Posts Tagged ‘London’
London, Dec 12 (IANS) Anti-apartheid hero and South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, currently being treated in a hospital for a lung infection, has made progress, BBC reported Wednesday.
Mandela, 94, was rushed to a military hospital in Pretoria Saturday.
Doctors attending him were “satisfied with the way he is responding to treatment”, said a statement from President Jacob Zuma’s office.
Mandela is one of the world’s most-loved figures after spending 27 years in prison during the apartheid.
The former president, fondly referred to as Madiba, led the struggle against white-minority rule before being elected the first black president in 1994.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
“We continue to request that Madiba and his family be accorded the necessary space and privacy and thank the media and the public for cooperation,” the statement from the presidency said.
Mandela was last admitted to hospital in February when he was treated for abdominal pain. In January 2011, he was treated for a serious chest infection.
While in prison in the 1980s, Mandela was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and his lungs are said to have been damaged when he worked in a prison quarry.
Mandela retired from public life in 2004.
London, Dec 12 (IANS) Trafficking of wildlife products is one of the world’s biggest illegal trades worth 12 billion pounds ($19 billion) a year, conservationists have warned.
Species such as rhinos, elephants and tigers are being poached in Africa and Asia, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said.
Exhibits of rhino heads at British museums have also been targeted by thieves as criminals seek to cash in on demand for rhino horn as a cancer medicine or “hangover cure” in Asia, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
Across the world, illegal trade in wildlife including timber and unregulated and unreported fishing has become a lucrative business for criminal syndicates, with profits that can be used to finance civil conflicts and terrorism, a report for WWF found.
It is also pushing some species to the brink of extinction, hitting local communities in some of the poorest parts of the world and raising the threat of spreading infectious diseases.
The internet is also making it easier for criminals to trade in illegal products around the world, the research by Dalberg Global Development Advisors warned.
The report warned that species with high value to illegal traders had seen dramatic declines in recent years.
London, Dec 12 (IANS) A cockerel threatened with the chop over his noisy crowing has been saved after the sole complainant was driven out of the village in Britain where he lived, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
Reg the rooster was branded a potential “noise nuisance” by his Weymouth and Portland Council after a newcomer to the rural community took issue with the bird’s 5 a.m. wake-up call.
Officials warned Simon Grant-Jones, owner of the rare leghorn exchequer specimen, that checks would be made to see if Reg’s crowing was excessive and action could be taken.
But the threat sparked a village revolt against the unidentified “townie” who complained, starting with a petition, according to the Mail.
It was signed by 160 people, more than half of the village population, and such was the ill-feeling towards the plaintiff it was said that he went into hiding.
He and his wife have now moved out of pretty Sutton Poyntz in Dorset after selling their large detached house for 430,000 pounds.
As a result the complaint is no longer valid and Reg has been spared, the newspaper added.
London, Dec 12 (IANS) A Briton who fled the country two decades ago after a bitter divorce has resurfaced – as a Siberian peasant, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
Michael Ware, originally from Exmoor, chose a dramatic change of lifestyle when he went to live in the far-flung village of Dubinka, three time-zones east of Moscow.
Ware, now 55, flew to Russia months after the fall of the Soviet Union and married a local girl, Tatiana, then 18.
Locals say they can no longer tell him apart from anyone else, but the farmer left one very important part of his life behind in Somerset – three children from his first marriage.
He said that missing his children was his only sorrow about his life in a land where temperatures this week are forecast to sink below -40 degrees Centigrade.
He adopted his new wife’s son from a previous relationship, Nikolai, and they had two more children together – Alexander, 18, and Veronika, 16, according to the Mail.
Ware, known as Mikhail, has 40 sheep, 14 cows, 10 hens and chickens, and two pigs, on the modest smallholding he runs with his wife. Some years, he has a horse for ploughing.
The village, population 15, lies 50 km down a dirt track that is impassable for much of the year, the Mail said.
He insists he will stay in his cold paradise for the rest of his life, but says he remains British.
London, Dec 10 (IANS) Women who drink heavily tend to pass their bad habits to their teen offspring, warns a UK study.
The study conducted by think-tank Demos claims that in Britain as many as 2.5 million children, 20 percent of the total, live with a parent who drinks hazardously.
Demos examined a survey of 17,000 adults in their 30s. They were asked how often their mother and father drank when they were 16, with the options always, often, sometimes or never.
The respondents also ranked the effectiveness of the parenting they had received, with four categories ranging from ‘tough love’ at the top to ‘laissez-faire’ at the bottom, the Daily Mail reports.
Those whose mothers ‘always’ drank were found to be 1.7 times more likely to admit they were now hazardous drinkers themselves. This was defined as exceeding the safe drinking level of 21 units a week for a man or 14 units for a woman.
Similarly, mothers who had ‘always’ drunk alcohol were three times more likely to be described by their children as ‘disengaged.’ The report claimed that a fifth of children, including 90,000 babies, live in families where at least one parent drank ‘hazardously’.
Jonathan Birdwell, who led the study, said: “The government should focus on ensuring that parents who are misusing alcohol have all the support they need to be effective parents. This is the best approach to minimising harm to children and ensuring that the cycle of excessive consumption is reduced.”
“Many parents think their drinking has little or no impact on their families, convincing themselves that if they feed and clean their children and make sure they attend school, they have fulfilled their most important duties,” the study said.
London, Dec 10 (IANS) Pregnant women who puff can treble their baby’s chance of developing meningitis, and children exposed to parental smoking are twice as vulnerable to the deadly illness, according to a British research.
Every year around 2,500 people develop meningitis in Britain, although it is most common in children under five years. It kills one in 20 and disables one in six. Meningitis is caused by an infection of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Rachael Murray, from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies at the University of Nottingham, who led the study, said: “We estimate that an extra 630 cases of childhood invasive meningococcal disease every year are directly attributable to second-hand smoke in the UK alone.”
