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Latest News: Rugby-Waratahs make second attempt at Folau injury recall

April 16 (Reuters) - The New South Wales Waratahs once again attempted to recall Israel Folau for Super Rugby duty, a week after the fullback was controversially pulled from the team at the 11th hour by the Australian Rugby Union.

The ARU had made the call on safety grounds the day before Saturday's defeat by the Western Force, fearing the 15-capped Wallaby had not fully recovered from a throat injury that had kept him out of two matches.

The Waratahs had been angered by the move and head coach Michael Cheika said the player had been checked by their own team doctor and specialist and that the ARU had broken protocols by conducting their own medical analysis without notifying them.

Folau said he had no contact with the ARU last week and that he had been left "confused" by the situation and unsure when he would be fit to return.

Cheika, however, believes Folau is ready and named the player to start in Saturday's home match against the Bulls of South Africa, hoping his prized asset can add to his 26 tries in 33 matches.

In a carefully worded team release, the Waratahs said the decision to pull Folau was "controversial" and that the former Australian Rules and Rugby League player had been in tip-top form in training.

"Cleared by the Waratahs medical staff to play against the Bulls, the try-scoring fullback hasn't missed a beat in the physical training sessions leading up to this weekend's game," the Waratahs said.

The Waratahs are third in the Australian Conference after securing four wins from their first seven games. (Writing by Patrick Johnston; Editing by John O'Brien)

Latest News: Malaysia reports first Asian death from MERS virus

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian man who went on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia has become the first death in Asia from Middle East respiratory syndrome, while the Philippines has isolated a health worker who tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

Malaysia's health ministry said the Muslim man returned to Malaysia on March 29 and developed a high fever and cough and had difficulty breathing more than a week later. The man, a 54-year-old from southern Johor state neighboring Singapore, died Sunday in a hospital, it said Wednesday.

"Investigations showed that the cause of death is severe pneumonia secondary to MERS-CoV," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry urged all passengers travelling with the victim on Turkish Airlines on March 29 to report for health checks. It said it was also checking on people who have been in close contact with the man.

MERS belongs to a family of viruses that includes both the common cold and SARS, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003. It can cause fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure. It was first identified in 2012 in the Middle East, where most cases since have been diagnosed.

In the Philippines, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the Filipino health worker had a positive blood test for the virus but showed no symptoms.

The man had personal contact with another Filipino hospital worker who died of the virus last week in the United Arab Emirates. Blood test results were released in the UAE after he arrived in the Philippines, and authorities immediately informed the Philippine Embassy.

The man has been isolated and people who had contact with him are being traced and quarantined, Ona said. Officials are also tracing the plane passengers who were seated near the Filipino during the flight to Manila.

The health department said it is sending an epidemiology expert and an infectious disease specialist to UAE after the death of the Filipino there and reports that six other Filipinos were found to have the virus.

Singapore's health ministry instructed hospitals to be vigilant in testing for the virus if patients reported serious respiratory illness and have traveled abroad. The ministry said the possibility of an imported case cannot be ruled out given global travel patterns.

The World Health Organization said it has been informed of 238 confirmed cases globally, including 92 deaths, since September 2012.

While MERS does not seem to spread as quickly between people as SARS did, it appears to be more deadly.

Latest News: Waratahs make second attempt at Folau injury recall

(Reuters) - The New South Wales Waratahs once again attempted to recall Israel Folau for Super Rugby duty, a week after the fullback was controversially pulled from the team at the 11th hour by the Australian Rugby Union.

The ARU had made the call on safety grounds the day before Saturday's defeat by the Western Force, fearing the 15-capped Wallaby had not fully recovered from a throat injury that had kept him out of two matches.

The Waratahs had been angered by the move and head coach Michael Cheika said the player had been checked by their own team doctor and specialist and that the ARU had broken protocols by conducting their own medical analysis without notifying them.

Folau said he had no contact with the ARU last week and that he had been left "confused" by the situation and unsure when he would be fit to return.

Cheika, however, believes Folau is ready and named the player to start in Saturday's home match against the Bulls of South Africa, hoping his prized asset can add to his 26 tries in 33 matches.

