Trump, in angry Twitter spree, declares ‘the complete power to pardon’
Those who hope for a Twitter tirade from the president every Saturday morning were amply rewarded, as he lashed out at multiple targets.
07/22/2017 - 10:40 AM
Eight Massive Wildfires Rage Across California
Among the fires is the most destructive wildfire in the U.S. this year, which crept within a mile of the historic tourist town of Mariposa.
07/22/2017 - 12:04 PM
Teenagers who filmed and laughed as disabled man drowned had no legal duty to save him, experts say
Teenagers who laughed while filming a disabled man as he drowned instead of rescuing him had no legal obligation to help, according to experts. Police are pursuing misdemeanour charges against the five minors, aged between 14 and 16, for failing to report the death of Jamie Dunn. As the 31-year-old drowned in a Florida pond on 9 July, the five teenagers mocked, laughed at and recorded him dying before posting the video online.
07/22/2017 - 06:25 AM
Six dead in worst Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed for years
By Luke Baker and Ori Lewis JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Six people were killed on Friday in the bloodiest spate of Israeli-Palestinian violence for years, prompted by new security Israeli measures at Jerusalem's holiest site. Three Israelis were stabbed to death in a Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, hours after three Palestinians were killed in violence prompted by Israel's installation of metal detectors at entry points to the Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's walled Old City. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the suspension of all official contact with Israel until it removed the metal detectors.
07/21/2017 - 05:22 PM
Don't interfere in Turkish affairs, Erdogan tells Germany
Germany has no right to interfere in Turkey's domestic affairs, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, his latest broadside in a blistering row sparked by the waves of arrests under the current state of emergency. Several German nationals are among those being held and Berlin has warned its citizens that their safety cannot be guaranteed in Turkey and that consular access is not assured in case of arrest. Throwing away any pretence at diplomatic nuance, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had Thursday also warned German firms against investment in Turkey and spoke of an "overhaul" of the entire relationship.
07/23/2017 - 10:44 AM
Russian Spy House That Inspired 'The Americans' Will Be Put Up for Sale
A New Jersey home that has been vacant since the FBI arrested a family of undercover Russian spies living there is heading for sale
07/22/2017 - 02:07 PM
Ohio set to resume executions, child killer awaits appeals
Ohio is moving toward carrying out its first execution in more than three years.
07/23/2017 - 10:54 AM
Minneapolis police chief resigns after Australian woman's shooting
(Reuters) - Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau resigned on Friday at the request of the city's mayor, who said that she had lost confidence in Harteau following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed Australian woman. The death of Justine Damond, 40, from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen fired through an open window of a police patrol car, has outraged her relatives and the public in Australia. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it "shocking" and "inexplicable." Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement that she and Harteau agreed during discussions on Friday that Harteau would step aside.
07/21/2017 - 07:54 PM
Ex-CIA Director Hayden: Russia election meddling was ‘most successful covert operation in history’
Michael Hayden, former head of the NSA and CIA, called Russia’s interference in the 2016 election the “most successful covert influence operation in history.”
07/21/2017 - 05:20 PM
The many indignities of Sean Spicer
White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned his post Friday after six months and one half day on the job, surviving almost weekly predictions of his imminent departure at the hands of one or another of the president’s aides and advisers. The final indignity appeared to be Trump’s hiring of Anthony Scaramucci as the new White House communications director, which became public shortly before.
07/21/2017 - 04:49 PM
Eight dead bodies including two young children found in truck outside San Antonio Walmart, in suspected people-trafficking tragedy
The driver of the lorry found in the car park at the store in San Antonio was arrested and taken into police custody, although his identity has not yet been released. Around 38 people were inside the truck, fire chief Charles Hood said at a news conference. The San Antonio Fire Department released a statement saying: “A search of the surrounding area was also conducted to attempt to locate any patients that may have attempted to flee the scene.
07/23/2017 - 08:41 AM
Venezuela’s symphony of protests
Musicians in Venezuela have been taking their instruments to protests this year, and a violist was killed in June. Here are some of the players in action.
