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European court rules obesity can be a disability
18 Dec 2014 at 7:15am
LONDON (AP) ? Obesity can be a disability, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday ? a decision that could have widespread consequences across the 28-nation bloc for the way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff.
GE to launch breakdancing documentary for streaming devices
18 Dec 2014 at 7:10am
By Jennifer Saba (Reuters) - U.S. industrial conglomerate General Electric Co plans to release its first feature film through video streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV in a marketing effort that raises the bar for sponsored content. "Shake the Dust" is a documentary about breakdancing and how the movement has united people across the world. Executive-produced by the rap star Nas, it will make its debut on December 24 through a partnership with the music video platform Vevo. ...
Armed groups recruit 10,000 child soldiers in Central African Republic ? NGO
18 Dec 2014 at 7:09am
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Up to 10,000 children have been recruited by armed groups during the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) despite a U.N.-backed peacekeeping presence, the number rising sharply in the past two years, Save the Children said on Thursday. Some children were abducted or forced to join such groups, while others signed up for food, clothing, money and protection, the international children's charity said in a news release. Many joined up under pressure from peers or parents, to protect their community or avenge dead relatives, it said. ...
Obesity can be deemed a disability at work: EU court
18 Dec 2014 at 7:07am
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's top court ruled on Thursday that obese people can be considered as disabled, but stopped short of saying that obesity was a condition that needed specific protection under European anti-discrimination laws. The landmark decision will be closely read by European employers and means that companies might have to provide greater support to obese staff. The case was instigated by a Danish court, which wanted guidance over a complaint of unfair dismissal brought by a child-minder who was sacked by a local authority. ...
Going the Distance: Passion Propels Cyclist Despite Rare Genetic Condition
18 Dec 2014 at 7:02am
What if your passion preserved your life? Would you think about it differently, even to the point of making it a priority? For Daryl Kunz, whose passion for twenty years has been cycling, these questions are more than rhetorical musings. Every year Daryl covers thousands of miles and competes in ultra-distance races in which he's won a...
U.N. launches 2015 Syria appeal, focuses on helping refugees' host nations
18 Dec 2014 at 6:37am
By Magdalena Mis LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The United Nations called on Thursday for more than $8.4 billion to help nearly 18 million people in need in Syria, wrecked by civil war, and across the region in 2015. As well as calling for cash for essential humanitarian aid for millions of Syrians inside and outside their homeland, the annual appeal included for the first time development plans to help neighboring countries hosting Syrian refugees. Launched at a donor meeting in Berlin, the 2015 appeal includes $2. ...
Irish face new abortion row over brain-dead woman
18 Dec 2014 at 6:26am
DUBLIN (AP) ? Ireland is debating its constitutional ban on abortion again amid a case involving a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support.
11th Sierra Leonean doctor dies from Ebola
18 Dec 2014 at 5:41am
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) ? One of Sierra Leone's most senior physicians died Thursday from Ebola, the 11th doctor in the country to succumb to the disease, a health official said.
EU's top court opens door to some stem cell patents
18 Dec 2014 at 5:23am
By Robert-Jan Bartunek and Ben Hirschler BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - Europe's top court has opened the door to certain stem cell patents in the European Union by ruling that an organism incapable of developing into a human being is not a human embryo and may be patented. Thursday's judgment by the European Court of Justice was made following a case brought in Britain by U.S. company International Stem Cell Corporation over whether it could patent processes covering the use of human egg cells. ...
GlaxoSmithKline shingles vaccine hits goal in major study
18 Dec 2014 at 4:45am
LONDON (Reuters) - An experimental vaccine against shingles from GlaxoSmithKline met its goal in a late-stage study, in a boost for the company's vaccine unit, which is expanding part of its overall healthcare business. The vaccine, known as HZ/su, reduced the risk of shingles by 97.2 percent in adults aged 50 years and older compared to placebo in the Phase III clinical trial involving more than 16,000 individuals, the drugmaker said on Thursday. ...
Two Wisconsin girls in Slenderman case to appear in court hearings
18 Dec 2014 at 4:09am
By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Two Wisconsin girls will be in court on Thursday for hearings to determine if they are fit to stand trial on charges that they lured a classmate into the woods and repeatedly stabbed her to please Slenderman, a fictional Internet character. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier were both 12 when they were charged as adults with first-degree attempted homicide in the attack on their friend the morning after a sleepover in May in Waukesha, a suburb west of Milwaukee. ...
China approves experimental Ebola vaccine for clinical trials
18 Dec 2014 at 3:06am
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has approved a domestically developed experimental Ebola vaccine for clinical trials, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, citing the People's Liberation Army logistics unit. Scientists around the world are racing to develop Ebola vaccines after the world's worst outbreak of the virus, which has killed more than 6,000 people in West Africa this year. The Chinese vaccine is being developed by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Xinhua said, a military research unit which is also involved in developing a drug to treat the disease. ...
Crisis talks in the Netherlands after health bill shot down
18 Dec 2014 at 2:45am
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Leaders in the center-right Dutch government were set to continue crisis talks on Thursday after a health bill submitted by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's party was shot down in the Senate by coalition allies. The bill, a core healthcare reform pushed by the Liberals to reduce government spending, was blocked on Tuesday by three senators in the Labour Party, leaving Rutte scrabbling to find a compromise or else face the risk of his government collapsing. ...
Global life expectancy rises: study
18 Dec 2014 at 2:01am
People around the world lived on average to a ripe old age of 71.5 in 2013, up from 65.3 in 1990, a study said Thursday, noting the gains came despite big increases in liver cancer and chronic kidney deaths.
Texas weakens chemical exposure guidelines, opens door for polluters
18 Dec 2014 at 2:00am
Amid a fracking boom, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has quietly weakened air pollution guidelines for toxic chemicals.