All posts tagged: finds

Afghan children returning from Pakistan face grim reality, survey finds

Afghan children returning from Pakistan face grim reality, survey finds

Islamabad —  A survey released Thursday revealed that over the past seven months, nearly 250,000 children have returned to Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan with almost nothing, and they urgently need food, shelter and access to education. The study by Save the Children said that more than 520,000 Afghans have returned home since September 2023 after Pakistan asked all undocumented foreigners to leave the country or face deportation. Nearly half of all the returnees are children. Despite attending school in Pakistan, 65% of the children now back in Afghanistan are not enrolled in school. The majority, 85%, told the surveyors they did not have the necessary documents to register and enroll in school. The survey did not say how many girls were among the children questioned as they also have to deal with the Taliban government’s ban on teenage girls’ education beyond the sixth grade. ‘Crisis levels of hunger’ The study found that 99% of the families that returned and the communities hosting them in Afghanistan do not have sufficient food to last one to two …

Plastics industry heats world four times as much as air travel, report finds

Plastics industry heats world four times as much as air travel, report finds

Pollution from the plastics industry is a major force behind the heating of the planet, according to a new report from the federal government. The industry releases about four times as many planet-warming chemicals as the airline industry, according to the paper from scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Its emissions are equivalent to those of about 600 coal plants — about three times the number that exist across the U.S. And if plastic production remains constant, by 2050 it could burn through nearly a fifth of the Earth’s remaining carbon budget — the amount of carbon dioxide climate scientists believe can be burned without tipping the climate into unsafe territory. The report from the national lab comes out as civil society and public health groups, plastics industry representatives and members of national governments prepare to travel to Ottawa, Canada, for the fourth meeting of the International Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which seeks to create a legally binding treaty to reduce plastics pollution. Those negotiations are likely to be split by stark divisions. Representatives of environmental groups and …

Lethal heatwave in Sahel worsened by fossil fuel burning, study finds | Climate crisis

Lethal heatwave in Sahel worsened by fossil fuel burning, study finds | Climate crisis

The deadly protracted heatwave that filled hospitals and mortuaries in the Sahel region of Africa earlier this month would have been impossible without human-caused climate disruption, a new analysis has revealed. Mali registered the hottest day in its history on 3 April as temperatures hit 48.5C in the south-western city of Kayes. Intense heat continued across a wide area of the country for more than five days and nights, giving vulnerable people no time for recovery. In the capital, Bamako, the Gabriel-Touré hospital reported 102 deaths over the first four days of April, almost as many as there had been over the entire month last year. More than half the dead were over the age of 60 and many of the deaths were related to heat, the hospital said. Local news reports said mortuaries in Bamako were so full that many people had had to keep their dead relatives at home. The health impacts may have been compounded by electricity shortages, which left many people without fans and air conditioning units. Regional media have reported …

Technology behind ChatGPT better with eye problem advice than non-specialist doctors, study test finds | Science & Tech News

Technology behind ChatGPT better with eye problem advice than non-specialist doctors, study test finds | Science & Tech News

The technology behind ChatGPT scored better at assessing eye problems and providing advice than non-specialist doctors, a new study has found. A study led by the University of Cambridge has found that GPT-4, the large language model (LLM) developed by OpenAI, performed nearly as well as specialist eye doctors in a written multiple-choice test. The AI model, which is known for generating text based on the vast amount of data it is trained on, was tested against doctors at different stages of their careers, including junior doctors without a specialism, as well as trainee and expert eye doctors. Each group was presented with dozens of scenarios where patients have a specific eye problem, and asked to give a diagnosis or advise on treatment by selecting from one of four options. Image: Dr Arun Thirunavukarasu – the lead author of the study – at work The test was based on written questions, taken from a textbook used to test trainee eye doctors, about a range of eye problems – including sensitivity to light, decreased vision, lesions, …

Modern slavery helpline receives record number of calls in 2023, report finds | UK News

Modern slavery helpline receives record number of calls in 2023, report finds | UK News

Calls made to an anti-slavery helpline have reached a record high, with the number of potential victims in the care sector rising by almost a third. According to anti-slavery charity Unseen, the number of calls to the Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline in 2023 increased by more than 19%, up from 9,779 in 2022 to 11,700 last year. Labour abuse remained the main form of exploitation up by 11% from 464 cases in 2022 to 516 in 2023. Potential victims indicated in the care sector went up by 30% from 708 in 2022 to 918. There was also a 21% increase in potential victims of criminal exploitation to 385 in 2023. Read more on Sky News:Almost one million renters given no-fault evictions since Tories promised to scrap themHow would a smoking ban work? Justine Carter, director of Unseen and co-author of the report, said: “Modern slavery and exploitation are heinous crimes that have no place in a modern, progressive UK that cares about human rights. “It is encouraging that we are continuing to see rising …

