Lifestyle

Choking hazard: air pollution hangs over Asian Games

Indonesia is about to open the Asian Games but its traffic-clogged capital Jakarta remains shrouded in a haze of air pollution that threatens to mar the world's second-biggest multi-sport event. Jakarta's toxic skies have been stuck at unhealthy levels for weeks despite drastic efforts to cut down on congestion, including an odd-even licence plate system and the closure of some...

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Sierra Leone: New Ebola virus discovered in Bats, fuels fears among citizens

FREETOWN: A new Ebola virus has been found in bats in Sierra Leone, two years after the end of an outbreak that killed over 11,000 across West Africa, the government said on Thursday. It is not yet known whether the new Bombali species of the virus -- which researchers say could be transmitted to humans -- can develop into the...

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World gears up to witness century’s longest Lunar Eclipse today

The longest "blood moon" eclipse this century will coincide with Mars' closest approach in 15 years on Friday to offer sky gazers a thrilling astronomical double bill. Viewers will need no protective eye gear to observe the spectacle — unlike when watching solar eclipse. "All you have to do is... go outside!" the Royal Astronomical Society in London advises. For...

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Guns and roses: Afghan farmers enjoy sweet smell of success

Standing in a field of roses in eastern Afghanistan, former poppy grower Mohammad Din Sapai quickly but carefully plucks the delicate petals that will be turned into rose water and oils for sale around the world. The sweet smelling crop is providing farmers in Nangarhar province with a viable alternative to growing opium poppies, the sale of which has fuelled...

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Japan: Beaches devastated by the 2011 tsunami , opens for public after 8 years

Japan has reopened three beaches in regions devastated by the 2011 tsunami and resulting Fukushima nuclear disaster after years of reconstruction efforts, officials said Monday. Local officials in Fukushima said they hoped the opening of the Haragamaobama beach would help change perceptions of the region, which has become inextricably linked with the 2011 disaster. One of the reopened waterfronts is...

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China’s vaccine scandal raises concerns over drug safety across the country

SHANGHAI  - A vaccine scandal in China, which has hit a nerve in the country and prompted quick reactions from leaders in Beijing, is sending ripples across the wider domestic drug market while threatening to dent Chinese ambitions to play a larger global role. Shares in Chinese vaccine makers and biotech firms fell across the board on Monday after Premier...

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Japan passes controversial law to allow casinos

Tokyo: Japan on Friday enacted a controversial law to allow casinos that the government says will boost tourism and growth but was bitterly opposed by the opposition. In a last-ditch attempt to delay the vote on the bill in the upper house, opposition lawmakers called a confidence vote on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, despite the premier being guaranteed an...

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Robin Williams personal belongings will go on sale for charity fundraising

NEW YORK: Art work, film memorabilia and personal items owned by the late actor Robin Williams will go under the hammer in New York this October, more than four years after his death, Sotheby´s announced Friday. The Oscar-winner, movie veteran, stand-up comedian and television star was one of Hollywood´s most popular entertainers whose tragic death in August 2014 triggered an...

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Parents with childhood trauma likely to have kids with behavioral problems: US study

Parents who had a lot of traumatic or stressful experiences during childhood may be more likely to have kids with behavioral problems, a US study suggests. Adverse childhood experiences can include witnessing parents fight or go through a divorce, having a parent with a mental illness or substance abuse problem, or suffering from sexual, physical or emotional abuse. These childhood...

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Women pilots fly against cockpit prejudices

When a stricken Southwest Airlines jet was expertly landed after an emergency descent in April, saving 148 lives, it was a surprise to some that a woman was at the controls. Role models remain few and far between for women wanting to enter the cockpit, rather than serve the onboard drinks, despite a huge shortage of pilots worldwide. "So often...

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Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia: A flight school in Saudi Arabia is opening its doors for women, following the end of a decades-long driving ban in the deeply conservative Muslim country where many social restrictions are easing. Oxford Aviation Academy, a leading trainer and crew recruiter, has already received applications from hundreds of women hoping to start lessons in September at a...

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digital overload could lead to ‘modest’ rise in ADHD symptoms among teenagers: study

Could teenagers suffer symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder after engaging in excessive smartphone use? A new study out Tuesday says digital overload could be linked to a "modest" but significant rise in new ADHD behaviors, offering a warning to parents about the potential dangers of too much screen time. The findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association...

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Queen Elizabeth owns how many swans? Annual count gets underway

CHERTSEY: An 800-year-old tradition of counting the swans owned by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth started on Monday, an annual ceremony of “swan upping” that in modern times has become a means of wildlife conservation. The upping sees three teams — one representing the queen and the others the old trade associations of the Vintners and Dyers — patrol the River Thames...

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Yes, it’s harder to sleep in the hospital

Hospital patients get a lot less sleep, wake up more frequently during the night, and rise earlier in the morning than they would in bed at home, a Dutch study suggests. While previous research has also tied sleep problems in hospitals to worse outcomes for patients, few studies to date have quantified exactly how little rest patients get, researchers note...

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La Paz’s colorful cable car system: no traffic and a great view

"Now I'm going to get to work faster!" exulted a smiling Rosa Lima, 52, one of the first passengers on a new cable car line in La Paz that reaches into the heart of the Bolivian capital. Draped in a bright orange blanket typically worn by indigenous people here, Rosa says she lives in a neighborhood on the southern outskirts...

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Clean water for all is still centuries away, aid group warns

Supplying clean water and toilets for all could take hundreds of years in countries like Eritrea and Namibia unless governments step up funding to tackle the problem and its harmful effects on health, an international development agency warned on Monday. WaterAid — which says nearly 850 million people lack clean water —predicted the world will miss a global goal to...

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Thinking skills may suffer on hot days

Heat waves can sap productivity by slowing down thinking, even in the young and healthy, a small study suggests. Harvard researchers found that during a summer heat wave, students living in dorms without air conditioning consistently scored lower on daily cognitive tests over the course of nearly a week than students in buildings with AC. “For the first time, we’ve...

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