SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may reduce your risk of stroke, but supplements won't help
Most people don't eat much fish, unless it is smothered in batter and comes with chips. The National Diet Nutrition survey found that, on average, we eat less than the recommended one portion a week of oily fish (salmon, tuna, trout), the type with the most health benefit.
But the advantages of eating oily fish, thought to be due to their omega-3 fatty acids, are by no means conclusive. A review of the evidence in 2009 by the Cochrane Collaboration, which reviews results of all relevant good-quality studies, found no clear evidence that omega-3 fats reduce the incidence of strokes, heart attacks and cancers in either the general population or those at risk of heart problems.
Last week, the BMJ published research that found eating oily fish two to four times a week may reduce your risk of a stroke by 6%. But if you don't like fish, fish oil supplements are no substitute. The study (which added up results from the largest number of studies on fish oils and strokes so far), showed they had no benefit.
So is this enough to convince you to eat more oily fish? Or are you more likely to avoid strokes and heart attacks through regular exercise, eating a healthy (low-fat, high-fibre) diet, not smoking and sticking to recommended levels of alcohol consumption?
The study showed that those who ate fish five times a week had a 12% reduction in stroke risk. However, the authors say their research can't show for sure that this is linked to eating fish. People who eat more fish may be healthier anyway, and it is hard for studies to take into account all the ways in which they may be different from other people – for example, they may also eat less meat and exercise more.
The researchers are clear, however, that supplements don't do as good a job as whole foods, something other studies have found too. Oily fish also contains vitamins D and B and amino acids, which might be needed to work with the omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the risk of stroke. You may need all the constituents of a food for it to be good for you.
Fish oil has excited many research groups who have looked at its benefits in reducing asthma symptoms (based on the hypothesis that Inuits eat lots of oily fish and don't get asthma), relieving Crohn's disease, stopping weight loss in people with cancer and improving the symptoms of schizophrenia. None of the studies found that fish oil works, although most tested supplements instead of omega-3 fatty acids in whole foods.
Since we eat more red meat than fish it wouldn't hurt to redress the balance. The mechanism by which it is meant to reduce strokes and heart attacks is unclear, but omega-3 fatty acids are thought to reduce triglyceride fats, reduce inflammation and blood clotting. We can't make our own omega-3 fatty acids so a bit more oily fish, rather than supplements, would probably be good for most of us.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: The Guardian
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Some of the hardcore Islamic militants from China's troubled Xinjiang province, bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), are heading to Syria and linking up with organisations like al Qaeda to fight against the Syrian government, a media report said Monday.
"Leaders from "East Turkestan" terror organisations have organised for members to head for Syria to participate in their quest for jihad," state-run Global Times quoted Chinese anti-terrorism authorities as saying.
The organisations include the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the East Turkestan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) that push for "independence" for China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where Uyghur Muslims of Turkic-origin opposed settlements of Hans.
Since May, ETIM and ETESA members have been going to Syria and linking up with organisations like al-Qaeda to fight against the Syrian government, the report said.
"ETIM is being helped by al-Qaeda and they are collecting funds through drug and gun trafficking, kidnapping and robbery. ETIM selected and recruited separatists, criminals and terrorists who fled from Xinjiang to receive secret terrorism training," an official from the anti-terrorism said.
After receiving orders from al Qaeda, terrorists from China came to Syria to meet with jihadists already on the ground before forming groups on the frontlines, the official said.
ETIM was listed as a terrorism organisation in September 2009 and recognised by the China Ministry of Public Security as one of four "East Turkestan" terrorism organisations. On April 6, the ministry identified its third batch of "East Turkestan"
The headquarters of ETESA, located in Istanbul, are quite extensive and include research, media, social affairs, education and women's affairs departments.
While the Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha said the daily that that Syria is not clear about the terrorism activities made by jihadists from the "East Turkestan", he acknowledged that extremists from several countries had been fighting along the Turkish-Syrian border and inside Syria.
"These men came to Syria from Turkey," said Imad, accusing the Turkish government of indulging these activities.
Murat Salim Esenli, the Turkish ambassador to China, denied the accusation, saying Turkey also faces terrorism threats.
Ayman al-Zawahri, the head of al Qaeda, incited his followers to join in the war against Syria on Saturday after anti-terrorism organs from the UN, the US and Europe expressed their concern that the ongoing Syrian war would help galvanise global terror networks.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — European satellite provider Eutelsat SA is set to pull the plug on several satellite channels and radio stations broadcast from Iran.
The company has ordered media services company, Arqiva, to take the Iranian satellite channels off one of its Hot Bird frequencies.
The Iranian channels being taken off the air include Press TV, al-Alam, Jam-e-Jam 1 and 2, Sahar 1 and 2, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Quran TV, and the Arabic-language al-Kawthar.
The ban will also affect the satellite broadcast of several Iranian radio stations.
The move follows months of jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies. It also shows that the European Union does not respect freedom of speech, and spares no efforts to silence the voice of alternative media outlets.
