Passive smoking ‘kills 600,000’ worldwide

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The first global study into the effects of passive smoking has found it causes 600,000 deaths every year. One-third of those killed are children, often exposed to smoke at home, the World Health Organization (WHO) found.
The study, in 192 countries, found that passive smoking is particularly dangerous for children, said to be at higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, pneumonia and asthma.

23 dead since Sunday in Brazil slum violence

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Violence including clashes between police and drug gangs in the slums of Rio de Janeiro has killed 23 people since Sunday, with 188 people arrested or detained so far, military police said Thursday. It was not immediately clear whether all the dead were gang members or whether civilians and police were among the fatalities. Read more at CNN.

French chemistry professor fined for deadly lab blast

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A professor at a chemistry college in eastern France was fined 8,000 euros and given a suspended jail sentence Thursday for causing a lab explosion that killed a colleague and gravely injured a student. The accident occurred in 2006 when professor Alain Louati went out for lunch and an open bottle of highly inflammable ethylene triggered an explosion that tore through his laboratory in the city of Mulhouse, near the German border. Read more at reuters.com.

Indian Village Bans Cell Phones for Unwed Women

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A northern Indian village has banned unmarried women from using cell phones for fear they will arrange forbidden marriages that are often punished by death, a local official said Wednesday. The Lank village council decided unmarried boys could use mobile phones, but only under parental supervision, council member Satish Tyagi said. Local women’s rights group criticized the measure as backward and unfair. Read more at abc News.

Knox in court for murder conviction appeal

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amanda-knox

Amanda Knox

Former American student Amanda Knox went back to court Wednesday to appeal her conviction for murdering her British roommate. The hearing lasted about 15 minutes before the judge adjourned it until December 11. Knox, 23, was sentenced last December to 26 years in prison for the killing of Meredith Kercher at the villa they shared in Perugia, the central Italian town where both were students. Read more at BBC.

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