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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Dunya TV News Letter

Dunya TV

Karachi: Two dacoits killed in alleged police encounter


KARACHI: According to police, the two dacoits were stopped at a check post near Jona Market area of Lyari when they were fleeing after committing robbery.The dacoits opened fire at the police party and were killed in retaliation. Police have shifted the dead bodied to the Civil Hospital. The identity of the dead dacoits is not yet known.

Atherton and anti-corruption watchdog slam 'Big Three' plan


LONDON (AFP) - Former England captain Michael Atherton and a leading global anti-corruption watchdog have joined the chorus of criticism regarding plans to effectively cede control of world cricket to India, Australia and England.Leaked draft proposals to be discussed at a two-day International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting in Dubai on Tuesday and Wednesday call for more decision-making powers for a three-strong group of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board, who between them represent the games wealthiest nations.There is also a plan to create two divisions for Test cricket but with England, Australia and India all guaranteed to avoid relegation from the top tier because of their commercial importance.Atherton, now the cricket correspondent of The Times, was scathing in his condemnation of the proposals, writing they represented the end of the notion that a fair and principled and just body can govern cricket in the interests of all.Atherton agreed the ICC had to be reformed but said there was little merit in the Big Three plan.No one doubts that the status quo, as far as the ICC is concerned, is unacceptable: two full-member countries are thought to be corrupt; four are essentially broke; most rely on Indias largesse to keep going...Politics, race and personalities interfere with decision-making at every turn. Incompetence is a given.Meanwhile Transparency International issued a statement on Monday saying the intention to entrench a privileged position for The Big Three appears to be an abuse of entrusted power for private gain, giving them disproportionate, unaccountable and unchallengeable authority.If adopted, the plan would also mean the end of the ICCs existing Future Tours Programme, a system which compels the leading 10 Test nations to play each other during a set period.But the plans supporters argue boards would be freed from unviable tours, whatever their merit in cricketing terms, and that this would lead the seven beyond the Big Three to become more financially self-sufficient.The proposals need seven votes from the ICCs 10 leading nations to pass.The BCCI have also appeared to float the nuclear option of withdrawing from all ICC events if the proposals are not accepted.This is a potentially disastrous situation for many of the games smaller nations given the BCCI, thanks to crickets huge popularity in India, currently generates some 80 percent of the ICCs global revenue.Nevertheless, Cricket South Africa and Sri Lanka Cricket, representing two leading countries, if not two of the most financially powerful, have both called for the withdrawal of the position paper.Leading former senior administrators, led by Pakistans one-time ICC president Ehsan Mani, have also denounced the Big Three plan.Why does the BCCI need more money at the expense of other countries?, Mani wrote in an open letter to the ICC, adding more funds should be diverted to crickets junior nations.If cricket could be established properly in the United States of America and China and become an Olympic sport, the ICC could double its revenues in real terms over the next 10-15 years, he said.This requires vision and a less parochial approach.Ali Bacher, a former South Africa captain, warned of dire consequences if the Big Three plan was adopted.The Position Paper put forward by BCCI, ECB and CA if accepted would lead to division and strife in world cricket as never seen before, wrote Bacher.However, New Zealand Crickets Martin Snedden has been a relatively lone voice in insisting there was more to the scheme than a naked power grab by the Big ThreeGet this right and the FTP playing programme can be extended to 2023 and we can line it up with ICC events like the World Cup and World T20, said Snedden.Thatd be a stable platform to work from, he also told the New Zealand Herald.

India win toss, bat first against New Zealand


HAMILTON (AFP) - India won the toss and opted to bat first in a change of strategy in the fourth one-day international against New Zealand in Hamilton on Tuesday. The tourists, who trail 2-0 in the five-match series, chose to bowl in the first three matches, resulting in two defeats and a dramatic tie in Auckland.Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he believed his side had only been playing at 60 percent of potential and needed a lift in the crucial fourth match. They have made two changes, with Ambati Rayudu and Stuart Binny coming in for Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan. It will be Binny's one-day international debut. New Zealand have also made two changes, with Kyle Mills and Jimmy Neesham replacing frontline bowler Mitchell McClenaghan and all-rounder Corey Anderson. Teams: New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (captain), James Neeshan, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Hamish Bennett. India: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron, Mohammed Shami, Stuart Binny, Ambati Rayudu.

