Society

Up to a million Britons use steroids for looks not sport

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Health warnings as image culture drives usage of performance-enhancing drugs Steven Morris The Guardian Up to 1 million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to change the way they look, public health experts and doctors have said. This ranges from teenagers seeking the perfect physique to elderly men hoping to hang on to youthful looks. Research suggests that appearance rather than sporting performance is the reason for a majority of those ... Read More »

Toxic plastic waste is returning from sea to poison us

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Wet wipes, straws and ‘mermaids’ tears’: Jane Bradley on the marine plastic epidemic that’s poisoning our food. Jane Bradley The Scotsman ‘Ohhhh, it’s garbage,” said the fresh-faced American tourist, clearly relieved to realise that the giant bags we were lugging onto Cramond promenade did not actually contain dead bodies. His expression changed and he looked us straight in the eye, in that sincere way that only Americans can. “I thank you,” he said. It was a freezing Saturday morning and ... Read More »

Regional Report: Eastern Mediterranean

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Eastern Mediterranean region are beginning to increase E&P activity and were able to bring several key projects on stream in 2017 Emily Querubin World Oil Eastern Mediterranean region are beginning to increase E&P activity and were able to bring several key projects on stream in 2017. Despite a substantial amount of progress, the region still faces a few hurdles as it enters the new year. EGYPT Egypt is home to several mega-projects—including Nooros and Zohr fields—which reportedly will double the ... Read More »

“Don’t let Afrin become another Kobane”

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Academics and international human rights activists launched a petition calling upon world powers to act against Turkish aggression against Afrin ANF The petition, signed by academics and activists like Noam Chomsky, Michael Hardt and Debbi Bookchin, called for prevention of further Turkish attacks on Afrin. The full text of the petition reads as follows: “We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is ... Read More »

China’s birth rate drops despite end of one-child policy

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China’s family planning commission has revealed the country’s birth rate dropped by 3.5 per cent last year, despite moves over the past couple of years to fully end the one-child policy. By China correspondent Bill Birtles, wires ABC There were just over 17 million new babies born in mainland China in 2017. While this is lower than 2016’s figure, it is still higher than the average number of births in the five previous years, the China Daily newspaper reported. The ... Read More »

Turkish troops shell Afrin to oust US-backed Kurdish militia

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Photo shows a portrait of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan from Afrin, along Syria’s northern border with Turkey (AFP) Al Arabiya AFP Turkey on Friday started shelling the Syrian town of Afrin held by a US-backed Kurdish militia that Ankara considers “terrorists” in a move to oust them, the defense minister said. The Turkish government has repeatedly warned that a full-scale operation against Syrian towns controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, including Afrin, is imminent after the ... Read More »

FYROM’s Zaev to discuss name push with Tsipras in Davos

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The name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will reportedly be discussed at a prime ministerial level in the next few days, reports from Skopje said on Friday. e kathimerini According to the tiny Balkan country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, the meeting will take place on January 24 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Even though Athens by late Friday had not confirmed the meeting, Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras described the ... Read More »

FYROM media reports UN mediator’s name proposals

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A website in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Thursday published the five names it claims United Nations negotiator Matthew Nimetz brought to table in talks the previous day between representatives from Athens and Skopje. e kathimerini According to the website www.mkd.mk, Nimetz proposed: Republika Nova Makedonija (Republic of New Macedonia); Republika Severna Makedonija (Republic of Northern Macedonia), Republika Gorna Makedonija (Republic of Upper Macedonia); Republika Vardarska Makedonija (Republic of Vardar Macedonia) and… Skopje raised new… FYROM media ... Read More »

Jeff Flake’s 20 most damning lines about Donald Trump’s assault on the press

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(CNN) – Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake came to the Senate floor Wednesday with a simple message for Donald Trump: Stop attacking the media. Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large The speech, which Flake had previewed over the weekend, was the first of what the Arizona Republican has promised will be a series of addresses over 2018 aimed at noting the abnormalities of the Trump presidency. Critics have cast Flake as something of a sore loser — a Republican whose strong ... Read More »

Opinion: Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner sad but overdue

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Most parties in Germany’s parliament want an anti-Semitism commissioner The position can’t fix the worsening attitudes toward Jews in the country, but it nevertheless sends an important signal, says DW’s Jens Thurau. Jens Thurau DW Anti-Semitism appears in many forms. It is ancient. It existed in antiquity and the Middle Ages and found its apocalyptic zenith in the Nazi genocide of European Jews in the 1930s and 40s. It was still around in both East and West Germany after the war, ... Read More »

Why some of your old work commitments never seem to go away

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Study finds lingering effects of long-ended obligations EurekAlert! COLUMBUS, Ohio – You can quit work commitments if you want – but some of them never really leave you, new research suggests. In a study of 420 employees representing a wide variety of occupations and work settings at three organizations, researchers found that commitments that workers no longer had were still lingering in their minds. “It was clear to us that past commitments were still affecting employees,” said Howard Klein, lead ... Read More »

Employers should tap into a well of creative ideas from a diverse workforce

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One of my genuine wishes for 2018 is that Scotland can ably demonstrate to the world what a wonderfully rich and diverse workforce we have Lauren Brown * The Scotsman We will show how we can positively ­transcend individuals’ perceived barriers, break down prejudices and have a 100 per cent focus on equality in the workplace. I would encourage employers to see the far-reaching benefits of offering job opportunities to young, ­vulnerable and disadvantaged people who might otherwise have been ... Read More »

Explainer: the evidence for the Tasmanian genocide

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At a public meeting in Hobart in the late 1830s, Solicitor-General Alfred Stephen, later Chief Justice of New South Wales, shared with the assembled crowd his solution for dealing with “the Aboriginal problem”. Kristyn Harman The Conversation If the colony could not protect its convict servants from Aboriginal attack “without extermination”, said Stephen, “then I say boldly and broadly exterminate!” Voluminous written and archaeological records and oral histories provide irrefutable proof that colonial wars were fought on Australian soil between ... Read More »

Democracy has a future, if we rethink and remake it

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Consider Brexit, the election of US President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s referendum, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy of state-sanctioned murder and Hungary’s drift towards a new authoritarianism. Authors The Conversation “Democracy is dead,” say the disheartened. “It’s time to bury democracy,” pounds one Tunisian pro-Sharia party. “Democracy has fallen, we need a new game in town,” argue Vladimir Putin’s populist and Xi Jinping’s neo-authoritarian allies. These mantras, circulated widely through social media, have ricocheted around the world ... Read More »

Freedom House reduces Turkey’s status to ‘not free’ in annual report

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U.S.-based non-governmental organization Freedom House has reduced Turkey’s status from “partly free” to “not free” in its latest annual report. Hurriyet The “Freedom in the World” 2018 report, published on Jan. 16, ruled that Turkey’s “political rights rating” had declined from 4 to 5 and its “civil liberties rating” had declined from 5 to 6. Specifically referring to the “deeply flawed” April 2017 referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system, the report also blasted the mass dismissals of state ... Read More »

The Iran Nuclear Deal at Two: A Status Report

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The 2015 Iran nuclear accord is working, but is at risk from longstanding U.S.-Iran rivalry, Trump administration policies and Tehran’s upsurge of activism in the Middle East. ICG The deal’s other signatories should encourage the U.S. not to withdraw and consider ways to sustain the deal, regardless of U.S. actions and as long as Iran remains committed to it. What’s the issue? The 2015 Iran nuclear accord is as successful as it remains fragile. President Trump has warned he will ... Read More »