07/23/2017 - 05:00 AM
Afghanistan's Shiites mark anniversary of deadly attack
The site west of Kabul is the last resting place for victims of a deadly suicide bombing on July 23 last year -- the first claimed by the Islamic State group in the heart of Kabul against Afghanistan's Shiite Muslim Hazara ethnic minority. The line from Turkmenistan to Kabul, capital of energy-starved Afghanistan, bypasses the province of Bamiyan, a Hazara stronghold. For Hazara leaders the route is a further sign of discrimination against their community and their province, one of the least developed in Afghanistan.
07/23/2017 - 10:07 AM
Visa issues take spotlight after Burundi teens exit event
WASHINGTON (AP) — The big controversy leading up to the FIRST Global international robotics competition in Washington was whether a team of girls from Afghanistan would be able to participate, after their initial visa applications were denied.
07/21/2017 - 06:08 PM
Hundreds of sheep killed after bear chases them over cliff
More than 200 sheep have died after they hurtled over the edge of a cliff in the Pyrenees mountains while being chased by a bear. Their deaths have reignited the bitter debate over the presence of bears in the mountain range that straddles the French-Spanish border, where they were reintroduced 20 years ago after disappearing in the early 1990s. The sheep belonged to a farmer in the Couflens area on the French side of the border, but their bodies were found last Sunday at the foot of a cliff just over the border in Spain. The rest of the large flock was missing after dispersing over the mountains while fleeing the attack. Local authorities sent experts to examine the scene during the week and they concluded that the sheep had been running away from a bear. The sheep’s owner will be compensated for each of the 209 animals found dead, which is standard practice in such cases as part of the deal made between the government and farmers when brown bears from Slovenia were introduced in the late 1990s. Firefighters rescue Dolly the sheep from 15ft fall into rock crevice 00:47 But the deaths provoked an angry statement from the militant Confédération Paysanne (Farmers’ Federation) which demanded immediate action to stop deadly attacks by bears on livestock. “Pastoralism, which is a guarantor of biodiversity and of a living and welcoming mountain region, is not compatible with the reintroduction of large predators,” it said in a statement. “The state, which is responsible for the reintroduction of the bears, should remove the ones that are causing problems and should not reintroduce any more bears,” it said. The verbal protest was the latest battle in the long-running war between livestock farmers and animal conservationists who believe bears have their rightful pace in the mountain range. Herd of bison sees off pack of wolves in incredible footage 01:22 A similar battle is going on over the growing presence of wolves in France. On Thursday the government gave the green light for the cull of dozens of wolves in mountain areas, mostly in the southeast, where they have killed around 8,000 farm animals, mostly sheep, over the past year. The cull of up to 40 wolves by July next year represents a little over 10 percent of France's total wolf population. Wolves were eradicated in France in the 1930s but began to arrive back from Italy in the 1990s.
07/22/2017 - 12:23 PM
Danai Gurira Is the True Badass of the New Black Panther Footage
Fans at San Diego Comic-Con got an exclusive look at Black Panther on Saturday night. Unfortunately, director Ryan Coogler said that the footage was just…
07/22/2017 - 10:50 PM
U.S. abortion support groups put on more public face
The Kentucky Health Justice Network, where she volunteers, is one of dozens of non-profit U.S. abortion funds providing money for procedures or covering travel costs to help women obtain abortions, particularly in states where Republican-backed laws have narrowed options. For years, such organizations kept a low profile to avoid being targeted by abortion opponents. The anti-abortion movement won a victory with the election of President Donald Trump, who has promised to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision protecting a woman's right to abortion.
07/22/2017 - 10:04 AM
'You would have to be a lunatic': Tourists to North Korea describe risks and rewards
James left North Korea this year with smuggled currency, stamps and a poster of “the great leader,” Kim Il Sung, that he bought on the black market. Months later, James’s fellow American, Otto Warmbier, died after suffering from a mysterious brain injury while in detention in North Korea, accused of stealing a propaganda poster from a hotel. The US State Department has long recommended against travel to North Korea, but Warmbier’s death prompted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to authorize his department to block Americans from traveling to the country.