Iranian news channels affected by the decision only aimed to break the West’s monopoly on news broadcast by reflecting the voice of the oppressed people to the world.
The illegal move by Eutelsat SA, therefore, is a step to mute all alternative news outlets representing the voice of the voiceless.
The Iranian channels, however, reserve the right to take legal action against Eutelsat’s decision in order to restore their rights and compensate for any material and spiritual damages thereof to the full extent possible under international law.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Press TV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Police in Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have taken control of the crime-infested slums or favelas in a bid to claim back portions of the city controlled by drug gangs, AFP news agency reports.
Police said in a release that the Sunday morning operation in Jacarezinho and Manguinhos favelas took about 20 minutes.
In the Jacarezinho slum, six shots were fired once police arrived, and one suspect was injured while trying to set fire to a barricade meant to keep officers out.
The operation began shortly before 5:00am local time (08:00 GMT) and involved about 800 police in riot gear and 13 armoured personnel carriers.
Heavily armed officers began patrolling the streets as soon as they moved in.
"The situation is calm," police spokesman Colonel Federico Caldas told local Globo News television.
This area will now become part of a state programme that establishes so-called peacekeeping police units [UPP] in shantytowns previously held by drug traffickers. This is the 29th such unit in Rio de Janeiro.
With the addition of Manguinhos, authorities have deployed 29 of the UPPs in more than 170 local communities, which are now patrolled by more than 6,770 special agents, according to military police statistics.
Authorities in Brazil are trying to take control of and clean up some of the most dangerous areas of the country in preparation for the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the Olympic Games of 2016.
Critics say the military style invasions are too heavy-handed, and simply push the drug gangs to other parts of the city.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Jazeera
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Ontario’s teachers unions are taking the province to court, challenging legislation that they say sets a dangerous precedent by taking away their bargaining rights.
Teachers have been cutting back on voluntary services – such as supervising clubs and sports teams – since early September in protest of Bill 115. That legislation took effect one month ago, imposing restrictions on teachers’ ability to strike, reducing their sick days and blocking experience-based pay raises from going through.
The unions had left the bargaining table months earlier, and the province said the legislation was necessary in order to keep teacher salaries from consuming the education budget.
“Bill 115 strips teachers, education workers, support staff and educational professionals of the right to bargain collectively,” reads a news release, circulated Wednesday morning by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. “It sets a dangerous precedent for similar legislation that is already being proposed for the broader public sector.”
Education Minister Laurel Broten said on Wednesday that the government will defend the legislation.
“We have ensured that we’ve acted in a way that is in accordance with the right to collective bargaining,” Ms. Broten told reporters.
The unions had already threatened to challenge the legislation back in August, before it had passed. School boards are also unhappy with its terms, and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association has expressed interest in becoming an intervenor in the court case.
Similar court challenges in the past have resulted in rulings that favoured unions and the protection of collective bargaining rights.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The Secretary General Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has said that the issue of anti-Islam film will be discussed at the OIC foreign ministers meeting in New York later this month, Radio Pakistan reported.
In a statement on Tuesday‚ he said that the coordination meeting will discuss all possible initiatives to reach a plan of action to address the escalating wave of incitement against Muslims.
Ihsanoglu added that since the broadcast of the blasphemous film‚ he had initiated an intensive diplomatic move and made high level contacts to formulate an international unified response.
The low-budget controversial film – “Innocence of Muslims” – portrays followers of Islam as gratuitously violent.
Hundreds of people have demonstrated in cities across Pakistan, Middle East and North Africa to denounce the anti-Islam movie, which sparked fury across the Muslim world, and in some cases, deadly violence.
Protesters in Pakistan have demanded that the hate film should be banned across the world and the filmmaker punished. They also called for the US to apologise over the film and the Pakistani government to expel the US ambassador. —www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Thousands have taken to the streets throughout Greece to protest the drastic budget cuts proposed by the government. Minor scuffles with riot police took place in Thessaloniki after some youths set rubbish on fire and burned an EU flag.
In Athens some 2,000 pensioners marched through the city to protest newly introduced pension cuts.
It was announced that those who earn more than 1,000 euros a month will have 10 percent of their pensions axed. This is despite a 25 per cent cut over the last two years.
"They have cut our pensions into little pieces. They've imposed an unfair property tax, other taxes, taxes on petrol, the supermarkets are expensive. They have squeezed the life out of us, they've disgraced us," a pensioner told AP.
Saturday's protests in Athens, which also included trade unionists, caused severe disruptions to traffic. Major roads in the downtown area were also blocked to weekend traffic.
Meanwhile, several demonstrations are taking place in the northern city of Thessaloniki. The largest one is by military and police personnel, who protest wage cuts.
The streets were decorated with banners reading "Solidarity" and "Overthrow" as protesters marched, AP reported.
On Monday the country’s Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, is expected to meet with Troika senior austerity inspectors, who are to decide whether the country is to be given a long-awaited 31 billion euro rescue loan.
