TV a weighty problem for kids – study

first_imgNZHerald 17 July 2012 Watching two hours of television puts a millimetre on the waist of a child and reduces the ability to exercise, researchers have found. Scientists who followed 1300 children from age 2 to 4 found that for every hour of extra TV a child watched each week, their waist measurement increased by 0.5mm and their jumping ability decreased by a third of a centimetre. The average child watched 8.8 hours of television a week at the younger age and 14.8 hours when they got older. But one in six watched more than 18 hours a week, their parents told the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development in Canada.  Experts recommend children over the age of 2 should watch no more than two hours of TV a day. Dr Caroline Fitzpatrick, of the University of Montreal, who led the study, said: “The pursuit of sports by children depends in part on their perceived athletic competence. Behavioural dispositions can become entrenched during childhood as it is a critical period for the development of habits. read more

UN Observers: ”Burundi presidential election not credible”

first_imgMENUB observes the electoral process in Burundi, before, during and after the electionsWhile the 21 July election in Burundi that won President Pierre Nkurunziza a controversial third term was relatively peaceful and conducted adequately, the overall environment was ‘not conducive’ for an inclusive, free and credible electoral process.This is accordning to an assessment by  the United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in the country (MENUB)This was the main conclusion of MENUB’s preliminary findings on the conduct of the presidential polls in Burundi, which took place after two postponements in an environment of “profound mistrust” between opposing political camps.The decision of the incumbent President to run for another term precipitated a deep political and socioeconomic crisis, the mission said.“The Constitutional Court’s ruling on the admissibility of the President’s candidature for a third mandate did not solve the wider political problem of presidential term limits in Burundi, but rather exacerbated further controversy, protests and tensions,” the Mission explained in a statement issued today.Freedoms of expression, assembly and association, essential conditions for the effective exercise of the right to vote, remained severely impaired. “Violence, although observed in a less intense degree than during the period preceding the 29 June [legislative and communal] elections, remained an unfortunate feature of the entire process.”The various dialogue efforts, including the most recent initiative under the leadership of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the East African Community (EAC), remained inconclusive, stated MENUB.“Also, the parties did not reach agreement on a consensual electoral calendar. Nevertheless, on election day, Burundians in most places went peacefully to the polls to cast their ballots.”Out of the eight presidential candidates, four declared that they would withdraw from the race. However, their names remained on the ballot, pointed out the Mission.It also found that media freedom remained severely restricted. “Private and independent media outlets that were destroyed during the failed coup did not reopen, despite national and international appeals to the Burundian government to enable media to operate. State-owned media did not provide balanced media coverage to all presidential candidates.”The Commission ¨¦lectorale nationale ind¨¦pendante (CENI) conducted adequate logistical preparations for the presidential elections and polling activities in the observed polling sites largely followed procedures, the UN observers noted.But tabulation at the observed municipal and provincial locations was carried out expeditiously, albeit in a disorganized manner, they said.In conclusion, MENUB reiterated the Secretary-General’s call “for the cessation of all forms of violence respect of basic human rights and resumption of dialogue.”last_img read more

Texas should look to join new ‘Big 12’

