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39 Indian Construction Workers held by ISIS Terrorists in Iraq’s Mosul Are Alive: Government

Mosul is witnessing one of the fiercest fights between ISIS terrorists and joint Iraqi and US forces

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According to media reports, US has shared list of terror groups operating in Pakistan with authorities in Islamabad. Wikimedia
  • The Indians were taken hostage in ISIS-held Mosul in 2014; however, no demand has been made so far for their release
  • The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said over 100,000 civilians were trapped there and the ISIS was using kids as human shields

New Delhi, June 16, 2017: Three years after they went missing, the government on Friday said that 39 Indian construction workers mostly from Punjab, who were taken hostage by ISIS terrorists in Iraq’s war-torn Mosul, were alive and “everything possible” was being done to ensure their safe return.

“The information we have so far is that they are alive because we have no other information to prove that they are not alive,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay told reporters.

He said the government was in touch with all the countries “which can help us and are helping us in this matter”.

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“What steps have been taken in this regard are sensitive. I do not want to say anything more about it,” Mr Baglay said, adding that the government “is doing everything possible” in this matter.

The Indians were taken hostage in ISIS-held Mosul in 2014. However, no demand has been made so far for their release.

Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met the family members of the 39 Indian men in Delhi and told them that a source of the government in Iraq had information about a group of Indian men holed up in a “church” in Mosul that is yet to be liberated from ISIS terrorists.

Mosul is witnessing one of the fiercest fights between ISIS terrorists and joint Iraqi and US forces. The US-backed military offensive to recapture the Iraqi city entered its ninth month on Friday.

ISIS terrorists overran the city in 2014 and imposed brutal Islamist law there. The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said over 100,000 civilians were trapped there and the ISIS was using kids as human shields. (IANS)

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WHO Demands Strict Regulations on Vaping Products

WHO says there should be a ban on the promotion of electronic nicotine delivery systems to nonsmokers, pregnant women and youth

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The World Health Organization also known as WHO says it is disturbed that vaping devices continue to be marketed as products that are healthy and that can wean smokers off their nicotine addiction. Wikimedia Commons

The World Health Organization also called WHO is calling for stricter regulations on the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes as more information comes to light about the potentially harmful impact of these products.

Health officials are increasingly worried about the risks posed by e-cigarettes as reported cases of deaths and illnesses from these devices spread from the United States to Europe and beyond. They see the recent death of a young man in Belgium and reports of vaping-related illnesses in the Philippines and other countries in the world as a call to action.

The World Health Organization says it is disturbed that vaping devices continue to be marketed as products that are healthy and that can wean smokers off their nicotine addiction.  WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier tells VOA these industry health claims are unproven.

“While these electronic nicotine delivery systems may be less toxic than conventional cigarettes, this does not make them harmless,” he said.  “They produce aerosols from the vapor that contain toxicants that can result in a range of significant pathological changes.  These ends pose health risks for nonsmokers, to minors, to pregnant women — all of those who should not use such systems.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed at least 42 deaths in 24 states and the District of Columbia, and more than 2,100 illnesses related to vaping products.

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The World Health Organization also called WHO is calling for stricter regulations on the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes as more information comes to light about the potentially harmful impact of these products. Pixabay

Vaping is an extremely profitable growth industry.  The number of people using vaping devices has increased from 7 million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018.  Profits have nearly tripled, from $6.9 billion five years ago to more than $19 billion today.  Getting the tobacco industry to refrain from the sale of electronic smoking devices will be extremely difficult.

The World Health Organization says long-term studies of health implications of electronic nicotine devices should begin.  In the meantime, the U.N. health agency is issuing recommendations that in some ways mirror those enacted to control tobacco use.

ALSO READ: Smart Bulbs Can Steal Personal Information Through Hacking

WHO says there should be a ban on the promotion of electronic nicotine delivery systems to nonsmokers, pregnant women and youth; measures should be taken to minimize the potential risks to users and others from these devices, and the tobacco industry should be prohibited from using unproven health claims to market vaping products.  (VOA)