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UNICEF: One in Seven of the World’s Children Breathe Extremely Toxic Air, 600k Die Annually

Air pollution is a major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under five every year

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FILE - Haze hangs over Mexico City. Some two billion children live in regions where outdoor air pollution exceeds WHO's minimum air quality guidelines. VOA
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October 31, 2016: One in seven of the world’s children is exposed to pollution levels six or more times higher than international standards set by the World Health Organization, according to a new report by UNICEF. The report was released a week ahead of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Marrakech.

“Air pollution is a major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under five every year,” says UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, “and it threatens the lives and futures of millions more every day.”

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Some two billion children live in regions where outdoor air pollution exceeds WHO’s minimum air quality guidelines, with 620 million of those children living in South Asia, followed by 520 million children in Africa, and 450 million children in the East Asia and Pacific region.

Around 2 billion children live in areas where outdoor air pollution exceeds international limits. VOA
Around 2 billion children live in areas where outdoor air pollution exceeds international limits. VOA

UNICEF says young children are particularly susceptible to indoor and outdoor air pollution because their lungs, brains and immune systems are still developing and their respiratory tracts are more permeable.

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UNICEF says it will ask the countries attending the climate change conference to take “four urgent steps” to protect children from air pollution:

Those steps are:

1. adopt measures to reduce pollution;

2. increase children’s access to healthcare;

3. minimize children’s exposure to pollution; and

4. establish better monitoring of air pollution.

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Lake said “We protect our children when we protect the quality of our air. Both are central to our future.” (VOA)

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  • Shivani Vohra

    The Earth becoming a pool of toxic air, and it has become really important to find ways to cope with this problem otherwise Global warming will keep increasing.

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google's new tool can help you make our planet healthy. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?