Nine killed in latest Iraq bloodshed


BAGHDAD (AFP) - A series of attacks in Baghdad and Sunni Arab areas north of the capital killed nine people on Monday, as Iraq grapples with a months-long surge in nationwide violence.Coupled with a protracted stand-off between security forces and anti-government fighters in the western province of Anbar, unrest this month has left more than 850 people dead, fuelling fears Iraq is slipping back into the brutal conflict that plagued it in 2006-2007.Foreign leaders and diplomats have urged Iraqs Shiite-led government to address long-term grievances in the disaffected Sunni community to undercut support for militants, but with elections due in April, Prime Minister Nuri-al-Maliki has taken a hard line.Attacks on Monday struck in Baghdad, and in and around the restive mostly-Sunni cities of Baquba, Mosul and Samarra, security and medical officials said.In the most brutal incident, gunmen killed two policemen and an anti-Qaeda Sahwa militiaman in an attack on their joint checkpoint near Samarra and then decapitated them.The Sahwa are a collection of Sunni Arab tribal militias that moved against their co-religionists in Al-Qaeda and joined with the US military from late 2006 onwards, helping turn the tide of Iraqs insurgency.Sunni militants regard them as traitors and often target them, as well as Iraqs security forces, in attacks.Elsewhere, gunmen killed three people, including a police officer, in separate shootings in Baghdad, while two policemen were gunned down in the main northern city of Mosul.Mortar fire in Muqdadiyah, near Baquba in confessionally-mixed Diyala province, killed one person and wounded three others.The latest bloodshed took the overall death toll for the month above 870 -- more than three times the toll for January 2013, according to an AFP tally.It comes as security forces are locked in battles with militants, including those affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Anbar, a mostly-Sunni desert region west of Baghdad that shares a border with Syria.The standoff has forced more than 140,000 people to flee their homes, the UN refugee agency said, describing this as the worst displacement in Iraq since the 2006-2008 sectarian conflict.

Iran nuclear talks to resume February in New York: US


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Iran and world powers will resume talks next month in New York on reaching a long-term nuclear deal, a senior US official said Monday.It is our understanding that those talks will be in New York in mid-February, with dates still being confirmed on schedule, but it will be around that time period, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.She confirmed that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton had agreed to hold the next round of talks in the US metropolis, rather than in Geneva where the negotiations have been held so far.New York has a similar UN support infrastructure to Geneva, Psaki said, which was important for a comprehensive agreement.She said it was not yet clear if the talks would be inside the UN headquarters in New York, adding that this is the first step of the next stage here, and a lot of this is still being determined.It also remained unclear whether any further talks would be held in New York, or whether they would move back to Geneva.Under a landmark agreement between Iran and the world powers gathered as p51, which took effect January 20 and is to last six months, Tehran committed to limit its uranium enrichment to five percent, halting production of 20 percent-enriched uranium.In return the European Union and the United States have eased crippling economic sanctions on Iran.The negotiators have initially set out a six-month timeframe to negotiate a fully comprehensive deal, but it could be extended for a further six months.Medium-enriched uranium is of particular concern to the international community since it can easily be purified to weapons-grade levels.The West and Israel -- the regions sole, undeclared nuclear-armed power -- suspect Irans nuclear ambitions include developing a military capability.The allegations are repeatedly denied by Tehran, which says its atomic activities are entirely peaceful.The Iranian news agency said earlier Monday that negotiations between Iran and the P51 group on a definitive agreement will take place in New York at the end of Bahman, the Iranian month that ends on February 19.

US to sell 24 Apache helicopters to Iraq


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon informed Congress on Monday it plans to sell 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq in a deal worth $4.8 billion, officials said, as Baghdad battles anti-government militants.Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Malikis government has asked Washington for weapons and intelligence as it takes on Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Anbar province but it remains unclear if US lawmakers will approve the proposed package.Congress has 15 days to raise objections to the planned arms sale, which also includes 480 Hellfire missiles and associated radar and navigation systems, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees foreign arms sales.The Pentagon also had separately notified Congress of plans to lease six Apache choppers to train Iraqi pilots.This proposed sale supports the strategic interests of the United States by providing Iraq with a critical capability to protect itself from terrorist and conventional threats, to enhance the protection of key oil infrastructure and platforms, and to reinforce Iraqi sovereignty, the DSCA said.The Boeing AH-64 helicopters will help provide Iraqi forces with close air support, armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare missions, it said.For weeks, parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah in western Iraq have been in the hands of anti-government fighters, including members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).The militants recent gains have marked the first time they have openly controlled Iraqi cities since the 2003 US-led invasion.US President Barack Obama and other foreign leaders have urged Baghdad to take political steps to undercut support for the militants, against whom the Shiite-led government has taken a hard line, launching a massive operation.Some lawmakers object to selling more arms to Iraq due to reports Baghdad is allowing Iran to use its airspace to help the Syrian regime. They also worry the Iraqi government will use the helicopters and other weapons to target political enemies instead of only suspected Al-Qaeda extremists.