first_imgTexas.One could not blame Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany if he flinched every time he heard that word — or cursed Al Gore for having the gall to create the Internet.With Big Ten expansion questions being fired at the conference commish every time he steps out of his inner sanctum, there are only two real ways Delany can deal with the offseason mayhem that has resulted from the rumor mill churning out Texas as the next logical candidate for the misnomer that is the Big Ten expanding from 11 teams to 12.He can get drunk with Joe Paterno and fire off an email to Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds simply saying, “C’monnnnnnn.”Or, he can take the advice of high school guidance counselors everywhere, and write up a pros and cons list for pursuing Texas.Since I am mostly sober as I sit down to write this column, we will help our boy Jim with reasons both for and against making Texas the even dozen to the Big Ten’s bakery special. Since I am sure Jim has Texas’ best interests at heart too, this list will include reasons from both sides whether or not to make the move.Pros — Big Ten SideThis one needs as few words as possible, and if you want to skip down to the Texas side, I don’t blame you. Texas brings huge TV markets, superb athletics, superb academics, a championship game — cha ching — and one of the top three recruiting beds in the nation. The increased competition would be a huge boon as well. The SEC doesn’t dominate football because it has Florida, the SEC dominates football because it has Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and LSU. Add Texas to Ohio State and whichever other Big Ten school overachieving that season, and there is at least an argument about which conference is top dog.Cons — Big Ten SideThere actually are two cons for adding Texas, though neither should be worth halting any potential offers. The geography and travel expenses are a pain — as long as having no natural rivalries to pair with Texas — but the flow of green medicine should soothe this hurt pretty quickly. The assumption also goes that adding a 12th team means creating divisions for a championship game. To put it bluntly, championship game good, divisions really, really bad. Breaking up teams into divisions almost always requires separating some long standing rivals and as the soon to be Big XII South and North divisions go, one often becomes much more dominant than the other. Sure, it’s a minor concern, but an effort should be made to figure out a rotating schedule without the pain of divisions.From the Big Ten side of things, the verdict should be an obvious yes. The Big East basketball conference has done nothing but get stronger since they bullied Conference USA, and Texas adds money, prestige, money, really nice weather and more than enough money to overcome any nuisances that naturally come with expanding.So go ahead Mr. Delany, shoot that email over, drink in hand.Pros — Texas SideMoney. Cash. Benjamin Franklin pictures.Texas stands to gain a lot of this if they confuse literalists everywhere by making the Big XII=11 and the Big Ten balloon to 12. Still, hilarious nomenclature jokes aside, money plays into every decision NCAA teams ever make, and it might speak the loudest in this one. The Big Ten Network is reportedly dishing out anywhere from $17 million to $22 million to each school in the conference. For a gigantic athletic department, funding all the non-revenue sports remains the biggest challenge each year.The school also fits in academically, something important for both the Big Ten and Texas. Depending on what arbitrary ranking you prefer — US News for me…mostly because they pop up first in Google — Texas always falls somewhere inside the top 20 for universities in the US. While this point isn’t as sexy as talking about Texas-Ohio State games every year, it is a major factor for both sides.Cons — Texas SideLoyalty.Not to the Big XII, which has only existed since 1996, but to rivalries with Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Public relations considerations have to be made, and DeLoss Dodds (what a boss name) does not want to be the one to tell Longhorns fans the Red River Shootout is ending. So to continue the rivalry, Texas would have to schedule Oklahoma and possibly Texas A&M as non-conference games each year, creating a brutal non-conference schedule every season when the norm is to load up on the Woffords and Cal Polys of the football landscape.800 words later, the possible expansion basically comes down to what Texas values more: money or keeping rivalries intact.If NCAA history has taught us anything, graphic artists should set out to redesign the Big Ten logo for the second time in 20 years, because in football terms, 10 will now equal 12.Michael is a senior majoring in journalism. Think there is a better option than the Big Ten? Let him know at [email protected]last_img read more

Spruce man to appear in court

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich.– Michigan State Troopers were called to the US-23 South Marathon on the night of July 6 to deal with an alleged intoxicated man. The suspect, a Spruce resident named John Gray Jr, had already left in a vehicle. However, troopers didn’t take long to catch up to the vehicle and apprehend Gray.According to a press statement from the state police, gray then attempted to damage the patrol vehicle by thrashing about and violently kicking. He also refused a chemical test.Gray has been charged with multiple crimes, including Malicious Destruction of Police Property, Driving While Intoxicated Second Offense, and Resisting and Obstructing Police. He is set to appear in court on July 30.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Chief Forbush talks about emergency responseNext Three sentenced in 2019 Glennie assault caselast_img read more