Wikinews Shorts: September 25, 2007

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A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, September 25, 2007.

Canadian UAW workers forced to strike

Union workers on strike. Credit: Commons user Kaihsu Tai

Canadian workers with the Canadian Auto Workers Union have gone on strike due to 70,000 American employees of United Auto Workers Union (UAW) forced to strike against General Motors (GM), just one day ago.

GM Canada's Windsor, Ontario plant, which employs 1,400 people shut down on Monday. On Tuesday Car Plant 1 in Oshawa, Ontario, which employs 3,000, closed at 3:00am ET. Car Plant 2, also in Oshawa, which employs 2,500 workers, could make a speedy close today or tomorrow. Other GM car plants in Ontario are also feared to close during the strike.

If the strike in the U.S. stays, up to 100,000 Canadian UAW workers could be laid off, according to Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers Union. Eighty-thousand Canadians work for the auto-parts industry in Canada, and 40,000 could be laid off, Hargrove also says.

According to the BBC, analysts say the strike will only last for two weeks. The UAW last called a national strike on GM 30 years ago.

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UK researchers publish new survey on sleep

Sleeping in Spain. Credit: Flickr user Siesta

Findings on a new "sleep survey" seem to be mixed as a sleep analysis of 10,308 government workers over seventeen years was recently made public. The study was conducted by the University of Warwick and the University College London in the United Kingdom.

The participants were aged 35-55. Researchers examined the participants' sleeping habits between the years of 1995 to 1998, and 1992 to 1993, and mortality rates until 2004. It also compared the social lives of the participants to sleeping habits.

The study shows that, if a person cuts their sleep from seven hours to five hours they ultimately risk an increase of death and death from cardiovascular problems. But sleeping more than eight hours doubles the risk of death, and death would be triggered from non-cardiovascular diseases. Sleeping less than five hours per night increases a risk of weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, and other diseases, which could end up in leading to death.

"A third of the population of the UK and over 40 percent in the U.S. regularly sleep less than five hours a night, so it is not a trivial problem," said Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Warwick. "The current pressures in society to cut out sleep, in order to squeeze in more, may not be a good idea -- particularly if you go below five hours."

"This change, largely the result of sleep curtailment to create more time for leisure and shift-work, has meant that reports of fatigue, tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness are more common than a few decades ago. Sleep represents the daily process of physiological restitution and recovery, and lack of sleep has far-reaching effects," he said on the university's website.

"In terms of prevention, our findings indicate that consistently sleeping around seven hours per night is optimal for health," Cappuccio added.

The new findings have been published on medical journal SLEEP's website. It will officially be published in the magazines next issue.

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