Jia Zhenru

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Wounded warriors compete in the UK's Invictus Games

<i>“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”</i><p>Those are the final words of the poem “Invictus” by William Earnest Henley. It's also a fitting challenge for the athletes who are gathering in London for the first edition of the Invictus Games.<p>Like Henley, many of the competitors are …

Will Genetic Alterations Modify Human Society?

<i>“Keep in mind, this child is still you. Simply, the best, of you. You could conceive naturally a thousand times and never get such a result.”</i> – Fictional geneticist in the 1997 film Gattaca.<p>As a side effect of science fiction novels, many of us find ourselves with an outlook of the future that’s …

One suicide every 40 seconds: World Health Organization report

Every 40 seconds someone in the world takes their own life, a global tally of more than 800,000 suicides a year, according to a landmark United Nations report on the subject.<p>The research found that suicide killed more people each year than conflicts and natural catastrophes, accounting for more …

Why Do People Believe in Ghosts?

Across the world, ideas of the paranormal persist.<p>In June, Sheila Sillery-Walsh, a British tourist visiting the historic island-prison of Alcatraz in San Francisco, claimed that she captured an image of a ghost in a picture she snapped on her iPhone. In the frame of what was otherwise supposed to …

Parliamentary-style debates take off in China — even if some topics are off limits

The inaugural Shanghai International Debate Open kicks off with 100 fidgety students in a small auditorium. Volunteers wear black t-shirts with English lettering that say: “Go back and read more.”<p>Then the first topic — or motion — appears on a screen. It reads: “This house regrets the …

Egypt accused of torturing teenage prisoners

Egyptian authorities must stop this systematic and widespread practice of torture, which ... could make them liable for prosecution for crimes against humanity.<p>Rachid Mesli, Legal Director at Alkarama<p>Alkarama said the teenagers bore the "signs of torture" and their physical and mental health was …

Isis recruitment moves from online networks to British mosques

Networks of radicals are re-emerging in British mosques and elsewhere to encourage and facilitate Muslims wanting to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State (Isis).<p>Until now most fighters from Britain who are known to have travelled to Syria have been persuaded and helped via online …

Why Investing In Girls Is The Smartest Move We Can Make

Lack of access to education and health care for girls around the world doesn’t just hurt girls -- it hurts their families, communities and economies. Last month, UN Women released an infographic illustrating in numbers just how beneficial supporting young girls can be for a country's …

World Water Week: Five Countries Most Affected by Water Scarcity

The World Water Week was instituted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in 1991 to raise awareness on water issues.<p>This year, the …

Why nobody should be upset that the ALS foundation only spends 27% of donations on research

The news that ALS Association (ALSA), which has reportedly raised almost $90 million through the viral “ice bucket challenge,” only spends 27% of its money in actual research is generating outrage.<p>Critics say this is far too small a proportion, and some are quoting Christian charity watchdog ECFA’s …

Life After Ice Buckets: ALS Group Faces $94 Million Challenge

The ALS ice bucket challenge continues to bring in huge donations this summer for efforts to cure and treat what's commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As of today, the viral campaign has raised more than $94 million for the ALS Association. That's compared with $2.7 million raised by the group …

Body image drags English girls down world happiness league

British children less satisfied with life than counterparts in developing countries, according to the global 'well-being' chart published by the Children’s Society<p>Children in England are among the least happy in the world, according to a major international study showing that one in five …

Pandering to the crowd: panda accused of faking pregnancy in bun fraud case

Hopes that tiny panda paws would be seen in the world’s first live-broadcast cub delivery have been dashed after Chinese experts suggested the “mother” may have been focusing more on extra bun rations than giving birth.<p>The slated star of the show, giant panda Ai Hin, had shown signs of pregnancy at …

Hospitals in England ordered to provide free parking for some patients

Hospitals have been ordered to provide free parking for some patients and visitors under new NHS guidelines announced by the government.<p>Free or greatly reduced parking space will be given at English hospitals to "priority groups", including visitors with relatives who are seriously ill or are in …

Deaths of humanitarian aid workers reach record high

Last year was the most dangerous on record for humanitarian workers, with 155 killed, 171 seriously wounded and 134 kidnapped as they attempted to help others in some of the world’s most dangerous places, new research has shown.<p>The study, released to mark World Humanitarian Day, also reveals that …

