Daily power walks may provide greater health benefits than simply the number of steps covered, according to new research.

The idea of 10,000 steps a day was also challenged by a study, which claimed an average of 7,000 may be enough when it was published in March.

While the new report, released by teams from the University of Sydney and the University of Southern Denmark this week, maintains 10,000 steps is still the “ideal” number for “protective health benefits”, it also adds that people should “aim to walk faster”.

Doing so could reduce the risk of premature death by 8 per cent even if a person only covered 2,000 steps a day; as well as the risk of dementia, cancer and cardiovascular issues by 25 per cent for those taking 3,800 brisk steps a day.

We ask three UAE experts to expound on this theory.

The right posture is important: the eyes should be looking forward, shoulders back, with back and head upright

Dr Ajay Kaul, chair of cardiovascular, RAK Hospital

“If you're not very active to start with, just walking 10,000 steps can be greatly beneficial,” says Dr Ruhil Badiani from Cornerstone Clinic. “However, if you already do this, consider upping the pace.

“Getting your heart beating faster while exercising improves your stamina, aids weight loss and reduces bad cholesterol. So, as the study finds, it would make sense that walking faster is more beneficial as it gets your blood flowing.”

Dr Ajay Kaul, a consultant, surgeon and chair of cardiovascular at RAK Hospital, says: “Power walking is a form of exercise in which, besides brisk steps, we need to add movements of other parts of the body, such as the arms. As such, a good walking technique is essential to maximise benefits and reduce injuries.

“The right posture is important: the eyes should be looking forward, shoulders back, with back and head upright. Keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle, and swing them gently up and backwards, such that the opposite arm and leg are moving at the same time.”

Kaul recommends power walking three kilometres in a span of 30 minutes at least five times a week, which he says “is the best form of exercise for all ages”.

“It is amazing that power walking requires no expensive equipment or technology or gym membership, yet is the best form of exercise to keep fit," he says.

"The recent report aside, various studies have found power walking reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes; and that one hour of this moderately intense exercise prevents serious joint problems, while walking for four hours a week reduces the incidence of fifth fractures. Just ensure you get good shoes and follow traffic rules.”

Yasir Khan, a transformational mentor and personal trainer to Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and Emirati content creator Khalid Al Ameri, says the reason power walking is more effective is because it increases the overall number of steps you take per minute.

“It’s one of the most effective ways to increase activity levels, especially for those who haven’t followed a fitness regimen for a long time," he says.

"Brisk walking is also beneficial for people who are prone to injuries or are overweight. Just like any exercise, this method helps with strengthening the immune system, reducing stress and anxiety levels, improving the quality of sleep, muscle endurance and energy levels.

"By having the right gear, setting goals and monitoring your progress, you will be able to make walking a habit, and notice positive changes, physically and mentally.”/agencies

US President Joe Biden has appealed for a united front against hate crimes and political violence in a speech building on his bid to present himself as a champion of moderate values at a time of rising extremism. 

"We have to face the good, the bad and the truth. That's what great nations do and we're a great nation," Biden told a packed hall at the White House's United We Stand Summit on Thursday. "White supremacists will not have the last word."

"You must choose to be a nation of hope, unity and optimism –– or a nation of fear and division and hate," Biden added.

Biden recounted, as often before, how he took the decision to challenge then-president Donald Trump in the 2020 election after the Republican initially declined to condemn a 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Charlottesville changed everything because I believe our story is to unite as people in one nation, in one America."

But he said that a spate of racist violence –– including a deadly attack on a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, a mass shooting targeting Latinos in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, and another gun massacre, this time targeting African Americans, in Buffalo, New York, in May –– had left the country reeling.

"Many of you have lost part of your heart and soul," he told the audience, which included a cross-section of civil rights activists, religious leaders, academics and elected officials.

'Corrosive effects of hate-fuelled violence'

The White House described the day-long conference, with Biden giving the keynote speech, as a chance to highlight "the corrosive effects of hate-fuelled violence on our democracy and public safety."

The summit comes just eight weeks ahead of midterm elections in which Republicans are seeking to take control of Congress.

It also comes two weeks after Biden delivered a fiery speech denouncing the "extreme ideology" of Trump, whose supporters overran the Capitol to try to overturn the 2020 election and who continues to promote far-right conspiracy theories.

A White House official told reporters that Thursday's event, which featured a panel with both Republican and Democratic mayors, was not political and would "demonstrate that we can unite across partisan lines."

Biden painted as divider

However, Republicans have painted Biden as a divider for calling out Trump supporters, noting that the former president remains hugely popular with the party's voters.

Biden defended himself in his White House speech, saying he was right to speak up.

"There are those who say that when we bring this up we divide the country," he said. But "silence is complicity."

Among some of the practical measures discussed at the conference was Biden's suggestion that Congress should "get rid of special immunity for social media companies and impose much strong transparency requirements on all of them" regarding extremist content.

The provision known as Section 230 shields platforms from liability for the content and has long been targeted by some in Congress.

