Grounding Techniques In Trauma Therapy Methods

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Grounding Techniques in Trauma Therapy Methods


Nathanael Lockner

Doing work by means of trauma could be scary, agonizing, and probably re-traumatizing. Very usually people who have skilled trauma have coped at least in portion by means of some degree of dissociation. While this was necessary for your survival then, continued dissociation (particularly sorts which are not inside your management) is just not adaptive when the abuse has stopped. Now the job of trauma therapy methods is always to help you stay present long sufficient to learn other indicates of establishing safety inside present. How does another person with automated survival capabilities of dissociation learn to try and do this? Grounding is one skill that could help.

Trauma therapy methods would not only consist of telling your story or focusing on traumatic memories, though naturally that can be a vital aspect of the work. Bringing trauma memories to mind, talking about them within a trusting relationship, and establishing the capacities for managing them while staying present from the moment are all essential areas of the healing process. A premature emphasis on traumatic substance can actually do far more harm than good.

In the past, trauma survivors have been encouraged to speak about their abuse from the belief that this catharsis could well be healing. Because of your pitfalls included, this healing work is best carried out with the help of an knowledgeable trauma specialist who can help you learn techniques to cope with memories effectively. One purpose of trauma therapy methods is to help you connect to the past while staying in the present. How does an individual with automated survival abilities of dissociation achieve this kind of a undertaking?

Extra recent trauma therapy methods have targeted on a stage technique, which includes early preparation, give attention to building coping abilities and stabilization. Judith Herman, in

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Trauma and Recovery

, states which the central task of your first phase of therapy needs to be safety.

What do trauma therapy methods mean when we talk about grounding?

Grounding is about understanding to remain present ( or for some get present from the first place) in your system inside here and now. Basically it consists of your arranged of skills/resources to help you deal with dissociation and the overwhelming trauma-connected emotions that cause it. Processing performed from a very dissociated express is just not valuable in trauma work. When you will be present, you also must learn other implies of managing the feelings and thoughts asst with traumatic memories.

Unique grounding techniques will work for unique people.

-Grounding typically takes the form of focusing on the present by tuning into it via all of your senses.

-Diaphragmatic or deep breathing: Trauma survivors often carry their breath or breathe very shallowly. Stopping and focusing on deepening and slowing your breathing can deliver you back again to your second.

-Relaxation, guided imagery or hypnosis- folks with dissociative disorders are engaging in a very form of self-hypnosis much in the time. Some trauma therapy methods are also skilled in hypnosis and might help educate you the way to use dissociation in a way that performs available for you. For example: you may create a safe container for traumatic content in between sessions, create a safe or comfortable place (\”safe\” may not be an idea some survivors can relate to or may be triggering to some) 0r learn ways to flip down the \”volume\” of painful feelings and memories.

Grounding and emotion management capabilities can help you proceed with the work of trauma therapy methods inside a manner that feels empowering in place of re-traumatizing.

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Nevada, Northern California struck by massive storm

Nevada, Northern California struck by massive storm

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Authorities in the western U.S. state of Nevada say near-freezing waters from a ruptured canal have flooded about 800 homes following a powerful winter storm.

Authorities east of the city of Reno say a nine-meter-long section of the Truckee Canal broke early Saturday, sending a nearly one-meter-high flood into the small town of Fernley. They say more than 3,000 people have been affected by the flooding, with many evacuated to a local school.

There are no reports of any injuries.

In neighboring California, the fierce Pacific storm system brought winds of up to 240 kilometers an hour, leaving more than one million people without power Friday.

One of the hardest hit areas is the Sierra Nevada mountain region, where the storm turned into an arctic blizzard in the upper elevations. Forecasters say the region will get anywhere from two to three meters of snow by Sunday.

Forecasters also say the storm could dump as much as 25 centimeters of rain on parts of southern California.

The heavy rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides in areas burned during last year’s massive wildfires. Officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation of thousands of homes near Los Angeles.

Smoke from massive warehouse fire in Buffalo, New York USA can be seen 40 miles away

Smoke from massive warehouse fire in Buffalo, New York USA can be seen 40 miles away

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Buffalo, New York — A massive warehouse complex of at least 5 buildings caught on fire in Buffalo, New York on 111 Tonawanda Street, sending a plume of thick, jet black colored smoke into the air that could be seen as far away as 40 miles.

As of 6:40 a.m., the fire was under control, and firefighters were attempting to stop it from spreading, but could not get to the center of the fire because of severe amounts of debris. Later in the morning, the fire was extinguished.