A rape took place in Australia’s Parliament, judge finds after three years

A rape took place in Australia’s Parliament, judge finds after three years

For three years, Australians have been consumed by a rape allegation that sparked a criminal trial; a slew of civil cases; legislative change; reviews of police, a prosecutor and workplace conduct; tens of thousands marching to protest gendered violence; and a national reckoning over the treatment of women. In 2021, former political staffer Brittany Higgins came forward in media interviews, alleging that about two years earlier she had been raped by a colleague inside Australia’s Parliament House, on a couch in the office of their mutual boss Linda Reynolds, a high-ranking lawmaker. This week, a federal judge ruled that she was telling the truth. The finding concluded an at-times salacious trial that gripped the country and its media — including the accusation that one outlet, Seven Network, paid for drugs and sex work services to secure an interview with the man accused of rape, Bruce Lehrmann. The network has denied those claims. The ruling Monday was in a defamation suit brought by Lehrmann against a journalist, Lisa Wilkinson, and the television channel, Network 10, that …

‘Social inequalities’ pushing disproportionate amount of children into care in north of England, new report finds | UK News

‘Social inequalities’ pushing disproportionate amount of children into care in north of England, new report finds | UK News

One in every 52 children in Blackpool is in care compared with one in 140 across England, according to new analysis which researchers said exposes “deeply rooted social inequalities”. The report also found the North of England accounts for just over a quarter (28%) of the child population, but more than a third (36%) of the children in care, the analysis by the Child of the North All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) said. Professor David Taylor, the co-author of the report, said the findings reflect a “doom loop”, with poverty pushing children into the care system at an additional cost to local and national government. He said: “Cuts to prevention services, things like Sure Start, family support, investment in youth services have been cut, particularly in the areas where they’re needed most. “In those places poverty has gone up, that’s increased the number of children in the care system and it’s putting incredible pressure on health and care systems.” The report was researched and funded by Health Equity North – an organisation focused on finding solutions …

Watching sports can boost well-being, study finds

Watching sports can boost well-being, study finds

Sports are more than just a pastime; they are a communal experience that brings people together, fostering a sense of belonging and connection. (CREDIT: Creative Commons) Sports are more than just a pastime; they are a communal experience that brings people together, fostering a sense of belonging and connection. While it’s widely acknowledged that watching sports can have positive effects on individuals and society as a whole, existing studies on this relationship are limited. To address this gap, Associate Professor Shintaro Sato from Waseda University in Japan, along with Assistant Professor Keita Kinoshita from Nanyang Technological University and Dr. Kento Nakagawa from Waseda University, conducted a groundbreaking study to explore the connection between sports viewing and well-being. Their research, published online in Sports Management Review, used a multi-method approach combining secondary data analysis, self-reports, and neuroimaging measures to understand this connection. The first study analyzed data from 20,000 Japanese residents, confirming the positive association between regular sports viewing and reported well-being. However, it couldn’t delve deeper into the specifics of this relationship. Researchers investigate the …

Around 27% of individuals with ADHD develop cannabis use disorder at some point in their lives, study finds

Around 27% of individuals with ADHD develop cannabis use disorder at some point in their lives, study finds

A meta-analysis exploring the relationship between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cannabis consumption found that 27% of individuals with ADHD develop cannabis use disorder at some point in their lives, with 19% suffering from it at the time of data collection. Compared to those without this disorder, individuals with ADHD face almost three times the risk of developing cannabis use disorder. This study was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. Cannabis, commonly referred to as marijuana, is a psychoactive plant utilized for medicinal, recreational, and spiritual purposes. It contains cannabinoids, with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the primary psychoactive component, responsible for the euphoric “high” associated with its use. Various consumption methods include smoking, vaporizing, ingestion through edibles, and use of oils or extracts. Studies indicate that approximately 4% of individuals aged 15 to 65 use cannabis for non-medical reasons, with the highest usage rates in higher-income countries. In recent years, many countries have decriminalized cannabis products and liberalized their usage, coinciding with a 23% increase in cannabis users from 2010 to 2020. Research suggests that …

House Subcommittee Finds “New Evidence” That China Fuels America’s Fentanyl Crisis

House Subcommittee Finds “New Evidence” That China Fuels America’s Fentanyl Crisis

Update (0842ET): The House Select Committee on China revealed in a new report that the Chinese Communist Party uses tax rebates to subsidize the manufacturing and exporting of fentanyl chemicals.  The report said, “Through subsidies, grants, and other incentives, the PRC harms Americans while enriching PRC companies.”  “This failure — when combined with new evidence establishing the PRC incentivizing the export of illegal drugs abroad and ownership stake in companies doing the same — casts doubt on the veracity of the PRC’s claims that it will act to stem the massive export of illicit fentanyl materials and other dangerous synthetic narcotics, and reinforces the need for global cooperation and communication between law enforcement agencies,” the report continued.  Tuesday’s report is a reminder the Biden administration has failed at countering the illicit drug trade fueled by Chinese chemical companies and Mexican drug cartels (and let’s not forget the Sackler family and other big pharma that hooked Americans on opioids). Biden’s disastrous open southern borders have allowed the flow of these illicit drugs to invade the nation …