the site.

"This leaves the landlord in a position to negotiate a one-off payment to terminate the lease and potentially, where appropriate, not reinstate. On some of the sites, we are discussing compensation sums in excess of £50,000.

"The value to the tenant of being able to avoid this 'shortcut' out of a telecoms mast lease can be very significant. Landlords should take advice to ensure they are properly compensated for future losses, particularly in respect of rent foregone, before signing any letter."

Market round-up

Lawrie and Symington sold 13 prime heifers in Lanark on Monday to a top of 274p per kg and an average of 250.4p (+6.4p on the week), while two prime beef-bred bullocks levelled at 222p. Eleven prime, dairy-bred bullocks sold to 187.5p and averaged 185.2p (+5.3p).

In the rough ring, 36 beef cows averaged 144p and 35 dairy cows levelled at 119p. Ten OTM cattle averaged 165p.

The firm also sold 639 prime lambs to a top of £99.50 per head and 228p per kg to average 182.2p (-40p). The 420 cast sheep forward saw ewes sell to £117.50 for Texels and £51.50 for Blackfaces to average £57.07 overall (-£2.60).
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Herald Scotland, Rog Wood, 24 Jul 2013

Democracy threat as Government overturns local council decisions on phone masts
Scotland Created: 25 Nov 2012
IT has been revealed that the Scottish Government are three times more likely to overturn a decision made by councils than to uphold it.

MORE than three-quarters of mobile phone mast plans rejected by Scots councils are later approved by the Government.

Ministers are over-ruling local authorities in three out of four of the applications for the controversial masts.

Figures reveal the Scottish Government are three times more likely to overturn a decision made by councils than back it.

Critics have voiced fears for local democracy after 27 out of 35 appeals lodged by mobile phone companies to the Scottish Government since the beginning of 2011 were given the green light.

In East Renfrewshire alone, seven out of eight rejections were overturned.

Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh said: “Councils work hard to strike a balance between our need for a mobile phone network and the wishes of local residents to keep masts awayfrom their homes.

“These are difficult decisions and the whole process is being entirely undermined by the Scottish Government.

“Ministers are siding with the phone companies against local communities and overruling democratically elected councils in nearly every case.
Scottish Government accused of centralising power and taking planning decisions out of council hands

“In the past few months, the Scottish Government have overturned seven out of eight decisions in East Renfrewshire and imposed phone masts up against people’s houses.

“That is not a fair nor transparent way to build the phone network.”

Retired neurophysiologist Keith Baxendale, who lives in Rutherglen, also criticised the Government’s actions.

He has already called for a ban on mobile phone masts near schools and nurseries, in line with New Zealand,
Australia, Sweden and Italy.

Dr Baxendale, who believes radio frequency radiation has a damaging effect on the nervous system, said: “The Scottish Government don’t seem to recognise there could be longer-term consequences of these masts, particularly for small children.

“It seems pretty anti- democratic to overturn so many decisions by councils.”

The Scottish Government yesterday defended their decision-making.

A spokeswoman said: “We want to see the right developments in the right places.

“The ability of applicants to challenge decisions is an important part of the planning process enshrined in law.”

Last month, the UK’s first major fourth generation, 4G, mobile service went live in 11 cities in Britain, including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The SNP government were also criticised over planning decisions earlier this month when figures showed they have approved 83 per cent of applications for “major” windfarms – with 25 turbines or more.

The rush by landowners and developers for windfarms approval has seen three applications a day.

Labour East Renfrewshire MP Jim Murphy said: “The Scotland-wide figures do not surprise me as it seems the SNP government is determined to ignore the wishes of local people.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Daily Record, Mark Aitken, 25 Nov 2012

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