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Defense Analysis Study Shows Global Terror Attacks Down By 33 Per Cent

The report said it recorded 15,321 attacks in 2018, which resulted in a total of 13,483 nonmilitant fatalities.

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Terror
Bombs inside a vehicle used by the Islamic State militants in suicide car bombings are pictured after a demining team defused them in Raqqa, Syria. VOA

A new study by a defense analysis company indicates there was a 33 percent drop in global terror attacks in 2018, and terrorism fatalities fell to a 10-year low.

Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center released its annual Global Attack Index on Wednesday, saying one of the central reasons for the decrease in incidents and fatalities was the decrease in violence in Syria, where the government has gained control of territory previously occupied by Islamic State militants.

Attacks by IS in 2018 declined by nearly 75 percent compared to 2017.

Mumbai Terror Attack
A man walks past a wall riddled with bullet holes opposite to the Nariman House, one of the targets of the November 26, 2008 attacks, after the renaming ceremony of Nariman House as Nariman Light House in Mumbai, India. VOA

The study said in addition to Syria, IS was also affected by losses in Iraq, which “noticeably reduced” the militants’ capability to operate, forcing them to switch to “lower intensity insurgent operations.”

With violence down in Syria, Afghanistan became the deadliest country worldwide in 2018 in terms of nonmilitant fatalities. Jane’s said attacks rose by almost one-third last year, while fatalities rose 80 percent.

Ukraine also saw a marked rise in violence. In the east, home to a Russia-backed separatist insurgency, attacks have been rising 18.4 percent over the past year. The report attributed that rise “almost entirely” to two pro-Russia separatist groups operating in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region where the separatist movement is strongest.

Pakistan Hovers On The Fringes Of Being Branded As A Terror State
Pakistan Hovers On The Fringes Of Being Branded As A Terror State. Flickr

The report said it recorded 15,321 attacks in 2018, which resulted in a total of 13,483 nonmilitant fatalities.

Also Read: External Affairs Minister Considers Terror, WMD and Climate Change As Critical Challenges Today

Jane’s has been issuing its reports since 2009. It said the 2018 study showed the lowest fatality numbers since it began issuing the report 10 years ago. (VOA)

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Prenatal Smoking, Drinking Increases SIDS Risk; Says New Study

According to the researchers, these risks were in comparison to infants who were either not exposed to tobacco or alcohol during gestation or whose mothers quit tobacco or alcohol use by the end of the first trimester

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Effects of smoking
Excessive smoking can increase the chances of looking old as well. Pixabay

Children born to mothers who drank and smoked beyond the first three months of pregnancy have 12-fold increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), says a new study.

SIDS is the sudden, unexplained, death of an infant under one year of age. Many studies have shown that the risk of SIDS is increased by maternal smoking during pregnancy.

Some studies have also found that prenatal alcohol exposure, particularly from heavy drinking during pregnancy, can increase SIDS risk.

The findings, published in the journal The Lancet, provide a look at how SIDS risk is influenced by the timing and amount of prenatal exposure to tobacco and alcohol.

“Our findings suggest that combined exposures to alcohol and tobacco have a synergistic effect on SIDS risk, given that dual exposure was associated with substantially higher risk than either exposure alone,” said said first author Amy J Elliot from Avera Health Centre for Pediatric and Community in US.

For the findings, researchers followed the outcomes of nearly 12,000 pregnancies among women from two residential areas in Cape Town, South Africa; and five sites in the US.

men smoking
A Chinese man smokes in front of a pillar with a no smoking notice on display at a bus station in Beijing. VOA

The study sites were selected for their high rates of prenatal alcohol use and SIDS, and to include populations where the ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in SIDS remains understudied.

The researchers determined one-year outcomes for about 94 per cent of the pregnancies.

They found that 66 infants died during that time, including 28 SIDS deaths and 38 deaths from known causes.

Also Read: Marijuana Associated with Higher Risk of Heart Problems: Study

In addition to the almost 12-fold increased SIDS risk from combined smoking and drinking beyond the first trimester of pregnancy, they determined that the risk of SIDS was increased five-fold in infants whose mothers reported they continued smoking beyond the first trimester, and four-fold in infants whose mothers reported they continued drinking beyond the first trimester.

According to the researchers, these risks were in comparison to infants who were either not exposed to tobacco or alcohol during gestation or whose mothers quit tobacco or alcohol use by the end of the first trimester. (IANS)