At leat 36 killed due to Brazil flooding and landslides

 - International - Feb 20 SHARE ON:

At least 36 people lost their lives during Carnival weekend in Brazil’s southeast Sao Paulo state due to flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rains, according to authorities. 

The state government reported that at least 35 people died in Sao Sebastiao, with an additional fatality in the town of Ubatuba. 

The state civil defence chief warned that more deaths were expected. The disaster left another 228 people homeless, and 338 were evacuated in the coastal region north of Sao Paulo as rescue crews rushed to help those affected. 

The amount of people missing or injured was not disclosed.

Sao Paulo state governor Tarcisio de Freitas declared a state of emergency in five coastal towns after touring the area affected by the weather. He freed up approximately $1.5 million for rescue operations. 

More than 100 firefighters and soldiers were working on the ground to help those affected, with aid from helicopters.

In Sao Sebastiao, which is located 200 kilometres north of Sao Paulo, a record 60 centimetres of rain fell in 24 hours, causing the situation to become “extremely critical,” according to the town’s mayor. The city is a popular destination for people from Sao Paulo during the pre-Lenten holiday weekend, which had to be cancelled. Carnival events in other locations were also cancelled.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva promised to visit the area and stated that the government at all levels would work together to “take care of the injured, look for missing people and restore roads, energy, and telecommunications.” 

Climate change-fuelled extreme weather events have caused significant damage in Brazil in recent years, with last year’s heavy rains in the city of Petropolis claiming the lives of over 230 people.


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Poor & irregular sleep can lead to risk of heart health issues

 - Health & Fitness - Feb 20 SHARE ON:
Poor & irregular sleep can lead to risk of heart health issues

Poor sleep quality and irregular sleep patterns could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. 

The study is one of the first to provide evidence of a connection between irregular sleep duration and timing and atherosclerosis. 

Atherosclerosis is the build-up of plaque in arteries, which can lead to coronary heart disease, angina, heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease. 

The authors defined sleep regularity as variations in sleep duration and timing. The study analyzed the sleep of over 2,000 participants, with an average age of 69, who took part in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. 

Participants kept a sleep diary and wore a wristwatch that tracked their sleep and wake history, and underwent an at-home sleep study. 

The study found those with irregular sleep duration were about 1.4 times more likely to have high coronary artery calcium scores, which increases the risk of some cardiovascular conditions, and were more likely to have carotid plaque and abnormal results from a test assessing blood vessel stiffness. 

The findings could be due to a direct link between sleep and the heart, lifestyle factors, or both.

“This study is one of the first investigations to provide evidence of a connection between irregular sleep duration and irregular sleep timing and atherosclerosis,” said lead study author Kelsie Full, an assistant professor of medicine in the epidemiology division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Life’s Essential 8, the American Heart Association’s checklist for lifelong good health, includes eating healthy, being physically active, quitting tobacco, managing weight, controlling cholesterol and managing blood sugar and blood pressure. 

The association recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, which is more likely if you have sound sleep hygiene.

This would involve hitting the sack and waking up at the same time daily, whilst also avoiding caffeine after late morning, avoiding screen usage before bed, sleeping in dark, quiet rooms and restricting your bedroom for sleep and intimacy. 


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Instagram & Facebook to sell verification at $11.99 per month

 - Tech - Feb 20 SHARE ON:
Instagram & Facebook to sell verification at $11.99 per month

Users of social media platforms Instagram and Facebook will now be able to pay for the blue Verification tick for around $11.99 a month ($14.99 for iPhone users). 

Parent company Meta has just revealed the update, with Mark Zuckerberg saying that the move will be used to improve security and authenticity on social media apps. 

This of course comes after Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk implemented the premium Twitter Blue Subscription in November of 2022. 

Meta’s paid subscription service is not yet available for businesses, but individuals, right now in Australia and New Zealand, will be able to pay for their verification. 

The subscription would give paying users a blue badge as well as increased visibility, protection from impersonators and easier access to customer services. 

This change would not affect previously verified accounts, Meta told BBC, but said that there will be an increased visibility to some smaller users who become verified through this new instalment. 

Despite this, it will remain to be seen what the effects of this will be as Twitter’s pay-for-verification feature was halted last November. This was due to people impersonating big brands and celebrities by paying for the badge. 

Meta revealed that IG and FB users will have to match a government supplied ID document to be granted the tick, with users having to have. Profile picture including their face. 

Zuckerberg has not yet specified when the feature will be issued to other countries, with the timeframe being ‘soon.’ 


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Another day of Nadur spontaneous Carnival celebrations!

 - Local - Feb 20 SHARE ON:
Nadur Spontaneous Carnival

Here are some shots from night three last of the Nadur Spontaneous Carnival celebrations.

Creative costumes, an unforgettable musical lineup and all-around festivity, the Nadur Carnival proved to be a massive success over the weekend – but it’s not all over just yet!

The jubilation saw thousands of Gozitans, Maltese and even foreigners heading down to Gozo’s Nadur to spend time with friends, make memories and let loose after up to two years of the carnival’s absence.


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A post shared by Malta Daily (@maltadaily.mt)

Floats paraded through the streets of Gozo, each with its own theme, as attendees showed off their ingenuity in creating their own costumes.

The weekend celebrations were a collaboration between the Nadur Local Council, The Ministry of Gozo, G7 Events and MaltaDaily.

We hope everyone enjoyed and stayed safe, and hope to see you all next year!


Photo Source: Max Russ

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