07/21/2017 - 09:26 PM
Hungarian PM offers support to Poland in row with EU
By Marton Dunai BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday that Budapest would defend Poland as the European Union threatens Warsaw with sanctions over its plans to extend government control over its courts. Poland is overhauling its supreme court despite street protests against the move and the threat of EU penalties. "The inquisition offensive against Poland can never succeed because Hungary will use all legal options in the European Union to show solidarity with the Poles," Orban said in an annual speech that was televised from Baile Tusnad, Romania, where he was attending a gathering of conservative leaders.
07/22/2017 - 08:19 AM
Kentucky to Pay Attorney Fees for Defiant County Clerk
A federal judge has ordered Kentucky taxpayers to pay more than $220,000 in attorneys' fees for an elected county clerk who caused a national uproar by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2016.
07/21/2017 - 05:31 PM
Eight bodies found in overheated truck in a Walmart in Texas
Eight suspected migrants were found dead early Sunday inside an overheated truck in a Walmart parking lot in Texas, and nearly 30 others were hospitalized, in what police said appeared to be a “horrific” human trafficking crime.
07/23/2017 - 11:13 AM
Teenage cheerleader accused of killing newborn baby and burying it in garden
An 18-year-old cheerleader has been arrested after her child’s remains were found buried in her backyard, with investigators revealing the baby was alive at the time of birth. Brooke Skylar Richardson was charged with reckless homicide in the US state of Ohio on Friday after evidence emerged that the child “was not a stillborn baby”, according to the Dayton Daily News. Authorities determined the infant died more than two months ago and only found the child's remains because of a tip from a doctor's office.
07/22/2017 - 05:49 AM
Minneapolis police chief resigns after shooting by officer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau resigned Friday at the request of the mayor, who said she lost confidence in the chief after last weekend's fatal police shooting of an unarmed Australian woman who had called 911.
07/21/2017 - 11:45 PM
6 of the most notable discoveries that have been revealed by melting ice
Two frozen bodies uncovered in the Swiss Alps this week are only the latest secret shrinking glaciers around the world have given up.
07/22/2017 - 07:37 AM
US airstrike kills 16 Afghan policemen in Helmand as Taliban leader's son believed dead in suicide attack
A US airstrike has killed 16 policemen in Afghanistan, officials said Saturday, the latest setback to Washington's efforts to bring peace to the war-torn country. The incident took place in Helmand province on Friday as Afghan security forces attempted to clear a village of Taliban militants, Salam Afghan, a police spokesman, told AFP. "In the strike, 16 Afghan policemen were killed including two commanders. Two other policemen were wounded," he said. The strike hit a compound in Gereshk district in Helmand, large parts of which are under Taliban control. Afghan security force members are in an ongoing battle against the Taliban Credit: Xinhua / Barcroft Images "A US-supported (Afghan security) operation... resulted in the deaths of... friendly Afghan forces who were gathered in a compound," Nato's mission in Afghanistan said in a statement. "We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families affected by this unfortunate incident," the statement said, adding there would be a probe into what happened. This follows the news that the son of Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada died on Thursday carrying out a suicide attack in Helmand. Abdur Rahman, 23, also known as Hafiz Khalid, was driving a vehicle laden with explosives into an Afghan military base in the town of Gereshk, north of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, the Taliban's main spokesman for southern Afghanistan, said. A US Marine talks with Afghan National Army soldiers during a training in Helmand province Credit: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani He said Abdur Rahman had been a madrassa student but had wanted to carry out a suicide attack. "He succeeded in his mission last Thursday," he said. Taliban fighters drove three captured Humvee vehicles into checkpoints during heavy fighting around Gereshk on Thursday. One senior Taliban member, close to Haibatullah's family, said Abdur Rahman had enrolled as a suicide bomber before his father became leader of the Taliban last year and had insisted on continuing after his father took office. Mullah Haibatullah took over leadership of the Taliban after his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour died in a US drone strike in Pakistan in May, 2016. "Before this, a number of close relatives and family members of previous supreme leaders had conducted suicide bombings but Sheikh Haibatullah has become the first supreme leader whose son sacrificed his life," the senior Taliban member said. A government official said security authorities were investigating the incident and could not confirm that Mullah Haibatullah's son had been killed. People greet the Afghan security officials as they took control of the Nawa district following an operation against Taliban militants in Helmand earlier this month Credit: EPA/WATAN YAR The incident in Gereshk came as fighting in Helmand, source of most of Afghanistan's opium crop, has intensified in recent days following the end of the harvest season. The insurgents control much of the province and threaten Lashkar Gah but government forces, backed by US airstrikes, have launched an operation to drive them back from around the provincial capital. In addition to the fighting in Helmand, there have also been reports of heavy fighting in other areas of the country, from Kunduz and Baghlan province in the north to Farah province in the west. An interior ministry spokesman, Najeeb Danish, said a ministry delegation had been sent to the area to investigate and help families of the victims. Helmand for years was the centrepiece of the US and British military intervention in Afghanistan. But the Taliban now effectively controls or contests 10 of Helmand's 14 districts, blighted by a huge opium harvest that helps fund the insurgency.