In a carefully worded team release, the Waratahs said the decision to pull Folau was "controversial" and that the former Australian Rules and Rugby League player had been in tip-top form in training.

"Cleared by the Waratahs medical staff to play against the Bulls, the try-scoring fullback hasn't missed a beat in the physical training sessions leading up to this weekend's game," the Waratahs said.

The Waratahs are third in the Australian Conference after securing four wins from their first seven games.

(Writing by Patrick Johnston; Editing by John O'Brien)

Latest News: 'No shame' over 12-year-old mother

A man claiming to be the father of Britain's youngest mother has said he is "proud" of her and there is "no shame" over what had happened.

The 12-year-old schoolgirl and her 13-year-old boyfriend are believed to have become Britain's youngest parents.

She became pregnant at the age of 11 and gave birth to a girl weighing 7lb 4oz on Sunday. Being 12 years and three months old makes her five months younger than the previous youngest mother, Tressa Middleton, who gave birth in Edinburgh in 2006, according to The Sun.

A source told the newspaper: "The baby's mum and dad have been in a relationship for more than a year, so this isn't a fleeting romance. They intend to stick together and bring their daughter up together.

"They're very into each other, totally in love. She's in Year 7, he's in Year 9 at a different school."

April Webster and Nathan Fishbourne, the previous youngest parents, were 14 when their son Jamie was born in Caerphilly, South Wales, in 2010.

The new mother was 10 when she met her boyfriend. The pair, from north London, cannot be named for legal reasons. The schoolgirl lives with her mother, who is 27, and is supportive of the couple.

Yesterday, the new mother went to a register office to register the birth with her own mother and another woman.

The man claiming to be the girl's father rang radio station LBC. Presenter Nick Ferrari said the station would have to take his word for it, and they would call him Greg, which was not his real name.

The caller agreed he was supportive and right behind the couple, saying: "U nfortunately we found out the situation a month ago. That's from people making statements about 'allowing it to go on'. We didn't allow anything to go on at all, we didn't know this was happening.

"Unfortunately, kids this age are going to grow up to have boyfriends and partners or whatever. If they do things behind their parents' back that's something we're never going to be able to find out.

"We only found that she was actually pregnant a month ago. For us, what can you do? She was eight months pregnant. The baby is going to come into the world no matter what."

He agreed it was "heartbreaking", adding: " But you can't turn back time, you can only go forwards."

He said he comes from a working background.

" It's not as if we're all scrounging off the social like other people are suggesting. I work, I own my own business, and I'm fully going to support them with my own money, not necessarily forking out of other people's pockets. We're not scroungers. I will sit there and support this baby as best I can, with my own money, that I earn from working."

Asked his view of the 13-year-old boy, he said: " He's a great kid. Fortunately, they've been very supportive as well. We've had a discussion with his parents and everybody's... We've obviously come to the conclusion when you've got no other conclusion is 'What's happened has happened'.

"All we can now do is look to go forward in bringing this baby into the world without this bickering everybody is doing."

Asked if he believed in shame, he said: " No. Shame's not nothing. That little girl does not bring shame to me at all, I'm so proud of her. Shame doesn't even come into it."

He said it was "absolute nonsense" that the youngsters want to marry.

"That was news to us. We only see that again last night, when we found out all this information was coming out."

Hilary Pannack, chief executive of teenage pregnancy charity Straight Talking, said: "I know girls who've been pregnant at 13 and have had the baby, and I've heard of 12-year-olds before.

"It costs £100,000 to the taxpayer to support the average teenage mother in the first five years - it is a reason but is not the primary reason to stop teenage pregnancy, which is that we are talking about young people's lives.

"We need to stop the cycle of teenage parents having children who are more likely to become teenage parents themselves."

Latest News: Teenager uses Facebook to save Romania's stray dogs

By Radu Marinas and Bogdan Cristel

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - When French film actress Brigitte Bardot began a campaign to spare the thousands of stray dogs in Romania's capital from being put down, she did it with a $150,000 (89,306.98 pounds) donation scheme.

A similar campaign is being waged by Ana-Maria Ciulcu, a 13-year-old schoolgirl with braces on her teeth who uses Facebook to appeal to dog lovers all over Europe - and to make sure the dogs go to the right homes.