At least 70 killed in Nigeria's attacks: officials


MAIDUGURI (AFP) - More than 70 people were killed in two separate attacks in northeast Nigeria, police and state authorities said on Monday, with suspicions falling on the banned Islamist militant group Boko Haram.The attacks on Sunday -- one on a busy market in Borno state, killing 45, and the other in neighbouring Adamawa, which left at least 26 dead -- came just a week after a change of the guard at the top of Nigerias military.New chief of defence Air Marshall Alex Badeh, who comes from Adamawa, had said he wanted a swift end to the bloody insurgency, which has claimed thousands of lives since 2009.But the latest attacks will likely renew calls for a more effective strategy, possibly considering non-military means such as dialogue or wider development schemes to prevent radicalisation in the impoverished north.Adamawa state spokesman Ahmad Sajo told AFP: From information from the police authorities, 26 people were killed in the attack, including two policemen, who mistook the attackers for soldiers because they were wearing military uniforms.Seventeen of the victims were shot dead... At the moment we dont know who the attackers were. Were waiting for that information from the security agencies.An unspecified number of injured were being treated in hospital, he added.Police had earlier said at least 45 people were killed and 26 others wounded in the Borno attack. So far, we have 45 dead and 26 injured... but the figures could increase as our men are still in the village searching for more casualties, state police commissioner Lawan Tanko told AFP.The attack happened at about 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) on Sunday when gunmen disguised as traders stormed Kawuri, in the Konduga area of Borno, 37 kilometres (23 miles) from the state capital, Maiduguri.Witnesses said the gunmen arrived in four-wheel-drive vehicles and opened fire with machine guns before setting off homemade bombs that destroyed houses and other property.Tanko, who blamed the attack on the Boko Haram sect, said he could not confirm that explosives were used but a specialist bomb disposal team had been sent in to search for unexploded devices.Thousands of civilians have died since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009 and the military response to it.Nigerias military claims it has been successful in forcing the Islamists out of towns and cities and into more remote rural areas near the border.But attacks have continued, forcing thousands to flee to neighbouring Cameroon, Niger and Chad and prompting claims that a purely military strategy to end the conflict is not working.Kawuri was attacked in October last year when suspected Boko Haram fighters clashed with a civilian vigilante group, leaving 10 dead and dozens of shops and homes razed.Emergency relief and disaster agencies meanwhile said they were assisting people affected by the Adawama incident.The main details are sketchy because its a security issue, said National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim.The Red Cross and Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency have mobilised. They are on the ground trying to provide some relief for those who lost their houses.Adamawa has also been under emergency rule since May but has been relatively calm compared to its northern neighbour Borno.Nigerias President Goodluck Jonathan this month replaced his most senior military brass days after a car bomb ripped through a crowded market in Maiduguri, killing 19.Boko Haram earlier claimed an attack in December on military installations in Maiduguri.

Sharapova desperate for repeat of Paris glamour


PARIS (AFP) - Maria Sharapova swaps sweltering Melbourne for wet and chilly Paris on Monday hoping her love affair with the French capital will help bury her Australian Open nightmare.The world number three was a shock fourth-round loser at the season-opening Grand Slam, going down to eventual finalist Dominika Cibulkova, her hopes hamstrung by a hip injury.But Paris only brings back warm recent memories for the Russian star who will start the WTA indoor tournament this week as top seed at the city's Stade Coubertin, just a short walk from Roland Garros where she clinched the French Open in 2012, completing a career Grand Slam.Sharapova was also runner-up at Garros last year although her only previous visit to the January indoor hardcourt tournament in Paris's plush 16th arrondissement ended in a quarter-final run.Sharapova's Melbourne campaign was just her second event since a shoulder injury ended her 2013 season in August, a setback which also ruled her out of the US Open.I think it's a success in terms of that I'm back and that I'm healthy, she said after her Australian Open exit.That's quite important otherwise I wouldn't give myself a chance to play.So on that note, I have to look at the positives and see where I have come from in four or five months. I haven't played a lot of tennis in those six months.Sharapova gets a first-round bye in Paris before a match-up with Slovak veteran Daniela Hantuchova or Marina Erakovic of New Zealand.Monday, however, sees the 26-year-old don her businesswoman's hat when she heads for the Champs-Elysees and the launch of her candy line.Once she has finished in Paris, the in-demand Sharapova will turn her attentions to TV, working as colour commentator for NBC at the Winter Olympics.They are taking place in Sochi, her childhood home until she was six and where she still has a number of friends.I'm going to be showcasing the city of Sochi to a worldwide audience, and we will be doing a few segments, said Sharapova, keen to quash any suspicion that she was an expert on bobsleigh or ski jumping. Elsewhere in Paris, Czech second seed Petra Kvitova looks to bounce back from her Australian Open first-round exit at the hands of unknown Thai, Luksika Kumkhum.The world number six was the Paris champion in 2011.Kvitova also has a bye in the first round before a second-round match-up with either Alize Cornet of France or Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.Italy's Sara Errani, the world number seven, takes the third seeding while Angelique Kerber of Germany, the world number nine, is seeded fourth.

