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U.S. military says need time to probe battle near Afghan hospital
4 Oct 2015 at 12:45pm
By Phil Stewart MADRID (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter pledged on Sunday a full, transparent investigation into whether the U.S. military could be linked to the destruction of an Afghan hospital run by aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) that killed 22 people. "We do know that American air assets ... were engaged in the Kunduz vicinity, and we do know that the structures that -- you see in the news -- were destroyed," Carter told reporters traveling with him shortly before landing in Spain. "I just can't tell you what the connection is at this time." MSF on Sunday demanded an independent international inquiry, branding the attack a "war crime" and saying a U.S. military probe into the incident was not enough.
France to consider phasing out diesel tax breaks: minister
4 Oct 2015 at 11:59am
France is considering raising taxes on diesel over the next five years to end an advantage over gasoline and encourage drivers to choose cleaner cars, Environment Minister Segolene Royal said. Diesel's image has been tarnished by health warnings and in the past month by revelations that Volkswagen cheated on emissions tests in the United States, putting countries like France that have promoted diesel cars in recent decades in an awkward position. Royal, who is also responsible for transport, has in recent weeks rejected calls to ban diesel or end its tax breaks, but on Sunday backed the idea of phasing out the fuel's tax advantage.
Debris appears to belong to cargo ship missing in Bahamas
4 Oct 2015 at 11:24am
By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - Search and rescue teams on Sunday located debris which appeared to belong to the cargo ship El Faro that went missing in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin with 33 mostly American crew members aboard, the U.S. Coast Guard and the ship's owner said. Life jackets, containers and an oil sheen were spotted by U.S. Coast Guard aircrews flying over the Bahamas on the third day of their search for the container ship. The owners of the El Faro, Tote Maritime, also said two vessels it sent to the scene had found a container "which appears to be from the El Faro." There had been no sighting of the El Faro or any life boats, Tote Maritime Puerto Rico president, Tim Nolan, said in a statement.
Chaffetz challenge deepens House Republicans' disarray
4 Oct 2015 at 10:45am
By Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jason Chaffetz, a rising star among congressional Republicans, on Sunday declared a bid to become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, complicating further an internal party struggle to replace John Boehner when he steps down. In a challenge to Boehner's closest lieutenant and presumed successor Kevin McCarthy, Chaffetz said many Republican lawmakers want a more thorough change in House leadership.
After five years of negotiations, Pacific trade talks near deal
4 Oct 2015 at 10:16am
By Krista Hughes ATLANTA (Reuters) - A dozen Pacific nations closed in on a sweeping free trade pact on Sunday in Atlanta after a breakthrough over how long a monopoly pharmaceutical companies should be given on new biotech drugs. The issue has pitted the United States, which has argued for longer protections, against Australia and five other delegations who say such measures would strain national healthcare budgets and keep life-saving medicines from patients who cannot afford them. The compromise would preserve Australia's existing five-year protection period but would also offer flexibility on longer drug monopolies, potentially creating two tracks on future drug pricing within the trading bloc, a person close to the negotiations said.
MSF demands independent probe into Afghan hospital air strike that killed 22
4 Oct 2015 at 8:25am
Medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres on Sunday demanded that an independent international body investigate the air strike that hit an Afghan hospital, killing 22 people. "Under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed, MSF demands that a full and transparent investigation into the event be conducted by an independent international body," MSF General Director Christopher Stokes said in a statement. MSF, which did not specify which international body would be acceptable, also raised the death toll from 19 to 22 staff and patients killed.
Speaking Freely of Guns
4 Oct 2015 at 8:19am
I am about to speak freely of guns, because I can. When I do, many of you will no doubt be inclined to mutter "amen," quietly to yourselves. Others of you will no doubt feel compelled to throw up all over me, as you have done under similar circumstances before. I expect to hear preferentially from the latter group, because they seem perennially...
Medical aid group denies Taliban were firing from Afghan hospital hit by air ...
4 Oct 2015 at 8:02am
By Mirwais Harooni and Andrew MacAskill KABUL (Reuters) - Medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres denied that Taliban fighters were firing from its hospital at Afghan and NATO forces before a suspected U.S. air strike killed at least 19 people in a battle to oust the Islamist insurgents from an Afghan city. Fighting raged around the northern provincial capital of Kunduz for a seventh day as government forces backed by American air power seek to drive out Taliban militants who seized the city almost a week ago. MSF has said an air strike, probably carried out by U.S.-led coalition forces, killed 19 staff and patients on Saturday in a hospital it runs in Kunduz, leaving 37 wounded.
U.S., Australia reach deal on pharma protection in TPP: Japan media
4 Oct 2015 at 7:41am
The United States and Australia have reached a compromise on the length of monopoly protection allowed for new biotech drugs in a development that could clear the way for a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal, Japanese media reported on Sunday. The amount of time allowed for pharmaceutical companies to have exclusive rights to the clinical data for biological drugs has been the last major sticking point in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in Atlanta.
NATO says investigation into Afghan air strike may be finished in days
4 Oct 2015 at 7:17am
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said it expects to complete a preliminary multi-national investigation in days to determine whether an air strike it conducted hit a hospital and killed at least 19 people. The results of that investigation should be known in a "matter of days," NATO said in a statement. (Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
5 Ways Your Body Actually Improves With Age
4 Oct 2015 at 5:42am
There are so many negative stereotypes related to getting older -- "the middle-age sag," or being "over the hill." It's easy to buy into the myth that everything really is headed downhill.But according to studies and science, things really aren't as bad as they might seem. Here are five ways your body actually improves with age:1. You might...
Factbox: Supreme Court's major cases as new term starts
4 Oct 2015 at 4:22am
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court opens its new term on Monday with a line-up of important cases to be argued and decided by the end of next June. Here is a look at some of the major cases already on the calendar. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association: Whether public employees who do not want to join the union can be required to pay ?fair share? service fees without violating their First Amendment rights of free speech and association under the U.S. Constitution. Evenwel v. Abbott: Whether under the U.S. ...
Supreme Court tackles hot social issues as 2016 election looms
4 Oct 2015 at 4:20am
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are set to wade into contentious social matters in their new term beginning on Monday including affirmative action, union powers and voting rights, and could add major cases involving abortion and birth control. The justices, five appointed by Republican presidents and four by Democrats, often divide along ideological and political lines on pressing social issues. In a major battle over the future of affirmative action in college admissions, the justices for a second time will consider a lawsuit brought by Abigail Fisher, a white applicant who was denied admission to the entering class of 2008 at the University of Texas at Austin.
Aromatherapy's natural appeal drives sales
3 Oct 2015 at 11:16pm
Long eclipsed by modern medicine, demand for aromatherapy with its sensual fragrances and soothing powers has surged as more people are attracted to natural products. Fans of the plant-based essential oils as a means of tackling physical ailments and promoting emotional well-being have helped propel aromatherapy sales, which in France for example jumped by around 16 percent this year. In Germany, aromatherapy has even made its way into hospitals for treating bedsores.
U.S. says conducted air strike near Afghan hospital, MSF says 19 killed
3 Oct 2015 at 4:46pm
By Hamid Shalizi and Andrew MacAskill KABUL (Reuters) - An air strike, probably carried out by U.S.-led coalition forces, killed 19 staff and patients on Saturday, including three children, in a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, the aid group said. The U.S. military said it conducted an air strike "in the vicinity" of the hospital as it targeted Taliban insurgents who were directly firing on U.S. military personnel. U.N. Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein led a chorus of condemnation, without saying who carried out the strike, noting that an assault on a hospital could amount to a war crime.