LONDON — Britain`s parliament voted on Wednesday to launch bombarding attacks against Islamic State in Syria, supporting Prime Minister David Cameron`s case that the country needs to help destroy militants who are “plotting to kill us”.
After over 10 hours of tense debate, lawmakers voted for air strikes, by 397 to 223. British Tornado GR4 bombers could leave an air base in Cyprus within hours to launch the country`s latest military action in the Middle East.
US President Barack Obama hailed the decision. In a statement that also praised a German government decision to provide 1,200 military personnel to support the fight against the radical group, Obama praised a “special relationship” with Britain “rooted in our shared values and mutual commitment to global peace, prosperity, and security.”
Given Britain`s diminished role on the world stage, the victory hands Cameron the chance to restore Britain`s standing in global affairs. He had urged lawmakers not to turn their back on allies such as France in their time of need.
“Britain is safer tonight because of the decision that the House of Commons has taken,” Foreign Minister Philip Hammond told Sky News.
Many British voters are wary of being dragged into another war in the Middle East. Some view Western intervention in Iraq and Libya as a failure that sowed chaos across the region and the news of the vote was met by howls of disgust by dozens of anti-war protesters demonstrating outside parliament.
But the November 13 attacks on Paris that killed 130 people and were claimed by Islamic State have stiffened the resolve of some lawmakers and divided the opposition Labour Party, which convinced Cameron he could win the support of parliament for extending air strikes beyond Iraq.
Cameron said the more than four-year Syrian civil war could not be resolved by military action alone, but that the strikes would “degrade” Islamic State militants – which he said should be called Daesh.
Daesh is the pejorative word used by opponents or people who do not support Islamic State to refer to the jihadist group.
“These terrorists are plotting to kill us and to radicalise our children right now. They attack us because of who we are, not because of what we do,” Cameron told a packed House of Commons, where many lawmakers sat on steps or stayed standing.
“The question is this: do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat, and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?”
Germany`s parliament is also expected to vote on Friday in favor of joining the campaign against Islamic State, although only to provide military support for air strikes, not actually to take part in them.
Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults
KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.
Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.
The study was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.
“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.
“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”
African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.
Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.
Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.Follow @gorkhapost