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Babies found alive in rubble after truck blast rips through Mexico hospital
29 Jan 2015 at 7:13pm
By Lizbeth Diaz and Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A gas truck explosion ripped through a maternity hospital on the western edge of Mexico City on Thursday, killing one woman and two children and injuring dozens, authorities said, with several babies found alive in the rubble. A nurse and a child died after the blast, which destroyed around 70 percent of the hospital, Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said. Speaking on national television, Mexico City's health minister said another child had died and more than 70 people were injured. We brought her in yesterday," said Monserrat Garduno, a 32-year-old nurse.
California eases prison crowding after years of trying
29 Jan 2015 at 6:42pm
It is not yet clear whether the inmate count of 113,463 released Thursday, about 300 below the cap set by a panel of three federal judges, represents a permanent thinning of the prison population or is just a temporary reprieve for the state, which for years fought orders to bring the numbers down. "It's an important milestone," said Michael Bien, a lead attorney in lawsuits aimed at forcing the state to reduce crowding that have gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. "But it doesn't mean everything is fixed." The administration of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown was circumspect about the population change, which was released as part of the state's regular weekly inmate count Thursday. "This is a snapshot in time," said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman.
Suspected Ebola patient admitted to California hospital
29 Jan 2015 at 6:23pm
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A patient suspected of contracting Ebola after traveling in West Africa and exhibiting symptoms of the disease was admitted on Thursday to a special isolation hospital unit in Sacramento and was being tested for infection, officials said. The patient was considered at a relatively low risk of infection. Although recently in an area where Ebola transmission is widespread, the person had no known contact with anyone who has had the disease, said Laura McCasland, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County Public Health Department. McCasland said she did not know precisely where or when the patient had traveled in West Africa, the epicenter of the worst Ebola epidemic on record, or why the individual was there or for how long.
Obama budget seeks boost for military, domestic programs
29 Jan 2015 at 5:57pm
By Jeff Mason PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will call for a 7 percent rise in U.S. domestic and military spending in his budget that would end caps known as "sequestration," the White House said on Thursday, setting up a new conflict with Republicans in Congress. The fiscal 2016 budget, which the administration plans to unveil on Monday, would fund a host of programs that Republicans are unlikely to support. It is the latest salvo by the Democratic president lobbed at a Congress controlled by the opposition party, and follows a defiant State of the Union address last week that critics said betrayed an unwillingness to seek compromise. Obama maintained that tone during remarks to congressional Democrats in Philadelphia, promising not to remain on the sidelines during the last two years of his presidency and urging lawmakers to be unapologetic about backing progressive policies.
Thai vigilantes take up fight against human trafficking
29 Jan 2015 at 5:31pm
By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BAN BANG YAI, Thailand (Reuters) - Bullet-proof vest, shotgun, sunglasses: Kompat Sompaorat could be mistaken for a member of a SWAT team. He actually belongs to a motley group of Thai civilians who, frustrated by their government's lacklustre response to human trafficking, have taken up arms to patrol one of Asia's busiest smuggling routes. For three months now, scores of volunteers have patrolled the estuaries and jungles of Phang Nga province, a popular tourist destination in southern Thailand a short drive from the famous resort island of Phuket. We can't touch them," said Kompat, as the volunteers arrive at an abandoned smuggling camp near the village of Ban Bang Yai strewn with children's shoes, women's camisoles and trash.
CDC urges measles vaccinations amid Disneyland outbreak
29 Jan 2015 at 4:36pm
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans on Thursday to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland in December, saying that 2014 saw the highest number of cases in two decades. So far more than 90 people have been diagnosed with measles in California and elsewhere, most of them linked to an outbreak that public health officials suspect began when an infected person from outside the United States visited Disneyland in Anaheim between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. On Wednesday, a high school in Palm Desert, California, barred dozens of non-vaccinated students from school over concerns that a classmate may have contracted the highly contagious disease.
League says reported concussions drop 25 percent
29 Jan 2015 at 4:24pm
The National Football League said on Thursday the number of reported concussions dropped 25 percent during regular season games in 2014 compared to the previous campaign. There were 111 concussions reported in 2014, down from the 148 during the 2013 season and down nearly 36 percent from the 173 in 2012, the NFL said during its annual pre-Super Bowl health and safety news conference. "Players are changing the way they're tackling," said Jeff Miller, the NFL senior vice president of health and safety policy. "They're changing the way they play the game." According to the NFL's data, 52 concussions were caused by helmet-to-helmet hits in 2014, which is 28 percent below last season and 43 percent lower than in 2012.
