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Wild elephants trample Rohingya refugees to death

Thompson Reuters

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COX’S BAZAR — At least four Rohingya refugees were trampled to death by an elephant in a makeshift camp in the Cox’s Bazar area of Bangladesh on Saturday morning.

A woman and three young children, who had fled violence in their home country of Burma, were killed when the animal stormed their temporary shelter in the Balukhali camp, where tens of thousands of refugees are living.

The deaths of the woman, two 9-year-old and 6-year-old girls, and one 1-year-old boy were confirmed by Abdul Khayer, the officer in charge of the Ukhiya police station in the area.

Two other people were also injured in what is now the second fatal attacked by wild elephants in the area. A two-year-old boy and an elderly man were trampled to death while sleeping in their shelter last month.

More than 530,000 refugees from Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh over the last two months since attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts triggered a Myanmar army operation that the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing.

Many trees on the forested hills of Balukhali in southern Bangladesh, where the incident took place, have been chopped down to house the massive influx of Rohingya.

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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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