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UK's sugar tax cut daily intake by 5g in kids, 11g in adults: Study

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UK's sugar tax cut daily intake by 5g in kids, 11g in adults: Study

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Introduction of the “sugar tax” in the UK led to a significant reduction of daily sugar intake by around 5 g in children and by around 11 g in adults, revealed a study on Wednesday.

More than 50 countries have introduced a sugar tax on soft drinks to persuade manufacturers to reformulate their products. In the UK, the sugar tax, also known as the soft drinks industry levy, was announced in March 2016 and came into effect in April 2018.

Researchers from the universities of Cambridge, Bath, and Oxford analysed 11 years of data involving 7,999 adults and 7,656 children from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

The results, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, showed that one year after the UK sugar tax had come into force, children further reduced their free sugar intake from food and drink combined by around 5 g per day (relative reduction of 10 per cent) and adults by around 11 g per day (a relative reduction of 20 per cent).

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Over half of this total was from soft drinks alone — accounting for around 3 g per day (relative reduction of 23.5 per cent) in children and around 5 g per day (relative reduction of just under 40.5 per cent) in adults.

Protein intake remained stable throughout in children and adults.

“In children, a daily reduction of 4.8 g sugar equates to approximately 19.2 kilocalories out of an approximate daily intake of 2,000 kilocalories, which is equivalent to approximately 1 per cent reduction in energy intake,” pointed out the researchers.

There is ample evidence to suggest that consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks — a major source of dietary free sugars, particularly among children — results in a heightened risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and premature death.

However, the overall daily energy intake from free sugar levels was still higher than the updated recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) of 5 per cent — equivalent to 30 g/day for adults, 24 g for 7-10-year-olds, and 19 g for 4-6-year-olds, said the researchers.

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–IANS

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International

Landslide kills at least 20 in southern Ethiopia

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Landslide kills at least 20 in southern Ethiopia

Landslide kills at least 20 in southern Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, July 22 (IANS) At least 20 people were killed by a landslide in southern Ethiopia, local media reported on Monday.

The deadly landslide occurred on Monday morning at around 10:00 am local time in the Geze Gofa district in southern Ethiopia, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.

Misikir Mitiku, chief administrator of the Geze Gofa district, said rescuers have so far recovered more than 20 bodies that were buried under the mud, Xinhua news agency reported.

He said the death toll is likely to rise as rescue operations are currently underway at the landslide area.

Ethiopia is in the midst of a rainy season which started in July and is expected to last until mid-September. Constant rains occasionally cause landslides in some parts of the East African country.

–IANS

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Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

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Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

Tehran, July 22 (IANS) A joint naval drill kicked off on Monday in the Caspian Sea to ensure shipping security and safety in the region, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

The exercise, codenamed 2024 Hybrid Maritime Search, Rescue and Security, was being staged off the Iranian port city of Bandar-e Anzali and involved the Iranian Navy’s maritime and aerial forces as well as Russia’s SB 45 vessel. Representatives from the Caspian Sea littoral states, including Azerbaijan, also supervised the exercise, Xinhua news agency reported.

Hassani listed the Iranian missile cruisers taking part in the exercise as Peykan (Arrow), Joshan (Armour), Derafsh (Flag) and Separ (Shield), adding the drill also involved two AB 212 helicopters of the Iranian Navy.

He stressed that the drill was aimed at promoting interaction and cooperation between the maritime apparatuses of Iran and other countries bordering the Caspian Sea, namely Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan, adding that the littoral states do not tolerate the presence of non-regional countries in the region.

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He added that the drill would be staged over four days and involve two main phases. The coastal phase will include developing designs, ensuring coordination, and providing relevant training. The tactical phase will involve operations to contain fires, rescue shipwrecked and injured crew members, and conduct aerial photography.

–IANS

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Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

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Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

Jerusalem, July 22 (IANS) A Canadian citizen was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Monday after he attempted to stab security personnel outside the Gaza Strip, in what police described as “a terror attack.”

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) released a press statement saying the suspect arrived at the entrance of Netiv HaAsara, an Israeli community adjacent to the Gaza Strip, after entering Israel as a tourist on Sunday. He stepped out of his vehicle and “threatened with a knife members of the community’s rapid response team operating in the area.”

The team responded with fire and “neutralized” the suspect. The police later pronounced his death, Xinhua news agency reported.

The police released a photo of the kitchen knife and said the suspect used it to perpetrate the attack. Video footage on social networks showed two men opening fire at the suspect before his body was taken into an ambulance.

Israel’s state-owned Kan TV news reported that he was chanting “Free Palestinian!” during the attempted attack and said he was carrying it out because “Israel kills people in Gaza.”

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Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom reported that there were no other casualties.

–IANS

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Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

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Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

Tokyo, July 22 (IANS) Japan and the United States will be holding Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (Japan-US 2+2) talks and the Japan-US Ministerial Meeting on Extended Deterrence during the two-day visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Tokyo starting July 28, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced Monday.

Blinken and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa, along with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara, will also align their views on the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region during the ‘2+2’ meeting.

The four ministers will take into account the outcomes of security and defence cooperation during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Washington in April this year besides discussing future cooperation toward realising a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific.

The talks, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, will focus on strengthening the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US alliance, and the direction of security and defence cooperation in the region.

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“The four ministers will hold a Japan-US Ministerial Meeting on Extended Deterrence, and will discuss bilateral cooperation to continue to strengthen US extended deterrence, which is enhanced by Japan’s defence capabilities, taking into account the progress of discussions centered on the Japan-US Extended Deterrence Dialogue,” it said.

–IANS

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Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

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Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

Pyongyang, July 22 (IANS) In a first, Russia’s Prosecutor General is visiting North Korea as the two countries continue to bolster ties following the summit meeting between their top leaders last month.

Igor Krasnov arrived in Pyongyang on Monday and will meet with his counterpart and discuss bilateral cooperation with other officials during his visit, his office said in a statement.

Krasnov received a warm welcome from the representatives of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office upon his arrival at the airport in the North Korean capital.

A major highlight of his visit will be the signing of a cooperation programme between the Prosecutor General’s offices of Russia and North Korea for 2024-2026, along with an updated agreement.

“This visit marks a significant milestone in the relations between the prosecutors’ offices of both countries, which have maintained constructive ties over the past decade based on a Cooperation Agreement signed in 2010,” stated the Russian Prosecutor General’s office.

On Sunday, representatives from the supervisory agency and the Military University of the Russian Ministry of Defence delivered a series of lectures in Pyongyang which majorly covered the main directions and specifics of the activities of the Russian prosecutor’s office.

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Moscow believes that Krasnov’s visit also highlights the ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation and mutual understanding between Russia and North Korea in legal and prosecutorial matters.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang – his first trip to North Korea in 24 years – at the invitation of the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.

–IANS

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