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Deadly week in Mediterranean as smugglers pack boats: UNHCR
31 May 2016 at 2:37am
GENEVA (Reuters) - At least 880 migrants and refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean last week, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday, giving updated figures after interviewing survivors brought to Italy. This year is "proving to be particularly deadly" with 2,510 lives lost in shipwrecks and capsizing, against 1,855 in the same period in 2015, UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said. "At the moment (smugglers) are packing people on boats that are barely sea-worthy and many cases are not meant to make the crossing. ...
China releases new action plan to tackle soil pollution
31 May 2016 at 2:32am
China aims to curb worsening soil pollution by 2020 and stabilize and improve soil quality by 2030, the cabinet said in an action plan published on Tuesday. The government will continue to eliminate outdated capacity in heavy metal sectors, the cabinet said in a statement on its website (www.gov.cn). Last year, the environment minister said 16.1 percent of China's soil exceeded state pollution limits, but treatment costs for heavy metal or chemical contamination are high, and China has struggled to attract private capital.
WHO advises eight weeks of safe sex after return from Zika areas
31 May 2016 at 2:23am
GENEVA (Reuters) - People returning from areas with transmission of the Zika virus should follow safer sex practices or abstain from sex for at least eight weeks, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, doubling the four weeks it had previously recommended. Women wanting to get pregnant should wait for six months if their male partner had symptoms of the virus, the WHO's revised guidance said. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, writing by Tom Miles)
Pakistani prime minister undergoes open heart surgery in London
31 May 2016 at 2:07am
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif underwent open heart surgery in a London hospital on Tuesday, his second cardiac procedure in five years, his daughter said. Sharif "was in high spirits" when he went in to the operating theater at about 8:00 a.m. (03:00 a.m. EDT), his daughter, Maryam, said on her Twitter account. The operation was for a "perforation of the heart", a complication from a 2011 procedure, Maryam said in a Twitter post last week.
New Zealand backs plain packaging for cigarettes
31 May 2016 at 1:50am
New Zealand said Tuesday it will introduce plain packaging on tobacco products, joining a growing list of countries planning similar measures despite the threat of legal action from the industry. The move, which coincides with World No Tobacco Day, means cigarettes must be sold in drab boxes plastered with health warnings and gruesome pictures of smoking-related disease. Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga said the measure targeted one of the most powerful tools used to get young people hooked on tobacco.
Nestle, on health kick, moves into milk allergy testing
31 May 2016 at 1:11am
Nestle , the world's biggest food company, is stepping up its push into medicine with a global deal worth up to 100 million euros ($111 million) to develop and market an experimental milk allergy test for infants. The Swiss group will pay DBV Technologies 10 million euros upfront for rights to its skin patch test for cow?s milk protein allergy, with the balance depending on successful development, the two companies said on Tuesday.
Sisters diagnosed weeks apart fight breast cancer together
31 May 2016 at 12:15am
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ? Two Utah sisters grew up in the same bedroom, went to the same college, worked for almost a decade at the same company and have visited over 50 countries side by side. Now every three weeks, they sit together in matching chairs and chat as their bodies are pumped full of chemotherapy drugs.
Number of Afghans uprooted by violence doubles, a million 'on brink of surviv...
30 May 2016 at 10:34pm
The number of Afghans internally displaced by conflict has "dramatically" doubled to 1.2 million in just three years, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, warning that a lack of basic services was putting people on the brink of survival. The rights group said that situation of people uprooted from their homes in Afghanistan has deteriorated in recent years as global attention and aid money have been diverted to other crises. "While the world's attention seems to have moved on from Afghanistan, we risk forgetting the plight of those left behind by the conflict," said Champa Patel, South Asia director at Amnesty International.
Roche's MabTherea shot gets EU OK for chronic lymphocytic leukemia
30 May 2016 at 10:26pm
ZURICH (Reuters) - Drugmaker Roche has received European approval for an injectable form of antibody therapy MabThera for people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the company said on Tuesday. The European Commission approved the injection for people with previously untreated and relapsed/refractory forms of the disease. "MabThera SC provides patients with significantly faster treatment administration and the opportunity to enjoy more time outside the clinical setting compared to intravenous delivery of the medicine," Chief Medical Officer Sandra Horning said. ...
5 Times Nurses Made Their Patients Forget They Were In A Hospital
30 May 2016 at 9:01pm
Nurses: the unsung heroes of the hospital. While doctors hurry through the halls, sweeping from one room to the next, nurses are the more constant presence; they often sit with patients long after everyone else has gone home. They become a patient?s family when real relatives are not around, and often find themselves providing compassionate...
Extreme weather increasing level of toxins in food, scientists warn
30 May 2016 at 9:00pm
By Kagondu Njagi NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As they struggle to deal with more extreme weather, a range of food crops are generating more of chemical compounds that can cause health problems for people and livestock who eat them, scientists have warned. A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says that crops such as wheat and maize are generating more potential toxins as a reaction to protect themselves from extreme weather.
Alibaba tells vendors to halt drug sales online, cites government rule change
30 May 2016 at 8:28pm
Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has told vendors on its Tmall website to stop selling medicine, saying a local regulator has issued an "urgent" directive halting drug sales via third-party platforms. Alibaba, in a notice dated May 27 seen by Reuters, cited a circular from the Hebei province branch of the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) on "urgent control measures relating to drug products". The regulator's surprise directive comes as the government promotes retail sales of over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, with a pledge to harness technology to solve issues as varied as high drug prices and snarling hospital queues.
Kidnapped Mexican striker Pulido escaped by punching captor: official
30 May 2016 at 3:49pm
By Natalie Ann Schachar MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The authorities billed it as a rescue, but Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido escaped his kidnappers by punching the one guarding him, snatching a cellphone and calling for help, a top official in the country's violent northeast said on Monday. State security forces located Pulido within minutes of his call from a safe house in the restive city of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state, as they were scouring the area nearby, state prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla told local radio. The 25-year-old Mexico national team striker who also plays professionally with the Greek team Olympiakos disappeared in his hometown on Saturday night, when he was intercepted by gunmen after leaving a party with his girlfriend.
After a heart attack, people more likely to take statins as directed
30 May 2016 at 2:32pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Heath) - People may do a better job of following doctors' orders to take statin drugs - prescribed to protect against cardiac problems - after they wind up hospitalized for a heart attack, a large study suggests. "Our theory is that the heart attack hospitalization appeared to serve as a teachable moment, or a wake-up call, to patients to do everything possible to prevent another heart attack," lead study author Dr. Ian Kronish of Columbia University Medical Center said by email. Millions of people worldwide take statins to help reduce their blood levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol ? the bad kind that builds up in blood vessels, damages artery walls and can lead to clots and heart attacks.
Chile's red tide outbreak recedes, giving fishermen a break
30 May 2016 at 2:23pm
By Anthony Esposito SANTIAGO (Reuters) - An unusually widespread and deadly "red tide" outbreak in southern Chile's fishing-rich waters is abating, a top scientist said on Monday, giving some reprieve to communities that depend on the Pacific Ocean for their livelihoods. The red tide - an algal bloom that turns the sea water red and makes seafood toxic - is a common, naturally recurring phenomenon in southern Chile. "From the first analysis of the samples taken from the ocean around Chiloe island, we can conclude that the red tide phenomenon is receding," University of Concepcion investigator Laura Farias told reporters on a conference call.