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Scientists debate boundaries, ethics of human gene editing
1 Dec 2015 at 12:21am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Rewriting your DNA is getting closer to reality: A revolutionary technology is opening new frontiers for genetic engineering ? a promise of cures for intractable diseases along with anxiety about designer babies.
Zambia expects $1 bln in deals with China at Africa summit
30 Nov 2015 at 11:42pm
Zambia expects to clinch $1 billion in Chinese investment and loans at this week's China-Africa summit in Johannesburg, a presidential spokesman said on Tuesday. Presidential spokesman Amos Chanda said Zambia was expected to conclude deals with China in infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, power generation as well as agriculture. Zambia and China were also likely to sign an agreement for the construction of two modern hospitals, Chanda said.
Gambia says to hold presidential election in December 2016
30 Nov 2015 at 11:23pm
Gambia will hold a presidential election in December 2016, with legislative and local polls to follow in April 2017 and April 2018, the electoral commission said on Monday. The tiny West African nation of less than 2 million people has been ruled by Yahya Jammeh since 1994, when the then 29-year-old seized power in a bloodless coup. Jammeh, who once told a reporter he could rule for "a billion years", had scrapped term limits from the constitution and blocked an attempt by regional bloc ECOWAS to reinstate them in May. The bloc refused to send observers to the last polls in 2011, citing intimidation of the opposition and the electorate.
Beijing air pollution reaches hazardous levels
30 Nov 2015 at 11:22pm
BEIJING (AP) ? Schools in the Chinese capital kept students indoors and parents brought their kids to hospitals with breathing ailments Tuesday as Beijing grappled with extremely severe air pollution for the fifth straight day.
IUD use attracts new opposition from anti-abortion groups
30 Nov 2015 at 10:08pm
By Jilian Mincer NEW YORK (Reuters) - A rapid increase in the number of U.S. women turning to intra-uterine devices to prevent pregnancy has prompted escalating attacks on the birth control method from groups that oppose abortion. The next battle will be at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to consider a new religious challenge to contraceptives coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare law. Although the case deals broadly with whether religiously affiliated groups should be exempt from providing birth control coverage to their employees, some parties in the case have focused specifically on IUDs.
U.S. abortion providers face increased threat of violence
30 Nov 2015 at 9:12pm
Now abortion provider LeRoy Carhart varies his route to work, books hotel rooms at the last minute and will not say whether he wears a bulletproof vest. More than half of U.S. abortion clinics experienced home picketing or other intimidation tactics in 2014, according to a national survey conducted by Feminist Majority, a women's rights group. Planned Parenthood officials and other industry advocates say they've seen an increase in threats since this summer, when an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue for research.
Judge rules out immediate medical check in suit on Redstone's mental competence
30 Nov 2015 at 7:52pm
A California court on Monday rejected a request from the former girlfriend of Sumner Redstone for the 92-year-old chairman of Viacom Inc to undergo an immediate medical evaluation. Former girlfriend Manuela Herzer filed a lawsuit last week seeking to have Redstone declared mentally incompetent and petitioned to have him examined to see if he can still make decisions for himself. The lawsuit came after she was kicked out of Redstone's Los Angeles area home by a Redstone lawyer.
Bono, Clooney, Kardashian part of all-star campaign for AIDS
30 Nov 2015 at 5:49pm
NEW YORK (AP) ? Would you like to spend quality time with George Clooney as he showers you with compliments?
Suspect in Colorado clinic shooting told he faces murder charge
30 Nov 2015 at 5:34pm
The man accused of killing three people and wounding nine in a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was told he faces first-degree murder charges during his first court appearance on Monday. Robert Lewis Dear, 57, appearing by video link from jail, spoke only to tell a judge he understood and had no questions. Police records from North Charleston, South Carolina, showed that Dear was charged with rape there in 1992, although Reuters could not determine in court records how the case was resolved.
Opposition mounts to genetic modification of human embryos
30 Nov 2015 at 5:23pm
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - A group of U.S. scientists and activists on Monday called for a global ban on the use of new tools to edit the genes of human embryos, in a report issued a day before a major international meeting in Washington to discuss the ethical and policy issues surrounding the technology. A technological innovation that can strategically edit out specific stretches of DNA could ultimately lead to the genetic modification of children, and should be halted before it starts being used, scientists at the Center for Genetics and Society and the activist group Friends of the Earth argued in their report. This is a line we must not cross,? said Pete Shanks, a consulting researcher with the Center for Genetics and Society and author of the report.
China struggles with IVF demand as one-child policy ends
30 Nov 2015 at 5:16pm
By Adam Jourdan SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The Nanfang clinic in China's southern Guangdong province says it offers Chinese patients seeking in-vitro fertilization (IVF) the chance to choose the gender of their child, avoid stringent approval checks and snarling queues. China's strict regulation of its IVF market forbids gender selection, requires birth licenses and proof of marriage, and prohibits some more advanced procedures - rules that have pushed patients to go overseas or seek treatment in unregulated clinics at home. Demand for IVF in China is expected to rise after Beijing scrapped its controversial one-child policy in October, which will strain already-crowded state-run hospitals but create opportunities for overseas health centers, firms helping train local doctors - and underground clinics.
Despite treatment advances, AIDS stigma lingers in rural South Africa
30 Nov 2015 at 5:14pm
By Laurie Goering QUDENI, South Africa, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Eunice Khanyile opened a soup kitchen in a rural village in South Africa last year to help HIV-positive residents get the nutrition needed to stay healthy, not one person came. When it comes to AIDS, "the stigma is a huge problem", she said. People do not want to open up to others about their status." Today, just over 200 people eat the lunch cooked daily at the yellow-painted cement block kitchen in Qudeni, drawn by the smell of butternut and lentils and the banging of pots and pans.
Myanmar's HIV patients shunned despite progress in treatment
30 Nov 2015 at 4:49pm
By Ei Cherry Aung LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Shortly after Cho's husband passed away at his parent's home his family called to tell her he had died of AIDS and said she should get tested. In September, the former market stallholder went for another HIV test. "As soon as I found out I had HIV, I felt really sad as well as upset," the 43-year-old said, wiping tears from her cheeks.
Could This Be the End of Junk-Food Commercials on Television in the U.K.?
30 Nov 2015 at 4:35pm
Unsurprisingly, the U.K.?s Advertising Association dismissed the report?s recommendation to reduce commercials for HFSS (high fat, sugar, and sodium) items. ?The bigger picture is that food advertising in the U.K. is amongst the most strictly regulated in the world, children see far fewer HFSS ads on TV today than ever before, and new rules already being considered would mean no advertising targeted at children in any media,? Ian Barber, director of communications at the Advertising Association, told The Guardian.
Alabama ends court fight over Planned Parenthood funding
30 Nov 2015 at 4:25pm
Alabama called off a legal battle with Planned Parenthood on Monday after a federal judge last month blocked the state from defunding the reproductive health organization's clinics amid national controversy about its handling of aborted fetal tissue. In a joint court filing, both parties said that Alabama had resumed funding of Planned Parenthood clinics in Mobile and Birmingham, and the clinics were following state regulations. The agreement followed an order by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson to stop Alabama from terminating its agreement with a Planned Parenthood regional affiliate providing services under Medicaid, the federal and state healthcare program for the poor.