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Israeli forces hit Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza

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Several were killed, medical officials said. Their identities were not immediately clear

Israel’s air force hit Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza for a second day and Palestinian militants in the enclave began launching rockets across the border.

Sirens sounded and people – including these beachgoers in Tel Aviv – were sent running for shelter.

“It’s frightening for both sides, it’s frightening for us yes, to run to shelters,” Tel Aviv resident Esti Sherbelis detailed. “I recall the past and that was terrible.

“And I think it’s terrible for Palestinian children who don’t have shelters as well. So I can feel for both sides and it’s a very very sad situation.”

The military said it was trying to hit rocket sites pre-emptively as blasts rocked different points including what witnesses described as a training camp in the northern part of the Gaza Strip and an open area in the south.

Several were killed, medical officials said. Their identities were not immediately clear.

Minutes after the strikes, sirens sounded in Israel – initially among border communities but soon also in and around the commercial capital Tel Aviv, 37 miles north of Gaza.

There was no immediate word of casualties in Israel, though local media reported that a home was hit in the town of Sderot.

In Gaza, multiple contrails could be seen ascending as rockets were launched.

Mid-air explosions signalled interceptions by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defence system.

Israel launched a series of strikes it said were aimed at senior leaders of Islamic Jihad responsible for planning attacks against Israel.

At least 10 civilians were killed in the strikes as well as three senior commanders.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest rocket attacks.

Islamic Jihad had promised to retaliate for the strikes.

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Boston Dynamics’ electric marvel or robot contortionist?

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Boston Dynamics has recently unveiled its latest creation, the electric Atlas robot, boasting enhanced agility and strength.

However, with its uncanny ability to contort and rise from the ground with an almost eerie grace, one might wonder if we’re witnessing the birth of the world’s first robot contortionist.

As this technological marvel flaunts its capabilities, one can’t help but ponder if we’re on the brink of a future where household chores will be effortlessly handled by robots moving like a fusion of ballet dancers and horror movie monsters.

With its cadaver-like movements and illuminated head, it’s hard not to speculate whether Atlas is destined to revolutionise robotics or simply rehearsing for a techno-horror rendition of The Nutcracker. As Boston Dynamics continues to push the boundaries of robotics, the line between science fiction and reality becomes increasingly blurred.

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The Coffee confusion causing health concerns

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As the morning sun peeks through the curtains, many reach for that familiar brew, kickstarting their day with a comforting cup of coffee.

It’s a ritual ingrained in cultures worldwide, offering a jolt of energy to combat the grogginess of dawn.

But when is the optimal time for that caffeine fix? According to registered dietitian Anthony DiMarino, RD, LD, the answer isn’t crystal clear.

Some experts suggest delaying that first sip until mid-morning or later. However, DiMarino reassures coffee lovers that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this dilemma.

Meanwhile, the science behind coffee production unveils fascinating insights into its instant variant. Whether produced through freeze-drying or spray-drying methods, instant coffee offers convenience without sacrificing flavor.

Yet, beyond convenience, recent studies delve deeper into coffee’s impact on our bodies. Research exploring the acute effects of decaffeinated versus caffeinated coffee reveals intriguing findings on reaction time, mood, and skeletal muscle strength.

Moreover, investigations into the gut microbiome shed light on coffee’s influence on liver cirrhosis patients. A study analyzing the duodenal microbiome in this population found correlations between coffee consumption and microbial richness and evenness.

So, as you sip your coffee and ponder the day ahead, consider not just the flavour in your cup but also the subtle impacts it may have on your body and mind.

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Laughing in limbo Canadian Just for Laughs cancelled

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The renowned Montreal-based Just for Laughs comedy festival, one of the world’s largest international comedy events, will not grace the calendar in 2024.

The Canadian company overseeing the festival announced its cancellation this year, citing efforts to steer clear of bankruptcy. Having marked its 40th anniversary in 2023, Just For Laughs has long been a beloved fixture on the city’s cultural landscape.

With its absence raising questions about which event will inherit the title of the biggest comedy festival, speculation arises whether Melbourne will seize the mantle, given its burgeoning comedy scene and the success of its own Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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