“The fire is mostly under debris at this point. It’s under control, but it’s under some debris. We really can’t get to it. We’re just going to have to keep on pouring water on it so it doesn’t spread,” said Thomas Ashe, the fire chief for the North Buffalo based fire division who also added that at one point, at least 125 firefighters were on the scene battling the blaze. One suffered minor injures and was able to take himself to the hospital to seek medical attention.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m. as many as 3 explosions rocked the warehouse sending large mushroom clouds of thick black smoke into the air. After the third explosion, heat could be felt more than 100 feet away. The fire started in the front, one story building then quickly spread to three others, but fire fighters managed to stop the flames from spreading onto the 3 story building all the way at the back.

According to a Buffalo Police officer, who wished not to be named, the fire began at about 7:00 p.m. [Eastern time], starting as a one alarm fire. By 8:00 p.m., three fire companies were on the scene battling the blaze. Police also say that a smaller fire was reported in the same building on Saturday night, which caused little damage.

At the start of the fire, traffic was backed up nearly 4 miles on the 198 expressway going west toward the 190 Interstate and police had to shut down the Tonawanda street exit because the road is too close to the fire.

At one point, traffic on the 198 was moving so slow, at least a dozen people were seen getting out of their cars and walking down the expressway to watch the fire. That prompted as many as 10 police cars to be dispatched to the scene to force individuals back into their cars and close off one of the 2 lanes on the westbound side.

One woman, who wished not to be named as she is close to the owner of the warehouse, said the building is filled with “classic cars, forklifts, and money” and that owner “does not have insurance” coverage on the property. The building is not considered abandoned, but firefighters said that it is vacant.

Officials in Fort Erie, Ontario were also swamped with calls to fire departments when the wind blew the smoke over the Niagra River and into Canada.

It is not known what caused the fire, but a car is suspected to have caught on fire and there are reports from police and hazmat crews, that there were also large barrels of diesel fuel being stored in one building. Firefighters say the cause of the blaze is being treated as “suspicious.” The ATF is investigating the fire and will bring dogs in to search the debris.

Opponents: New Zealand government sneaks bill into House to avoid public backlash

Opponents: New Zealand government sneaks bill into House to avoid public backlash

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Thursday, December 7, 2006

The New Zealand Government has tabled the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill, despite unprecedented political opposition.

In 2003 the Hon Annette King signed a Treaty with Australia agreeing to hand control of the natural health products sector over to an Australian regulatory body, however she needs to pass enabling legislation in New Zealand. “This will be a world-class joint scheme designed to regulate the safety, quality, effectiveness and promotion of therapeutic products in both New Zealand and Australia. That includes the regulation of complementary and alternative medicines, over-the-counter and prescription medicines, medical devices, blood and blood products and tissues and cellular therapies,” Ms King said.

Twice the Bill has been thrown out by select committees, but the Government is determined to ram it through Parliament, according to the New Zealand Health Trust.

“Late tonight the Bill was finally tabled, with no announcement from the Minister,” said Amy Adams, spokesperson for the Trust, “Clearly the Minister is keen to sneak it into Parliament under cover of the silly season, in the hope that she can keep it under the public’s radar.”

“I welcome the support of a majority of the House who want to see the Bill go to Select Committee where New Zealanders can have their say,” Ms King said.

The NZ Health Trust conducted research earlier this year which showed 62% of New Zealanders used natural health products. “This Bill represents a massive and irreparable change to the way we make rules for New Zealand dietary supplements,” Mrs Adams said.

“Under the proposed regime, well over a million New Zealand consumers would find the choice of products adversely affected, and experience cost increases. So you can see why the Government is trying to sneak this into the House without any fuss – they don’t want the public to know.”

All the political parties except Labour have pledged their opposition the proposal, despite some intense lobbying by Australian and New Zealand officials.

“It is a very serious thing to hand sovereignty over your country over to another nation,” Mrs Adams said. “And all the other political parties see the sense in making sure the sector is regulated from New Zealand – not as a minor state of Australia.”

Ms King said: “The Bill… ensures that New Zealand will have an equal say in the setting up and running of the new Authority and joint scheme.” The new authority will be like a crown-owned entity and will have to provide an anuual report and a statement of intent to parliament each year.

Executive Coaching What Makes A Good Leader?}

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Executive Coaching What makes a good leader?


Brayden P.Ryan

Psychological tests have been used to determine what characteristics are most commonly noted among successful leaders.

This list of characteristics can be used for executive coaching purposes to help managers gain insight and develop their leadership traits and skills.

The increasing rate of change in the business environment is a major factor in this new emphasis on leadership.

