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Head of troubled CDC anthrax lab has resigned
23 Jul 2014 at 11:34am
NEW YORK (AP) ? The head of the government lab that potentially exposed workers to live anthrax has resigned, an agency spokesman said Wednesday.
Judges in health care rulings vote party line
23 Jul 2014 at 12:20am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them.
Ohio woman has long road ahead after rock attack
22 Jul 2014 at 12:42pm
DANVILLE, Pa. (AP) ? Doctors had a simple goal when they first saw how a football-size rock thrown from an interstate overpass in Pennsylvania had shattered Sharon Budd's skull ? to keep her alive.
Sterling marriage 'stress' at issue as L.A. Clippers trial nears end
23 Jul 2014 at 6:57pm
By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's bid to block the $2 billion sale of the NBA team in a probate trial entered its final stretch on Wednesday when his attorneys sought to prove his estranged wife improperly seized control of the franchise. Sterling's attorneys called only two witnesses during the emotionally charged trial that will determine whether the 80-year-old real estate billionaire' s wife had the authority to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer. A neurologist called by Sterling's attorneys testified that Sterling, who has been banned by the NBA for racist remarks, was under undue stress from his wife Shelly Sterling, 79, while taking the mental exams that declared him incapable of managing his business affairs. "There is a stress in the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Sterling, and you wouldn't want that stress to impact a mental status investigation," neurologist Jeffrey Cummings told Los Angeles Superior Court.
Australian Medical Board bans prominent euthanasia doctor
23 Jul 2014 at 6:41pm
Prominent Australian right-to-die doctor Philip Nitschke on Thursday vowed to continue giving advice on how to end life after the Australian Medical Board used emergency powers to suspend him. The ruling -- an interim measure pending the outcome of an inquiry -- follows the suicide of Perth man Nigel Brayley who died in May after communicating with Nitschke. Brayley died after taking euthanasia drug Nembutal, which he illegally imported. The medical board said Nitschke, the founder of euthanasia group Exit International, had a duty of care to recommend psychiatric help for Brayley.
South Korea confirms foot-and-mouth outbreak at hog farm
23 Jul 2014 at 6:30pm
South Korea has confirmed a case of foot-and-mouth disease at a hog farm, the country's first outbreak in more than three years, a provincial government said on Thursday. The case comes as Asia's fourth-largest economy strives to contain a six-month long outbreak of bird flu, which has pushed pork prices to multi-year highs due to demand for an alternative meat supplies. Testing had confirmed a suspected foot-and-mouth case at a hog farm in Uiseong county, more than 250 km (155 miles) southeast of Seoul, the Gyeonsangbuk-do provincial government said in a statement. The outbreak could lead to a rise in pork and beef imports.
San Francisco approves soda tax for November ballot
23 Jul 2014 at 6:18pm
By Jennifer Baires SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco city leaders have approved a measure for the November ballot that would place a two-cents-per-ounce municipal tax on sodas and other sugary beverages, hoping to become the first major city to successfully impose such a levy. Among them have been Richmond, California, across the bay from San Francisco, where a penny-an-ounce tax was defeated after a multimillion-dollar campaign by the American Beverage Association. San Francisco's plan, which was approved on Tuesday night by a 6-4 vote of the board of supervisors, would be applied to any nonalcoholic, sweetened drink with more than 25 calories per 12 ounces. "I think the nation is watching what happens here," said John Maa, a surgeon on the board of directors at two organizations that support the measure, San Francisco Medical Society and American Heart Association.
Arizona inmate takes nearly two hours to die in botched execution
23 Jul 2014 at 6:12pm
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Arizona inmate took almost two hours to die by lethal injection on Wednesday and his lawyers said he "gasped and snorted" before succumbing in the latest botched execution to raise questions about the death penalty in the United States. The execution of convicted double murderer Joseph Wood began at 1:52 p.m. local time at a state prison complex, and the 55-year-old was pronounced dead just shy of two hours later at 3:49 p.m., the Arizona attorney general's office said. "Arizona appears to have joined several other states who have been responsible for an entirely preventable horror: a bungled execution. The public should hold its officials responsible." Arizona Governor Jan Brewer expressed concern over how long the lethal injection procedure took and ordered the state's Department of Corrections to conduct a full review, but said justice had been done and that the execution was lawful.