Meanwhile, the latest National Health Service figures show that 13 percent of women who give birth are smokers – or 95,000 new mothers in Britain a year.
University of Nottingham researchers analysed 18 studies which looked at the link between passive smoking and meningitis, according to the Daily Mail.
They found that children exposed to second hand smoke in the home were more than twice as likely to get the illness. The under-fives were even more vulnerable. They were found to be two and a half times more at risk.
London, Dec 10 (IANS) Tea-drinking poor women were dubbed as irresponsible in early 19th century Ireland, suggests a new finding by Durham University.
Critics at the time declared that the practice of tea drinking — viewed as a harmless pastime in most past and present societies — was contributing to the stifling of Ireland’s economic growth, and was clearly presented as reckless and uncontrollable.
Women who drank tea wasted their time and money, it was said, drawing them away from their duty to care for their husbands and home.
It was felt this traditionally female responsibility was vital to the progress of the national economy, the academic journal Literature and History reports.
According to a Durham University paper, reformers singled out tea drinking amongst peasant women as a practice which needed to be stamped out to improve the Irish economy and society, according to a Durham statement.
Author Helen O’Connell, lecturer in English studies at Durham, who analysed pamphlets and literature from that time, said: “Peasant women were condemned for putting their feet up with a cup of tea when they should be getting a hearty evening meal ready for their hard-working husbands.
“The reformers, who were middle to upper-class, were trying to get the peasant women to change their ways, albeit in a somewhat patronising way, for the greater good of the country. The reformers made it clear they saw tea drinking as reckless and uncontrollable.”
Pamphlets the reformers distributed to peasant households lambasted tea drinking as a luxury poor women could not afford and which could even cause addiction, illicit longing and revolutionary sympathies.
London, Dec 10 (IANS) Actress Nicole Kidman believes the only way to overcome fear in life is tackle it head on.
“I think it’s important to do things that scare you sometimes. I’ve been called fearless, but that’s not the case. I have an enormous amount of fear, but I push through it,” contactmusic.com quoted Kidman as saying.
“Sometimes it’s other people who push me, sometimes I will feel terrified, but then I’ll just say to myself, ‘What is the worst that can happen? So people don’t like it, so I fall flat on my face, I hurt myself – that’s okay.’ I try to have that attitude about everything in my life, not just work,” added the 45-year-old.
London, Dec 10 (IANS) Singer-actress Leann Rimes wants to sort things out with her husband Eddie Cibrian’s ex-wife, Brandi Glanville. She wants to especially work on their dramatic public spats.
Rimes, 30, hopes Glanville stops “spreading lies” about her and hopes their relationship “changes”.
“It’s a shame to have one party constantly spreading lies. I know this drama is exactly what she wants to create. But Eddie and I hope for everyone’s sake, this changes,” tmz.com quoted Rimes as saying.
London, Dec 10 (IANS) There is a fear among people that singer Harry Styles’ relationship with Taylor Swift might affect the former’s bonding with his band One Direction.
The couple has been inseparable since the past few months. Recently, Styles preferred flying with Swift rather than with his band mates when they were returning from New York.
“There was loads of room for the rest of the band in Taylor’s luxury jet, but he didn’t even suggest they traveled together,” thesun.co.uk quoted a source as saying.
Styles is even being compared to late singer John Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono, who is said to be responsible for Lennon separating from his band The Beatles.
“It’s really not far off from the Yoko situation,” the source added.
London, Dec 10 (IANS) A new study has found playing hard to get is part of a subconscious strategy to draw a good mate.
Published by the European Journal of Personality, the research identified 59 ways in which men and women manipulate their partners to get what they want and how and why these work, Daily Mail reported.
Researches from the University of Western Sydney and Singapore Management University after quizzing 1,500 people for the study found the old adage — treat them mean, keep them keen — certainly seems true, especially so for women who used the tactics more than men.
According to researchers, that can be explained by women having more to lose if they fall pregnant with a partner who is not committed to them, or because men fear they might lose out if they overplay the tactic.
“Because a woman risks more in her sexual relationships than men do – pregnancy costs – she should want a mate who has higher value and is unlikely to leave her saddled with an offspring,” the report said.
Among men and women, appearing very confident was the top-ranked tactic, followed by talking to others and third, withholding sex.
Woman used several tactics more than men, including sarcasm, withholding sex, sounding busy, teasing, flirting with other people, using the answerphone and turning down the first few dates. While men were more likely to act snooty or rude, saying all the right things but not calling and not treating their prospective partner in the right way.
London, Dec 10 (IANS) Researchers, after analyzing brain scans, have figured out why some people have better insight into their choices than others.
We’re constantly evaluating our options and making decisions based on available information. For example, investment bankers have to be confident that they’re making the right choice when deciding where to put their clients’ money.
Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London, led by professor Ray Dolan, have pinpointed specific brain areas that compute both the value of the choices we have and our confidence in those choices, giving us the ability to know what we want.
The team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure activity in the brains of hungry volunteers while they made choices between food items that they would later eat, the journal Nature Neuroscience reports.
To determine the subjective value of the snack options, the participants were asked to indicate how much they would be willing to pay for each snack. Then they were asked to report how confident they were about making the right choices, according to a University College statement.
It has previously been shown that a region at the front of the brain, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, is important for working out the value of decision options.
The new findings reveal that the level of activity in this area is also linked to the level of confidence participants placed on choosing the best option.
Steve Fleming, Wellcome postdoctoral fellow, now based at New York University, says: “We found that people’s confidence varied from decision to decision. While we knew where to look for signals of value computation, it was very interesting to also observe neural signals of confidence in the same brain region.”