Whereas in the past, managers were expected to maintain the status quo in order to move ahead, new forces in the marketplace have made it necessary to expand this narrow focus. The new leaders of tomorrow are visionary. They are both learners and teachers. Not only do they foresee paradigm changes in society, but they also have a strong sense of ethics and work to build integrity in their organizations.

Raymond Cattell, a pioneer in the field of personality assessment, developed the Leadership Potential equation in 1954. This equation, which was based on a study of military leaders, is used today in executive coaching programs to determine the leadership traits which characterize an effective leader.

Developing the following traits of an effective leader:

Executive Coaching Focus 1: Emotional stability. Good leaders must be able to tolerate frustration and stress. Overall, they must be well-adjusted and have the psychological maturity to deal with anything they are required to face.

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Executive Coaching Focus 2: Dominance. Leaders are often times competitive and decisive and usually enjoy overcoming obstacles. Overall, they display leadership traits that are assertive in their thinking style as well as their attitude in dealing with others.

Executive Coaching Focus 3: Enthusiasm. Leaders are usually seen as active, expressive, and energetic. They are often very optimistic and open to change. Overall, they are generally quick and alert and tend to be uninhibited.

Executive Coaching Focus 4: Conscientiousness. Leaders are often dominated by a sense of duty and tend to be very exacting in character. They usually have a very high standard of excellence and an inward desire to do one’s best. They also have a need for order and tend to be very self-disciplined.

Executive Coaching Focus 5: Social boldness. Leaders tend to be spontaneous risk-takers. They are usually socially aggressive and generally thick-skinned. Overall, they are responsive to others and tend to be high in emotional stamina.

Executive Coaching Focus 6: Tough-mindedness. Good leaders are practical, logical, and to-the-point. They tend to be low in sentimental attachments and comfortable with criticism. They are usually insensitive to hardship and overall, are very poised.

Executive Coaching Focus 7: Self-assurance. Self-confidence and resiliency are common traits among leaders. They tend to be free of guilt and have little or no need for approval. They are generally secure and free from guilt and are usually unaffected by prior mistakes or failures.

Executive Coaching Focus 8: Compulsiveness. Leaders were found to be controlled and very precise in their social interactions. Overall, they were very protective of their integrity and reputation and consequently tended to be socially aware and careful, abundant in foresight, and very careful when making decisions or determining specific actions.

Beyond these basic leadership traits, leaders of today must also possess leadership traits which will help them motivate others and lead them in new directions. Leaders of the future must be able to envision the future and convince others that their vision is worth following.

To do this, they must have the following personality leadership traits:

High energy. Long hours and some travel are usually a prerequisite for leadership positions, especially as your company grows. Remaining alert and staying focused are two of the greatest obstacles you will have to face as a leader.

Intuitiveness. Rapid changes in the world today combined with information overload result in an inability to “know” everything. In other words, reasoning and logic will not get you through all situations. In fact, more and more leaders are learning to the value of using their intuition and trusting their “gut” when making decisions.

Maturity. To be a good leader, personal power and recognition must be secondary to the development of your employees. In other words, maturity is based on recognizing that more can be accomplished by empowering others than can be by ruling others.

Team orientation. Business leaders today put a strong emphasis on team work. Instead of promoting an adult/child relationship with their employees, leaders create an adult/adult relationship which fosters team cohesiveness.

Empathy. Being able to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes” is a key trait of leaders today. Without empathy, you can’t build trust. And without trust, you will never be able to get the best effort from your employees.

Charisma. People usually perceive leaders as larger than life. Charisma plays a large part in this perception. Leaders who have charisma are able to arouse strong emotions in their employees by defining a vision which unites and captivates them. Using this vision, leaders motivate employees to reach toward a future goal by tying the goal to substantial personal rewards and values.

Overall, leaders are larger than life in many ways. Personal leadership traits play a major role in determining who will and who will not be comfortable leading others. However, it’s important to remember that people are forever learning and changing.

Leaders are rarely (if ever) born. Circumstances and persistence are major components in the developmental process of any leader. So if your goal is to become a leader, work on developing those areas of your personality that you feel are not “up to par”.

For instance, if you have all of the basic leadership traits but do not consider yourself very much of a “people” person, try taking classes or reading books on empathy. On the other end, if relating to others has always come naturally to you, but you have trouble making logical decisions, try learning about tough-mindedness and how to develop more psychological resistance. Always remember, anyone can do anything they set their mind to.

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Executive Coaching What makes a good leader? }

Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review released

Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review released

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Friday, February 3, 2006

The Pentagon released its findings from its Quadrennial Defense Review today. This review focuses mainly on defining and identifying weak points in United States defenses, and prescriptions for improvements in those areas.