"I like to know that my dogs will be spoiled, and will be allowed to sit on the sofa ... so one of my first questions would be: 'Are you going to chain him?'," Ciulcu told Reuters.

Ciulcu was a baby when Bardot started her sterilisation campaign in 2001. Now she speaks fluent German and has a grasp of the Internet, and she's used both to rescue 150 strays and ship them to Germany, Austria and Belgium since September.

But Bucharest's state-funded wards now hold 2,800 dogs, and 2,000 dogs have been euthanized in the past two months, according to Romania's Authority for Animal Surveillance and Protection. Foreign citizens, mainly German and British, have directly adopted about 30 dogs since September, ASPA Director Razvan Bancescu told Reuters.

Some 60,000 strays roam Bucharest. Last year, a four-year-old boy died after he was mauled by a stray beside a Bucharest park. Street protests demanded something be done about the dogs. The authorities began enforcing the euthanasia rules, which enable city halls to put down dogs caught in public spaces if they are not adopted within two weeks.

The strays are thought to be a legacy of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's decision to bulldoze Bucharest's historic centre in the 1980s to make way for a gargantuan "House of the People". Thousands of guard dogs were abandoned by residents who had been forcibly relocated into small apartments.

SPURRED TO ACTION

Ciulcu collects strays on the street. They go to a temporary private shelter, or to the backyard of her home on the capital's outskirts. She has a veterinarian vaccinate them and give them microchip identification tags and eventually gets international passports for them.

All costs, from medicines, vaccines and neutering to identification chips and passports, are covered by Ana-Maria's family - about 150 euros ($210) per dog. Transporting the animals to their destinations is covered by the new owner.

She spends up to about two hours a day selecting owners from among thousands of would-be pet owners who visit her page (www.facebook.com/anamaria.ciulcu). Few Romanians are among them.

"Romanians generally want to adopt only a pure breed," she said.

Ciulcu, who wants to become a doctor, believes keeping animals together in state-funded shelters is not a solution, just an extermination plan. Until she takes up her medical studies, her ambition is to save as many dogs as she can.

"Dogs can't live packed together," she said. "They need affection."

(Editing by Michael Roddy and Larry King)

Latest News: Teachers urged to act over FGM

Teachers and schools should examine the holiday plans of families from communities that practise female genital mutilation (FGM) to help stamp out the act, it has been suggested.

Staff should also be alert for signs that young girls have undergone the procedure, such as frequent trips to the toilets and pain when sitting down, according to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

Delegates at the union's annual conference in Manchester have passed a resolution abhorring the practice of FGM, and calling for a national strategy and action plan, led by the Home Office, to eliminate it in the UK.

The motion said that FGM should be classified as a form of child abuse, with perpetrators prosecuted.

It added that there should be an active campaign to raise awareness about the issue, with advice developed for education staff.

Helen Porter, an ATL member from Berkshire told the conference: "As education staff we need to raise awareness and encourage young women and men to question FGM.

"We need to reposition FGM in terms of violence against women and girls and not cultural practice.

"In so far as education staff can, they should work with communities, some of whom may withdraw their daughters from sex and relationships education (SRE) and personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons.

"Schools and education staff can help by opening discussion with parents and scrutinising holiday requests and summer holiday plans from members of communities that practise FGM.

"They should be vigilant for the signs of FGM such as frequent toilet visits and pain whilst sitting down."

Ms Porter added that schools should also publicise the NSPCC's FGM helpline, and empower young women by discussing the issue with them in age-appropriate lessons as well as encouraging young men to challenge the practice.

Experts have previously suggested that young girls from FGM-practising communities may be more at risk of being subjected to the procedure over the school summer holiday as there is time for the act to be carried out.

Figures released last month indicate that nearly 4,000 women and girls have been treated in British hospitals since 2009 after undergoing FGM.

Separate statistics suggest that an estimated 66,000 women in the UK have been subjected to the practice, with more than 20,000 girls under 15 thought to be at risk of FGM, which is classed as torture by the UN.

Last month, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, said that healthcare and education staff should be required by law to report suspected FGM to the police.

ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said that teachers have been put in a position of great responsibility over the issue of FGM.

