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France's Hollande brings message of hope to Ebola-stricken Guinea
28 Nov 2014 at 7:46am
CONAKRY (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande pledged on Friday that France would set an example by providing aid to Ebola stricken countries in West Africa, in the first visit by a Western leader to the affected region since the outbreak began. Hollande was greeted on his arrival in Guinea by President Alpha Conde, ahead of a visit to an Ebola hospital and a roundtable discussion on the response to the disease. Hollande will travel to neighboring Senegal later on Friday for a summit of French-speaking nations. ...
South African mother turns tragedy into fight against HIV
28 Nov 2014 at 6:27am
By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Johanna Satekge was pregnant with her first-born when she tested positive for HIV in South Africa's Limpopo province in 2000. When her son was born, he weighed 3.6 kgs. When he died seven months later, he had wasted away to 2 kgs. After three years, Satekge got pregnant again, this time giving birth to a daughter she named Blessing. "She was healthy, I breastfed her. Then she got ill and died after seven months," said the 39-year-old, taking out her wallet to show Blessing's photo. "You can see how painful it was. ...
Brazil's Pele improving, still in intensive care - hospital
28 Nov 2014 at 5:46am
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian soccer great Pele "is in better condition" though he remains in an intensive care unit being treated for a urinary tract infection, the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said on Friday. Pele, 74, is receiving renal support treatment, which helps kidneys to filter waste products from the blood, after surgery to remove kidney stones earlier this month. He is not on vasoactive drugs or other supportive therapies, the hospital said. ...
Beijing adopts smoking ban for public places: state media
28 Nov 2014 at 5:28am
China's capital on Friday passed a smoking ban for all indoor public places and offices, state media reported, despite the failure of past attempts to limit where the country's 300 million smokers can light up.
New 15-minute test for Ebola to undergo trials in West Africa
28 Nov 2014 at 5:05am
LONDON (Reuters) - A new test designed to rapidly diagnose Ebola virus infection is to be tried out at a treatment centre for the disease in Guinea, international health charity The Wellcome Trust said on Friday. Researchers developing the 15-minute Ebola test say it is six times faster than similar ones currently in use and, if it proves successful, could help medical staff identify and isolate confirmed Ebola patients faster and start treating them sooner. ...
Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster
28 Nov 2014 at 3:29am
By Danish Siddiqui and Nita Bhalla BHOPAL/NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Beyond the iron gates of the derelict pesticide plant where one of the world's worst industrial disasters occurred, administrative buildings lie in ruins, vegetation overgrown and warehouses bolted. Massive vessels, interconnected by a multitude of corroded pipes that once carried chemical slurries, have rusted beyond repair. In the dusty control room, a soiled sticker on a wall panel reads "Safety is everyone's business". On the night of Dec. 2, 1984, the factory owned by the U.S. ...
Czechs raise security after ministers get poison by mail
28 Nov 2014 at 3:27am
PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Interior Ministry will tighten security at government offices after unknown culprits sent envelopes with deadly doses of poison to two ministries in recent days, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Friday. The two poisoned letters were intercepted before reaching the addressees and no one was hurt. They envelopes were sent by mail from Sweden and Slovenia, addressed to Finance Minister Andrej Babis and Interior Minister Milan Chovanec. The Czech Republic, a member of NATO and the European Union, does not have a record of terrorist attacks in the past decades. ...
WHO advises male Ebola survivors to abstain from sex
28 Nov 2014 at 3:00am
LONDON (Reuters) - Men who recover from Ebola should abstain from sex for three months to minimize the risk of passing the virus on in their semen, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. Ebola, a disease that has infected and killing thousands in a vast epidemic in West Africa, normally spreads via bodily fluids such as blood, saliva and faeces. Although sexual transmission of Ebola virus disease has never been documented, the virus has been detected in the survivors' semen. ...
China drafts policy on emergency Ebola diagnosis, approves products
28 Nov 2014 at 2:59am
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has drafted a policy on the emergency use of diagnostic products for the Ebola virus disease and clinical trials, the country's drug regulator said on Friday, as the number of people affected globally by the epidemic nears 16,000. In a brief statement, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) said it had also approved three companies to produce Ebola diagnosis products for emergency reserve use. "These (products) provide key technological safeguards for China to diagnose the Ebola virus and defend against any epidemic situation," it said. ...
Nepal devotees sacrifice thousands of animals in Hindu ritual
28 Nov 2014 at 1:28am
By Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Sword-wielding Hindu devotees in Nepal began slaughtering thousands of animals and birds in a ritual sacrifice on Friday, ignoring calls by animal rights activists to halt what they described as the world's largest such exercise. More than 80 percent of Nepal's 27 million people are Hindus, but unlike most of their counterparts in neighboring India, they frequently sacrifice animals to appease deities during festivals. Authorities deployed hundreds of police personnel to make sure there were no clashes between activists and the devotees. ...
China writer goes on trial for media censorship protest after long delay
28 Nov 2014 at 12:21am
By James Pomfret HONG KONG (Reuters) - The long-awaited trial of a prominent Chinese writer and activist resumed in southern China on Friday, more than two months after his lawyers boycotted an earlier hearing with Beijing showing little sign of easing its clampdown against rights campaigners. Guo Feixiong, 48, was arrested for taking part in a rare public protest against media censorship outside the offices of the Southern Weekly newspaper in January last year in the southern city of Guangzhou. ...
Soccer great Pele in intensive care, condition improving -hospital
28 Nov 2014 at 12:08am
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Retired Brazilian soccer great Pele is in the intensive care unit in a Sao Paulo hospital where he is being treated for a urinary tract infection, but his condition is improving, the hospital said on Thursday. The Albert Einstein Hospital said Pele, 74, was receiving renal support treatment, which helps kidneys to filter waste products from the blood, after he had an operation to remove kidney stones earlier this month. A series of tweets in English from the former player's account aimed to calm concerns over his health. One read: "Want to let you know I am doing fine. ...
Canada to deploy military health staff to Sierra Leone in Ebola fight
27 Nov 2014 at 11:10pm
By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will send up to 40 military staff to Sierra Leone to help battle Ebola, the government said on Thursday as it also launched a campaign to recruit healthcare workers to help operate treatment centers in three West African countries. The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic had risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries as of Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. ...
Ebola cases near 16,000, Sierra Leone to overtake Liberia soon with most case...
27 Nov 2014 at 11:09pm
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic has risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries by Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. Almost all cases and all but 15 deaths have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - the three hardest-hit countries, which reported 600 new cases in the past week, the WHO said in its latest update. "The total number of cases reported in Sierra Leone since the outbreak began will soon eclipse the number reported from Liberia," it said. ...
GlaxoSmithKline fires executive who raised race complaint in South Africa: Bl...
27 Nov 2014 at 4:06pm
(Reuters) - Britain's biggest drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, fired an executive from its South African unit for refusing to appear for a performance review, which was called a week after he complained of racial discrimination in the workplace, Bloomberg reported, citing company documents.