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How to live longer

How to live longer


Steve Jobs once said: "The most precious resource we all have is time."  For most of history, the average human life expectancy has been about around 70 years. Although average life expectancy has been rising for years, this is because more of us make it that far and many beyond. Fewer of us are dying at birth, in childhood, in the midst of raging battle or being mauled to death by wild animals. Take out those threats and an average human is capable of a 70th birthday. And now, with breakthroughs in our understanding of genetics and billions of dollars being poured into life sciences research, we may find ways to extend our lives, maybe to even double that number, in the next few decades.  On this week's Beyond the Headlines host Kelsey Warner looks at the future of ageing and longevity.
When you hear of Arab cuisine, what imagery does it conjure up? Hummus, bulgur wheat, meat, chicken and spices like sumac, cumin and cinnamon. Lavish dinner parties with popular dishes like Egyptian koshary, Jordanian mansaf and Iraqi tashreeb. The bigger the dish, the more generous the host. That is a deeply rooted belief in Arab culture. Despite the Gulf countries being insulated from the rising costs of living, people in many places in the Middle East - and around the world - are struggling to regularly buy quality raw food ingredients as prices skyrocket. In this episode of Beyond the Headlines, host Ahmed Maher speaks to people from across the Middle East to see how rising prices are pushing some of them into food poverty.
On 14 May, a white gunman in body armour killed 10 black shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Ten days later, an attacker shot dead 19 students and their two teachers in their classrooms at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Then, on 1 June, another gunman killed two doctors and two others at an Oklahoma medical building in Tulsa. These are just some of the recent, chilling examples of how gun violence has traumatised America - they’re only the tip of the iceberg. According to the Gun Violence Archive, the US has suffered at least 246 mass shootings in 2022. Not all of them make the news, so frequent have mass shootings become there. Many Americans have long been calling for action on gun control. So why is it so difficult to bring in reform? On this week’s Beyond the Headlines, host Suhail Akram looks at what can realistically be done to tackle US gun deaths.
The sky turns orange as a huge cloud of dust rolls toward you. Your vision is impaired and your chest feels tight as you struggle to draw breath.  You grab a scarf and wrap it around your face as you hurry inside, but the coughing continues long after you reach safety. For those in refugee camps, even this escape is denied. Sand is buffeted against flimsy tents and belongings and residents become swiftly covered in a film of dust. You may think this is happening to a character in an apocalypse movie, but it's becoming a regular occurrence for people in many parts of the world, and especially the Middle East.  In spring, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and parts of Israel and Egypt experience the most frequent dust storms. Moving into summer, Iran, Syria and the Gulf will be hit by the flurry of sand and minerals. Many of these countries are sources of the dust as well as feeling the impact of it.  In this week's Beyond the Headlines, host Taylor Heyman looks at the impact of dust storms on the Middle East and asks what can be done to mitigate them.
The Berlin Wall fell more than three decades ago, precipitating a generational collapse of political and economic boundaries in Europe. Now, in 2022, conflict and confusion is on the continent's doorstep once again. Experts and leaders, including around 50 heads of state and government, have gathered in the Swiss resort of Davos this week for the World Economic Forum annual meeting, where they are considering whether history has reached another turning point? Mustafa Alrawi, The National’s Assistant Editor-in-Chief, and Mina Al-Oraibi, The National's Editor-in-Chief, are joined by CNN anchor Julia Chatterley in Davos to discuss the key takeaways from the WEF annual meeting.
People across Lebanon cast their votes last Sunday in an election that was meant to be different.  So much has happened since the last poll, in 2018, when familiar faces were elected from parties largely made up of the same people who had fought the civil war decades earlier.  First, the economy started to creak - and eventually collapsed. In 2019, hundreds of thousands of people across Lebanon rose up in a popular protest movement, apparently determined to change a political system that seemed to be pushing the country over a precipice. Then, in August of 2020, a devastating explosion at Beirut’s port killed hundreds, left hundreds of thousands homeless, and caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage in a country that could ill afford to pay the bill. Many blamed the same culture of political mismanagement for the catastrophic explosion.   In this week’s episode of Beyond the Headlines, Finbar Anderson asks: will the Lebanese election be seen as a turning point for an embattled country in desperate need of change? Or was it a sideshow designed to buy the ruling elite time and a false sense of legitimacy?