Tennis: Lisicki struggles into second round in Pattaya


PATTAYA (AFP) - Top seed Sabine Lisicki struggled to reach the second round of the Pattaya Open on Monday, taking two hours to overcome Croatias Donna Vekic 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.Second seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova eased through by defeating Chinas Zhang Shuai 6-0, 7-6 (3) and Chinese eighth seed Peng Shuai beat Austrian Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-1, 7-6 (1).But seventh seed Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States was upset 6-2, 6-4 by Czech Karolina Pliskova.Lisicki, who lost the 2013 final to Maria Kirilenko, struggled right from the start, dropping her serve in the opening game.And although the German levelled at 2-2, Vekic broke again, led 5-3 and served for the set at 5-4 before Lisicki won the next three games.Early in the second set Lisicki received attention to her right shoulder and Vekic went on to take the set with ease as her opponent struggled with her serve.After an early exchange of breaks early in the final set Lisicki broke again to lead 5-3, failed to serve out the match but then broke serve again to claim victory.It happened during the match and as it went on it got worse and worse, said Lisicki of her shoulder. It was really, really tough to serve at all. I couldnt serve the way I wanted and the way I usually serve.But the most important thing is that I fought it out. I ran down every ball. I played the finals here last year and have good memories so I really wanted to keep on playing and finish the match and not lose in the first round.Spains Anabel Medina Garrigues suffered the first 6-0, 6-0 defeat of her 16-year career as she lost to American Alison Riske in just 58 minutes.

Football: FIFA condemns Brazil protest violence


RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - FIFA on Monday condemned all kinds of violence after a man was shot and injured by military police during an anti-World Cup demonstration Saturday in Sao Paulo.FIFA fully respects people's right to protest in a peaceful manner and as long as the rights of everybody are respected but condemns any form of violence, a FIFA statement read after a 22-year-old man was left in a coma after being shot in the neck and groin.Police said he was carrying an explosive device.Having already warned Brazil it needs to speed up final preparations for the World Cup after accusing the hosts of starting work too late.Leaving aside ongoing concerns over stadiums and other infrastructure issues such as transport, FIFA said it retained confidence in the comprehensive security concept (put) in place by the Brazilian authorities for the Cup.The security concept has worked well during the FIFA Confederations Cup and is built on models used at previous FIFA World Cups, said world football's governing body.Saturday had seen anti-World Cup groups call demonstrations in 36 cities against the multi-billion dollar cost of staging the tournament. Most were a damp squib but Sao Paulo saw acts of vandalism with a car set ablaze as well as a police vehicle and several office windows smashed.Local media reported 128 arrests following a turnout of some 2,500.Although most people support the tournament as it returns to the home of the five-time champions for the first time in 64 years, Brazil is braced for social unrest of the kind which marred last year's Confederations Cup dress rehearsal.