The Untouched Generation
23 Jul 2014 at 6:05pm
FTC commissioner warns on mobile health-data gathering
23 Jul 2014 at 5:52pm
Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill, speaking in Washington on Wednesday, expressed concern about the way apps on smartphones and mobile devices are siphoning sensitive health data, and how some of that information may then be shared with third parties. The debate around the gathering of consumer data is intensifying as Silicon Valley tech companies take a more active interest in mobile health. Apple Inc and Google Inc revealed new health-focused services for apps developers in recent months, dubbed Google Fit and HealthKit. Brill's comments followed a May report in which the FTC revealed the results of a study of mobile health-app developers, which found that a good portion collect consumer health data and give it to third-party entities.
Abuse of U.S. generic-drug rules costs billions: report
23 Jul 2014 at 5:35pm
By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. rules that ensure prescription medicines are not misused have been manipulated by brand-name drug companies to fight off generic competitors, costing consumers billions of dollars, according to a report released on Wednesday. Called "risk evaluation and mitigation strategies" (REMS), these U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules are meant to secure the safe distribution of dangerous medicines. This has delayed the arrival of 40 potential generic drugs, costing consumers some $5.4 billion a year, according to the report by Matrix Global Advisors and released by the generic drug trade group.
S. Korea reports first foot-and-mouth case for 3 years
23 Jul 2014 at 5:31pm
South Korea on Thursday confirmed its first case of foot-and-mouth in more than three years, and just two months after the country was declared free of the disease. South Korea had just regained its status as an FMD-free country in May at a meeting of the World Organisation for Animal Health in Paris. The entire Korean peninsula suffered a devastating outbreak in 2011 that resulted in the culling of nearly 3.5 million cattle, pigs and other animals in South Korea alone.
Massachusetts bill limiting protests at abortion clinics goes to governor
23 Jul 2014 at 4:23pm
By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - A bill to limit demonstrations around Massachusetts abortion clinics passed the state's House of Representatives on Wednesday and headed to Governor Deval Patrick. Patrick, a Democrat, called for new measures after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that a 2007 state law barring protesters from coming within 35 feet (11 meters) of reproductive health facilities violated abortion opponents? right to free speech. "We are confident that this new set of tools to help us protect women does not infringe on anyone's First Amendment rights," said Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general and a Democratic candidate for governor, in a recent interview. "We are only responding to behavior that crosses a line." The measure, which passed the House 116-35, would empower police to issue a dispersal order against anyone found to be blocking access to abortion clinics.
Paracetamol no better than placebo in low-back pain
23 Jul 2014 at 4:10pm
Paracetamol, the first-choice lower-back pain killer, worked no better than dummy drugs administered in a trial of more than 1,600 people suffering from the condition, researchers said Thursday. In fact, the median recovery time for those on placebo was a day shorter than that for trial subjects given real medicine, they wrote in The Lancet medical journal. "Our findings suggest that... paracetamol does not affect recovery time compared with placebo in low-back pain, and question the universal endorsement of paracetamol in this patient group," the Australian team concluded. "Paracetamol also had no effect on pain, disability, function, global symptom change, sleep or quality of life."
Yum cuts ties to owner of China meat plant after scandal
23 Jul 2014 at 4:09pm
By Brenda Goh and Paul Carsten SHANGHAI/LANGFANG China (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc severed ties with OSI Group after Shanghai police detained five people from the supplier's China meat-processing factory at the center of a food-safety scare that has ensnared several major Western brands. Shanghai police said on Wednesday the five individuals being held included the head of Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd as well as its quality manager. "Yum China has decided to immediately terminate all procurement from OSI China," including Shanghai Husi, Yum said in a statement. OSI China and its Shanghai Husi business are part of Aurora, Illinois-based OSI Group LLC, which said in a statement that local Chinese authorities have inspected all of its other facilities in China and found no issues.