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed died on May 13, 2022, at the age of 73. He was born in September 1948, before the UAE existed as a single nation and before the discovery of oil in the Emirates. In his lifetime he saw the rise of the nation from a collection of Bedouin and fishing villages to one of the leading and most competitive economies in the Middle East. As the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa’s involvement in public life began at a very young age. On this week's Beyond the Headlines host Faisal Salah looks back at the life of Sheikh Khalifa and hears from UAE cultural historian and columnist for The National Peter Hellyer about his legacy.
On May 16, the European Union will no longer require people to wear masks on planes. Many countries around the world have already started to relax Covid-19 restrictions. And some, like Greece, New Zealand and Japan, are preparing to drop all rules in time for summer. So is it finally time to get back to normal? At least to the way life was before the pandemic. Or is it time to simply embrace the ‘new normal'? This week on Beyond the Headlines, host Suhail Akram asks experts and health care professionals if the pandemic is truly over.
Late one Saturday night towards the end of April, a boat set off to sea from near Lebanon’s second city, Tripoli. It was an ageing craft, nearly 50 years old, built to comfortably hold maybe a dozen people, at a push. But on this voyage it was carrying perhaps 60, maybe as many as 80.  Among those on board were Amid Dandachi, his wife and their three children. In all, around 22 members of the extended Dandachi family were on the boat. The family are from the suburb of Qibbe, one of Tripoli’s poorest neighbourhoods. And Tripoli is one of Lebanon’s poorest cities. With Lebanon's economic crisis ongoing they hoped heading west would offer them a better future But only an hour or two after they left land, the boat was intercepted. Lebanese naval forces demanded it turn back. The boat’s helmsman tried to make a break for it but the navy crashed into the overcrowded craft towards the bow, splitting the hull. At least six people died and approximately 30 are still missing. On this week's Beyond The Headlines, Finbar Anderson looks at the story of a tragic shipwreck off the coast of Tripoli, and how it’s an all too familiar fate for thousands of people trying to reach a better life in Europe.
Rescued from the choppy seas of the English Channel or landing on the windswept beaches of the east of England, over the last three years thousands of people in small inflatable dinghies have made the perilous crossing from France. As dozens died making the journey, the UK deployed the coast guard, the navy and the lifeboat service to try and rescue those attempting to make the journey. In 2021, an estimated 28,526 people crossed the channel in small boats. Data for the first half of 2022 showed over 8,000 had made the journey with tens of thousands more expected in the calmer, warmer summer months. The arrivals have sparked a heated debate. Some accuse the government of being soft on immigration, turning a blind eye to smugglers and not policing the country’s borders. Others accuse the government of a callous disregard for human life and failing to meet obligations to those fleeing for their lives. And now, the UK has said “enough”. On this week's Beyond the Headlines, host James Haines-Young delves into the UK Government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda and asks whether such proposals can even solve the issue.  
Muslims around the world are marking the first Ramadan in three years to take place largely without Covid-19 restrictions. But now another crisis is casting a pall over the holy month.   The war in Ukraine, a global economic downturn and a high oil price, among other factors, are driving food prices to an all-time high.   Nations which import most of their food - including many in the Middle East such as Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen - are suffering the most. And the head of the World Bank has said the food crisis will last for months.    On this week’s Beyond the Headlines, host Taylor Heyman asks how Muslims are dealing with shortages and price hikes this holy month, and what governments are doing to help relieve the pressure.
Pakistan has a new prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif. The 70-year-old this week replaced Imran Khan, who failed to stop a no-confidence motion against him in what was a dramatic last-minute vote on the night of April 9.  Sharif won with 174 votes, after more than 100 lawmakers from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf party resigned and walked out.  Khan’s ousting and Sharif's win mean that no Pakistani prime minister since the country’s formation has been able to complete a full five-year parliamentary tenure. Imran Khan also became the first prime minister in the history of Pakistan to lose office through a parliamentary no-confidence vote. On this week's Beyond the Headlines, host Suhail Akram looks at Imran Khan’s fall from power and asks: will he return?
A group of Afghan refugees in Poland have rushed to support the millions of Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion. The painful memories of their own war are a shadow only too recent. One of the group, 27-year-old Sabur Dawod Zai, escaped the 20-year conflict in Afghanistan when the Taliban returned to power in August 2021. He, like so many others, embarked on an arduous journey to avoid the harsh rule of the Taliban and found himself in Poland. So when Sabur and his friends saw a newspaper photograph depicting four people, including two children, killed in the war, they could identify with the horror. Grateful for the warm welcome they received in Poland, they just wanted to pay it back. This week on Beyond the Headlines, host Ahmed Maher explores how Afghans in Poland, themselves displaced, have mobilised to support Ukrainians fleeing the war.