Biden announced a $1 billion push by philanthropists to build bridges among Americans of different backgrounds, and an initiative supported by the foundations of former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford.

Source: agencies

A Turkish drone has captured footage of Greek forces pushing back irregular migrants in the Aegean Sea, the Turkish National Defence Ministry said.

On Wednesday, the drone filmed irregular migrants being transferred to two inflatable boats and pushed back towards Turkish territorial waters near Uzunadalar, off the coast of Izmir's Cesme district, the ministry said on Twitter on Friday.

“The situation was immediately reported to the Turkish Coast Guard, which rescued the irregular migrants,” it added.

This Tuesday, six irregular migrants, including two babies and three children, lost their lives when Greek forces pushed them back to Turkish territorial waters in the Aegean, said the Turkish Interior Ministry.

The Turkish Coast Guard found the six dead migrants, including one woman, while rescuing 73 migrants off the Turkish coast of Marmaris who had been pushed back by Greek forces.

The rescued migrants told coast guard officials that they were pushed back to Turkish territorial waters by Greek forces.

READ MORE: Greece’s deadly pushback tactics, explained

Greece's illegal practice condemned

Türkiye and human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece's illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.

Türkiye has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Source: AA

Schneider Electric, a France-based company specialised in digital automation and digital energy management, opened its new regional headquarters (HQ) in Egypt on 14 September 2022.

Located in New Cairo, the headquarters will test tech products to offer more efficient and sustainable energy to serve Egypt, North East Africa, and Levant (NEAL), according to a recent press release.

The inauguration comes in line with Schneider Electric’s efforts to follow its 2025 sustainability goals.

Marc Baréty, the French Ambassador to Cairo, said: “I am certain that the innovation hub will create a paradigm shift towards achieving more sustainable practices and technologies, aiming to enhance the global efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals locally, regionally, and internationally.”

Sebastien Riez, North East Africa and Levant Cluster President at Schneider Electric, noted: “With the continued ramp-up of our operations and in line with the national strategy and our continuous efforts we plan to continue investing in the NEAL cluster, with it being one of the largest regions for Schneider Electric in terms of presence, number of employees, and people.”

Last April, Schneider Electric announced digital plans to transform Sharm El-Sheikh into a sustainable and green city in line with Egypt’s hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November 2022.


Tunisia's president on Friday decreed a law imposing prison terms for spreading false information or rumours online, a move immediately denounced by the main journalists' union as an assault on freedom of speech.

President Kais Saied had said he would uphold the rights and freedoms won by Tunisians in a 2011 revolution that brought democracy after his moves last summer to seize most powers and shut down the elected parliament.

His new law on Friday, issued as a presidential decree, provided for prison terms of five years for spreading false news, false information or rumours with the aim of attacking others, harming public security or generating terror.

If the target of the false information or rumours is an official, the prison term can be 10 years, his new law said.

The decree is a new setback for rights and freedoms. The penalties for publishing in any networks are a strong blow to the revolutionary values that granted freedom to all journalists and all Tunisians, said Mahdi Jlassi, the journalists' union head./REUTERS

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Friday issued a decree imposing a prison term of up to five years for spreading "fake news."

A term of up to 10 years can be handed out when the fake news or rumors are deemed to target top officials, the law said.

Spreading fake news is also punishable by a fine of 50,000 dinars ($15,600, €15,580).

The offense is defined in Saied's decree as "deliberating using communication networks and information systems to produce, promote, publish or send false information or rumors."

A 'setback for rights'

"The decree is a new setback for rights and freedoms. The penalties for publishing in any networks are a strong blow to the revolutionary values that granted freedom to all journalists and all Tunisians," Reuters news agency cited journalists' union head Mahdi Jlassi as saying.

Since Tunisia's revolution in 2011, the country has had one of the most open media environments in the Arab world, and the country's state-owned TAP news agency frequently reports criticism against the government.

Critics of Tunisia's president accuse Saied of engaging in a power grab last year, when he froze the country's parliament and enacted a decree expanding executive power. The decree was later enshrined in Tunisia's new constitution, which was ratified in a referendum this July that saw 30% voter turnout and was boycotted by a number of major parties.


At least seven people were killed and seven others injured on Friday after a minibus collided with a heavy truck in northern Egypt's Behaira province, said a source from Egyptian ambulance authority.

The minibus hit the truck from behind when the minibus driver changed his course from left to right in the same lane to take a U-turn. There were 14 people on the minibus when the accident occurred, said the source who required anonymity.

Ambulances were sent to the scene of the accident on the Cairo-Alexandria road and the injured people were transferred to a nearby hospital, he said.

In Egypt, traffic accidents are common and claim thousands of lives every year. Most of the accidents are caused by speeding, poor maintenance of roads, and lax enforcement of traffic laws.

Over the past few years, Egypt has been upgrading its road network by building new roads and bridges and repairing old ones to reduce traffic accidents./ Xinhua

 Discrimination in India causes 100 per cent of employment inequality faced by women in rural areas in the labour market and 98 per cent in urban areas, according to the latest Oxfam India report. 