This review, known as the Quadrennial Defense Review because Congress requires it every four years, does not alter the Pentagon’s approach in Iraq. It also leaves intact the Defense Department’s broader strategy for keeping the U.S. military big enough to fight other major conflicts.

The plan proposes a 4.8% boost to the Department of Defense budget, eliminates no major weapons programs and includes an 8 percent overall increase for weapons (to US$84 billion) for the budget year starting Sept. 30. This review excludes the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons programs.

Overall, there was an emphasis on finding ways to adopt a more indirect approach to the war on terror; a shifted emphasis from performing tasks to enabling other countries to perform. Some of the specific proposals include:

  • Expansion of special operations forces by 15%; the Army’s Green Berets and the Navy SEAL commandos, for example, who are trained in specialized warfare skills that are often utilized covertly in cooperation with the armed forces of small countries.
Relevant to this expansion, the Marines are establishing a special operations force for the first time, with an initial goal of preparing 2,600 Marines.
  • An increase by 3,700 (or about one-third) of psychological warfare and civil affairs units. These are in heavy demand in Iraq and Afghanistan because of their role working with local civilian authorities to build trust and influence perceptions of U.S. forces.
  • Building new partnerships in the “War on Terror” by increasing time spent training other armies, navies and air forces, particularly in places, where U.S. troops have not traditionally operated. This in turn, will call for an increased mastery of other languages and better knowledge of foreign cultures.
  • More officers serving stints in foreign militaries to better develop long-term relationships and regional expertise.
  • The creation by the Navy, of a force of small boats that can be utilized in inland waterways abroad to help countries build their own maritime forces to combat terrorists.

Other highlights include:

  • A proposed 10 percent reduction in the fleet of Minuteman III land-based nuclear missiles, from 500 to 450 missiles. Also, the conversion of some nuclear missiles on Trident submarines to non-nuclear missiles within two years. The Pentagon did not specifically state how many are to be converted.
  • A five-year, $1.5 billion program to develop medical countermeasures for bioterrorism threats.

Wikinews interviews India’s first female Paralympic medalist Deepa Malik

Wikinews interviews India’s first female Paralympic medalist Deepa Malik

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wikinews on Sunday interviewed Deepa Malik, India’s first female Paralympic medalist, who won the silver medal in the Women’s Shot Put F53 event finals, at the 2016 Summer Paralympics being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Malik lost the gold medal to Bahrain’s Fatema Nedham, who had the best throw 4.76 metres, setting a new regional record in paralympic women’s shot put.

Arriving in Rio, Malik had initial trouble due to the airline losing her luggage; it didn’t all arrive until three days later: clothes, opening ceremony outfit and equipment including competition belts.

In early August there was a possibly that Malik might lose her spot on the Indian team going to Rio, with fellow female para athlete Karam Jyoti challenging Malik’s selection and the Sport’s Authority of Indian’s selection process at the High Court of Delhi. The high court ruled against the plaintiff.

Both of these events occurred against the wider backdrop of the Paralympic Committee of India being suspended by the International Paralympic Committee. The Sports Authority of India took final authority over the Paralympic Committee of India for sending a team to Rio, with agreement from the International Paralympic Committee; this arrangement allowed India to compete under their own flag at the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

((Wikinews)) Congratulations on your result.

Deepa Malik: Thank you so much.

((WN)) Even though you are currently waiting in terms of the end result of the protest.

DM: Absolutely, but I’m happy with my performance, I’m happy that I could improve and I could prove myself, there were a lot of questions back home on my selection and on my hard work. My single-minded focus that I had put into this journey of being a Paralympian. Well, I am just so anxious about the results.

((WN)) So how much did the court case and KLM losing your luggage impact on your preparations and your result today?

DM: Yes, but I’m happy that my husband was my coach here, and, so, I had huge moral support in terms of keeping my mind and everything in peace. Most of the equipment was available in the gym, we had to alter the training a bit like the throw days couldn’t happen, so we instead exercised. No, I think that is what sports teaches you, you can’t live on excuses, I never lived on excuses.

((WN)) You work around things.

DM: Yes, that’s what we do, that’s what a sportsman is suppose to do, rise again, and then fall and rise, and run, and I did exactly that.

((WN)) What message should other Indian women take away from your participation and result in Rio?