07/22/2017 - 07:39 AM
Apple Patches Serious Wi-Fi Exploit In iOS 10.3.3
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update fixes a major security flaw that allowed for remote code execution to be done on iOS devices via its Wi-Fi chip.
07/21/2017 - 06:22 PM
New communications head Anthony Scaramucci deletes old tweets
Donald Trump’s critic turned communications guru admitted on Saturday that he is purging his Twitter account of political views likely to embarrass his boss. “Full transparency: I’m deleting old tweets,” Anthony Scaramucci posted. “Past views evolved & shouldn’t be a distraction. Scaramucci’s appointment was announced on Friday, setting off a domino effect at the White House as press secretary Sean Spicer resigned and Sarah Huckabee Sanders replaced him.
07/22/2017 - 04:27 PM
Xanda, son of Cecil the Lion, killed by hunter in Zimbabwe
The son of Cecil the Lion, whose death at the hands of an American tourist in Zimbabwe caused international uproar, has also been shot dead by a hunter in Zimbabwe, scientists said. The lion, known as Xanda, was shot on July 7 just outside the boundary of Hwange National Park, close to where his father died, according to a group of researchers from Oxford University who were tracking him. As Xanda was shot outside the park, his killing was legal.
07/22/2017 - 03:39 AM
Qatar emir ready for Gulf crisis talks with conditions
Qatar's ruler said Friday that the Gulf emirate is ready for talks to resolve a diplomatic crisis with a Saudi-led bloc so long as his country's sovereignty is respected. "We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems," so long as Qatar's "sovereignty is respected," Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said in his first public comments since Saudi Arabia and its allies severed ties with the gas-rich emirate. "Any settlement of the crisis must be based on two principles," he said in a televised speech.
07/21/2017 - 04:45 PM
10-Year-Old Arrested For Allegedly Stealing a Car for the Fourth Time in 6 Weeks
Police said he removed his ankle monitor being caught.
07/22/2017 - 04:07 PM
Radio station cancels Richard Dawkins appearance over Islam tweets
A US radio station invited Richard Dawkins to speak about his latest book, and then cancelled the ticketed event over his tweets about Islam. The evolutionary biologist was due to discuss Science in the Soul: Collected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist at a benefit event for KPFA, a listener-funded station in Berkeley, California. Tickets were snapped up ahead of the anti-theist’s planned talk on 9 August – but KPFA cancelled the event on Thursday, claiming it had recently discovered that his comments about Islam had upset people.
07/22/2017 - 10:42 AM
National Weather Service cancels its union contract
WASHINGTON (AP) — In what could be the first major labor showdown of the Trump administration, the National Weather Service announced it will cancel its contract with the union representing about 3,800 of its meteorologists and other workers.