US tells Pakistan of 'tiger' potential


WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday told Pakistan it had the potential to become a future economic tiger as he backed reforms and inclusion of women and minorities.The United States and Pakistan were meeting for the first time since October 2010 for their strategic dialogue.The process was undertaken to build trust between but it quickly broke down due to a series of crises, including Pakistani rage over the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden.Kerry, who as a senator spearheaded a multibillion-dollar support package for the country, said the United States wants stronger ties with the people of Pakistan -- I emphasize, with the people of Pakistan -- as the Afghan war which forged their partnership winds down.He praised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifs economic reforms, which include efforts to build Pakistans miniscule tax base, as part of a $6.7 billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund.The United States has no doubt that Prime Minister Sharifs policies will put Pakistan on a path towards a more prosperous future, and we fully support his goal of making Pakistans marketplace a tiger economy for the 21st century, Kerry said.The United States has added 1,000 megawatts of capacity to Pakistans troubled electricity grid and is looking at greater cooperation in energy, education and infrastructure, Kerry said.Kerry also warned that Pakistans women and minorities needed to be part of its future.Pakistan has been ravaged by sectarian violence, with Sunni Muslim hardliners -- many enjoying virtual impunity -- killing hundreds of minority Shiites and Ahmadis in recent years.We believe very strongly that Pakistan is stronger for the diversity and dynamism of its people and is strongest when every man and woman in Pakistan, regardless of religion or sect or gender, participates in full in society, Kerry said.Pakistan has trudged forward at a growth rate of around three percent over the past five years, short of the levels seen as needed for the youthful country to tackle widespread poverty.The growth is well below the growth clocked by East Asias tiger economies or neighbor and historic rival India.The central State Bank of Pakistan has been more optimistic, projecting GDP growth of up to four percent in the current fiscal year.The IMF has said that Pakistan is on track with reforms but has warned of dwindling foreign reserves and moved upcoming consultations to outside the country due to security concerns.Pakistan, once the main supporter of Afghanistans Taliban, quickly switched sides after the September 11, 2001 attacks, developing a fractious partnership with the United States which has defied Islamabads public warnings by launching drone attacks against militants deep inside the country.With President Barack Obama planning to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan later this year, ending the longest-ever US war, both Washington and Islamabad are watching uneasily as Afghan President Hamid Karzai hesitates to sign a deal that would allow a limited role for Western troops.Sartaj Aziz, Sharifs national security adviser, said that Islamabad wanted to turn a transactional relationship into a deeper partnership in which the United States will not look at Pakistan from the two specific lenses of Afghanistan and terrorism.Aziz repeated common Pakistani complaints that the United States abandoned the country in the early 1990s after they collaborated to defeat Soviet forces in Afghanistan.In a joint statement, Aziz and Kerry called on the Taliban to enter talks with Afghanistan, saying that reconciliation was the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability.The statement called for non-interference in Afghanistan -- likely a nod to Pakistans concerns about India -- but also supported efforts to improve relations between Islamabad and New Delhi.

Golf: Stallings triumphs at Torrey Pines


LA JOLLA (AFP) - Scott Stallings erased a three-shot deficit and birdied the 72nd hole on Sunday to break out of the pack and win the US PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open.Stallings secured his third win in three years on the PGA Tour with a four-under-par 68. It wasnt always pretty, but it was enough for a winning nine-under-par total of 279.He finished one stroke in front of a field that was so closely packed that 10 different players held at least a share of the lead during the round.None of them had to worry about a sneak attack from world number one Tiger Woods, an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines who stunningly missed the secondary cut after a third-round 79.Nor was local favorite Phil Mickelson on hand. He pulled out on Friday night with a sore back.South Korean veteran K.J. Choi was among those whose named topped the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon. He posted the low round of the weekend with a six-under-par 66 that eventually left him tied for second on 280 with Canadian Graham DeLaet, Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman and American Pat Perez.Leishman, the 2010 runner-up, went into the final round one shot off Gary Woodlands lead and closed with a 71. DeLaet and Day both carded 68s while Perez notched a 70.Charley Hoffman leapt 20 places up the leaderboard with a five-under 67 that gave him a share of seventh on 281.He was joined by Japans Ryo Ishikawa and Will MacKenzie, who both carded 70s.Woodland struggled to a 74 to fall into a tie for 10th place with South Africas Trevor Immelman, South Koreas Noh Seung-Yul, Scotlands Russell Knox, Canadian Brad Fritsch and Justin Thomas.Stallings victory brought with it an invitation to the Masters, but he acknowledged that his swing was anything but dialed in during a round that included seven birdies and three bogeys.Stallings had six birdies and two bogeys in his last 11 holes and hit only four fairways in the final round.His second shot at the last just cleared the water, and he got up and down for birdie at the par-five to seal the win.Woodland looked to have the best chance of catching Stallings. He was one stroke behind before hooking his drive at 17. He three-putted from 45 feet for bogey, then missed a makeable birdie attempt at the last.This will be hard to swallow, Woodland said. I felt like I kind of gave one away today.