Your curtains open on a timer. You rise with the sun shining - which it does most days of the year here - and a sensor detects when you’re standing under the shower, activating the water at your preferred temperature, no time or water to waste. Your refrigerator has the right ingredients to grab breakfast and pack a quick lunch; it automatically orders your groceries when you begin to run low. As you head for the door, the lights switch off, the climate control readjusts to account for an empty flat, and the lock engages automatically behind you. You hop on your bike and pedal to work - a flexible office space where you mingle with a few dozen other entrepreneurs, as well as some multinational corporations. The ride is ten minutes down the road, passing a few friends on the way. This is life in a 15-minute smart city. And this could one day be life at the Expo 2020 Dubai site, dubbed District 2020, a reimagined neighbourhood at the site of the most recent world’s fair that experts, visitors and the mega-event planners all say is a vision for the future.  This week, as Expo draws to a close, we ask: what did we learn in the last six months about where we are heading and the choices we must make? And now, what comes next, for both the site itself and those who gathered there?
Since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, millions of people have fled the country in search of safety elsewhere in Europe. Most are women and children, with men of fighting age required to stay and protect their homeland. So often the story of war is told through masculine eyes — soldiers fighting heroically on the front, typically male politicians battling for control of the narrative through speeches and summits  — but as more and more women stream out of the country, it is falling to them to tell the world what is happening in Ukraine, and to highlight their role in forging the country’s future. On this week's Beyond the Headlines, host Erin Clare Brown travels to Romania and Moldova to hear first-hand from those who have fled the Russian campaign about what life was like inside a country under siege, and how it has changed for them since they left. 
In the early hours of March 13, 2022, streaks of light punctuated the sky above the northern Iraqi city of Erbil as a barrage of rockets rained down on a building near the old town. The thud and blasts shook the city, orange flames rose up and thick black smoke stood out against the deep purple of the night.   This week on Beyond the Headlines, host James Haines-Young looks at why Iran is raining rockets down on neighbouring Iraq.
India’s hijab row

India’s hijab row


A row has been brewing for months in the southern Indian state of Karnataka after dozens of Muslim students were barred by authorities from entering colleges because they were wearing the hijab.  Widespread protests and counter protests by students attending local colleges and pre-universities have erupted across the southern coastal state, raising tensions in the communally sensitive region. Female Muslim students have lobbied for days outside the gates of their colleges, demanding the administration let them attend classes wearing the hijab.  Their protests have been met by counter-demonstrations by students linked to right-wing Hindu groups. They wear saffron scarves - a colour used by hardline nationalists - and march in the streets chanting "Jai Shri Ram", a traditional Hindu salutation that has in recent years become a war cry. In this week's Beyond the Headlines, Nilanjana Gupta looks at why the hijab is the source of more division than ever in India. 
More than a million people have now fled Ukraine. As Russia targets cities across the country, ordinary people have been faced with the unthinkable choice of staying put and facing bombardment - or leaving their homes, their communities, their lives. It is already the biggest European refugee crisis since the 1990s Balkan wars.  The UN fears there could be 4 million people displaced in the coming weeks and months. If things continue to get worse it could be Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.  On this week's Beyond the Headlines host Leila Gharagozlou looks at the plight of the Ukrainians whose lives have been turned upside down.
On the morning of February 24, Katya Niporka was woken up by the sound of Russian artillery shaking Kyiv. Soon after, the rest of the world was waking up to the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin had declared war on Ukraine and that an invasion was underway. For weeks Ukrainians had been hoping for the best and planning for the worst as hundreds of thousands of troops massed on the border. Most expected that, if an invasion happened, it would be in the south-east of the country, where Ukraine has been fighting with Russian-backed separatists since 2014. Few expected attacks on the capital. In this special episode of Beyond the Headlines, host Erin Brown asks what it felt like to be in Kyiv and under siege from Russian forces, and what the future holds for Ukrainians like Katya, who are weighing up whether to stay and fight or try and flee to safety.
Last month, archaeologists working in Oman’s north found what they believed to be a 4,000 year old board game. The discovery sparked interest worldwide, giving us a peek into the leisure time of the Gulf’s ancient people. Unlike in other areas of the world, where archaeological marvels focus on kings, queens and grand temples, much of the heritage work going on in the Sultanate right now focuses on how ordinary people lived. The artefacts, often dating back millennia, are some of the most well preserved in the world. They are changing long-held beliefs about how the region was first settled. In this week's Beyond The Headlines, host Taylor Heyman looks at how discoveries from their country’s past are inspiring the next generation of Omanis and the world.
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