07/21/2017 - 05:53 PM
31-pound stray cat named Mr. Handsome is my favorite celebrity
Here's a good situation: a 31-pound stray cat who goes by "Mr. Handsome" has received so much interest at a Pittsboro, North Carolina animal shelter that his new home will be determined by a literal
raffle. Mr. Handsome, a flawless celebrity, has been winning hearts all week after being brought into the Chatham County Animal Shelter as a stray. Since then, there's been such an influx of prospective adopters to the shelter that parking and traffic have become strained. SEE ALSO: Cat that ingested antifreeze saved by the elixir of life: Vodka Now, those who'd like to adopt Mr. Handsome can fill out an application, which must be emailed to the shelter by July 26. If your name is drawn from the raffle, you'll be vetted further before the greatest cat to ever live is yours to keep. In the meantime, Mr. Handsome will be luxuriating in the ideal hotel suite — a cleared-out cabinet shelf he selected himself. WATCH: An incredible new robot inspired by vines can grow 25,000 times its original size
07/22/2017 - 02:37 PM
John McCain enjoys 'amazing hike' with daughter Meghan days after being diagnosed with cancer
Within days of being diagnosed with cancer, John McCain has enjoyed an 'amazing hike' with his daughter Meghan. Ms McCain, a host on Fox News, tweeted a picture of her sitting with the Arizona Senator. "Amazing hike with Dad this morning, Thank you for your best wishes." Mr Mcain, 80, was diagnosed with a brain tumour after doctors removed a blood clot above his left eye. Amazing hike with Dad @SenJohnMcCain this morning. Thank you all for your best wishes! pic.twitter.com/P9RR2v91HB— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 22, 2017 He and his family are reviewing options for further treatment, which are expected to include a combination of radiation and chemotherapy. The diagnosis was greeted with shock across the US political spectrum with Donald Trump wishing Mr McCain, who has been one of his most vociferous Republican critics, well. Barack Obama hailed Mr McCain, who ran against him in the 2008 presidential election, as a fighter. “Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John,” the former president tweeted. Widely respected in Washington, Mr McCain was captured during the Vietnam War and spent five and a half years in captivity during which he was tortured before being released in 1973.
07/22/2017 - 10:01 PM
This Is The Best Happy Hour Spot In Your State
07/22/2017 - 03:48 PM
Democrats herald agreement on sweeping Russia sanctions bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Democrats announced Saturday that a bipartisan group of House and Senate negotiators have reached an agreement on a sweeping Russia sanctions package to punish Moscow for meddling in the presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.
07/22/2017 - 01:46 PM
Iraqi bridge is sole link for Mosul residents rebuilding lives
By Angus MacSwan MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - On a pontoon bridge connecting East and West Mosul, residents of a city shattered by the battle to expel Islamic State cross back and forth trying to rebuild their lives from the rubble. Other bridges, including the landmark Iron Bridge, were wrecked in nine months of urban warfare which saw Iraqi government forces fight the militants street-by-street and house-by-house. All have tales of hardship and suffering under three years of Islamic State rule and, despite their relief that is over, now they are worried about their present predicament and the future.
07/22/2017 - 02:55 AM
Warren Buffet Blames ‘Stupidity’ For Not Investing In Amazon
Here's what the famed billionaire had to say about the e-commerce giant.
07/21/2017 - 06:30 PM
Mom of Teen Who Went Missing at Sea with Friend Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Other Family
She claims their negligence led to the boys' deaths in the suit.
07/23/2017 - 11:43 AM
Teacher convicted of having sex with her student suing teenage boy for defamation
A 36-year-old teacher convicted of having sex with a person under the legal age of consent in California is suing the student she slept with for defamation. Tara Stumph, who is currently serving a 180 day sentence for having sex with a 16-year-old student, says that statements made by the young man hurt her reputation and her career. Stumph was named alongside her former employer, the Lucia Mar School District, in the lawsuit brought against her by her victim’s family.
07/22/2017 - 12:47 PM
How to Peel and Devein Shrimp
This article, How to Peel and Devein Shrimp, originally appeared on Chowhound.
07/22/2017 - 11:00 AM
Sprint is just straight-up trolling Verizon now
In absence of actually having a good network, Sprint is relying on some top-notch PR to bother Verizon. Sprint already stole away Verizon's signature spokesperson -- Mr "Can You Hear Me Now?" -- and it's now hitting on Verizon's pricing with a savage stunt.
For one day only, Sprint has opened up a "Twice the Price" shop next to a Verizon store in Queens, NY. The concept is a store filled with regular things that are twice the price, just like Verizon's plans are twice the price of Sprint.