US study finds pesticide may raise risk of Alzheimer's


WASHINGTON (AFP) - People with Alzheimer's disease may have higher levels of a chemical left behind by the pesticide DDT than healthy elderly people, suggested a US study out Monday.The pesticide, DDT, was phased out in the United States in 1972, but is still used elsewhere in the world and global health authorities consider it an important tool against malaria.Researchers found DDE, the long-lasting metabolite of DDT, was nearly four times higher in Alzheimer's patients than in peers without the disease.Having high DDE levels was also found to increase someone's risk of Alzheimer's fourfold, according to the study which compared 86 Alzheimer's patients to 79 people of advanced age.The patients in the study came from the US states of Texas and Georgia, and their average age was 74, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Neurology.Outside experts cautioned that its sample size was small and should be followed with more research.The findings should be a stimulus to further research using more rigorous epidemiological methods, but of themselves, they do not provide strong evidence of a hazard, said David Coggon, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the University of Southampton in Britain. The differences in DDE levels were seen in the Texas sample, but not in Georgia, noted an accompanying editorial in JAMA Neurology by doctors at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia.The editorial writers, Steven DeKosky and Sam Gandy, noted that the research should be considered preliminary until there is independent confirmation in other populations.Little is known about what causes Alzheimer's disease, which afflicts five million people in the United States. The World Health Organization says some 35 million people around the world are living with dementia.This is one of the first studies identifying a strong environmental risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, said a statement by study co-author Allan Levey, chair of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. The potentially huge public health impact of identifying an avoidable cause of Alzheimer's disease warrants more study -- urgently.

Oil market dips as traders wait on Fed


NEW YORK (AFP) - More turbulence in global financial markets Monday helped press oil prices lower amid rising concerns for global economic growth.In New York the main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery, dropped 92 cents to finish at $95.72 a barrel.London's benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for March, shed $1.19 to stand at $106.69 per barrel.Stocks continued to sink on Monday in Asia and Europe, and remained frail in the United States, on the heels of last week's rout.Kash Kamal at the Sucden brokerage in London said trade was thin in part due to the onset of the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays and in part as traders waited to see how the US Federal Reserve shapes monetary policy in its two-day meeting beginning Tuesday.The oil market faced continued uncertainty as investors adopt a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the Fed's meeting later this week, he said.The Fed is generally expected to make another cut to its stimulus program, bringing it down to $65 billion a month in bond purchases.The so-called tapering of the Fed's asset purchases would likely boost the greenback, making dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies.Slowing growth in China has also been a factor, said Brenda Kelly, senior market strategist at traders IG.With manufacturing output in the second-largest global economy slated to show a decline this month, oil may well be in for additional losses.

Dollar gains vs. euro on eve of Fed meeting


NEW YORK (AFP) - The dollar rose a tick against the euro Monday on the eve of the Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting, widely expected to further taper the central bank's huge stimulus. The euro traded at $1.3670 around 2200 GMT, compared with $1.3675 at the same time Friday.The dollar made some headway against the yen, buying 102.56 yen, up from 102.33 yen. In earlier Asian trading the greenback hit a seven-week low of 101.77 yen.The euro also rose against the Japanese currency, at 140.21 yen up from 139.96 yen Friday.The euro earlier in the day had climbed after upbeat data on Germany, Europe's largest economy, added to evidence of a growing recovery in the eurozone.The Ifo economic institute said its closely watched German business climate index climbed to 110.6 points in January, up from 109.5 points in December, and that the outlook was the most optimistic in almost three years.But the Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday was the market's main concern.Despite last Friday's global market turmoil, sparked by worries about emerging-market economies after Argentina's sudden devaluation of its peso combined with concerns about China's slowing economy, most analysts expect the Fed will announce Wednesday a $10 billion reduction in its monthly asset purchases, to $65 billion.The Fed announced in mid-December it would begin tapering the stimulus that has pressed down long-term interest rates in a bid to support the US economic recovery, setting the first taper, of $10 billion, for January.The rebound in US (bond) yields and sell-off in US stocks suggests that investors are preparing for another round of tapering this week from the Federal Reserve, said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities, said that market expectations for the Fed to continue further cut the asset purchases should be supportive for the US dollar and therefore we maintain an upward bias for the greenback.The dollar firmed to 0.8969 Swiss franc from 0.8943 franc Friday.But it fell against the British pound, a day ahead of the government's report on fourth-quarter economic growth. The pound bought $1.6579, up from $1.6479.There's scope for an upside surprise in gross domestic product growth in Britain, Lien said.

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