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Short of cash, U.N. cuts Syria refugees' rations again
1 Jul 2015 at 4:53am
The World Food Programme, running short of cash, will halve the value of food vouchers given to Syrian refugees in Lebanon this month and may cut all help for 440,000 Syrians in Jordan next month, the U.N. agency said on Wednesday. "Just when we thought things couldn?t get worse, we are forced yet again to make yet more cuts," Muhannad Hadi, WFP's Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, said in a statement. ?Refugees were already struggling to cope with what little we could provide.? United Nations aid agencies said last week that a $4.5 billion appeal to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015 was less than a quarter funded, putting millions of vulnerable people at risk, and had already led to cuts in vital assistance.
U.N. warns of risks as Europe enjoys scorcher
1 Jul 2015 at 4:51am
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations warned on Wednesday of the dangers posed by hot weather, especially to children and the elderly, as much of Europe sweltered in a heatwave whose intensity it blamed on climate change. Authorities should give people as much warning as possible of potentially dangerous high temperatures so that they take can precautions, the World Meteorological Organization and the World Health Organization said. Tens of thousands of people died across Europe in a 2003 heatwave and again in Russia in 2010.
Chinese people getting taller and fatter: govt
1 Jul 2015 at 4:46am
Chinese people are growing taller as the country becomes richer but they are getting fatter even faster, the government and state media said. The proportion of Chinese over-18s who were overweight stood at 30.1 percent in 2012, up 7.3 percentage points over a decade, Wang Guoqiang, a vice director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told a press conference. The obesity rate had risen by 4.8 percentage points to 11.9 percent, he said Tuesday -- a two-thirds increase.
Actor Channing Tatum to go for 'dad bod' after 'Magic Mike XXL'
1 Jul 2015 at 4:36am
Known for his toned torso and abs, often on display in the "Magic Mike" male stripper saga, Hollywood actor Channing Tatum says he will no longer be keeping up his intense workout regime and instead champion the latest trend - a "dad bod" . Tatum, who returns as Mike in "Magic Mike XXL", said he was hoping to make the less fit-looking male body look more popular. "Even if it's not, I'm going to try to make it 'in'," Tatum said of the "dad bod" at the European premiere of "Magic Mike XXL" on Tuesday night.
Colorado movie rampage jurors to hear from expert on psychosis
1 Jul 2015 at 4:29am
Calling into question his note-taking, qualifications and conclusions about gunman James Holmes, the lead prosecutor in Colorado's movie massacre trial put the defense's first expert witness through a withering cross-examination. Brauchler asked Woodcock why he did not watch all 22 hours of video interviews conducted by one of two court-appointed psychiatrists who found the defendant to be sane.
Chinese people getting 'taller and fatter'
1 Jul 2015 at 4:17am
Adult obesity rates reached 9.6 percent in 2012, more than doubling over a decade, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a report on national nutrition and chronic diseases. "The problem of overweight and obesity is rising sharply as the dietary make-up has changed," Wang Guoqiang, a vice director of commission, told a press conference. "Smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, insufficient physical exercises and unhealthy diet such as high salt and fat consumption are the main behaviour risk factors that trigger and worsen chronic diseases," Wang said at the briefing Tuesday.
Liberia registers second confirmed Ebola case: health official
1 Jul 2015 at 4:02am
Liberia confirmed a second case of Ebola on Tuesday just a day after authorities said they had detected a new case of the deadly virus previously thought to have been eliminated from the West African country, a senior health official said. Liberia, once at the centre of the worst recorded Ebola epidemic in history, was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization on May 9 after going 42 days with no new infections. "We have two confirmed cases today in Liberia," said Dr. Moses Massaquoi, case management team leader for Liberia's Ebola task force.
Obama aims to change conversation around health care law
1 Jul 2015 at 3:34am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama is aiming to use the momentum from a recent Supreme Court victory for his health care law to change the conversation from talk about undoing his signature domestic achievement to talk about how to improve it.
China June factory, services surveys fuel hopes economy leveling out
1 Jul 2015 at 3:30am
Activity in China's factory sector expanded slightly in June though not as much as expected, while growth in the services sector sped up, official surveys showed, offering some signs that the world's second-largest economy may be starting to slowly level out after a raft of support measures. Beijing has rolled out a flurry of steps since last year, including interest rate cuts and more infrastructure spending, but analysts remain wary about the outlook given the still-weak property market, erratic global demand for China's exports and fears of a collapse in its wild stock market.
Crowds count down to legalization of marijuana in Oregon, then light up
1 Jul 2015 at 3:13am
Crowds counted down the minutes to midnight then lit up joints as smoking marijuana became legal in Oregon on Wednesday, part of a growing legalization movement spreading down the United States' west coast. Hundreds gathered on the Burnside Bridge in downtown Portland and smoked under the glow of a neon city sign, marking the moment that the law allowing recreational use, backed by voters in November, came into effect. The legislation opens the way for shops to sell marijuana by next year - though some lawmakers say they will still try to block retail outlets.
Toyota's top female executive steps down after arrest in Japan
1 Jul 2015 at 2:09am
Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday that Julie Hamp, its first female managing officer, had resigned following her arrest last month on suspicion of illegally importing the painkiller oxycodone into Japan. Hamp, a U.S. citizen, leaves Toyota about a month after she relocated to Tokyo to become the Japanese automaker's chief communications officer. In a statement, Toyota said it had accepted Hamp's resignation after "considering the concerns and inconvenience that recent events have caused our stakeholders".
The impenetrable world of Mark Flores
1 Jul 2015 at 2:00am
For three decades of her son's life, Yvette Flores assumed his developmental problems were merely bad luck. Then she learned otherwise.
South Korea waives visa fees to attract tourists amid MERS
1 Jul 2015 at 12:11am
South Korea on Wednesday said it would waive visa fees for visitors from China and Southeast Asia as it struggles to recover from the MERS outbreak which has seen tourist numbers plummet. The justice ministry said visas which had been already issued would be extended for another three months as South Korea enters its peak tourist season of July and August. South Korea will waive tourist visa fees, worth $15, from July 6 through to September 30 for those travelling in groups.
Ohio legislature strikes back against pot legalization effort
30 Jun 2015 at 7:00pm
Ohio legislature approves new ballot measure to ban monopolies as retaliation against marijuana legalization effort.
Recreational-use marijuana to become legal in Oregon
30 Jun 2015 at 6:13pm
Marijuana smoking, seed sharing and cannabis-themed rallies are among the ways Oregon residents plan to celebrate as recreational-use pot becomes legal in the fourth western U.S. state on Wednesday. Marijuana use purely for the sake of getting high is to become legal in the state from midnight on Tuesday, the first step in a voter-approved initiative that will usher in retail weed stores in 2016 like those operating in Washington state and Colorado. "We are thrilled with the end of adult marijuana prohibition, but we are far from where we need to be," said Russ Belville, of pro-marijuana group NORML's Portland chapter.