"What they need now is clear guidance in order to fulfil those responsibilities," she said.

"I don't think teachers will back away from this, but neither can we blame teachers if they don't get the help and support that they need to deal with this issue."

Dr Bousted added that teachers need a clear system for reporting their concerns.

"For me it's clear that whether it's sexual abuse, or FGM, or physical abuse, or a child in any sort of danger, the key thing is that teachers have a clear way or reporting their concerns, without feeling that if they report their concerns, and their concerns are misplaced, that they are going to be in the firing line for raising these issues," she said.

Yesterday, two men appeared in court in the first UK prosecution for FGM.

Latest News: Teachers to urged to act over FGM

Teachers and schools should examine the holiday plans of families from communities that practise female genital mutilation (FGM) to help stamp out the act, it has been suggested.

Staff should also be alert for signs that young girls have undergone the procedure, such as frequent trips to the toilets and pain when sitting down, according to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

Delegates at the union's annual conference in Manchester have passed a resolution abhorring the practice of FGM, and calling for a national strategy and action plan, led by the Home Office, to eliminate it in the UK.

The motion said that FGM should be classified as a form of child abuse, with perpetrators prosecuted.

It added that there should be an active campaign to raise awareness about the issue, with advice developed for education staff.

Helen Porter, an ATL member from Berkshire told the conference: "As education staff we need to raise awareness and encourage young women and men to question FGM.

"We need to reposition FGM in terms of violence against women and girls and not cultural practice.

"In so far as education staff can, they should work with communities, some of whom may withdraw their daughters from sex and relationships education (SRE) and personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons.

"Schools and education staff can help by opening discussion with parents and scrutinising holiday requests and summer holiday plans from members of communities that practise FGM.

"They should be vigilant for the signs of FGM such as frequent toilet visits and pain whilst sitting down."

Ms Porter added that schools should also publicise the NSPCC's FGM helpline, and empower young women by discussing the issue with them in age-appropriate lessons as well as encouraging young men to challenge the practice.

Experts have previously suggested that young girls from FGM-practising communities may be more at risk of being subjected to the procedure over the school summer holiday as there is time for the act to be carried out.

Figures released last month indicate that nearly 4,000 women and girls have been treated in British hospitals since 2009 after undergoing FGM.

Separate statistics suggest that an estimated 66,000 women in the UK have been subjected to the practice, with more than 20,000 girls under 15 thought to be at risk of FGM, which is classed as torture by the UN.

Last month, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, said that healthcare and education staff should be required by law to report suspected FGM to the police.

ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said that teachers have been put in a position of great responsibility over the issue of FGM.

"What they need now is clear guidance in order to fulfil those responsibilities," she said.

"I don't think teachers will back away from this, but neither can we blame teachers if they don't get the help and support that they need to deal with this issue."

Dr Bousted added that teachers need a clear system for reporting their concerns.

"For me it's clear that whether it's sexual abuse, or FGM, or physical abuse, or a child in any sort of danger, the key thing is that teachers have a clear way or reporting their concerns, without feeling that if they report their concerns, and their concerns are misplaced, that they are going to be in the firing line for raising these issues," she said.

Yesterday, two men appeared in court in the first UK prosecution for FGM.

Latest News: Ex Co-op bank chairman Paul Flowers charged with drug possession

LONDON (Reuters) - Former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers was charged on Wednesday with possessing illegal drugs, with the former Methodist minister to appear before magistrates next month, police said.

West Yorkshire police said Flowers, 63, of Bradford in northern England, was charged with three offences of possessing drugs and was bailed to appear in court on May 7.

"I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Paul Flowers with possession of Class A and Class C drugs relating to an incident on 9 November 2013," Clare Stevens, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said in a statement.

Flowers was arrested last November after an investigation triggered by allegations in a newspaper.

The scandal raised questions over his appointment to the bank when he had no banking qualifications and he was suspended indefinitely from the Methodist church pending proceedings.

Flowers left the bank - favoured by customers for its perceived ethical stance - last June, but subsequent events including its rescue by bondholders became one of Britain's biggest financial scandals of the past year.

