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Belgium arrests Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini

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BRUSSELS — Belgian authorities have confirmed the arrests of key Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini alongside four other persons, including a man they accept may have helped the Brussels bombers.

At a press conference, an official from the government prosecutor’s office announced police had made five arrests in connection with the deadly Islamic State group attacks on Brussels’ airport and metro last month, and the Paris attacks in November.

“We are investigating if Abrini can be identified as the third person at the Brussels national airport, the so-called man with the hat,” said prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon, who offered to resign over the failure to arrest one of the suicide bombers months ago, tweeted congratulations to those involved in the arrests.

Abrini, a 31-year-old Belgian, has been on Europe’s most wanted list since the November 13 Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed.

He was last seen two days before the attacks in a motorway service station CCTV video driving with another Paris attacks suspect – Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested last month – towards the French capital from Belgium.

Agencies

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Health

Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer

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Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.

The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.

The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.

For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.

Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.

However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.

“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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