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In Brief

In Brief
Study finds exercise helps delay dementia

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania

Older people who exercise three or more times a week are less likely to develop Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, according to a study that adds to the evidence that staying active can help keep the mind sharp.

Researchers found that healthy people who reported exercising regularly had a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of dementia.

The study reached no conclusions about whether certain types of exercise helped more than others, but researchers said even light activity, such as walking, seemed to help. Dr. Wayne McCormick, a University of Washington geriatrician who was one of the study's authors, said "The surprising finding for us was that it actually didn't take much to have this effect."

TV may ruin sex life

ROME, Italy

Thinking of buying a TV for the bedroom? Think again - it could ruin your sex life.

A study by an Italian sexologist has found that couples who have a TV set in their bedroom have sex half as often as those who don't.

"If there's no television in the bedroom, the frequency (of sexual intercourse) doubles," said Serenella Salomoni whose team of psychologists questioned 523 Italian couples to see what effect television had on their sex lives.

The study also found certain programs are far more likely to impede passion than others. Violent films will put a stop to sexual relations for half of all couples, while reality shows stem passion for a third of couples.

Murphy engaged

LOS ANGELES, California

Brittany Murphy is reportedly engaged.

The actress, who met Joe Macaluso while he was working as a production assistant on "Little Black Book," got engaged over the holidays, according to published reports Monday. The couple had not yet set a date for their wedding, People and Us Weekly reported.

Murphy, 28, previously dated Ashton Kutcher, her co-star in 2003's "Just Married." She also was briefly engaged to talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz.

'Election' bags gold

HONG KONG

Hong Kong's triad flick "Election" picked up two top prizes yesterday, voted best film and best director by local film critics.

Johnnie To's "Election" beat six other movies including Tsui Hark's "Seven Swords" and Peter Chan Ho-sun's musical "Perhaps Love" for the honours.

Organizers of the 12th Hong Kong Film Critics' Society Awards said competition between the three top directors was tight but To was eventually chosen for his "superb" skills.

Zhou Xun was named best actress for her leading role in "Perhaps Love" which is shortlisted for nomination at this year's Oscars.

Tony Leung Ka-fai won best actor for his lead in Stanley Kwan's "Everlasting Regret."

Jackson seeks job

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

Michael Jackson seems to be settling in to the Persian Gulf.

He has shopped for real estate here, been spotted in glitzy malls - and now it appears that Jackson is interviewing for a job.

The singer, his reputation in tatters at home after winning a grueling molestation trial, is negotiating a position as a consultant with a Bahrain-based company that plans to set up theme parks and music academies in the Middle East, according to a press release.