UK Police Investigated For Social Media Misuse: One Cop Asked A Crime Victim To Friend Him On Facebook

Documents obtained by the Press Association reveal that misuse of Facebook and Twitter has been widespread, with a total of 828 cases identified between 2009 and February of this year.<p>One police officer in Wales received a written warning after asking a female member of the public to add him on …

Ebola may leave 1 million in need of food help

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — The deadly Ebola virus that has killed more than 1,000 in West Africa is disrupting the flow of goods, forcing the United …

Gaza Students Wonder When Their Schools Will Reopen

There's clamor and hustle outside the Western Gaza City Educational Directorate. A month late, this year's graduating high school students are getting their high school diplomas.<p>Usually, there's a little ceremony. But today, they're just clustering around a window while the certificates are handed …

Britain to become one of most highly qualified countries in world

Half or all working-age adults will have a degree or equivalent qualification by 2020, a new forecast finds<p>Britain will have more people with degree-level qualifications than almost any other country in the world in 2020 after overtaking the US for the first time, according to official …

British scientists must have breakthrough on mental health, Nick Clegg says

Liberal Democrats make manifesto pledge to commit £50 million to funding for mental health research in Britain<p>The next “big medical breakthrough” in British science must be a treatment for mental illness, Nick Clegg has said, as he promised the Liberal Democrats would establish a £50 million fund …

Study Finds One Of The Reasons Anorexia Is So Hard To Treat

Women with anorexia may experience a positive release from destructive weight-loss behaviors.<p>Anorexia, a disorder that has a mortality rate of up to 20 percent, is often associated with low self-esteem and perfectionism. But the popularity of "pro-ana" web forums, featuring "success stories" and …

Toddlers at risk of extremism, warns Education Secretary

Nicky Morgan will use her first major speech to highlight the danger of extremism in Britain's nurseries after 'Trojan Horse' scandal<p>Nurseries are at risk of being taken over by religious extremists, the Education Secretary will warn as she announces that toddlers are to be taught “fundamental …

Michael Gove

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain

<i>This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.</i><p>When it comes to brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground.<p>"The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your …

China and Japan must remedy their one-sided views of history

Recent tensions between China and Japan and several war-related anniversaries would seem to offer a perfect opportunity for my Tokyo-based sister and her husband to talk about the history shared by their respective countries.<p>She’s from China and he is from Japan. And as China observes the 120th …

Are Great Teachers Born or Made?

A thoughtful new book argues that teaching is a craft anyone can learn. But there's a big difference between competence and excellence.<p>One of the best teachers in Elizabeth Green’s new book, <i>Building a Better Teacher</i>, uses an analogy to convey the intricacy and difficulty of her craft. “Every single …

Surrogate babies: Where can you have them, and is it legal?

<b>The case of Gammy, a baby with Down's syndrome who was born to a Thai surrogate mother and allegedly left behind by the intended Australian parents, has caused international controversy. Where do people go to arrange for surrogate babies, and is it legal?</b><p>What is surrogacy?<p>Surrogacy is where a woman …

Britons spend more time on tech than asleep, study suggests

<b>Britons spend more time using technology devices than they do sleeping, research suggests.</b><p>Communications regulator Ofcom said UK adults spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, compared with the average night's sleep of eight hours and 21 minutes.<p>Almost four hours a …

Internet will isolate 700,000 elderly people by 2030, study warns

Campaign launched by Friends of the Elderly charity warns that the number of older people feeling lonely is set to rise by 40 per cent by 2030<p>Hundreds of thousands of pensioners will be all but cut off from government services, shops and local communities within 15 years because of the rise of the …

Loneliness

When And How To Die: Germany Debates Whose Choice It Is

Stefan Daniel says he has no control over the multiple sclerosis that is short-circuiting his body.<p>The disease, which attacks the nervous system, has forced the 51-year-old German psychologist to give up his career and most hobbies, including running and photography.<p>He spends his days in an …

Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria's female bombers strike

<b>Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram is accused of unleashing a new weapon of war - the female suicide bomber, fuelling concern that its insurgency has entered a more ruthless phase.</b><p>Four of them - all teenage girls - carried out attacks in the biggest northern city, Kano, last week, leading …