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Spanish judge orders release of ill boy's parents
2 Sep 2014 at 11:30am
SOTO DEL REAL, Spain (AP) ? Spanish officials have ordered the immediate release of a detained British couple who were wanted by police in the United Kingdom after they took their critically ill child for treatment abroad without doctors' consent.
US troops heading into Africa soon for Ebola fight
19 Sep 2014 at 8:21am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The top U.S. Army officer says thousands of promised American forces will be moving into Africa over the next 30 days to set up facilities and form training teams to help the Africans treat Ebola victims.
Ebola lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt
19 Sep 2014 at 8:21am
By Umaru Fofana FREETOWN (Reuters) - Streets in the capital of Sierra Leone were deserted on Friday as the West African state began a contested, three-day lockdown in a bid to halt the worst Ebola outbreak on record. President Ernest Bai Koroma urged people to heed the emergency measures, and only vehicles driven by police and health workers took to the normally bustling roads of Freetown. Radio stations played Ebola awareness jingles on repeat and encouraged residents to stay indoors. ...
India caps prices of 36 more drugs to improve access: government official
19 Sep 2014 at 7:00am
By Aditya Kalra and Zeba Siddiqui NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - India has capped the prices of 36 drugs, including those used to treat infections and diabetes, in its latest move to make essential medicines more affordable, a senior official of the country's drug pricing authority told Reuters on Friday. The medicines join a list of 348 drugs deemed essential and that are therefore subject to price caps, covering up to 30 percent of the total medication sold in a country where less than 20 percent of people are covered by health insurance. ...
Germany raises hurdles for asylum seekers from west Balkans
19 Sep 2014 at 6:45am
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will be less likely to grant political asylum to people from the Western Balkans after its upper house of parliament on Friday agreed to upgrade Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia to "safe" countries where basic human rights are guaranteed. Arguing that 99 percent of requests from these countries are already rejected for lack of evidence of the risk of torture or inhumane treatment, Berlin has moved to tackle public concern at a rise in asylum applications which hit a 14-year high in 2013. ...
Sierra Leone launches controversial Ebola shutdown
19 Sep 2014 at 6:26am
Freetown (AFP) - Sierra Leone launched a nationwide three-day shutdown on Friday to contain the deadly spread of an Ebola epidemic described by the UN Security Council as a threat to world peace.
For followers of Nigeria's 'Prophet', building collapse was 'Satan's work'
19 Sep 2014 at 6:10am
By Tim Cocks LAGOS (Reuters) - For supporters of "Prophet" TB Joshua, one of Africa's best-known Christian preachers, the death of at least 80 of his congregation under the rubble of a Lagos guesthouse that collapsed a week ago was no construction accident. "The church views this tragedy as part of an attack on The Synagogue Church Of All Nations," said a statement on his official Facebook page on Thursday. "In due course, God will reveal the perpetrators." Most of the deaths were South Africans, and Joshua said he was cooperating with the investigation. ...
Nigeria finmin confident 2014 GDP growth will exceed 6 pct
19 Sep 2014 at 6:06am
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Nigeria's finance minister said on Friday she is confident that growth in 2014 will be around the government's latest forecast of 6.5 percent after discounting the economic impact of the insurgency waged by the Islamist group Boko Haram. "We are confident it will be better than 6 percent and about 6.5," Nigeria's finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, told Reuters. The government's latest forecast set in the past few days, puts 2014 growth at 6.5 percent, she said, adding that the forecast already discounted the impact from the Boko Haram insurgency. ...
Sierra Leone capital at standstill as Ebola lockdown begins
19 Sep 2014 at 5:52am
By Umaru Fofana FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone began a three-day lockdown on Friday in an effort to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, as President Ernest Bai Koroma urged residents to comply with the emergency measures. Streets in the normally bustling seaside capital Freetown were deserted, barring vehicles carrying police officers and health workers. Radio stations played Ebola awareness jingles on repeat and encouraged residents to stay indoors. ...
Senegal says no risk of Ebola spreading from imported case
19 Sep 2014 at 5:20am
DAKAR (Reuters) - Senegal's health minister said on Friday there was no further risk of Ebola spreading in the West African country, following the end of a quarantine period for those who came into contact with an infected Guinean man. "The risk of the Ebola virus spreading from the imported case is non-existent for our country," Awa Marie Coll Seck told a news conference. (Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Daniel Flynn)
Harvard hosts spoof Nobel awards for silly science
19 Sep 2014 at 5:18am
Spoof Nobel prizes that honor the humor in science were handed out at Harvard University Thursday, celebrating the physics of stepping on a banana skin and the neuroscience behind spotting Jesus in toast.
French Ebola case to receive test treatment, minister says
19 Sep 2014 at 5:18am
PARIS (Reuters) - A French volunteer nurse working for Medecins Sans Frontieres who contracted Ebola in Liberia will receive an experimental treatment for the virus in France, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said. The female nurse was repatriated to France in the early hours of Friday and immediately admitted to a military hospital just outside Paris. "A special unit has been set aside for her ... The experimental treatment began as soon as she was transferred," Touraine told RTL radio. No further details were given of what the treatment entailed. ...
Human error seen in measles vaccination deaths in Syria: WHO
19 Sep 2014 at 4:47am
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - A muscle relaxant appears to have been mixed mistakenly with measles vaccine, killing 15 children in Syria this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, calling it the biggest such tragedy in memory. The WHO said it could not completely rule out sabotage, so the measles inoculation campaign remained suspended until the investigation was finished. Fifteen children died after being vaccinated against measles in northern Syria, aid workers said on Wednesday, a tragedy likely to damage trust in health services in opposition-held areas. ...
Scientists see risk of mutant airborne Ebola as remote
19 Sep 2014 at 4:37am
By Kate Kelland LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Ebola virus raging through West Africa is mutating rapidly as it tears a deadly path through cities, towns and villages, but the genetic changes are for now not giving it the ability to spread more easily. Concern that the virus could gain capability to transmit through the air - creating a nightmare scenario of the disease being able to spread like a flu pandemic, killing millions - was fueled by a top infectious disease expert in the United States. ...
Angelina Jolie surgery sparks surge in female cancer tests: study
19 Sep 2014 at 4:15am
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hollywood star Angelina Jolie's decision to make public her double mastectomy more than doubled the number of women in Britain seeking to have genetic breast cancer tests, according to a study released on Friday. Jolie, 39, who has become a high-profile human rights campaign, announced her surgery in May last year, saying she acted after testing positive for a mutation of the BRCA1 gene that significantly increases the risk of breast cancer. ...