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Vermont leading US in GMO labeling campaign
23 Apr 2014 at 5:24pm
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) ? Vermont could likely be the first state in the country to require labels on genetically modified foods, under a bill approved by both legislative chambers and favored by the governor.
Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'
23 Apr 2014 at 11:44am
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) ? A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
Ebola death toll in West Africa rises to 147
23 Apr 2014 at 11:01am
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) ? The World Health Organization says 147 people have died from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
Herbalife punished 600 distributors for medical claims: ABC News
23 Apr 2014 at 5:07pm
Herbalife, a weight loss and nutrition company being investigated for allegations of running a pyramid scheme, disciplined hundreds of distributors last year for making unsubstantiated medical claims about its products, ABC News reported on Wednesday. The network said the company disclosed the internal figures after an ABC News investigation found what it called "numerous examples of distributors boasting to potential customers that the company's products helped treat maladies ranging from diabetes to heart disease." In one case, an ABC reporter posing as a customer caught a Staten Island, New York, distributor on a hidden camera saying a woman overcame a brain tumor after using Herbalife products, the network said. Asked by ABC in a televised report if Herbalife cured brain tumors, Herbalife President Des Walsh said: "Absolutely not. ... This is not the Herbalife I know." ABC said that since the interview, Herbalife had told the network it disciplined almost 600 distributors last year for making such claims and stripped 12 of their distributorships.
Two 10-year-olds caught selling grandparents' pot at Colorado school
23 Apr 2014 at 3:53pm
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Two 10-year-old boys in Colorado were caught selling and swapping marijuana that they pilfered from their grandparents' supplies of legally purchased pot in separate incidents at the same school, a district official said on Wednesday. John Gates, director of safety and security for Weld County School District 6, said a fourth-grade boy at Monfort Elementary in Greeley brought a small amount of marijuana to school on Monday and sold it to three other classmates. That boy nibbled on the edible, but suffered no ill-effects, Gates said, adding that another student observed the incident and reported it to school authorities. Voters in Colorado approved the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis by adults for recreational purposes in 2012, and the first state-licensed retail pot stores opened in the state in January.
Vermont lawmakers send GMO food-labeling law to governor
23 Apr 2014 at 3:49pm
A law that would make Vermont the first U.S. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, received final approval from state lawmakers on Wednesday and now heads to the governor's desk. The Vermont House of Representative passed the bill 114-30. Last week, the Vermont Senate, by a vote of 28-2, approved the measure, which requires foods containing GMOs sold at retail outlets to be labeled as having been produced or partially produced with "genetic engineering." "Vermont's leading the nation on this, giving consumers basic information about the food that they are eating," said Falko Schilling, a spokesman for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, which backed the bill. The Vermont bill also makes it illegal to describe any food product containing GMOs as "natural" or "all natural." Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont's contains no such trigger clause.
California county tries to ban pot farms as medical weed business thrives
23 Apr 2014 at 2:57pm
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - Citing marijuana fields springing up next to high schools and in abandoned barns, Sacramento County supervisors are set to declare pot gardens a public nuisance in the latest move by a local government to rein in California's cannabis industry. U.S. states are increasingly moving to drop curbs on marijuana following landmark voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington state in 2012 that legalized the drug for recreational use. But in California, where medical marijuana is legal but recreational use is not, state laws are hazy on who is allowed to grow and sell the drug, leading to a chaotic and largely unregulated marketplace of street-corner pot dispensaries, illegal cannabis farms and inappropriate prescribing by unethical doctors. Cities and counties have struggled to impose order on an piecemeal basis as the state wrestles with developing a regulatory framework for the thriving if messy medical marijuana industry.
Wall Street snaps six-day run; Apple to split stock
23 Apr 2014 at 2:47pm
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday to snap a six-session winning streak as gains in Boeing and Gilead were offset by slides in AT&T and the wider biotech sector. AT&T Inc fell 3.8 percent to $34.92 a day after the Dow component reported earnings that beat expectations, offset by weak service revenue growth. Verizon Communications shed 1 percent to $47.43 while the S&P telecom sector index dropped 2.2 percent, easily making it the session's worst-performing sector. Biotech shares pulled the Nasdaq lower.
