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Former US President George HW Bush apologizes after an actress accuses him of groping

Agency Press France

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WASHINGTON — Former US President George HW Bush has apologized on Wednesday through his spokesman to an actress who accused him of groping her from his wheelchair while attending a screening which Bush said was intended as a friendly pat and a joke to put her at ease during a picture-taking session.

Heather Lind, 34, said the incident occurred four years ago at an event to promote the TV series “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” according to the Daily Mail, which saved a screenshot of a lengthy Instagram post she wrote and later deleted.

It is the latest in an outpouring of sexual harassment allegations against powerful male figures in entertainment, fashion and finance that followed the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who stands accused of assaulting and raping actresses.

Lind added she decided to share her story after seeing Bush Sr, 93, appear onstage at a benefit concert to raise money for victims of the hurricane-ravaged southern United States and Caribbean.

“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served,” she wrote.

“But when I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo.

“He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke,’ she added.

Later on, as pictures were being taken, Bush repeated the act, while “Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ”not again.'”

In a statement circulated to the Daily Mail and the New York Daily News, a spokesman for Bush did not deny the allegation but said it was an ill-judged attempt at humor.

“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,” the statement said.

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Health

Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults

Raghu Kshitiz

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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.

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