His arrest ramped up pressure on the 141-year-old lender, which has fallen under the control of bondholders including U.S. hedge funds following a 1.5 billion pound ($2.5 billion) rescue.

The future of the 170-year-old Co-operative Group has been thrown into doubt in recent months by the departure of the two senior executives who were drafted in to turn the group around.

The Co-op group, owned by its 7.2 million members and which retains a minority stake in the scandal-hit Co-op Bank, is expected to post a loss of around 2 billion pounds when it reports its full-year results on Thursday.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; editing by Stephen Addison)

Latest News: Glasgow has lowest life expectancy

People in Glasgow have the worst life expectancy in the whole of Britain, figures show.

As Glaswegians prepare to welcome some of the world's most elite athletes to their city, the state of local people's health has once again been thrust into the spotlight after a new report revealed that the life expectancy of locals is lagging behind the rest of the UK.

With just weeks to go until the Commonwealth Games begin, a new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that only three-quarters of boys and 85% of girls born in the city will reach their 65th birthday.

The average life expectancy of babies born in the city in 2010 to 2012 was 72.6 years for boys and 78.5 years for girls - eight to 10 years behind the best performing areas in the UK.

Boys born in East Dorset, the best performing area for males, can expect to live until they reach 83 and baby girls born in Purbeck can expect to reach 86.6 years.

Games officials hope the legacy of the event will encourage local people to get fit. They said they want to build on the enthusiasm surrounding the Games by encouraging people to be more physically active.

The ONS report states: "Life expectancy at birth has been used as a measure of the health status of the population since the 1840s.

"Glasgow City was consistently ranked as the area with the lowest male and female life expectancy between 2006-08 and 2010-12."

Latest News: Beard trend 'guided by evolution'

Is this the beginning of the end for the beard?

Related Stories

The ebb and flow of men's beard fashions may be guided by Darwinian selection, according to a new study.

The more beards there are, the less attractive they become - giving clean-shaven men a competitive advantage, say scientists in Sydney, Australia.

Start Quote

This might be why we've hit 'peak beard'”

End Quote Prof Rob Brooks University of New South Wales

They asked women and men to rate the appeal of different faces with "four standard levels of beardedness".

The team's study has been published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

In the experiment, both beards and clean-shaven faces became more attractive when they were rare.

The pattern mirrors an evolutionary phenomenon - "negative frequency-dependent sexual selection", or to put it more simply "an advantage to rare traits".

The bright colours of male guppies vary by this force - which is driven by females' changing preferences.

Scientists at the University of New South Wales decided to test this hypothesis for men's facial hair - recruiting volunteers on their Facebook site, The Sex Lab.

Affleck and ClooneyHirsute film stars George Clooney and Ben Affleck were said to have fuelled the beard boom

"Big thick beards are back with an absolute vengeance and so we thought underlying this fashion, one of the dynamics that might be important is this idea of negative frequency dependence," said Prof Rob Brooks, one of the study's authors.

"The idea is that perhaps people start copying the George Clooneys and the Joaquin Phoenixs and start wearing those beards, but then when more and more people get onto the band wagon the value of being on the bandwagon diminishes, so that might be why we've hit 'peak beard'."

"Peak beard" was the climax of the trend for beards in professions not naturally associated with a bristly chin - bankers, film stars, and even footballers began sporting facial hair.

Four levels of beardedness

Some argue the peak ended in January, when Jeremy Paxman, the BBC Newsnight presenter, shaved his beard off, saying "beards are SO 2013".

In the experiment, 1,453 women and 213 men were asked to rate the attractiveness of different samples of men's faces.

Jeremy Paxman's beard briefly trended on Twitter

Some were shown mostly "full" beards. Others were shown mostly clean-shaven faces. A third group were shown an even mixture of all four varieties - clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble and full beard.

Both women and men judged heavy stubble and full beards more attractive when presented in treatments where beards were rare than when they were common.

Likewise, clean-shaven faces were least attractive when common and more attractive when rare.

"Negative frequency-dependent preferences may therefore play a role in maintaining variation in men's beards and contributing to changing fashions," the researchers conclude.

They plan to continue their pogonophilic investigations and are looking for volunteers for their latest experiment testing how people like faces with varying levels of beardedness.

