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Hands Up! Argentina's Overweight Cops Need To Drop That Donut

Policemen in the Buenos Aires province in July 2010
Policemen in the Buenos Aires province in July 2010
Valeria Román

BUENOS AIRES — The problem of overweight cops in Argentina is apparently, well, rather big.

While almost 58% of the Argentine population is considered overweight — blame their love of barbecue, steak sandwiches and expand=1]choripán sausage sandwiches — a staggering 80% of police officers are of "abnormal weight," thanks to junk food, stress and sedentary habits.

So, no Starsky & Hutch — or even Cagney & Lacey — chasing felons down alleys and leaping over cars, or you could soon be watching ER.

"It is important to note that the situation was worse 18 years ago," when 40% of policemen were not just overweight but obese," cardiologist Jorge Tartaglione says.

For the past two years, the Argentine government has operated a program of visits to police stations where police officers are given health checks and advice on losing weight, lowering cholesterol and stopping smoking (about 30% are smokers). For the obese, surgical options are available.

Another physician, Julio Montero, says there are causes that require more research, but certainly off-peak work hours contribute to eating junk food. Argentine police are nevertheless doing better than their peers in Mexico's Federal Police, where 100% of personnel were found earlier this year to be overweight.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Wagner's MIA Convicts: Where Do Deserting Russian Mercenaries Go?

Tens of thousands of Russian prisoners who've been recruited by the Wagner Group mercenary outfit have escaped from the frontlines after volunteering in exchange for freedom. Some appear to be seeking political asylum in Europe thanks to a "cleared" criminal record.

Picture of a soldier wearing the Wagner Group Logo on their uniform.

Soldier wearing the paramilitary Wagner Group Logo on their uniform.

Source: Sky over Ukraine via Facebook
Anna Akage

Of the about 50,000 Russian convicts who signed up to fight in Ukraine with the Wagner Group, just 10,000 are reportedly still at the front. An unknown number have been killed in action — but among those would-be casualties are also a certain number of coffins that are actually empty.

To hide the number of soldiers who have deserted or defected to Ukraine, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is reportedly adding them to the lists of the dead and missing.

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Some Wagner fighters have surrendered through the Ukrainian government's "I Want To Live" hotline, says Olga Romanova, director and founder of the Russia Behind Bars foundation.

"Relatives of the convicts enlisted in the Wagner Group are not allowed to open the coffins," explains Romanova.

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