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Spanish judge orders release of ill boy's parents
2 Sep 2014 at 11:30am
SOTO DEL REAL, Spain (AP) ? Spanish officials have ordered the immediate release of a detained British couple who were wanted by police in the United Kingdom after they took their critically ill child for treatment abroad without doctors' consent.
Governments hold key to unlocking billions for social good: G8 report
14 Sep 2014 at 4:30pm
By Astrid Zweynert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Governments can unleash billions of dollars to tackle social problems more effectively if they take bold steps to reduce barriers to investing for both profit and social good, a task force set up by the world's richest nations said on Monday. In its first report, the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force calls on governments to make tax and regulatory reforms to catalyze the market in investments that generate social or environmental benefits alongside financial returns. "This is not about increasing or reducing public expenditure, but helping government to benefit from innovation and private sector capital in order to achieve more impact with the money it has," Ronald Cohen, the chair of the year-old task force, said in a statement. The report highlights the potential of so-called "impact investing" to help solve some of society's most pressing issues, such as caring for children and the elderly, community regeneration, financial inclusion, housing and prisoner reoffending.
Costly eye drug and far cheaper alternative have similar side effects: study
14 Sep 2014 at 4:03pm
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Injecting Roche's cancer drug Avastin as a cheap eye treatment does not appear to increase deaths or serious side effects, according to an independent study that is likely to fuel a row over the medicine's unapproved use. An analysis of nine clinical trials - including three unpublished ones - concluded that health policies favoring the much more expensive eye drug Lucentis over Avastin were not supported by current evidence. The study was published on Monday in The Cochrane Library journal, which is produced by the Cochrane Collaboration, a non-profit group that reviews trial data to assess the value of drugs. Avastin is not licensed for wAMD but it works in a similar way to authorized treatments for the condition - Lucentis, which is marketed by Novartis and Roche, and Eylea, from Bayer and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Possible measles exposure at Seattle airport, health officials warn
14 Sep 2014 at 3:54pm
Health officials in Washington state on Sunday warned people who used Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this month that they could have been exposed to measles after a passenger was confirmed to be carrying the virus. The passenger was at the airport on Sept. 6 during a period when the illness is contagious, and can spread easily through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing, Public Health -Seattle & King County said in a news release. "The traveler was likely exposed to measles outside of the United States," the agency said. The passenger used the airport's north satellite terminal, the inter-terminal train and the baggage claim, and also dined at a restaurant at the Courtyard Seattle Federal Way hotel that evening, the agency said.
Scientists unveil magnetic cure for bad blood
14 Sep 2014 at 1:57pm
Acting rather like a spleen, the invention uses magnetic nanobeads coated with a genetically-engineered human blood protein called MBL. The MBL binds to pathogens and toxins, which can then be "pulled out" with a magnet, the developers wrote in the journal Nature Medicine. The "bio-spleen" was developed to treat sepsis, or blood infection, which affects 18 million people in the world every year, with a 30-50 percent mortality rate. If the invention is shown to be safe for humans, "patients could be treated with our bio-spleen and this will physically clean up their blood, rapidly removing a wide spectrum of live pathogens as well as dead fragments and toxins from the blood," study co-author Donald Ingber told AFP.
Fourth Sierra Leonean doctor dies from Ebola
14 Sep 2014 at 1:19pm
Freetown (AFP) - A fourth Sierra Leonean doctor, a woman, died Sunday after contracting the dreaded Ebola virus, a top health official said, while a Dutch charity repatriated two doctors suspected of having been contaminated with the disease.
4th doctor dies of Ebola in Sierra Leone
14 Sep 2014 at 8:30am
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) ? Sierra Leone has lost a fourth doctor to Ebola after a failed effort to transfer her abroad for medical treatment, a government official said Sunday, a huge setback to the impoverished country that is battling the virulent disease amid a shortage of health care workers.
Abbott dissolving stent has lower angina rate vs metal stent: study
14 Sep 2014 at 8:04am
Abbott's Absorb dissolving heart stent proved as safe and effective one year after being placed in a diseased artery as the company's market-leading Xience drug coated metal stent with a significantly lower rate of chest pain, according to data presented at a medical meeting on Sunday. Absorb works in the same way as traditional heart stents, propping open arteries that have been cleared of blockages to restore normal blood flow. The most notable difference observed after one year in the European study was the rate of angina, a type of chest pain associated with diminished blood flow to the heart. "The lower rate of chest pain observed in people treated with Absorb is a promising finding that shows that Absorb may offer people unique quality of life benefits beyond the excellent clinical outcomes already offered with drug eluting stents," Dr. Patrick Serruys, the study's lead investigator who presented the data at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in Washington, said in a statement.