Latest News: Reckitt leans towards pharmaceuticals spin-off

By Martinne Geller

LONDON (Reuters) - Consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser Group stood by its 2014 financial targets on Wednesday despite unusually weak sales of disinfectants and signalled it was leaning toward spinning off its declining pharmaceuticals business.

The British company said a strategic review of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (RBP) that it launched in October was progressing well and that a "capital markets solution is emerging as a strong option".

"We mean that RBP would be an independent, publicly listed company," said Chief Financial Officer Adrian Hennah, although he noted that all options including selling or keeping it remained on the table.

Reckitt gave no new details of its acquisition plans, dashing the hopes of some investors that it might signal an interest in a consumer health business that may be sold by Merck . Reckitt is seen as a potential bidder.

Reckitt is expanding its consumer health business, which already includes Nurofen tablets, Mucinex allergy medicine and Airborne supplements, as it targets ageing populations in Western countries and rising incomes in emerging markets.

Excluding the pharmaceutical business, which sells a drug to treat heroin addiction, Reckitt posted a slightly better than expected 4 percent rise in first-quarter like-for-like sales on a constant currency basis.

Analysts were expecting a 3.7 percent rise, according to a consensus forecast supplied by the company.

Sales in the health business rose 11 percent in the quarter, whereas Reckitt's other segments - hygiene and home - grew by only 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Because this year's flu season was less severe than last year's, people bought less Lysol and Dettol disinfectants, the company said, resulting in "an unusually low growth rate ... and not one that we expect to see repeated very often".

Its health business, however, was boosted by the roll-out of new products including MegaRed supplements in Europe. The company said that even without the roll-outs, performance would have been "tremendous".

The pharmaceuticals business saw sales fall 11 percent as it continued to face competition from cheaper generic rivals.

Uncertainty about the outcome of the strategic review has preoccupied investors and weighed on Reckitt's shares. The stock was up 0.7 percent in morning trading on Wednesday.

Reckitt is aiming for revenue growth of 4 to 5 percent this year and an operating margin that is flat to moderately higher.

Fluctuations of the currencies in which it does business are expected to reduce reported sales by 9 percent.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller in London; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

Latest News: 12-year-old schoolgirl gives birth

A 12-year-old schoolgirl and her 13-year-old boyfriend are believed to have become Britain's youngest parents.

She became pregnant at the age of 11 and gave birth to a girl weighing 7lb 4oz on Sunday. Being 12 years and three months old makes her five months younger than the previous youngest mother, Tressa Middleton, who gave birth in Edinburgh in 2006, according to The Sun.

A source told the newspaper: "The baby's mum and dad have been in a relationship for more than a year, so this isn't a fleeting romance. They intend to stick together and bring their daughter up together.

"They're very into each other, totally in love. She's in Year 7, he's in Year 9 at a different school."

April Webster and Nathan Fishbourne, the previous youngest parents, were 14 when their son Jamie was born in Caerphilly, South Wales, in 2010.

The new mother was 10 when she met her boyfriend. The pair, from north London, cannot be named for legal reasons. The schoolgirl lives with her mother, who is 27, and is supportive of the couple.

Yesterday, the new mother went to a register office to register the birth with her own mother and another woman.

Her classmates were "shocked" when they heard she had had a baby as she did not look pregnant right up until last month when she was still going to school, the Sun was told.

Hilary Pannack, chief executive of teenage pregnancy charity Straight Talking, said: "I know girls who've been pregnant at 13 and have had the baby, and I've heard of 12-year-olds before.

"It costs £100,000 to the taxpayer to support the average teenage mother in the first five years - it is a reason but is not the primary reason to stop teenage pregnancy, which is that we are talking about young people's lives.

"We need to stop the cycle of teenage parents having children who are more likely to become teenage parents themselves."

On youngsters having sex at such an early age, she said: "In the same way that young people understand how to smoke a cigarette, they may not necessarily be concerned with the implications. They do not necessarily think they could get cancer, they think they are immortal and it will not happen to them.They just do not understand the implications of early parenthood and they do not understand the responsibilities.

"It is not the end of their lives but they will be dependent on their parents for a long time and the state in the future because they do not have the qualifications and they may not stay together."

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