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Deadline to clear up health law eligibility near
13 Aug 2014 at 12:15am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of people who have unresolved issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law.
Ebola: Questions, answers about an unproven drug
12 Aug 2014 at 12:41am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? An experimental Ebola drug has been used to treat two American aid workers and a Spanish missionary priest. Could Liberian doctors be next?
Texas abortion law could send women across borders
12 Aug 2014 at 1:40pm
EL PASO, Texas (AP) ? Crossing borders is a part of life in El Paso in far West Texas, where people may walk into Mexico to visit family or commute to New Mexico for work. But getting an abortion doesn't require leaving town.
Obama to business: tell your lawmakers to renew Ex-Im Bank
23 Aug 2014 at 3:20am
By Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Saturday urged business owners to press Congress to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which could halt any new financing Sept. 30 - as some conservative Republicans hope it will - if lawmakers fail to act. Obama said in his weekly radio address that if Congress lets the bank close, it would be stunting U.S. "If Congress fails to act, thousands of businesses, large and small, that sell their products abroad will take a completely unnecessary hit," the president said.
Philippines recalls peacekeepers from Liberia over Ebola threat
23 Aug 2014 at 2:12am
The Philippines on Saturday ordered 115 troops to return home from peace-keeping operations in Liberia, spurred by a worsening Ebola epidemic in West Africa that has killed almost 1,500 people. The Philippines has about 800 to 1,000 soldiers and police officers serving under the United Nations flag in conflict and disaster-stricken areas, including Haiti, Sudan, East Timor, Cote d'Ivoire and the Korean peninsula. "The president is getting worried over the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and has ordered all 115 Filipino troops to return home as soon as possible," a senior defense official told Reuters. The Philippines has been sending soldiers to Liberia since 2003.
WHO warns of "shadow zones" and unreported Ebola cases
23 Aug 2014 at 12:27am
By Stephanie Nebehay and Clair MacDougall GENEVA/MONROVIA (Reuters) - Families hiding infected loved ones and the existence of "shadow zones" where medics cannot go mean the West African Ebola epidemic is even bigger than thought, the World Health Organization said on Friday. Some 1,427 people have died among 2,615 known cases of the deadly virus in West Africa since the outbreak was first identified in March, according to new figures released by the WHO on Friday. Independent experts raised similar concerns a month ago that the contagion could be worse than reported because some residents of affected areas are chasing away health workers and shunning treatment. Despite initial assertions by regional health officials that the virus had been contained in its early stages, Ebola case numbers and deaths have ballooned in recent months as the outbreak has spread from its initial epicentre in Guinea.
Cholera outbreak in Ghana kills at least 67 since June -health authorities
23 Aug 2014 at 12:25am
By Kwasi Kpodo ACCRA (Reuters) - Cholera has killed at least 67 people in Ghana since June and infected more than 5,000 others in an outbreak that highlights the health and sanitation challenges facing one of Africa's fastest-growing economies. The Ghana Health Service (GHS) said the outbreak was centred on impoverished communities in urban areas in the south that lack adequate toilets, though there were also a few cases in rural parts of the north of the West African state. Some 54 people have died in or near the capital Accra, and around 300 people are now being infected daily with the highly contagious disease, putting pressure on local health facilities, said Linda Van-Otoo, GHS director for Greater Accra. "It is not only a health issue, there is a big element of environmental sanitation," she said, adding that local authorities were attempting to tackle the root causes of the disease as well as treat the influx of patients.
Obama tech policy maven moves to Silicon Valley role
22 Aug 2014 at 5:46pm
By Mark Felsenthal and Edwin Chan WASHINGTON D.C./SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Todd Park, President Barack Obama's chief technology officer who played a role in fixing the flawed Healthcare.gov website, is moving to a new job recruiting top Silicon Valley talent to government, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday. Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top adviser to Obama, will move to the West Coast at the end of the month as part of a White House team, the source said on condition of anonymity because it has not been made public. His move to California signals a growing effort by the government to try to recruit from Silicon Valley.
Air testing lapse at N.M. nuclear waste dump blamed on staff vacancy
22 Aug 2014 at 5:05pm
State regulators failed to collect air samples in the week following a radiation release at a New Mexico nuclear waste dump because of a vacancy in the office responsible for monitoring the site at the time, a state official said on Friday. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where drums of plutonium-tainted refuse from government nuclear weapons laboratories are buried in caverns a half a mile deep, has been closed since Feb. 14, when unsafe radiation levels were detected at the site. The plant, the only facility of its kind in the United States, is run under contract for the government by Nuclear Energy Partnership LLC. Plant managers initially denied that employees working above ground at the site had been affected but said later that 22 workers were exposed to radiation, though at low levels not considered harmful to their health. State sampling resumed a week after the radiation leak, said Susan Kamat, director of that office.
Tech chief during Healthcare.gov rollout leaves White House: source
22 Aug 2014 at 4:24pm
Todd Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top adviser to President Barack Obama, will move to the West Coast at the end of the month as part of a White House team, the source said on condition of anonymity because it has not been made public. The move signals a growing effort by the government to try to recruit from Silicon Valley.
New Obama birth control fixes for religious groups
22 Aug 2014 at 3:53pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception.
Canadian medical marijuana company OrganiGram set to go public
22 Aug 2014 at 2:40pm
By John Tilak TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian medical marijuana producer OrganiGram Inc is set to go public on Monday, its chief executive said, the second such firm to list on the venture exchange next week, highlighting investor appetite for a high-growth industry. OrganiGram and Bedrocan Cannabis Corp both plan to list on Aug. 25. The two firms, via reverse takeovers, will join Tweed Marijuana Inc on the TSX Venture Exchange giving investors in public markets three licensed producers to choose from.
Oregon sues Oracle, claiming fraud over failed Obamacare website
22 Aug 2014 at 2:33pm
By Teresa Carson PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - The state of Oregon sued Oracle America Inc. and six of its top executives Friday, accusing the software giant of fraud for failing to deliver a working website for the Affordable Care Act program. The 126-page lawsuit, filed in Marion County Circuit Court, claims that fraud, lying and "a pattern of racketeering" by Oracle cost the state and its Cover Oregon program hundreds of millions of dollars. Oregon paid Oracle about $240.3 million for a system that never worked, the suit said. Oracle issued a statement saying the suit "is a desperate attempt to deflect blame from Cover Oregon and the governor for their failures to manage a complex IT project.
CDC director to visit Ebola outbreak countries
22 Aug 2014 at 2:27pm
NEW YORK (AP) ? A top U.S. health official plans to travel to West Africa to see firsthand how the Ebola outbreak is unfolding.
U.S. moves to ensure birth control access at religious companies
22 Aug 2014 at 1:28pm
(Reuters) - The Obama administration will ensure access to birth control coverage for employees of closely held companies that object on religious grounds to contraception, one of the health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The move follows a Supreme Court ruling in June that allowed certain for-profit companies to refuse to cover contraceptives due to the religious beliefs of their owners. It provides for insurers to offer contraception to employees through separate coverage. President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law requires companies to provide free birth control coverage as a preventive service included in their health plans.