Notes and shorts from around the world
Flawed vitamin D advice?
As vitamin D is generated in the body by exposure to the sun, people in regions closer to the poles are often deficient in the hormone, which promotes calcium absorption and bone growth. To remedy this, adults are advised to take supplements in the winter to keep their bones dense and strong, and prevent osteoporosis, but according to a new study, the supplements do not, in fact, significantly boost bone health in adults. The Lancet published research which involved analysing data from 81 randomised control trials and found no evidence that the supplements improve bone density or prevent fractures or falls beyond a clinically meaningful threshold. Its authors suggest that the current guidelines should be changed so that vitamin D supplements are recommended only to adults at a high risk of rickets and a rare condition called osteomalacia and to children.
Ban on rough sleeping
A constitutional ban on sleeping rough – or “habitually residing in a public space” – has come into effect in Hungary, despite international criticism. From now on, people caught being homeless four times within 90 days can be gaoled or forced into a work programme. According to one government critic, the priest Gábor Iványi, based in Budapest, the country’s right wing prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is scapegoating the homeless, because there are now too few migrants arriving in Hungary for him to “play the migrant card”. The EU has described the ban as contrary to its founding values.
A flight from Orlando International Airport was delayed for two hours by a passenger who would not be parted from her pet squirrel. Cindy Torok had informed Frontier Airlines that she was bringing an “emotional support animal” with her, but not what kind. When told that rodents were not allowed and that she must surrender the squirrel or leave the plane, she refused to co-operate. The other passengers then had to disembark so that police could remove her. She now plans to sue Frontier. “I’m going for blood,” she says. “I’m going all the way.”
A Peruvian man has divorced his wife after discovering evidence of her infidelity on Google Street View five years after the event. The resident of Lima was planning his route to the Puente de los Suspiros, or Bridge of Sighs, when he noticed a woman sitting on a bench with a man’s head in her lap, apparently stroking his hair. Although the couple’s faces had been pixelated in the photograph, he recognised his wife by her clothes and forced her to admit to the affair.
“The young always have the same problem – how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.” – Quentin Crisp, British author, actor and raconteur
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