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Stretching may not prevent jogging injuries

Researchers believe it is a myth that we must stretch before jogging. Millions of joggers around the world do this. It is a daily ritual in many parks and streets. Researchers say there is no evidence to show stretching improves running performance or decreases the risk of injuries. The research is in the 'British Journal of Sports Medicine'. There is evidence that stretching can keep our joints flexible, but it won't help performance or prevent injuries.

A researcher conducted the research after talking about stretching with joggers. He jogs and often wonders about the benefits of stretching. He said: "Runners have...beliefs around running injury risks... and performance that are in contrast to current research evidence." He said runners follow ineffective strategies to prevent injuries or increase performance. He said a 5-10-minute session of walking or light jogging was the best warm-up.


World champ Go master quits as A.I. is too good

A world champion has retired because he has decided humans cannot beat computers at his game. The grand champion is Lee Se-Dol from South Korea. He was world champion at the ancient, strategy board game Go. Some people compare Go to chess. Mr Lee is the only person in the world to ever beat Google's AlphaGo computer algorithm. This is a special A.I. computer program created by Google to play Go. Mr Lee, an 18-time world champion, told reporters earlier this week that: "Even if I become the number one, there is an entity that cannot be defeated. With the debut of A.I. in Go games, I've realized that I'm not at the top even if I become the number one."

The game of Go originated in China around 3,000 years ago. Today, it is played mostly in China, Japan and South Korea. It is believed to be the oldest board game in the world. In 2016, the International Go Federation said it had 75 member nations, and that over 46 million people worldwide knew how to play Go. Mr Lee started playing at the age of five. He turned professional seven years later, when he was 12. He played five games against Google's AlphaGo and lost four of them. He said his one victory was because of a "bug" in the program. The bug did not know what to do when Mr Lee made a "tricky" move. Today's Go programs are much more powerful than the one that beat Mr Lee.


Apostrophe Protection Society says goodbye

A man who campaigned for better use of the apostrophe has quit his decades-long battle. John Richards, 96, started the Apostrophe Protection Society in 2001. He wrote: "Fewer organisations and individuals are now caring about the correct use of the apostrophe in English. We have done our best, but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won." He said many people supported him, "but the barbarians have won".

Mr Richards started the society after seeing the "same mistakes over and over again". He hoped some people would join him, but he received support and letters from all over the world. His biggest beef was people not using the apostrophe at all. He criticised big companies for this. In the UK, Lloyds Bank stopped using the apostrophe in its name. Mr Richards may be happy with the burger chain McDonald's but not with Starbucks.


Sugar overdose warning for coffee chain festive drinks

A health group has warned people to be careful about how much sugar is in their drinks when they go to coffee shops. Many cafes in the UK are adding extra sugar and syrup to their festive drinks in the run-up to Christmas. The health group is called Action on Sugar (AOS). It carried out research on how sweet hot drinks were in coffee chains around the country. It found that some lattes and hot chocolates contained as much as 23 spoons of sugar. It analysed over 200 different drinks. The researchers said they found "shockingly" high levels of sugar in many of the drinks. An AOS spokesperson said people with obesity, diabetes and other health conditions needed to check what they were drinking.

Action On Sugar analysed drinks from nine different coffee shop chains. It found the unhealthiest drink was the Starbucks "Venti" caramel hot chocolate. It contained 93.7g of sugar and 758 calories. AOS says it has as much sugar as three cans of Coca-Cola. A spokeswoman for Starbucks said: "We are committed to reducing sugar in all our beverages and since 2015 we've delivered a nine per cent reduction in the sugar content." Katharine Jenner, a director at AOS, said: "The hospitality industry has a key role to play in being transparent. It must help to reduce the amount of sugar we consume. Sugar is one of the biggest causes of obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay."


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A wave of protests has rippled across France, carrying well into last night as thousands took to the streets in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron's plans to reform the country's pension system. Macron wants to combine more than 40 retirement schemes into one big points-based system, and many worry they may get less and have to retire later under the proposed rules. The protests call to mind the last time a French leader attempted a pension reform move. In 1995, then-Prime Minister Alain Juppe wanted to unify France's pension system, and, well, the same thing happened: protests. Juppe eventually abandoned the plan. While most of yesterday's demonstrations were peaceful, things did take a violent turn when protesters started throwing bricks and setting things on fire near the Place de la République in Paris.


Migrant boat wreck

At least 58 people were killed when a boat carrying dozens of migrants sank off the coast of Mauritania this week. According to the International Organization for Migration, about 150 people were on the boat, which departed from the small country of Gambia in West Africa. The boat was headed for the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off Africa's northwest coast. The tragedy is another example of the harsh, mortally dangerous conditions migrants endure in pursuit of better opportunities. Every year, thousands of West Africans complete similar crossings through the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe.


Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the often controversial head of Tesla, heads to court today in a defamation suit for his tweets attacking a Vernon Unsworth, a British man who helped in the 2018 rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thai cave. If you'll recall, Musk created a mini-submarine to try to help with the rescue. Unsworth made some spicy comments about it and called it a PR stunt. In return, Musk called Unsworth a "pedo guy" in a tweet he later deleted, then doubled down on the claim in subsequent tweets and interviews. Unsworth is now suing Musk. This isn't the first time Musk has gone to court over his Twitter behavior. In September 2018, the CEO agreed to a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission after teasing the idea of taking Tesla private by tweeting "funding secured."


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