Penguins snatch 11 hours of sleep through seconds-long micronaps

By Issam AHMED In humans, nodding off for a few seconds is a clear sign of insufficient sleep — and can be dangerous in some situations, such as when driving a car. But a new study published on Thursday finds chinstrap penguins snooze thousands of times per day, accumulating their daily sleep requirement of more than 11 hours in short bursts averaging just four seconds. The flightless birds might have evolved this trait because of […]

Horn of Africa floods displace more than two million

By Mustafa HAJI ABDINUR with Tanya WILLMER in Nairobi MOGADISHU, Nov 30, 2023 (AFP) – More than two million people across the Horn of Africa have been forced from their homes by torrential rains and floods, according to an AFP tally compiled Thursday from government and UN figures. Almost 300 people have also lost their lives in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia as the region grapples with its latest devastating climate disaster. The heavy rainfall, linked […]

Poor education, stigma fuel Philippines’ soaring HIV infections

By Lucille SODIPE HIV infections are soaring in the Philippines, with experts blaming online dating, poor sex education and conservative attitudes in the deeply religious country for fuelling the spread of the virus. While less than one percent of the country’s more than 110 million people have been diagnosed with HIV, UN data show it has one of the world’s fastest-growing epidemics. Philippine health officials warn the number of people testing positive for HIV every […]

Magic win eighth in a row while Embiid ill as Sixers fall

WASHINGTON, Nov 30, 2023 (AFP) – German forward Franz Wagner’s 31-point performance sparked Orlando to an eighth consecutive victory on Wednesday, ripping Washington 139-120 to move one game behind NBA overall leader Boston. The Magic connected on 60.7 percent of their shots in improving to 13-5 and matching Milwaukee for second in the Eastern Conference behind the Celtics (14-4). “We believe we can win every day and we want to play up to our standards,” […]

Climate change worsened Chinese extreme heat and flooding event in 2020: study

Man-made global warming exacerbated an incident of extreme flooding and heat in eastern China in 2020, according to a study released Wednesday, which highlighted the need to prepare for increasingly intense episodes of such weather in the country. Researchers said that warming created by human activity caused an increase in rain that summer by around 6.5 percent, and increased heat by around one degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Record rains fell in June and July […]

Convicted murderers executed in Alabama, Texas

WASHINGTON, Nov 17, 2023 (AFP) – Two convicted murderers were executed by lethal injection in the United States on Thursday, one in Alabama and one in Texas. Casey McWhorter, 49, was put to death at a prison in Atmore, Alabama, for the 1993 murder of Edward Williams, who was shot to death during a robbery. McWhorter had just turned 18 years old at the time of the crime. His two accomplices, one of whom was […]

PBBM: 40 Filipinos have left Gaza through Rafah Crossing

(Eagle News)–Forty Filipinos have left Gaza through Rafah Crossing in Egypt, President Bongbong Marcos announced on Wednesday, Nov. 8. According to the President, they are now on their way to Cairo, from where they shall depart for the Philippines. The President said the successful passage of the Filipinos was made possible through the coordination of the DFA with the embassies in Israel, Jordan and Egypt. “Nagpapasalamat din tayo sa mga pamahalaan ng Israel at Egypt […]

Russia says intends to continue nuclear test moratorium

MOSCOW, Nov 3, 2023 (AFP) – Russia intends to stick to a nuclear test ban moratorium despite withdrawing its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the foreign ministry said Friday. “We intend to keep the moratorium that was introduced more than 30 years ago in place,” said a ministry statement. But any nuclear tests by the United States would “force us to do the same,” it added. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday […]

US says Putin seeking to ‘take advantage’ of Israel-Hamas war

By W.G. DUNLOP and Shaun TANDON WASHINGTON, Oct 31, 2023 (AFP) – The United States accused Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday of trying to use the Israel-Hamas war to reduce Western support for Ukraine, which it said requires continued backing from Washington to prevent Russian success. Hamas militants carried out a shock cross-border attack from Gaza this month that Israeli officials say killed more than 1,400 people, prompting Washington to rush military aid to Israel […]

First US citizens leave Gaza as Biden promises effort

By Shaun TANDON WASHINGTON, Nov 1, 2023 (AFP) – President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the first US citizens were able to leave the war-hit Gaza Strip after weeks of diplomacy and mounting frustration by hundreds of US citizens trapped in the conflict. Since Israel launched retaliatory strikes following a bloody assault by Hamas, the impoverished Gaza Strip has seen limited food, water and medicine, leading Palestinian-Americans to file lawsuits alleging double-standards on efforts to […]

Britain’s iconic red phone boxes get new lease of life

By Mathilde BELLENGER, Anastasia CLARK KINGS LYNN, United Kingdom, Oct 27, 2023 (AFP) – In a workshop packed with historic memorabilia, from rusty petrol pumps to vintage enamel signs, Carl Burge skillfully applied the finishing touches to the red British telephone box he was restoring. “They’re iconic,” said Burge, 54, who has been working on revitalising the tired, ageing phone kiosks for over 20 years. Emblematic of the UK worldwide, these sturdy red pillars first […]

Robot maker dreams of turning sci-fi into reality

TOKYO, Oct 27, 2023 (AFP) – Ryo Yoshida has monster-sized dreams for his driveable, “Gundam”-like robot, even though its huge size makes it hard to park and the $3-million price tag will crush most wallets. An imposing 4.5 metres (14.7 feet) high and weighing 3.5 tonnes (7,716 pounds), “Archax” can be moved and operated by a pilot who clambers up to the high-tech cockpit. “I want to make people’s dreams come true, the dream people […]