California city sees spike in whooping cough cases
23 Apr 2014 at 2:32pm
A Southern California city has seen a spike in reported whooping cough cases so far this year, with the number of infections nearly tripling compared to all of last year, possibly due to a less potent vaccine or lower vaccination rates, officials said on Wednesday. Some 43 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, have been documented since January in Long Beach, a city of about 470,000, up from 15 cases reported in all of 2013 and four cases reported in 2012, Long Beach Health Officer Michael Kushner said. Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that often begins with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough, followed by severe coughing that can last for several weeks. Kushner said the rise in whooping cough cases in Long Beach was likely due to a drop in vaccinations or booster shots, a weakened vaccine or infections that are left untreated.
Oregon investigates mysterious honeybee deaths along state highway
23 Apr 2014 at 2:25pm
By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Oregon agriculture authorities are investigating the mysterious deaths of potentially thousands of honeybees along a highway, the second die-off of bees in the state in less than a year. Officials said on Wednesday that they did not reach the site along highway 99 in Sherwood, a small city southwest of Portland, in time to document the precise number of bees. "From what I've learned, when bees swarm, there can be anywhere from one to 10,000 in a swarm, so if that indeed was a case of a swarm of bees in the area, it could be in that range," said Oregon Department of Agriculture spokesman Bruce Pokarney.
TSX ends lower as Valeant pulls back
23 Apr 2014 at 2:19pm
By Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged lower on Wednesday, with gains from some big energy producers offset by dips in heavyweight banks and a pullback in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc shares after an acquisition-backed bump. Suncor Energy Inc gained 2.6 percent to C$41.37 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd added 0.7 percent to C$32.66 even as record U.S. crude inventories hurt oil prices. ...
France sees small increase in pot-related heart problems
23 Apr 2014 at 2:03pm
By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The number of heart complications attributed to marijuana use increased slightly in France between 2006 and 2010, according to a new study. The number of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems blamed on marijuana increased from five events in 2006 to 11 events in 2010. "It is true that we don't have a lot of cases, but it is important to keep in mind that cannabis use may be harmful," Emilie Jouanjus told Reuters Health. Jouanjus is the study's lead author from Universite Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France.
Gates-backed TB drug to enter late-stage testing
23 Apr 2014 at 1:32pm
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - The first experimental drug that fights both conventional and drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis is advancing to late-stage clinical testing, researchers said on Wednesday, raising hope for a new way to stem the growing threat of drug-resistant TB. The trial, financed in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will test the safety and effectiveness of a new three-drug cocktail known as PaMZ that in mid-stage testing helped to significantly reduce treatment times. In a statement announcing the trial, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, said the treatment could "reduce the time required to cure drug-resistant TB from two years to just six months" and sharply cut the cost of a cure in low-income countries. The World Health Organization estimates that 8.6 million people developed TB in 2012 and 1.3 million died from the disease.
U.S. soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case granted name change
23 Apr 2014 at 1:16pm
Former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks, can exchange the name Bradley for Chelsea to reflect her desire to be treated as a woman, a judge in Kansas ruled on Wednesday. Manning's name is legally changed to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, according to the decision handed down by Leavenworth County District Judge David King. Manning will be issued a new birth certificate to reflect the name change.
Paramedics called to Canada PM Harper's home on Sunday
23 Apr 2014 at 12:46pm
By Louise Egan OTTAWA (Reuters) - Paramedics were called to the residence of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the weekend, police and municipal officials said on Wednesday, but circumstances of the emergency, which did not involve Harper or his family, were unclear. The Globe and Mail and other local media reported that an 18-year old girl was taken to the hospital for severe intoxication after a party at the residence, citing the Ottawa Paramedic Service. The Paramedic Service was not immediately available to confirm the reports and a spokeswoman for the City of Ottawa, which oversees the paramedics, said confidentiality prevented her from disclosing details. "We can confirm that Ottawa Paramedic Services responded to a call for service on Sussex Drive in the early morning of Sunday, April 20," the spokeswoman said, referring to the official residence.