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Beyond the Front Pages

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With April Fools' Day doing its best to upset the news agenda this week - at times on Tuesday it was hard to work out what was true, and what was the work of some reporter's overactive imagination - sifting through the inside pages required a healthy dose of skepticism.

Our hearts and bodies got a lot of column space this week, with health headlines dominated by the news that it's seven portions of fruit and veg we need a day, not the five we originally thought. Meanwhile, another report suggested it's actually friends we really need to keep healthy.

According to one article, loneliness is twice as harmful as obesity, and family GPs aren't doing enough about it. Responding to the criticism from the Campaign to End Loneliness - who polled more than 1,000 GPs to come to their conclusion - one medical professional claimed that it's "distinctly unfair" to blame doctors for the problems and instead "society as a whole" must take responsibility.

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Brits in general aren't doing their health any favours, with over half of us suffering from sleep deprivation. A new survey suggests more than 28million are regularly getting less than seven hours sleep a night. The culprit? Our mobile phones and computers, with their sleep-disruptive 'blue light' to blame. One man doing his little bit to combat that is Paul Lancaster, the founder of Friday's #NoEmailDay. As the name suggests, the annual event is all about getting people off email for 24 hours, or at least cutting back (no one mention the fact my team heard about it via, you guessed it, email)!

From health to a broader scale analysis, this week the UK was ranked at only 13 in a comparative chart of 132 countries when it comes to social progress. Looking at indicators such as access to water and sanitation, personal and political freedoms and life expectancy, the Social Progress Imperative placed New Zealand in the top spot, and the US three spots below the UK, at 16. To get a better idea how the team came up with their results, you can dig deeper into the data here.

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This weekend, Rwanda marks 20 years since the country's horrific genocide, which saw nearly one million people slaughtered during 100 days of highly charged sectarian violence. The Guardian chose to commemorate the date with stories of optimism from six young people all born from rape, but believing in a better future. You can read them here.

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In Brazil, a growing group of women are contributing to the powerful #IDontDeserveToBeRaped campaign, after a survey showed frankly shocking attitudes to sexual assault in the country. Research from the country's Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) reveals that 65% of 3,810 respondents agree that "if dressed provocatively, women deserve to be attacked or raped" while over 58% agree that "if women knew how to behave, there would be less rape." Fighting back is journalist Nana Quieroz and a rapidly expanding social media army.

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Finally, a photobomb to make you smile as we head into the weekend; a passionate kiss is, after all, the best way to get your argument across with same-sex marriage protesters.

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