DM: This is going to be the first female medal that India would have ever won in Paralympics and as it is I’m working aggressively towards transforming this entire concept of empowerment for the women, especially the women in disabilities in my country. So I’m really happy that this medal give my voice more value, more strength, and I’ll be able to impact even more, though on the ninth of September the Prime Minister’s jury has awarded me with the award of Women Transforming India, I’m so happy that within three days of getting that award, I have added another feather to it and proved that yes this journey of ability beyond disability. And not just disability, this is a universal message that if women put their minds to their dreams they can balance it; age, gender, disability, is all a state of mind. If you put your passion and hard work, you can get it, and in the Indian scenario were they say infrastructure is a challenge, women participation that are taboo, religiously and psychologically, disabilities taken as a curse, dependability[?] increases because of lack of infrastructure, well, time to get rid of the excuses. We have to start erasing the excuses and believe your own self and that’s the message I’m carrying with all the activities that I do whether it is car rallying, motorbiking or swimming across a river, every record or every unique activity that I’ve undertaken and just below paralysis has been aimed at changing the stereotypical image of a women and also a women in disability. ?

((WN)) Will you and your daughter both be trying to represent India at the 2020 Games in Tokyo?

DM: I’m very sure about myself, but my daughter, though, she’s a Paralympian, yes, which again was considered a huge taboo in my society that oh my god both the mother and the daughter both have a physical disability, what is going to happen to these two, but we did good and she is working as a youth council representative in the Commonwealth countries, for the Paralympics specially, and her work though her foundation called Wheeling Happiness has earned her the young leader award from the Queen of England, so I guess her focus is now shifting to more on community service and empowering others and not just herself. And she is leaving on first of October to Loughborough to do her PhD doctorate programme in disability sports psychology, I’m very sure Loughborough is going to give her a huge amount of sports [inaudible] but how much time she going to decide to devote to sports and studies is her decision entirely. That’s her dream, her journey. 

((WN)) How helpful was the Sports Authority of India in preparing and supporting your Rio ambitions??

DM: I think 100 per cent, because the biggest challenge we have back home is a customised training, or the infrastructure for that matter, so we were given the ability and the funds to train the way we wanted to train, and the funds were huge which were given to us, out accommodation, food, diet, physical therapist, psychologist, trainer, gym, everything was paid for, and customised, you want it and they give it. So I guess this was easy financially this time, because every expenses was taken care of, my husband could also take a sabbatical from his job and join my journey, and having him twenty-four seven and coaching me because he himself is an athlete, and have the best diet and counselling. I think it’s worked wonders, so I give shout out and a huge applaud.

((WN)) How important was it for you to have a carer in Rio?

DM: Yes, again we really have to appreciate the sports authority of India and also Paralympic Committee of India, which is going to start to function post-Rio in India. They were very very quick, they were very very adamant in giving the wheelchair people escorts. And I need help twenty four seven, I’m just below paralysed so it was really huge, emotionally, mentally, psychically training-wise, every way I think the situation was perfect.

((WN)) Thank you for your time.

DM: Thank you.

Slave workers in Italy freed by police

Slave workers in Italy freed by police

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A joint Italian and Polish police operation freed 113 Polish workers who were living in forced labor camps on a tomato farm in southern Italy. Twenty people were arrested on charges of human trafficking, and the police are on the look-out for seven more.

The police said that the freed victims were made to work “like slaves”. They were subject to rape and torture and had dogs set upon them by armed Ukrainian, Italian and Polish guards who watched over them, said Poland’s national police chief, Marek Bienkowski, speaking at a news conference in Warsaw.

The deaths of four victims in the camps are believed to be suicides and are being investigated. Police have not ruled out the possibility that more deaths have occurred in the camps.

The victims were forced to work for 15 hours a day and were fed little more than bread and water, Italian police said. “To call the situation revealed by the Carabinieri investigation simply inhuman does in no way do it justice,” said Italy’s anti-Mafia chief, Piero Grasso, speaking to reporters in the southern city of Bari.

300 people who managed to flee the camps are being interviewed. Up to 1000 are believed to have been victims of this crime, according to the Polish news agency PAP. The workers were reportedly recruited through ads in Polish newspapers promising agricultural work in Italy.

Choosing All Season Tires When Buying New Tires}

June 23rd, 2017 | No Comments »
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Choosing All Season Tires When Buying New Tires



When buying new tires for your vehicle, you might want to opt for all season tires. They come in all sizes and can fit the smallest cars as well as light trucks, SUVs and pickups.

New tires, especially all season tires, are definitely not cheap tires. This is all the more reason to go for the more cost effective choice. All season tires are more cost effective because you need not get different sets of tires for different times of the year. They perform better for various road and weather conditions with year-round traction. They are also known for giving a more comfortable ride and having long tread lives. No wonder they are considered standard for almost all new cars and new light trucks. They are also the choice of the majority for replacement tires.

