Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Turkey's ruling party under fire for anti-Syria stance

People of the region must be careful of a sectarian war that could spread throughout the region -- these comments came from Turkish President Abdullah Gul while he was meeting with his Tunisian counterpart. Gul was referring to the Syrian crisis which has claimed more than 70,000 lives and has created turbulence in neighboring countries such as Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey.

Although Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned the region against a full-fledged sectarian war, many believe him and his ruling AK party are the ones fueling the sectarian flame. Ankara is accused of serving the interests of Israel and the U.S, by giving the utmost facilitation to the Al Qaeda-linked militants currently fighting the Syrian government forces.

Abdullah Gul’s comments however have come under scrutiny by the country’s main opposition parties. CHP MP Hassan Akgol says the EU’s decision was contradictory.

Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Davoudoglu is attending talks being held in Istanbul between the foreign-backed opposition known as the Syrian National Council. There are also representatives from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The council has so far not been able to make a decision on reshuffling of its chief or the US -Russia backed Geneva 2 talks. Analysts believe there are growing divisions inside the council as Qatar and Saudi Arabia are engaged in a power struggle.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More details linked to disgraced UK TV star unveiled

Britain’s West Yorkshire police have faced further questioning over its part in the sex abuse scandal involving former TV star and paedophile Jimmy Savile as it was forced to reveal more details about past incidences.

It was revealed last week in a report that police officers had identified 68 victims of Savile in the West Yorkshire area, the youngest of whom was just five years-old.

Due to repeated enquiries from various newspapers and media organisations, the force has now issued a further statement confirming the extent of Savile’s sex offenses and where it took place.

This comes as critics are questioning why details were not published in the original report and are now just unfolding.

In the recent statement, a spokesman for the force pointed out that “the main location of these offences was Leeds General Infirmary with complaints from 23 victims, ranging from aged five to 34.”

West Yorkshire police has faced strong criticism over the closeness of the connection some of its former officers had with Savile during the years when his sex offending was at its worst.

Last month, a former Metropolitan police commander suggested that Savile may have abused 1,350 victims, which is three times the number of victims who have come forward so far in a sex offence probe. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Convicted burglar charged in additional break-ins

A man already spending time in prison on two burglary charges is connected to two more.

According to the Otsego County Sheriff's Office, it was all because of a cigarette he allegedly left behind at one of the scenes.

Deputies believe Corey Hunt, 27, is responsible for two burglaries that happened last summer. One took place in June along County Route 38 in the town of Decatur, and the other took place along County Route 33 in the town of Middlefield.

Combined, deputies say the 27-year-old Hunt stole $4,000 in cash and jewelry.

A cigarette butt found at the Middlefield home was linked to Hunt through DNA testing.

New York State Police also found Hunt linked with several home robberies in Saratoga and surrounding counties.

A search of his home uncovered several of the stolen items.

Hunt is currently spending three to nine years in the state prison in Fishkill.

He could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted on these latest charges, which include two counts of burglary in the second degree, and grand larceny in the third degree and grand larceny in the fourth degree, all felonies.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sugary drinks linked to 180K deaths worldwide.

New research could have you thinking twice about what you drink next.

Researchers estimate that one in every one-hundred deaths is caused by sugary beverages.

The research also revealed that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to more than 1-hundred-80-thousand obesity-related deaths worldwide each year.

The American Beverage Association dismissed the research saying it was "more about sensationalism than science."

The study revealed that among the world's 35 largest countries, Mexico had the highest death rates from sugary drinks.

The United States ranked third in the findings.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Too much TV linked to anti-social behaviour

Children who watch a lot of television are more likely to show aggressive, anti-social and criminal behaviour when older, according to a new study

The University of Otago research, published in online American journal Pediatrics, is based on the the tertiary institution's continuing study of 1037 people born in Dunedin in 1972 and 1973.

With an average of eight violent incidents on television per hour, researchers say a child who watches more TV is more likely to end up with negative emotions, an anti-social personality and persistent aggressive behaviour.

The study shows the risk of having a criminal conviction by the age of 26 increased by 30% with every hour children spent watching TV on top of the one to two hours a day recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Lead author Lindsay Robertson says the study is a world first in linking criminal convictions to childhood TV habits and researchers hope it will result in children watching less.

"Basically, people need to be aware of the long-term risks associated with allowing children and adolescents to watch lots of television.

"We don't feel that it's just solely the responsibility of parents - teachers and health professionals could also maybe play a role in trying to promote sensible TV viewing."

Dr Bob Hancox, another author, says while the study does not show television is the cause of all anti-social behaviour, it does suggest that reducing the amount people watch could help lessen this.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Metabolic Syndrome in 40s Linked to TV, Exercise at Age 16

Television viewing habits and leisure-time physical activity at the age of 16 years independently predicts the metabolic syndrome at age 43, according to the first prospective study to examine this.

The work "supports previous findings" and, for TV viewing and subsequent metabolic risk, "provides new evidence that this association may stretch over a considerable proportion of the lifespan: from adolescence to mid-adulthood," say Patrik Wennberg, PhD, from UmeƄ University, Sweden, and colleagues in their article published online January 22 in Diabetes Care.

The researchers also believe that separate mechanisms may be at play here for TV-viewing and physical-activity habits, because these activities were linked to different metabolic-syndrome components.

Nevertheless, the findings "suggest that reduced TV viewing in adolescence, in addition to regular physical activity, may contribute to cardiometabolic health later in life," they state.

More TV, Less Exercise Doubled Metabolic Syndrome

TV viewing habits and leisure-time physical activity at age 16 years were assessed by self-administered questionnaires in a population-based cohort in Northern Sweden. The presence of the metabolic syndrome at age 43 years was ascertained in 888 participants (82% of the baseline sample) using the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria, defined as a waist circumference 80 cm or greater for women and 94 cm or greater for men and 2 or more of the following criteria:

    Increased triglycerides (1.7 mmol/L or greater) or specific treatment for that lipid abnormality.

    Reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (less than 1.29 mmol/L for women and less than 1.03 mmol/L for men) or specific treatment for that lipid abnormality.

    Increased blood pressure (systolic BP 130 mm Hg or greater or diastolic 85 mm Hg or greater) or treatment of hypertension.

    Increased fasting glucose (5.6 mmol/L or greater) or diagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome was identified in 26.9% of participants. Those who reported "watching several [TV] shows a day" at 16 were twice as likely to have the metabolic syndrome at age 43 than those who said they watched "1 show/week" or less (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.14). Similarly, those who noted leisure-time physical activity "several times per month" were more likely to have metabolic syndrome later in life than those who reported "daily" leisure-time physical activity in their teens (OR, 2.31).

"Our results suggest a dose-response relationship for both TV viewing and leisure-time physical activity with subsequent cardiometabolic risk," write Dr. Wennberg and colleagues.

TV viewing at age 16 years was linked to central obesity, low HDL cholesterol, and hypertension at age 43 years. Low leisure-time physical activity in the teen years was associated with central obesity and raised triglycerides later in life. These observations suggest that associations between TV viewing/sedentary behavior and physical activity with subsequent metabolic risk may be mediated via different cardiometabolic pathways, the authors say.

This possibility means that "different strategies may need to be adopted" with regard to interventions targeting sedentary behavior, such as TV viewing, and those aiming to increase leisure-time physical activity, they note.

"Reduced TV viewing in adolescence, in addition to and independently of regular leisure-time physical activity in adolescence and adulthood, may contribute to cardiometabolic health later in life," the authors conclude.