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Supreme Court set to hear second major Obamacare challenge
3 Mar 2015 at 6:05am
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh a second major case targeting President Barack Obama's healthcare law on Wednesday when it considers a conservative challenge to tax subsidies critical to the measure's implementation. If a majority of the nine justices rules against the administration, up to 7.5 million people in at least 34 states would lose subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people afford private health insurance, unless Congress or the affected states act immediately. Such a ruling could also have a broader impact by deterring younger, healthier people from buying health insurance, which would lead to premiums rising for older, less healthy people who need healthcare most, said Rand Corporation economist Christine Eibner. The Democratic-backed law, narrowly passed by Congress over unified Republican opposition, aimed to help millions of Americans who lacked any health insurance afford coverage.
Factbox: Contrasting legal styles in Supreme Court Obamacare drama
3 Mar 2015 at 6:03am
(Reuters) - When the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the new challenge to President Barack Obama?s healthcare law on Wednesday, the justices will hear from two experienced attorneys with dueling views and contrasting styles. DONALD VERRILLI U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, 57, will defend the law for the Obama administration. When Verrilli argued on behalf of the law the first time, in 2012, news and political commentators lambasted him. ?This was a train wreck for the Obama administration,? CNN legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin said at the time, contending Verrilli?s style was shaky and his responses ineffective.
Liberia calls for Ebola 'Marshall Plan' to rebuild economies
3 Mar 2015 at 5:57am
BRUSSELS (AP) ? Liberia's president on Tuesday called for an Ebola "Marshall Plan" to help rebuild economies in West African nations devastated by the virus.
Uganda denies massing troops along Sudan border
3 Mar 2015 at 5:34am
By Elias Biryabarema KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan troops based in South Sudan are not massing along the Sudan border, Ugandan military officials said on Tuesday, after Sudan's state news agency reported 16,000 Ugandan soldiers were due to arrive near the frontier. Sudan's Suna news agency on Monday said Ugandan soldiers were massing near the border to fight rebels opposed to President Salva Kiir's government, a move that Sudan finds "unacceptable and presenting a danger to Sudan's stability".
My Daughter Is A Gift, But Her Autism Is Not
3 Mar 2015 at 5:14am
By Jody AllardIt began like it usually does -- not noticeable to anyone else, but I saw the signs. A little squeak. Hands pulled up to her face. Her body moving frenetically, as if powered by an inner, malfunctioning switch suddenly flipped to high.Her older sister said something to her, or maybe just looked at her, and that was enough. She...
Tougher laws a likely legacy of the Disneyland measles outbreak
3 Mar 2015 at 4:49am
By Yasmeen Abutaleb NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chris Barr had no problem getting his eight children exempted from vaccinations when they went to school. First in California, and later when the family moved to Arkansas, the natural healing practitioner simply signed a piece of paper stating that his personal beliefs didn?t allow the immunizations. This year?s highly publicized measles outbreaks, which have infected more than 150 people in 17 states, are no longer front page news. The proposed laws have been introduced in statehouses by both Democrats and Republicans and include a range of approaches, from requiring schools to post immunization rates to entirely eliminating religious and philosophical exemptions.
Modest coffee consumption good for the heart: study
3 Mar 2015 at 4:31am
People who drink three to five cups of coffee a day may have a lower risk of clogged arteries that can cause serious heart problems, a study said Tuesday. The South Korean research is the latest on the health effects of the popular brew, previously associated with a reduced risk of developing multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and Alzheimers disease. For the latest study, the team analysed data from 25,100 South Korean men and women, average age 41, who had undergone regular health screening. None of the study group had any cardiovascular problems, but one in seven had detectable levels of coronary artery calcium (CAC) -- an early sign of coronary heart disease, or atherosclerosis.
Pregnant Women Turn to Alternative, 'Personalized' Birthing Options
3 Mar 2015 at 4:18am
More women are rejecting the traditional hospital approach to delivery in favor of a more ???personalized??? birthing experience.
India will not cut multi-billion dollar food handout program: PM
3 Mar 2015 at 4:18am
India will not scale down its multi-billion dollar food welfare program that promises ultra-cheap rice and wheat to most of its people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told lawmakers in parliament on Tuesday. "The government has not decided to reduce the coverage under food security from 67 percent," Modi said.
Gender Identity is Biological, Study Says
3 Mar 2015 at 4:10am
Gender identity has a biological basis.
Marijuana, guns and conservation on agenda for 2015 Florida legislature
3 Mar 2015 at 4:05am
By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE (Reuters) - Florida's legislature convenes on Tuesday with lawmakers expected to grapple during the 60-day annual session with measures including allowing concealed guns on college campuses and permitting doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. Discussion of casino gambling, a now-perennial clash between out-of-state gambling interests and entrenched family resort companies like Walt Disney Co, will also stir controversy in the next two months. In addition, lawmakers will likely argue over how approximately $1 billion a year in real estate and land development taxes should be spent on conservation. The spending, mandated by a constitutional amendment approved by voters, could go to such projects as Everglades cleanup and beach restoration.
Report: As Ebola wanes, other countries remain vulnerable
3 Mar 2015 at 3:02am
N'DJAMENA, Chad (AP) ? Arriving airline passengers lined up outdoors to have their temperatures checked, the screens in the nighttime darkness like glowing lightning bugs.
China hopes novice environment chief will be breath of fresh air
3 Mar 2015 at 2:06am
By David Stanway and Kathy Chen BEIJING (Reuters) - One year after "declaring war" on pollution, China has appointed an inexperienced outsider as its new environment minister tasked with breathing life into a massive clean-up campaign that even optimists say will take decades to complete. Beijing has vowed to reverse the damage done to its skies, rivers and soil during China's three-decade dash for growth, putting its under-resourced environment ministry under pressure to deliver results. Leading that drive will be Chen Jining, 51, an environmental scientist and president of China's prestigious Tsinghua University, who was appointed the country's Minister of Environmental Protection on Friday. As China's annual parliament opens this week, Chen will need to show an increasingly angry public that the environment remains one of the top priorities, while reassuring thousands of regional delegates that there is still room for economic growth.
Pakistan arrests parents for refusing children's polio vaccinations
3 Mar 2015 at 1:23am
By Jibran Ahmad PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan authorities have arrested hundreds of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against polio, officials said Tuesday, as community opposition and Taliban threats block efforts to eradicate the crippling disease in one of its last strongholds. Frustrated officials turned to police to deal with parents influenced by some clerics who decry government vaccination campaigns as a tool to weaken Islam, according to Pervez Kamal, director of health for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region in the northwest. Pakistan reported 306 polio cases last year, far and away the largest share of the 359 cases worldwide recorded by the Global Eradicate Polio Initiative. Once a common childhood disease, polio - which can cause paralysis and mostly affects children under age five - has declined by 99 percent in the last 25 years with aggressive vaccination campaigns, according to the WHO.
Penis size: researchers provide the long and short of it
3 Mar 2015 at 12:48am
The numbers should help "reassure the large majority of men that the size of their penis is in the normal range," said British researchers who had assembled data from studies where participants had their member measured by a professional. In the worst cases, men may be diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder -- a debilitating psychological condition that can lead to obsessive and anti-social behaviour, depression and even suicide. The study participants were men aged 17-91 who had their penises measured in 20 previously published studies conducted in Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States. The team found no evidence for penis size differences linked to race, though most of the study participants were of European and Middle Eastern descent and a full comparison could thus not be made.