The new all season tires have to be well taken care of, though. Tire installation should not be something you would do on your own. This requires expertise and special equipment for proper alignment and balancing. Leave your tire installation to the experts for your own safety.

The new all season tires should always be kept properly inflated. The four tires need to be rotated according to the manufacturers instructions to ensure even wear. This will also make the new tires last longer.

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When driving, keep away from rough roads, unfinished roads and rocky roads to keep your new all season tires fresh longer. Do not run into curbs. Neither should you speed through curves nor take corners sharply. Also avoid jackrabbit starts, quick stops and hard stops. If you do not take this advice to heart, your new all season tires will show tread wear much earlier and you will have to replace them sooner.

When buying new all season tires, check the Uniform Tire Quality (UTQG) tread-wear grades on their sidewalls. These are supposed to state how long the new tires should last. Some tests have shown, however, that tire manufacturers sometimes overstate or underestimate these numbers. They should, therefore, be considered only as loose guidelines. The tread-wear warranty is a better gauge. Make sure it states that the manufacturer will reimburse the price you paid for the new tires if they do not meet the tire life claims. On the average tread wear warranties range from 65,000 to 100,000 miles.

No matter how high the quality of new all season tires, you must remember that rubber will inevitably deteriorate with time. Several car manufacturers, including Ford, BMW, Mazda, DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen recommend not keeping your tires for more than six years. Longer than that, they could be safety risks. The maximum life of tires should be ten years. Even before that, your all season tires should be regularly checked for bulges, cuts and overall wear.

All season tires are always being developed and improved, though, and new releases of tires are more responsive to vehicle owners needs.

You may also actually get all season used truck tires in Tampa FL. These are not very cheap tires but they are definitely cheaper than new tires. Used tires are only a good choice for trucks, though, because only truck tires can be retread. And for used tires, only retreads are really reliable. Car tires are not cost effective to retread, though. Luckily, retread used all season truck tires can be found in Tampa FL.

It could be pointed out that winter tires still have the best grip on snow and ice in severe winter conditions. Once the roads have been cleared, though, all season tires have better grip. All season tires are still the better choice overall except in extreme weather.

So for new car tires, new truck tires or even used truck tires, choose all season tires in Tampa FL.

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English jury returns mix of verdicts in policeman’s serial rape trial

English jury returns mix of verdicts in policeman’s serial rape trial

June 23rd, 2017 | No Comments »
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

A jury in Newcastle Crown Court, northeast England has cleared a police officer of some charges in a trial over serial rapes and related offences, and convicted him of others. Northumbria Police’s Police Constable Stephen Mitchell faced five counts of rape, six of indecent assault and 15 of misconduct in public office. He is guilty of two rapes, three indecent assaults and six counts of misconduct, with most of the sex charge convictions coming yesterday.

In all the case involved 16 women aged from 17 to 48, all of whom were arrested on drugs charges or shoplifting thefts between 1999 and 2006; the prosecution said Mitchell picked his victims based on vulnerability. The prosecution claimed Mitchell used blackmail to demand sex in exchange for favours; Mitchell described a conspiracy to frame him involving “…a very small-knit community in Newcastle city centre’s criminal fraternity.” Mitchell’s defence dismissed the claims as driven by one woman motivated by “self-preservation;” he refused to explain this further in open court.

It was alleged he told one woman who wanted a female officer present when searched said “I am the law. I can do anything. I don’t need a woman here,” and later attacked her in his patrol car. The woman had been arrested for possession of drugs and was 37.

He threw me over the settee, I couldn’t move with the handcuffs on, I was petrified. He said this is what you’ve wanted for a long time and he raped me.

“Each [victim] was vulnerable, whether because of drug abuse, health problems, domestic circumstances or a combination of these factors. The defendant took advantage of their vulnerabilities, usually providing or offering favours, but then requesting, or in some cases requiring by force, sexual favours in return,” was how prosecutor Paul Sloan QC explained the circumstances early in the trial.

Testimony in October included that of one lesbian, now 32, who in June 1999 was interviewed by the officer in Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street police station, and claimed he groped her and “that was the beginning of hell for me”. She told the court from behind a screen how he undid his trousers, saying that in arranging for her to be bailed he had helped her and he expected this reciprocated. “I was gay and had never had sex with a male,” but she claimed she was grabbed by the hair and forced, with a warning her girlfriend would be contacted if she made allegations. She had been arrested for cheque fraud.