Apart from women, historically oppressed communities such as Dalits and Adivasis, along with religious minorities such as Muslims, also continue to face discrimination in accessing jobs, livelihoods, and agricultural credits, said the India Discrimination Report 2022.  

The report said that in rural areas, the sharpest increase of 17 per cent in unemployment was for Muslims compared to non-Muslims during the first quarter of the Covid-19 pandemic making the rural Muslim unemployment rate 31.4 per cent. 

Highlighting that women in India, despite their same educational qualifications and work experience, face discrimination as compared to men in the labour market due to societal and employers’ prejudices. 

The lower wages for salaried women are due to 67 percent of discrimination and 33 percent due to lack of education and work experience. 

Calling on the Indian government to actively enforce effective measures for the protection and right to equal wages and work for all women, Oxfam India said the participation of women should be incentivised in the workforce, including enhancements in pay, upskilling, job reservations and easy return-to-work options after maternity. 

“Discrimination in the labour market is when people with identical capabilities are treated differently because of their identity or social backgrounds. There have been minimal attempts to measure the extent of discrimination and its impact on the lives of marginalised communities in India so far,” said Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India.

For the report, Oxfam India conducted an extensive analysis of government data on employment and labour from 2004 to 2020 to understand the inequality and discrimination regarding access to jobs, income, health and agricultural credits across the country. 

“What the report finds is if a man and woman start on an equal footing, the woman will be discriminated in the economic sphere where she will lag in regular/salaried, casual and self-employment. The inequality in the labour market for gender and other social categories, the report finds, is not just due to poor access to education or work experience. Still, because of discrimination,” Behar said. 

The findings of the Oxfam report indicate discrimination as a driving factor behind the low Women’s Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in the country. 

Quoting the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the report said LFPR for women in India was only 25.1 per cent in 2020-21 for urban and rural women, which was 42.7 per cent in 2004-05, thus showing the withdrawal of women from the workforce despite rapid economic growth during the same period. 

This is considerably lower than Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa as per the latest World Bank estimates. 

The report also highlighted the discrimination faced by SC/ST and Muslims in accessing jobs.

It said that the mean income for Scheduled Castes (SCs) or Scheduled Tribes (STs) persons in urban areas who are regularly employed is Rs. 15,312 against Rs. 20,346 for persons belonging to the general category. This means the general category is earning 33 per cent more than SCs or STs, the report said. 

Caste also acts as a significant barrier while accessing credit for agriculture despite many agricultural labourers from SC or ST communities.

Muslims continue to face multidimensional challenges in accessing salaried jobs and income through self-employment compared to non-Muslims. 

15.6 per cent of the urban Muslim population aged 15 and above were engaged in regular salaried jobs, whereas 23.3 per cent of non-Muslims were in regular salaried jobs in 2019-20, the report added.


The human rights commissioner of a Canadian province was told to step down on Thursday for alleged anti-Islam comments, with Justice Minister Tyler Shandro issuing an order for the official's resignation.

Shandro’s department did not formally announce it had removed Collin May as head of the commission. Instead, it emailed the media without comment a copy of the official Cabinet order rescinding May’s job as human rights chief and member of the commission.

The Cabinet order contained no reasons for the decision or comment from Shandro.

The move comes after May’s newly hired legal representation tweeted he would not be resigning. On Thursday, May refused, saying he does not hold the views expressed back in 2009. The comments were included in a book review written by May and he insists the opinion expressed was that of the author, not his own.

There now appears to be a stalemate as May has hired a lawyer to fight for his job. He was appointed to head the Alberta Human Rights Commission in May.

More than two dozen Muslim groups wrote a letter on Sept. 12 and asked Alberta Minister of Justice Tyler Shandro to fire May.

The request came after written remarks made by May in 2009 recently came to light where he said that Islam was "not a peaceful religion misused by radicals. Rather it is one of the most militaristic religions known to man."

The Muslim groups initially asked to meet with May to discuss the remarks and May said he would. But several dates were put forth by the Muslim community to meet and May declined them all, citing scheduling conflicts.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) then wrote the letter to Shandro, urging the minister to get May's resignation. The NCCM also noted that May had threatened to sue his critics.

The Minister of Justice, who hired May, agreed and because he failed to meet with the Muslim groups as promised, ordered the human rights chief to resign earlier this week./DS

Oil exports are gradually resuming from the Port of Basra, also known as Al-Maqal Port, as of Sept. 16 after an oil spill prompted authorities to suspend oil exports from the terminal late Sept. 15. Basra Oil Company officials have confirmed that the spill has been contained. The Port of Basra is equipped with four tanker berths and can process 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd).

Lingering disruptions to port operations are likely as the gradual resumption of oil exports continues. Localized transport and business disruptions are possible near the Port of Basra as long as port disruptions persist. Protest activity is possible near the port over the short term in response to the spill.