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U.S. to release Internet of Things principles after Friday’s cyberattacks

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government said Monday that it will release in the coming weeks a set of principles for securing the Internet of Things, or Internet-connected devices, which were employed partly by hackers to carry out Friday's cyberattacks that disrupted major U.S. websites. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Monday his department is "closely monitoring" events arising from the distributed denial of service attacks on a domain name services company called Dyn on Friday, which caused major services such as Twitter, Paypal and some other U.S. websites to be inaccessible for about two hours for many users, especially those on the U.S. East Coast. According to Johnson, his department has convened a conference call of about 18 major communication service providers to share information about the incident later that …

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Infants should sleep in room with parents for first 6 months to prevent SIDS – report

WASHINGTON -- Infants should sleep in the same room as their parents, but not on the same bed, for at least the first six months of their life to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a new report released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In recommendations that drew on new research and served as the first update to a 2011 policy, the AAP said parents should place babies on their backs and on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet and avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. Optimally, parents should share a bedroom with their newborns until the baby turns one because evidence shows that room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as …

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Natural disaster may up dementia risk for elderly – study

WASHINGTON -- Dementia should be considered a health risk for elderly survivors of natural disasters, a new study led by Harvard University researchers suggested Monday. It found the number of elderly people with symptoms of dementia tripled after the 2011 tsunami in Japan, with those who were uprooted from damaged or destroyed homes and who lost touch with their neighbors at most risk. "In the aftermath of disasters, most people focus on mental health issues like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)," Hiroyuki Hikichi, research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study, said in a statement. "But our study suggests that cognitive decline is also an important issue. It appears that relocation to a temporary shelter after a disaster may have the unintended effect of separating people …

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PHL further elevates biodiversity conservation bid

MANILA -- The Philippines is elevating further its biodiversity conservation efforts with a new project that aims to promote sustainable mechanism for better conservation, protection and management of the country's natural resources. Through the 2015-2019 Philippine ICCA Project, the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and its partners will work on institutionalizing indigenous community conservation area (ICCA) as an alternative and sustainable mechanism for better conserving, protecting and managing Philippine protected areas outside coverage of Republic Act No. 7586 (National Integrated Protected Areas Systems Act of 1992). ICCAs are traditional governance and conservation mechanisms of indigenous peoples (IPs) in the country. "We'll promote recognition of and support for ICCAs," said project manager Angel Uson. She noted the project aims meeting such goals by seeking to harmonize public policies relevant to biodiversity conservation. "IPs will be part of …

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China offers aid to typhoon-hit Philippines

BEIJING -- The Red Cross Society of China will offer USD100,000 worth of humanitarian aid to the Philippines after the havoc caused by Typhoon Haima, a spokesperson said Monday. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the announcement at a regular news briefing, adding that the Chinese government will also provide the Philippines with additional assistance. "China believes, with the leadership of the Philippine government, those affected people will overcome the disaster and come back to normal lives as early as possible," Lu said. The death toll in the Philippines from super typhoon Haima rose to 16 on Saturday. A total of 35,486 families or 149,659 persons were displaced and most are staying at one of the country's 643 evacuation centers, the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

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Explosion hits northwest China town

XI'AN -- An explosion hit a town in Fugu County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province on Monday afternoon. The accident happened around 2:00 p.m. near a hospital in Xinmin Township. The explosion severely damaged houses and cars at the site, and the hospital was also affected. Several people were seen covered in blood, according to witnesses. The accident "might be related to unlicensed storage of explosives," the local Huashang Newspaper cited local residents as saying.

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Dengue cases up 200%, says Antique health office

SAN JOSE de BUENAVISTA, Antique -- Dengue cases had risen by 200% in Antique, said Information Officer Irene R. Dulduco of the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Antique (IPHO), thus, she appealed to the residents here to be on the alert and diligently do the ABKD (Abakada) program initiated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). In Culasi town alone, she stressed, there were eight cases in 2015 but this 2016, it rose up to 55 cases. The ABKD program, which is the acronym for Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue, is also a three-fold program of the DILG, Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). It was launched in 2011 when dengue cases became so rampant in the country. It should be done vigilantly now, because aside from dengue, …

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Australian teenagers continue to drink alcohol at alarming rate: study

MELBOURNE -- Australian teenagers are continuing to 'binge drink' and regularly consume alcohol at an alarming rate, a new study has found. Australian teenage boys aged between 16 and 19 were consuming 17 standard drinks in a typical six-hour binge. Girls of the same age, while exhibiting less extreme behaviour, were also in dangerous territory, consuming 14 standard drinks in the same period, says the study. The study was undertaken by Melbourne's Monash University with Perth's Curtin University and the University of New South Wales. It says that while the binge drinking rate amongst Australian teenagers has declined, it is still far too high. Of the study's participants, almost half admitted to riding in a car with a drunk driver, 18 percent regretted impulsive behavior while drunk, 11 percent ended up in a hospital's emergency …

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New technique developed for designing multiple species wildlife corridors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Researchers at several U.S. institutions have developed a computer model that could be applied to wildlife corridors for multiple species. The efforts, by researchers at Oregon State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the U.S. Forest Service Research and Development, Cornell University and the U.S. Geological Survey, will assist managers of public and private lands that provide routes for animals to roam. Researchers have known that such migration corridors are crucial for conserving rare and endangered species. However, focusing on one species at a time has proved to be expensive. And the new method can meet most of the migratory needs of two species simultaneously while reducing the total cost of buying land by about three quarters. Results of the collaborated work over a five-year period was published in the …

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DOLE eyes livelihood assistance to workers who may be displaced by limitation of firecracker’s use

MANILA -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Sunday it is considering possible livelihood assistance as immediate intervention to workers who may be displaced in case the use of firecrackers is finally regulated or limited. DOLE Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod said the regulation on firecracker's use can actually create an impact in the livelihood aspect of those who have been relying on its production as a source of livelihood. Maglunsod said the livelihood assistance that they will offer will be designed to fit the skills or inclinations of the would-be-displaced workers. "Kung ano yung gusto nilang hanapbuhay, doon natin sila bibigyan ng assistance, like Nego-Carts, etc.," Maglunsod cited as an example. The DOLE official made the statement in anticipation of the expected signing by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in November of an …

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