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Health insurer Cigna's profit rises as it adds more members
30 Jul 2015 at 3:25am
(Reuters) - Health insurer Cigna Corp, which agreed to be bought by Anthem Inc for $47 billion this month, reported a 2.6 percent rise in quarterly profit as it added more members in its commercial and government businesses.
Climate pressures lead to rise in 'new-age orphans' in India's delta
30 Jul 2015 at 3:23am
By Aditya Ghosh SANDESHKHALI, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Eleven-year old Srijita Bhangi sits in the waiting room of the jetty boat that connects her island home in Khulna to the mainland Sundarbans, near India's border with Bangladesh.
Water parks and piano class: Colorado movie gunman's childhood
30 Jul 2015 at 3:15am
Defense lawyers trying to save the life of Colorado movie rampage gunman James Holmes have called witness after witness to take the stand just feet from where he sits, tethered to the floor, expressionless. At the beginning of his trial in late April, defense lawyers said they would show how Holmes was a normal, happy, social child who could have belonged to any of the jurors, before he was struck by severe mental illness.
Israel authorizes force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners
30 Jul 2015 at 2:44am
Israel's parliament authorized on Thursday the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, a move that has met vehement opposition from the country's medical association and rights groups. The legislation promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist coalition reflected Israel's concern that hunger strikes by Palestinians in its jails could end in death and trigger waves of protests in the occupied West Bank.
Chinese potatoes to chip in as water shortages hit staple crops
30 Jul 2015 at 1:41am
By Niu Shuping and David Stanway BEIJING (Reuters) - Once seen as food for the poor, the humble potato is being pushed in China as a tasty, nutritious part of any meal as the world's most populous country struggles with water shortages and looks for alternatives to the traditional rice and noodles. China already produces 95 million tonnes of potatoes a year, a quarter of the global total, and is aiming to raise that to 130 million tonnes by 2020, government officials said at the World Potato Congress on the outskirts of Beijing this week. "In China, the potato industry is no longer an industry for underdeveloped areas or the poor, but highlights the country's modern agricultural drive and enriches people's dining tables," Agriculture Minister Han Changfu told the conference.
APNewsBreak: Gov't finds health law co-ops awash in red ink
30 Jul 2015 at 12:25am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Nonprofit co-ops, the health care law's public-spirited alternative to mega-insurers, are awash in red ink and many have fallen short of sign-up goals, a government audit has found.
Free checkups helping Special Olympics athletes stay healthy
29 Jul 2015 at 11:35pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? They arrived in Los Angeles by the thousands to run, jump and swim and to play such team sports as soccer and softball.
Independent media battle on in Putin's Russia
29 Jul 2015 at 11:06pm
By Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alexei Venediktov, one of Russia's most prominent journalists, does not go out without a bodyguard and does not answer mobile phone calls for fear of being tracked. Such precautions do not seem out of place in a country where at least 17 journalists have been killed this decade, or for an editor whose radio station has been accused by President Vladimir Putin of "pouring diarrhea over me day and night". With state media waging a full-scale information war over the crisis in Ukraine, independent media such as Ekho Moskvy, where Venediktov is the veteran editor-in-chief, are battling to survive - and fear the noose around them is tightening.
Planned Parenthood reports second website hack in a week
29 Jul 2015 at 9:09pm
Websites operated by Planned Parenthood and its political branch, Planned Parenthood Action, were clogged by a wide-scale "distributed denial-of-service," or DDoS, attack, the organization said. Service was restored shortly after the attack, but the group opted to keep its websites offline for the remainder of the day "to ensure that we are fully protected," Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. Visitors to Planned Parenthood sites, which serve some 200,000 people a day seeking information on reproductive health, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, parenting, abortion and other topics, were being redirected to its Facebook pages for the time being, Laguens said.
Oregon governor OKs early sales of recreational-use marijuana
29 Jul 2015 at 6:58pm
The law, signed Monday by Democratic Governor Kate Brown, will effectively let adults visit existing medical-use marijuana dispensaries in the state to buy certain strains just to get stoned. In November, Oregon and Alaska sanctioned the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in state-regulated schemes that will usher in retail pot shops similar to those already operating in Washington state and Colorado.
Planned Parenthood seeks fed study of fetal tissue research
29 Jul 2015 at 5:57pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Under fire for its role in providing fetal tissue for research, Planned Parenthood asked the government's top health scientists Wednesday to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.
California sued for failing to protect mentally disabled defendants
29 Jul 2015 at 5:57pm
Families who say their mentally ill and developmentally disabled loved ones endured rape and other trauma while languishing in California jails sued the state on Wednesday, saying officials failed to move them to treatment centers as required by law. The lawsuit filed on behalf of four families by the American Civil Liberties Union details brutal experiences of defendants who were declared incompetent to stand trial yet kept incarcerated in county jails, sometimes for months. "The law is clear that when the state prosecutes a person who is unable to participate in the proceedings they have to suspend the proceedings and send that person for evaluation and treatment ? and they have to do that promptly," said Michael Risher, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Northern California.
First child double hand transplant announced in US
29 Jul 2015 at 5:55pm
An eight-year-old American has become the world's youngest recipient of a transplant of both hands, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announced Tuesday. Surgeons operated for 10 hours to carry out the incredibly complicated surgery on Baltimore native Zion Harvey. It took a team of 40 doctors, nurses and other staff from plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopedic surgery, anesthesiology and radiology, to pull off the pioneering surgery.
Boeing may move work abroad with Ex-Im future uncertain: chairman
29 Jul 2015 at 5:11pm
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co Chairman Jim McNerney on Wednesday said the aircraft maker is actively looking at moving "key pieces" of its operations to other countries given uncertainty about the future of the Export-Import Bank, whose charter expired on June 30. McNerney, who retired as the company's chief executive on July 1, said Boeing might consider sites in countries that offer export credits, but gave no details about which operations could be affected or when the company had launched its review. The International Association of Machinists District 751, which represents more than 30,000 Boeing workers, blasted McNerney's threat to move jobs overseas.
House approves three-month fix to keep highway funds flowing
29 Jul 2015 at 4:14pm
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vital federal dollars would keep flowing to U.S. road and highway projects for three more months under a bill approved on Wednesday by lawmakers, moving to avert a funding cutoff at the peak of the summer construction season. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 385-34 in favor of a $12-billion bill to extend highway and mass transit funding through Oct. 29. The House's short-term fix was expected to win prompt approval in the Senate, before lawmakers leave Capitol Hill for an extended vacation.