In order to secure the rescue package the Greek government is to introduce another round of austerity measures that Samaras himself called painful and unjust, but necessary.
Many people in Greece think that the country has suffered enough already from being in the Euro, while they are only being offered more of the same, William Dartmouth, MEP from the UK Independence Party told RT.
“The political establishment in these countries always tends to be in favor of more Euro and people are basically against it, because it is not in their interest,” he asserted.
“What we are watching is a slow-motion train crash which also could endanger the entire world economy,” Dartmouth concluded.—www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan has called on Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry to take suo motu notice of Shia killings in the country.
Khan, who leads Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice or PTI), made the remarks on Sunday in a meeting with prominent Shia leader Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Jaffery in Skardu, the main city in northern region of Gilgit-Baltistan, Press TV reported.
Khan asked why Justice Chaudhry has taken suo motu notices of relatively trivial matters but he does not take action against sectarian killings in the country.
He strongly condemned the recent killings of Shia Muslims in southwestern Balochistan province and in Gilgit-Baltistan.
On August 16, terrorists pulled 21 Shia Muslims from a bus and killed them at point blank range in the northwestern district of Mansehra in the hills of Babusar Top, about 160 kilometers north of the capital Islamabad. It was the third such incident in six months.
Khan said the government in Islamabad had completely failed in maintaining law and order in the country.
On Saturday, seven Shia Muslims were gunned down in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.
The Saturday attacks came hot on the heels of the killing of senior Shia judge, Zulfiqar Naqvi along with his driver and bodyguard in Quetta on Thursday.
A survey conducted by the Washington-based Pew Global Attitudes Project in June showed that former cricket star Khan is the most popular politician in the country. More than 70 percent of the people offer a favorable opinion of Khan.
Khan’s stance on U.S. war on terror, which he calls a war of terror, his strong views on CIA’s drone attacks in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region, which the U.S. has been carrying out since 2008, his struggle for the rule of law, justice, equality, and the eradication of corruption, have endeared the PTI leader to the people of Pakistan.—www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Iran would take action if the United States were to carry out an act of “stupidity” and attack Syria, an Iranian military official was quoted as saying on Saturday, but the comments later disappeared from the state-linked agency website.
Iran has steadfastly supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his bid to suppress an uprising which both Tehran and Damascus see as a proxy war by Israel and Western states to extend their influence in the Middle East.
“If America were to attack Syria, Iran along with Syria’s allies will take action, which would amount to a fiasco for America,” Mohammad Ali Assoudi, the deputy for culture and propaganda of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was quoted as saying.
Assoudi’s comments were first carried by the government-linked news agency Young Journalists’ Club but were later apparently taken down from the group’s website. The comments were picked up by Iranian news sites including Iran’s Jam-e Jam newspaper and the BBC’s Persian-language site.
Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment.
Assoudi did not specify exactly what steps Iran would take, but said Syria’s allies would implement their joint military pact in the case of a U.S. attack.
“In the case of American stupidity and a military attack by this country on Syria, the joint military pact of Syria’s allies would be implemented,” Assoudi said.
Iran and Syria signed a mutual defense pact in 2006, but little is known of its details, or whether there are any other signatories.
The Islamic Republic considers Assad’s government, along with Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, part of an “axis of resistance” against the influence of the United States and Israel in the Middle East.
But while Turkey, Gulf Arab countries and Western states admit to giving non-weapons aid to the Syrian rebels, there is little or no appetite in Washington, especially in an election year, for direct military intervention in Syria. Without U.S. leadership, its allies also appear unwilling to go it alone.
Iran accuses Western powers and regional states of supporting and arming the rebels, while the rebels accuse Iran of sending IRGC fighters to help Assad crush the uprising.
“With cooperation from Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, America has the goal of striking a blow against Syria and making preparations for the fall of the Syrian government,” Assoudi said.—www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Arabiya
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Imagine a viewfinder that follows your eye, focuses wherever you look and then snaps a photo when you blink twice. That’s the idea behind IRIS, a new concept by Mimi Zou.
“I was thinking, ‘What’s the middle ground between the convenience of a cameraphone and the performance of a DSLR?’” says Zou, 24, who came up with IRIS as a master’s student at the Royal College of Art in London.
The camera pictured is an ideal version of what Zou hopes to build, although she has developed a slightly larger prototype that’s capable of eye-tracking and taking pictures when you blink. The biggest challenge will be moving the computing functions from her computer to the device itself.
So, what will the finished version hopefully be capable of?
First, as you hold the camera to your eye, it will scan your iris to identify you. As soon as it knows who you are, it will download all of your preferred settings: ISO, aperture, adjustments for conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness. It also will continuously upload all of your photos whenever you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Zou says her software is so efficient at tracking eye movements that it can focus the camera in real time to record video. Whether or not Zou ever gets the funding she needs to build a working model, it’s hard to imagine someone won’t use similar technology in something like Google’s Project Glass.
All I know is that whoever releases this technology to the public first may have a line of people ready to shove cash at them.—www.shafaqna.com/english