She said the next month she was arrested again and he made a similar demand. Her testimony stated that he blackmailed her for four years, receiving regular sex after driving her into the country, culminating in a 2003 handcuffed rape at her home. She told the court he gave her drug money, as well as a lighter and foil to take heroin, after discovering she was in rehab. She says she pretended to take the drug but disposed of it, leaving rehab and beginning to study in 2002 in the belief the man had been evaded.

However, “[my] world just crumbled before me” when he arrived at her door and stole her spare keys, she said. She claimed he regularly visited her Sunderland house when she was away and once left a knife embedded in her pillow. She testified her fear made her sleep beneath her bed. Her testimony stated the policeman used what he said was video evidence of her committing fraud at a Post Office and in 2003 said he was going to hand the tape over.

She said when he arrived “[h]e was furious, he said I had disrespected him by not being in touch. I was trying to calm him down but he handcuffed me and said he was arresting me for fraud at the post office. He threw me over the settee, I couldn’t move with the handcuffs on, I was petrified. He said this is what you’ve wanted for a long time and he raped me.” She moved to Durham shortly after.

Detective Constable Cath Easton of Northumbria Police’s Professional Standards Unit said she visited one woman in June last year during the investigation. Although stating she had no problems with police treatment, Easton testified the woman called the following day. “She was crying, she was hysterical,” Easton told the court.

these people will grab any opportunity they can. They are lying

“It took her a while to get her words out, but she was saying ‘how do I know I can trust you? How do I know he has not sent you to test us?’ She was frightened and she told us she was frightened. She was in a real state… She was absolutely terrified that he knew I had contacted her.”

The alleged victim was assured the investigation was genuine and later called again, claiming Mitchell forced her to perform a sex act following the former heroin addict’s arrest six years previously. Another woman told the court Mitchell raped her whilst in uniform in the woman’s flat, hands cuffed behind her, and blackmailed her for years demanding sexual favours.

One woman, 25 at the time, said while in Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street police station following her arrest for a minor offence she was grabbed and kissed by the policeman. “He put his hands on my shoulders and kissed me, it was a passionate kiss. The door was open and I was shocked, anyone could have walked past or seen him or anything.” She told the court this occurred in the fingerprint room.

“After I was photographed he told me he was finishing his shift, which I took to be a hint,” the witness, another former heroin addict who said she was drunk at the time, continued. “Then when I came out of the station PC Mitchell pulled up in a car and offered to take me home, it seemed the safest way of getting home was with a police officer.” She had no complaint about him during the journey but said she resisted another kiss upon arrival at her house.

The woman, who says she has not used drugs for nine years, stated that he arrived at her house the following day and gave her a second lift. “He said he had a wife and kids but that he would like to see me again. Obviously it was never going to happen but he was saying he wanted some kind of relationship where he was seeing me on a regular basis, I would imagine for sex or something like that. He said we would have to be discreet because he had a wife but I was not interested and eventually he accepted my ‘no’.”

What it means is: ‘Resign and this will go away’.

She said he gave her money, suggested they get a private room and was “very persuasive”. Her mother also gave evidence to say Mitchell had called her to discuss the daughter’s drug-addict boyfriend. “You want to stop her going with him, he’s trouble, he’s a bad lad,” she claimed Mitchell said, adding her daughter told her the officer “was pestering her, she said he wanted to take her out.” The boyfriend also gave evidence, saying he had known the officer during former heroin addiction and giving a description of him.

One young mother met Mitchell when released from prison in 2001 after a theft sentence. Days later, he had given her heroin and felt she “owed him” according to testimony, receiving sex in return. She failed to attend Gateshead Magistrates’ Court in December the following year and he arrested her, she told the court. She wept, claiming he raped her in his vehicle. “I could not get out of the car, the doors were locked,” she told the trial.

“He said he wanted to have sex and that it would be the last time. I was shouting for him to let me out of the car, just screaming and shouting at him to let me go. He said if I told anybody, nobody would believe me because I was just a dirty junkie and I would never get my children back,” she said, describing him telling her he would plant drugs at her home and prevent access to her children if she made claims against him.

In November a woman in her fifties, who has four children and was 48 during her alleged attack, testified Mitchell raped her in a room used for reading reports at Pilgrim Street following her July 2006 theft arrest. “No one’s going to believe a thief,” he is claimed to have told her. “I said if you just let me go I’m not going to say anything; I’m not going to tell anyone. No one will ever know this has happened. I just wanted to be away.” She says she explained she was ill and taking cancer medication although “he did not seem bothered.”

