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Excessive exposure to electronics weakens children’s eyesight – Survey

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Excessive exposure to electronics weakens children’s eyesight – Survey

Children

Beijing, Aug. 15, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) Nearly 83 per cent of Chinese parents have blamed excessive use of electronic products such as mobile phones for their children’s weakening eyesight, showed a survey released by China Youth Daily on Thursday.

Of the 1,989 surveyed parents, 72.6 per cent said their children suffer from nearsightedness and 68.6 per cent said their existing eye problems have aggravated during the summer vacation.

Obsession with mobile phones has been regarded as the biggest threat to children’s eyes, followed by overuse of computers and video games, according to the survey.

In addition to excessive exposure to electronic screens, unhealthy sleep habits, insufficient physical exercise and overloaded schoolwork over the summer vacation have resulted in weakening eyesight among Chinese children.

In spite of labelling electronics as a major threat to children’s vision, 85.6 per cent of the surveyed parents admitted that they have no effective way to limit their children’s screen time.

Growing up in the Internet age, this generation of young Chinese know the Internet better than their parents, Wang Ying, a high school teacher in Beijing, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

“Now a lot of learning tasks need to be done with the help of computers or mobile phones, inevitably increasing the time they spend using electronic products,” said Ying. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Pakistan mulling legal action over Twitter suspension of accounts

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Twitter

“A lawsuit would be an extreme step, but we have to protect our people,’’ Arslan Khalid, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s focal person for digital media, said.

Twitter suspended at least 240 Pakistani accounts that include journalists over posts related to Kashmir last week.

Only 10 accounts have been restored so far.

“We are expecting a response from Twitter today and hope our concerns are addressed,’’ Khalid said.

Pakistan formally complained on Monday and since then, instead of suspending accounts, Twitter has sent warning emails to people, including journalists.

Twitter cannot “moderate” on an issue at the behest of India, Khalid said.

“My Twitter account was suspended when I replied to a veiled nuclear threat by the Indian Defence Minister,’’ Kamran Yousaf, Defence Correspondent for English-language daily The Express Tribune, said.

India’s decision, earlier this month, to revoke the special constitutional status of its part of Kashmir and impose a security lockdown on the region has escalated tensions between the neighbours, who have previously fought two wars over Kashmir.

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis took to social media websites to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people and highlight human rights violations in the disputed region.

Pakistan and India both control parts of Kashmir, but each lays claim to the entire region since the countries gained independence from Britain in 1947. (dpa/NAN)

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Pakistan Supreme Court orders action against judge in ex-PM case

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Discipline

Islamabad, Aug. 23, 2019 Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday ordered disciplinary action against a judge, who convicted former premier, Nawaz Sharif, effectively giving a boost to Sharif’s appeal against a seven-year jail term for corruption.

Sharif was convicted and jailed last year after failing to prove the source of income that had led to his ownership of a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.

Under Pakistani law, that is taken as proof of corruption.

Sharif denied the charges that he said were politically motivated.

His party in July presented a video at a news conference, apparently showing the judge who presided over Sharif’s conviction, Arshad Malik, as saying he had been pressured into handing down a guilty verdict by individuals, he did not identify, and who had compromised footage of him.

Malik later issued a statement denying he had been blackmailed to convict Sharif and said the video had been manipulated.

Malik had already been removed from his position in an anti-corruption court and the Supreme Court on Friday ordered him to report back to the High Court in the city of Lahore.

“We expect that after his repatriation, appropriate departmental disciplinary proceedings shall be initiated against him,’’ the Supreme Court said in an order.

The court said Malik’s “stinking conduct” in connection with the video scandal was abhorrent, and an appeal court should decide whether to consider it as evidence for any relief for Sharif.

An appeal against Sharif’s conviction is pending before the Islamabad High Court.

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Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Russian protest leader Navalny released from jail after 30 days

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Release

Navalny’s team has organised a series of weekly protests in central Moscow over the past month after several opposition politicians were controversially rejected from the ballot for upcoming city council elections.

Police have been accused of taking a heavy-handed approach to the demonstrations, grabbing protesters forcefully and dragging them into vans.

Upon being released from jail, Navalny said the wave of protests would continue to grow.

“This regime will strongly regret what it has done,’’ he said.

He said those opposition politicians and protesters were taken into custody were “taken as hostages to scare everyone else’’.

Navalny is not currently running for office.

He ran for mayor of Moscow six years ago, garnering a quarter of the official vote count.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, endorsed by the ruling political party, won a slight majority at 51 per cent.

Navalny’s supporters accused the electoral authorities of vote-rigging. (dpa/NAN)

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Rescuers hunt for 30 missing after Indonesian ferry catches fire

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Rescuers hunt for 30 missing after Indonesian ferry catches fire

Missing

Jakarta, Aug. 23, 2019 Indonesian rescuers on Friday searched for 30 people missing from the blazing wreckage of a ferry off the Coast of Java Island.

A government official, Syahrul Nugroho, told TV One in Jakarta.

The KM Santika Nusantara was traveling between the country’s second-largest city of Surabaya and the town of Balikpapan on Borneo Island with 277 people on board, when it caught fire on Thursday evening, Nugroho said.

“About 245 people have been evacuated using small boats, while 30 passengers are still missing,” he said.

Officials have given no details on the cause of the fire. Rescue efforts were complicated by the boat’s manifest listing only 111 passengers, officials said.

Ferries are an important means of transport in Indonesia, which is made up of some 17,000 islands, and sea connections are cheaper and more extensive than air links.

But safety standards are not always strictly enforced and accidents occur fairly often. (Reuters/NAN)

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Hajj 2019: NAHCON organises special flight for hajj returnees

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), a body responsible for the coordination of hajj operations in Nigeria and Saudi, has organised a special flight to transport some Nigerian pilgrims back home.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that this is part of arrangements, the commission put in place, to speed up the return flight of the pilgrims.

The Control and Command Centre of the commission in Makkah on Friday said the special flights would be for most of the 50 Nigerian journalists that covered the hajj, this year, to Abuja.

Meanwhile, NAHCON has so far carried out 12 return flights, involving 5,659 Nigerian Muslims, back to the country, according to its command and control centre in Makkah on Friday.

“Today (Friday), MAXAIR flight VM2016 departed Jeddah to Kaduna at 08.32 a.m. with 552 Pilgrims,’’ the centre said.

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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