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THE WORLD THIS WEEK [Week, The (Oman)]
[March 30, 2014]

THE WORLD THIS WEEK [Week, The (Oman)]

(Week, The (Oman) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Officials in a Japanese city are launching an ambitious campaign to ban children from using smartphones and mobile devices after 9pm. Around 13,000 schoolchildren, aged between six and 15, who are living in Kariya city, Aiichi prefecture, will be banned from using mobile technology in the evening from April 1.

The technology curfew move reportedly aims to discourage children from spending an unhealthy amount of time on electronic devices such as smartphones as well as reduce on­line bullying via instant messaging apps.

The ban, which was initially proposed by a group of teachers, social workers and police, was not officially issued by city hall so parents will not face any penalties if their children do not comply, according to Japanese media reports.

However, the initiative is reportedly supported by Kariya's board of education as well as all 21 schools across the city, with parents being directly requested to remove smartphones after 9pm and monitor the websites they access.

Turkey downs Syrian military jet Turkish forces have shot down a Syrian military jet they say was violating their airspace despite warnings. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned such action by Syria merited a 'heavy response'. But Syria accused Turkey of 'blatant aggression', saying the plane had been over Syrian territory at the time. The incident report­edly occurred in an area where Syrian rebels and government forces have been fighting for control of a border crossing. Turkey and Syria ­ once allies ­ share more than 800km of border. Turkey has broadly sided with the rebels in Syria's war since October 2011. Turkish forces launched artillery strikes on Syrian targets in late 2012 after the Syrians shot down a Turkish jet.

Speaking at a rally of supporters, Erdogan congratulated the air force on its actions on Sunday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights ­ a UK­based activist group ­ said initial reports from the area suggest­ ed the plane came down on the Syrian side of the border. According to one report, the plane's pilot was able to eject.

EGYPT COURT SENTENCES 529 TO DEATH A court in Egypt sentenced to death 529 supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi. They were convicted of charges including murdering a policeman and attacking police. The group, members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, are part of a larger trial involving more than 1,200 Morsi supporters.

The court in Minya, south of the capital, Cairo, issued its ruling after only two sessions in which the defendants' lawyers com­ plained they had no chance to present their case, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The alleged attacks are said to have taken place in southern Egypt in August after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps of Morsi supporters demanding his reinstatement. In the backlash that followed, hundreds of people were killed.

A man, his wife and their child use a zip­line to cross the Nujiang River in Lazimi village of Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, China. Residents have been using the zip­line for years to cross the river as there is no bridge nearby, local media reported.

RUSSIAN TROOPS 'OVERRUN CRIMEA BASE' Russian troops seized control of a Crimean naval base at Feodosia on Monday, the third such attack in 48 hours, Ukrainian officials told the BBC. Defence spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said the Russians attacked the base from two directions using armoured personnel carriers and stun grenades. He said they rounded up the Ukrainians and tied the hands of their officers.

Russia has taken over most of Ukraine's military bases in Crimea, tightening its grip on the peninsula.

A soldier at the Feodosia base told Reuters news agency that shots had been fired and confirmed that the base had been taken over.

In other developments, Nato's military commander in Europe warned on Sunday that Russian forces on Ukraine's eastern borders were capable of mounting an operation all the way to Moldova. Several parts of Crimea were hit by power cuts on Sunday evening, which officials blamed on techni­cal problems.

Deadly Ebola reaches Guinea capital An outbreak of the Ebola virus ­ which has already killed 59 people in Guinea ­ has reached the capital Conakry, the UN's children agency has warned. Unicef said the haemorrhagic fever had spread quickly from southern Guinea, hundreds of kilometres away. Scores of cases have been recorded since the outbreak began last month. There is no known cure or vaccine. It is spread by close personal contact with people who are infected and kills between 25 and 90 per cent of victims. Symptoms include internal and external bleed­ ing, diarrhoea and vomiting.

"At least 59 out of 80 who contracted Ebola across the West African country have died so far," a Unicef statement said. "Over the past few days, the deadly haemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from the communities of Macenta, Gueckedou and Kissidougou to the capital Conakry." UK£7bn is lost annually by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) and a further £2bn lost to err- ors, the former head of its anti-fraud section reported earlier this week. The amount esti-mated by Jim Gee, co-author of the Portsmouth University study who led the NHS anti-fraud section for eight years, is 20 times that recorded in a government report.

US$189,645 was bid on jackets worn by George Harrison and Ringo Starr in The Beatles' 1965 film Help! at an auction. Starr's cape fetched $100,565, while Harrison's sold for $89,050, including buyer's premium. Both beat separate pre-sale valuations of $33,000-50,000 according to Omega Auctions. The auction took place at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool, England.

1tn different odours can be detected by the human nose, say US scientists. The long-held belief was that we can sniff out about 10,000 smells. New estimates published in Science suggest the human nose outperforms the eye and the ear in terms of the number of stimuli it can distinguish between.

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