Stress test: saliva swab detects workplace burnout

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — A simple saliva test can show within hours whether someone on the job is overly stressed and at risk of burnout, researchers said Friday. Measuring levels of the anti-stress hormone cortisol at different times of the day more accurately reveals stress levels than more complicated measures, including blood tests, they reported in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports. In experiments, scientists compared healthy workers with burnout patients diagnosed by psychologists. […]

Earth’s intact forests vanishing at accelerating pace: scientists

  by Marlowe Hood  Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Earth’s intact forests shrank by an area larger than Austria every year from 2014 to 2016 at a 20 percent faster rate than during the previous decade, scientists said Wednesday as the UN unveiled an initiative to harness the “untapped potential” of the land sector to fight climate change. Despite a decades-long effort to halt deforestation, nearly 10 percent of undisturbed forests have been fragmented, […]

With a billion users, Instagram takes on YouTube in video

  by Julie Charpentrat Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Instagram said Wednesday it now has more than one billion active users, as it unveiled a new long-form video feature in a bid to attract “creators” like those on YouTube. It becomes the fourth Facebook platform to hit the billion-user mark, including the namesake social network with more than two billion users, and the messaging applications WhatsApp and Messenger. Instagram, which had some […]

Record 68.5 million people displaced worldwide: UN

by Nina LARSON Agence France-Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — A record 68.5 million people have been forced flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria, the UN said on Tuesday. By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-percent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by […]

Italy’s Osteria Francescana crowned world’s best restaurant again

  BILBAO, Spain (AFP) — Italy’s Osteria Francescana was crowned the world’s best restaurant for the second time on Tuesday by an influential list compiled by British trade magazine Restaurant, beating out top eateries in Spain and France. Run by chef Massimo Bottura, the restaurant in Modena, Italy, overtook last year’s winner, New York’s Eleven Madison Park, in the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” awards, which were handed out in Bilbao in Spain’s northern Basque Country, famous […]

In US, obesity, smoking more common in rural areas: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — People who live in rural areas of the United States are far more likely than city dwellers to smoke, be overweight, and face a host of related health concerns, researchers said Tuesday. Many chronic diseases are linked to obesity, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and arthritis, and researchers say understanding local trends can help them design better intervention strategies. The study in the Journal of the American […]

Facebook to offer interactive game shows on video platform

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook said Tuesday it is offering a series of new formats for its online video platform including interactive game shows, quizzes and polls. The new formats will be available to those creating video content on the social network, which is searching for a niche to compete against rivals ranging from Netflix to Google-owned YouTube. One of the features from Facebook will allow interactivity, which could be used for live […]

Global warming will make veggies harder to find: study

TAMPA, United States (AFP)—Global warming is expected to make vegetables significantly scarcer around the world, unless new growing practices and resilient crop varieties are adopted, researchers warned on Monday. By the end of this century, less water and hotter air will combine to cut average yields of vegetables — which are crucial to a healthy diet — by nearly one-third, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A 7.2 Fahrenheit […]

Michelin Guides’ quiet American quits

PARIS,France (AFP) —  The first non-French person to head the Michelin Guides said Monday that he is leaving the world’s most prestigious restaurant guides. American Michael Ellis said that he was joining the Dubai-based luxury hotel chain Jumeirah after seven years with the red guides. The soft-spoken Ellis, who previously worked for the French tyre maker’s motorcycle division, has expanded the guides to 31 editions in 30 countries. But there has been controversy about Michelin’s […]

Jilted Fujifilm sues Xerox for $1bn after aborted merger

  TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japanese technology giant Fujifilm said Tuesday it was suing US firm Xerox, seeking more than $1 billion in damages after a merger between the two firms was scrapped last month. Fujifilm slammed what it said was a “unilateral decision to terminate without legitimate cause” the planned merger announced in January. The merger was shelved after a lawsuit by powerful shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who together own more than 15 […]

Apple fined millions for Australia false iPhone claims

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Apple was Tuesday fined Aus$9 million (US$6.7 million) by an Australian court for making false claims about consumer rights when refusing to fix faulty iPhones and iPads previously repaired by a third party. Customers of the US tech giant had complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after an operating system update disabled their devices in a global issue known as “error 53”. The users were told by Apple […]

Video gaming addictive like crack: WHO

by Marlowe Hood Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Video gaming can be addictive in the same way as cocaine or gambling, the World Health Organization said Monday in a much anticipated update of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). “After consulting with experts across the world, and reviewing evidence in an exhaustive manner, we decided that this condition should be added,” Shekhar Saxena, director of the WHO’s department of mental health and substance abuse, […]