Some doctors won't see patients with anti-vaccine views
29 Jan 2015 at 4:20pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won't get them vaccinated.
Study supports Roche's disputed blockbuster flu drug Tamiflu
29 Jan 2015 at 4:12pm
By Kate Kelland LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - A major analysis of one of the world's most fiercely disputed medicines, Roche's Tamiflu, has found it cuts flu symptoms by a day and can help some patients avoid hospital treatment and complications. Published in The Lancet on Friday, the pooled analysis included data from all previously published and unpublished trials of Tamiflu, which has been the subject of intense scientific debate for years. The drug, known generically as oseltamivir, is an anti-viral which was stockpiled and widely used by governments during the 2009/2010 H1N1 "swine flu" pandemic. It is approved by regulators worldwide and is on the World Health Organization's "essential medicines" list.
Lessons From Chronic Pain
29 Jan 2015 at 4:09pm
We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey." -- Kenji MiyazawaFor six years now, I have struggled with chronic pain due to a musculoskeletal and neuropathic condition. Shortly after graduating from college, while working out on the elliptical machine, I felt an unforgettable sharp pain shoot down the left side of my body. My life...
New York couple sentenced to prison after woman held in apartment
29 Jan 2015 at 3:41pm
By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York couple who faced life imprisonment on charges of holding a paralyzed woman captive for over a year received sentences on Thursday of more than a decade in prison in a plea deal with prosecutors. Maureen Murray, now 61, was discovered by police in 2012 with broken bones and severe malnourishment, huddled on the floor of a bare apartment room in the city's Queens borough, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Murray had been lured in 2011 by her former neighbor Mae Washington, 65, to rent an apartment together in order to save money. Washington and Donovan faced 11 charges including kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.
FDA approves Bristol-Myers, J&J HIV pills
29 Jan 2015 at 3:37pm
(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved two fixed-dose HIV pills that combine protease inhibitors - one made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and the other by Johnson & Johnson - both with a boosting agent produced by Gilead Sciences Inc. Bristol-Myers said its drug, Evotaz, is a once-daily pill containing Reyataz, also known as atazanavir, a protease inhibitor, with the booster cobicistat. The FDA approved both drugs for use in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults.
FDA expands use of Imbruvica to treat rare form of blood cancer
29 Jan 2015 at 2:39pm
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the expanded use of Imbruvica, sold by Johnson & Johnson and Pharmacyclics Inc, to treat Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM), a rare form of blood cancer for which no specific pharmaceutical therapy exists. WM, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, was discovered more than 70 years ago. It usually worsens slowly over time and causes abnormal blood cells, known as B lymphocytes (B-cells), to grow within the bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver and spleen. The FDA granted Imbruvica breakthrough therapy designation for WM, a status given to drugs seen as important advances in the treatment of serious diseases, but it added a warning that it could cause tumor lysis syndrome (TLS).
U.S. military pay reforms could save $12 billion yearly: panel
29 Jan 2015 at 2:09pm
By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A congressionally appointed panel on U.S. military compensation recommended overhauling retirement and healthcare benefits on Thursday to improve services offered to troops and families while cutting costs by up to $12.6 billion annually. The nine-member panel, including former military leaders and lawmakers, recommended the Pentagon broaden its retirement benefits to provide 401(K)-style savings plans for most service members while retaining a slimmed-down version of its current 20-year retirement plan. It also recommended reforming the health system for military families and younger retirees, replacing much of the current Tricare system with commercial insurance that would improve access to care. The report's release drew a muted response, with President Barack Obama and other senior leaders thanking the panel and promising to study its findings.
Ex-supermodel Waris Dirie says FGM can end in her lifetime
29 Jan 2015 at 1:51pm
By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Supermodel turned campaigner against female genital mutilation Waris Dirie said on Thursday she was optimistic that FGM could be eradicated in her lifetime, branding the tradition "a cruel and perfidious war on little girls." "FGM breaches all human rights and has no place in any 21st century society," said Dirie, who underwent FGM in Somalia when she was 5 years old and whose sister bled to death after being cut. Dirie said her Desert Flower Foundation aimed to save 1 million girls across Africa from the "barbaric" ritual in the next few years through a sponsorship project which provides food, kerosene and school fees to families who pledge not to cut their daughters. The former model sponsors the family of the girl from Djibouti who played the young Dirie in the 2009 film based on her best-selling autobiography "Desert Flower." GROWING MOMENTUM AGAINST FGM Speaking after receiving a human rights award at the House of Lords in London, Dirie welcomed the growing global momentum to stamp out FGM, a procedure which can cause lifelong physical and psychological problems.