It's an incredibly brazen attempt to hit Verizon where it hurts most, and it is kinda funny. Verizon has arguably the best network around: it comes joint-top in most speed tests with T-Mobile, and its coverage is hands-down the best in rural areas and indoors.
But Verizon's pricing is undeniably high. Even the new Unlimited plan, which was meant to be Verizon's answer to T-Mobile One, is $80 a month for the first line.
Now, you can argue that Verizon's plans are still value for money. The Unlimited plan comes with good perks like 10GB of hotspot data, which you pay extra for on T-Mobile (or anyone else), and Verizon does get you more consistent coverage.
But for the average user, Sprint's betting that paying half the price makes up for any shortcomings in service. Sprint doesn't have the money to build out its network to compete with Verizon, so the "Twice the Price" store is going to have to do as a competitive strategy for now.
07/21/2017 - 07:12 PM
Donald Trump's immigration crackdown encapsulated in poignant images of father being deported
A man said goodbye to his wife and four children as he was deported from the US to Mexico after 16 years. Campaigners, lawyers and politicians arrived at Cleveland airport to denounce Jesus Lara Lopez’s removal as one of “the darkest times in our nation”. Mr Lara Lopez comforted his children, who will now grow up without a father present.
07/22/2017 - 10:27 AM
Russia is responsible for 'hot war' in Ukraine: US envoy
The new US special envoy on Ukraine said Sunday that Russia is responsible for the "hot war" in the country's east, after fresh clashes between government forces and Russian-backed rebels. Kurt Volker, who was appointed this month as the State Department's special representative for negotiations to end more than three years of fighting, was visiting on the eve of telephone talks between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France on how to stem a conflict that has claimed 10,000 lives. "This is not a frozen conflict, this is a hot war and it is an immediate crisis that we all need to address as quickly as possible," Volker said while visiting the government-controlled city of Kramatorsk in the war-torn Donetsk region.
07/23/2017 - 01:01 PM
Trump warns Iran over detained Americans: White House
U.S. President Donald Trump warned that Iran would face "new and serious consequences" unless all unjustly detained American citizens were released and returned, the White House said in a statement on Friday. Trump urged Iran to return Robert Levinson, an American former law enforcement officer who disappeared more than 10 years ago in Iran, and demanded that Tehran release businessman Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer. The statement capped a week of rhetoric against Tehran.
07/21/2017 - 07:49 PM
California governor turns to housing, rail after climate win
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown's aggressive plea for lawmakers to renew California's signature climate change law proved fruitful this week, bolstering his credibility as a world leader in the fight against global warming.
07/23/2017 - 01:30 AM
Are you a medieval sleeper? Why it's time to put the eight-hour night to bed
It’s 3am and I’m sitting on my bed propped up against a Manhattan skyline of pillows, painting my toenails palm green. On recent nights, around this hour, I’ve also planned my husband’s birthday party and learnt how to make an authentic Cuban daiquiri. I call these stolen 60 minutes in the middle of the night my ‘anti-nap’: a peaceful shadowland between sleep and the day’s activities, when I catch up on the sort of quiet pursuits that are impossible when you’re trying to extract a toddler’s fingers from a plug socket. As a working mother this is the closest I get to me time – and it’s a joy. The odd hours I keep are nothing new. Insomnia In my 20s I’d fall asleep like a cat: on aeroplanes and trains and even – a lucky knack for a travel writer – the back of bumpy rickshaws. But wherever I lay my head, by 3am I’d be awake and pottering about for up to an hour before dozing off again until 6am. I now know I’m not alone. Two thirds of women over the age of 40 wake at least once during the night, according to researchers at Harvard University, while a Sleep Council report found that a quarter of over 40s are natural ‘biphasic sleepers’. Biphasics, as we are known, tend either towards the ‘siesta structure’ of a five- or six-hour night-time sleep, plus a 30- to 90-minute daytime nap, or – like me – into a rhythm of two- to four-hour sleeps bridged by a waking period. Expert view | Three ways to improve your sleep This isn’t something we can control – it is related to your age and circadian chronotype, which decides if you’re a night owl or up with the larks (or, in fact, a dolphin, lion, bear or wolf). Biphasics differ from insomniacs in that they do get enough sleep. In fact, A. Roger Ekirch, author of At Day’s Close: A History of Nighttime, argues that biphasics or ‘medieval sleepers’ get closer to nature’s intention than the sleep we aspire to today (those precious eight uninterrupted hours). ‘For thousands of years until the industrial age, humans slept twice,’ Ekirch says. ‘A deeper first sleep from sunset until around 2am, followed by an interval of wakefulness, usually lasting an hour, then a lighter second sleep until around 6am, or later in the winter.’ Insomnia The interval in the middle was used to visit neighbours, pray, or have sex, according to Ekirch. Only with the arrival of artificial lighting in the 1820s did sleep begin to compress into the pattern we now know. For years I battled my ‘medieval’ sleep schedule, thinking it eccentric and antisocial. I tried meditation and melatonin hormone supplements. I ignored the clock during my wakeful phase and counted my breaths and heartbeats. I tried sprinting and yoga, valerian roots, chamomile and blackout curtains. Back then, my sleeping patterns had a greater impact on my life. In a particularly hormonal phase in my late 20s, I’d sleepwalk, or rather ‘sleep cook’, at the tail end of my first sleep, jolting to wakefulness to find myself in the kitchen grilling something peculiar (once, sweet pickle and mayonnaise). Why not get up at 2am after your first sleep cycle and do some chores? In my early 30s, my nocturnal activities caused tensions with a boyfriend who was a light sleeper and, after I woke him up, he would pace the flat in his underpants accusing me of ‘Riverdancing’ in bed. More recently, with a husband who’s a rock-solid sleeper and a renewed gratitude for my wakeful hour, I’ve made peace with my medieval sleep patterns. Unbothered by my night-time wakings, Tim is grateful that I’m a morning lark to his night owl, making us compatible for shared parenthood. The best ways to reboot your sleep routine Dr Bryony Sheaves, a clinical psychologist from the Sleep & Circadian Neuroscience Institute, concurs. ‘Some people will wake in the night and others won’t; some people are morning people and others are evening types. So abandoning strict rules about sleep can reduce the anxiety that often gets in the way of a good night’s sleep.’ But are there any other benefits to biphasic sleeping, beyond splitting childcare and achieving a neat sock drawer? Segmented sleepers often find they sleep fewer hours overall but that they wake feeling more refreshed. According to a report in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, biphasics consolidate deep sleep (when your brain and body are restored) in their first block, then have REM sleep (when dreaming occurs) during their second, which boosts sleep quality. Nick Littlehales, a sleep coach to Premier League football teams, agrees we should think less in terms of an unbroken night’s sleep and more in terms of sleep phases. ‘We’re all up on exercise and diet these days, but when it comes to sleep we just trundle through our day until we only have seven or eight hours left until we have to do it all again,’ he says. Instead, he advises people to think in terms of four to five 90-minute blocks of sleep over a 24-hour period. ‘Why not get up at 2am after your first two or three sleep cycles and do some ironing, or make your lunch for the next day, before heading back to bed?’ he says. Since I stopped worrying about my own unusual way of sleeping, I’ve harnessed the time for my benefit. I find my ironing pile greatly reduced as a result of my night-time waking periods. And I’m less anxious during the day when I’ve made the most of that precious middle-of-the-night hour for thinking over my problems and working out how to tackle them. So maybe it is time to stop aspiring to that maddening myth of eight uninterrupted hours’ sleep at night, in order to have a really good night’s (or day’s) sleep. Which sleep tribe are you – lion, wolf, bear or dolphin? Illustrations by Giacomo Bagnara
07/22/2017 - 03:00 AM
Nigeria's ex-oil minister battles slew of graft cases
Nigeria's former oil minister faces charges only at home but her name crops up in a growing number of international cases that lift the lid on the scale of alleged corruption in the country's oil sector. Since leaving office in 2015, Diezani Alison-Madueke has been implicated in bribery, fraud, misuse of public funds, and money laundering cases in Nigeria, Britain, Italy and the United States. The first female president of the global oil cartel OPEC -- who was one of Africa's most prominent politicians -- has always denied the allegations, which involve billions of dollars syphoned from oil deals and state coffers.
07/22/2017 - 11:25 PM
News Feed by