Outside the police station following the alleged attack, “…there was two young lasses coming along. I will always remember one had a red Berghaus coat on. They seemed to know PC Mitchell and he did not seem to know whether to stay with me or talk to them and I just walked straight across the road. I was in total shock. I got on the bus home and I was trying to keep from crying and I had a pain in my throat.”

She said her life had been severely affected; “I was always thinking about it and crying for no reason. I just used to burst into tears for no reason and I’m not a crying person. I’m normally bubbly and happy and I really just let myself go. I never ever went with my partner again and from that day to this I have never slept with another man.” She triggered the probe that resulted in Mitchell’s prosecution by reporting him when, she says, he began arriving at her house.

She told Sloan she had not immediately contacted police because “I thought no-one would believe me. I was a shoplifter and he was a police officer. I still would never have been here to this day if he had not kept coming back to the house. If he had not done that it would have been a secret till the day I died.”

Mitchell, who has been a policeman since leaving the military in 1991, stated in the dock this month that the women had discussed their “host of rumours” amongst themselves and they were similar for this reason. “I think it has been demonstrated that people have been talking about this on a number of occasions… I know these people are not always truthful.” “But you are?” responded prosecution QC Paul Sloan. “Yes, these people will grab any opportunity they can,” according to the officer. “They are lying,” he later added.

He said if I told anybody, nobody would believe me because I was just a dirty junkie and I would never get my children back

In an attempt to disprove this defence the prosecution produced a sex tape in which Mitchell uses similar phrases to his partner as the women alleged he had said to them. “So it just so happens the words used are exactly the words you used in the video?” Sloan inquired. PC Mitchell desribed this as coincidence and rejected claims he had used such words to any of the women. He also said supplying heroin to one addict was far too risky for him; “I know police monitor drug dealers’ homes and it would be a massive risk to take my vehicle to the address of a drug dealer. I don’t want people to be on drugs. If I could help them I would.”

Mitchell, 42, divorced in 2005, admitted meeting a woman he had met on duty for sex in 2006, having admitted the same at an internal misconduct hearing in September 2007. He told the court that if interviewing woman it was in his interests as an officer to be friendly, but insisted this was all.

Defended by Toby Hedworth QC, Mitchell said his father’s murder meant he could not possibly have committed one rape in Burdon, near Sunderland, on August 31, 2001 as he had returned to his original home city of Glasgow following his father’s murder. He was accused of raping the woman in a parked car in a field.

“Have you ever been with her in the fields in the Burdon area of Sunderland?” asked Hedworth. “No, I haven’t. My dad was attacked on July 30, 2001 by somebody and subsequently died on August 10, 2001.” Hedworth: “Had your father in fact been murdered?” Mitchell: “Yes. And from the 9th to the 16th of August I was in Glasgow,” he explained. Hedworth took him through denials of every charge, which he said there was “no truth whatsoever” in.

The defence also produced a recording secretly recorded by Mitchell with Detective Chief Inspector Chris Sharman, who headed the rape investigation. Hedworth told the court Mitchell is warned on the tape, made in March, that if he is charged he would “probably be front page of the national newspapers and they are horrible” but the team would “stop digging” if he stepped down.

Hedworth likened the offer to a Monopoly “get out of jail free card” and claimed despite a warning his client was “running the risk of going to jail and going on the sex offender register”, Mitchell chose to fight the allegations – a fact which demonstrated innocence. “What it means is: ‘Resign and this will go away’.” The prosecution denied Northumbria Police were seeking to offer their colleague an alternative to investigation, stating the allegation – made during Hedworth’s closing speech – was untrue and the recording did not indicate an offer to drop the probe.

The jury began deliberations on Wednesday. After three days, on Friday they cleared Mitchell of three rapes, two indecent assaults and two counts of misconduct in a public office. Following this, trial judge Mr Justice Wilkie said he would accept majority verdicts on the remaining charges, instead of unanimous verdicts. The jury departed for the weekend, returning on Tuesday to convict him of six misconduct charges and clear him of the same number; another indecent assault charge also produced an acquital.

Yesterday, the verdicts were delivered on the remaining charges. The remaining seven misconduct charges were acquitals, as did the other indecent assaults. Two charges of rape and three of indecent assault produced guilty verdicts.

At least one of the misconduct charges he was convicted of was unrelated to indecent assault or rape; it concerned a drug-addicted woman caught with non-prescriped diazepam (valium) when her friend was arrested for shoplifting in 2003. Her testimony was that he stroked her leg and tried to kiss her in Pilgrim Street, returned the drugs upon her release, obtained her number and met her several times to give her drugs. She says although he asked to go at night to a hotel she refused, and ultimately she began ignoring his calls while he ceased supplying drugs.