Post-war counselling awaits Gaza children going back to school
14 Sep 2014 at 7:28am
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Some 500,000 children returned on Sunday to school in the Gaza Strip, where many will be given psychological counselling before regular studies begin after a devastating 50-day war between Palestinian militants and Israel. The opening of the school year had been delayed for three weeks because of damage to more than 250 schools and the use of about 90 U.N. educational facilities as shelters for tens of thousands of residents displaced by fighting, the United Nations and local authorities said. ...
Post-war counseling awaits Gaza children going back to school
14 Sep 2014 at 7:21am
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Some 500,000 children returned on Sunday to school in the Gaza Strip, where many will be given psychological counseling before regular studies begin after a devastating 50-day war between Palestinian militants and Israel. The opening of the school year had been delayed for three weeks because of damage to more than 250 schools and the use of about 90 U.N. educational facilities as shelters for tens of thousands of residents displaced by fighting, the United Nations and local authorities said. "The top priority now is making sure that after a period of psychosocial support, including the use of theater for development techniques, our students can return to their regular curricula," said Pierre Krähenbühl, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs more than 200 Gaza schools. He said UNRWA has employed over 200 counselors who would engage with the approximately 240,000 students in its schools, with a transition to standard studies scheduled in a week.
A week on from flood, 150,000 still stranded in Indian Kashmir
14 Sep 2014 at 5:56am
By Krista Mahr and Fayaz Bukhari SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - About 150,000 people were still stranded in their homes a week after Indian Kashmir's worst flood in over a century and fears grew on Sunday of an outbreak of diseases from vast fields of stagnant brown water. Indian army and civilian boats trawled through the streets -now water channels - of the state capital Srinagar ? picking up residents and delivering water, food and basic medicine to people who chose to remain camped out in the upper floors of their houses. The state administration, which was itself knocked out after the waters of the Jhelum river gushed into the city center, has struggled to cope with the flood, the worst in 109 years. The disaster has fueled public anger in the Muslim-majority region where a revolt against Indian rule has simmered for nearly a quarter century.
Liberia president sacks 10 officials told to return to fight Ebola
14 Sep 2014 at 5:02am
By James Harding Giahyue MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sacked 10 senior officials because they failed to heed a warning to return from overseas travel to help the government's fight against an Ebola epidemic that has killed at least 1,100 Liberians. The officials, who include six assistant ministers, two deputy ministers and two commissioners, were dismissed with immediate effect for being "out of the country without an excuse," according to a statement from the president's office. They were initially told in August to return to Liberia. ...
7 Habits That Wreck Your Feet
14 Sep 2014 at 4:17am
SPECIAL FROM Next AvenueBy Linda MeloneIf you wore a pedometer from the day you started walking, you'd have logged in more then 70,000 miles by the time you hit age 50. When you walk a good portion of those miles in improperly-fitting shoes or otherwise neglect your feet, it's little wonder why they hurt. The 38 muscles in your feet make up...
Liberian president appeals to Obama for U.S. help to beat Ebola
14 Sep 2014 at 12:18am
By Daniel Flynn DAKAR (Reuters) - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama for urgent aid in tackling the worst recorded outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, saying that without it her country would lose the fight against the disease. The outbreak, which was first discovered in March, has now killed more than 2,400 people mostly in Liberia, neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, as understaffed and poorly resourced West African healthcare systems have been overrun. ...
Toronto mayor Rob Ford says God 'wants him somewhere else'
13 Sep 2014 at 3:49pm
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who this week dropped out of the city's mayoral race only to be replaced by his elder brother, on Saturday said in a newspaper interview that the early diagnosis from an abdominal tumour was "not good." Ford, a larger-than-life figure who made international headlines with his admission that he smoked crack cocaine while in office, was hospitalized earlier in the week after having unbearable abdominal pains. In a dramatic turn of events, Ford dropped his bid for re-election minutes ahead of a Friday deadline, replaced by his brother and campaign manager Doug Ford. In an interview on Saturday in the Toronto Sun newspaper, Ford said he was "shocked" and "devastated," and had to quit the race to focus on his health. The Fords' politician father, Doug Ford Sr., died of colon cancer less than three months after being diagnosed in 2006.