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Buffett defends Berkshire's big Coke stake
30 Apr 2016 at 8:51am
Warren Buffett on Saturday vigorously defended Berkshire Hathaway Inc's large, long-standing investment in Coca-Cola Co , rejecting critics who say the company's sugary drinks harm people's health. Speaking at Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett said it seemed "spurious" to argue that calories from Coke alone were a significant factor in obesity levels. Hedge fund manager William Ackman, among others, has said he would not own Coke stock.
People with albinism risk "extinction" in Malawi, says UN official
30 Apr 2016 at 5:30am
By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - People with albinism in Malawi are at risk of "systemic extinction" due to relentless attacks fueled by superstitions, the United Nations' top expert on albinism said on Friday on her first official visit in her new role. At least 65 cases of violence against people with albinism including killings and dismemberment have been recorded by police in Malawi since late 2014, said Ikponwosa Ero, the U.N.'s independent expert on human rights and albinism. People with albinism live in danger in regions of the world where their body parts are valued in witchcraft and can fetch a high price.
Study of Liberia Ebola flare-up shows need for longer vigilance
30 Apr 2016 at 2:04am
A study of a cluster of Ebola cases that appeared in Liberia last year, months after the country was declared Ebola-free, has found that the virus re-emerged after lying dormant in a female survivor. The results suggest Liberia and the other African countries at the centre of the outbreak should maintain high levels of vigilance for longer than thought to contain any future flare-ups of the deadly haemorrhagic fever. World Health Organization data show West Africa's Ebola epidemic killed more than 11,300 people and infected some 28,600 as it swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia from 2013 in the world's worst outbreak of the disease.
Colombia's illegal mining linked to malaria outbreak
30 Apr 2016 at 12:06am
Colombia's widespread illegal mining is blamed for causing environmental damage and holding workers in slave-like conditions -- and now is also being blamed for a malaria outbreak. Critics point to stagnant water buildups at the clandestine sites and poor sanitary conditions at the workers' camps for an increase in mosquitos spreading the disease, which has quadrupled in jungle regions of the hard-hit and impoverished western department of Choco. "The country had more or less controlled its malaria problem... the death rate had dropped significantly," Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria said this week.
U.S. jury finds Immunosyn ex-CEO Ferrone guilty of fraud
29 Apr 2016 at 6:14pm
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2011 had charged California-based Immunosyn with misleading investors about the regulatory status of the company's sole product, a drug derived from goat blood called SF-1019, that was intended to treat a variety of ailments. ?We are pleased with the jury?s finding that Stephen Ferrone defrauded Immunosyn?s investors with misleading statements in the company?s filings and press releases and his own speeches and interviews," Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC'S Division of Enforcement said in a statement.
Canadian-run Syrian clinic was evacuated before strike on hospital: operator
29 Apr 2016 at 5:44pm
A Canadian-run health care center in Aleppo, Syria that was hit by an air strike on Friday had been evacuated in the wake of another bombing at a hospital earlier this week, a spokesman for the non-profit group that operated it said. "After the hospital bombing three days ago, they've evacuated all the medical centers," said Avi D'Souza, media co-ordinator for UOSSM-Canada, which operates the Al Marjeh Primary Health Care Centre. "There wasn't anybody there at the time - thank God." Global Affairs Canada, the country's foreign department, condemned the attacks in a statement.
Actor Woody Harrelson's application to open pot business in Hawaii fails
29 Apr 2016 at 5:39pm
(Reuters) - Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson's bid to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii was rejected on Friday, as the state approved eight of more than 60 applicants, officials said. Harrelson, who is best known for his roles in the film "White Men Can't Jump" and 1980s sitcom "Cheers," had applied for a license on behalf of his company Simple Organic Living LLC. The actor, who for more than a decade has spoken in favor of pot and is on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, made national headlines earlier this year when his application became public. The Hawaii Department of Health on Friday released a list of approved applicants, with three in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, two on the Big Island, two on Maui and one on Kauai.
Dole under U.S. probe after deadly Listeria outbreak
29 Apr 2016 at 5:08pm
By Lisa Baertlein LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Dole Food Co Inc [DFCI.UL] said on Friday the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to packaged salad products from its processing plant in Springfield, Ohio. Dole, the world's largest fruit and vegetable producer, said in a statement the agency recently contacted the company and "we will be ... cooperating with the DOJ to answer questions and address any concerns." Listeria, a common bacterium that can be either harmless or pathogenic, can enter a processing facility via raw produce or other materials, and form colonies. Dole said on Jan. 22 it had temporarily suspended operations at the Springfield plant.
Return visits to the ER more likely for patients with limited English
29 Apr 2016 at 5:02pm
In a study in one New York hospital, about 4 percent of English speakers made an unplanned return to the ER within three days, compared to 5 percent of people with limited English. Low use of professional translators may partly explain the disparity in care, the researchers report in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The study team, led by Dr. Ka Ming Ngai of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, analyzed 2012 data from the Mount Sinai emergency department.
Sting like a bee: alternative therapy in Gaza
29 Apr 2016 at 4:55pm
Samour inherited the skill of bee-sting therapy from his father, who used to raise bees. Then in 2003, the agricultural engineer started to dedicate all his time to studying and developing the alternative medicine treatment of apitherapy, which uses all bee-related products, including honey, propolis - or bee glue used to build hives - and venom. "I am treating serious and chronic diseases which have no cure in regular medicine, I have achieved excellent results," said Samour, an Egyptian-educated specialist in entomology and bees in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave.
Puerto Rico Zika cases now include 65 pregnant women, one death: CDC
29 Apr 2016 at 4:38pm
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Health officials on Friday confirmed the first U.S. death of a patient infected with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico. Dr. Tyler Sharp of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dengue Branch in San Juan told Reuters the patient had Zika virus disease, which included symptoms of fever, rash and body pain. Sharp said the ITP case followed the same pattern as patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a paralyzing neurological disorder linked to Zika infections in which the immune system attacks nerves.
Puerto Rico Zika cases now include 65 pregnant women, 1 death -CDC
29 Apr 2016 at 4:26pm
(Recasts, adds interview with CDC doctor) By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO, April 29 (Reuters) - Health officials on Friday confirmed the first U.S. death of a patient infected with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico. Dr. Tyler Sharp of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dengue Branch in San Juan told Reuters the patient had Zika virus disease, which included symptoms of fever, rash and body pain. Sharp said the ITP case followed the same pattern as patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a paralyzing neurological disorder linked to Zika infections in which the immune system attacks nerves.
Worsening depression may be dementia cue: study
29 Apr 2016 at 4:07pm
People over 54 who suffer from steadily-worsening depression may run a higher risk of developing dementia, according to new research published Saturday that suggested it may be an early symptom. Other types of depression, such as one-off or recurring episodes, did not appear to pose a similar threat. "Only the group whose symptoms of depression increased over time was at an increased risk of dementia," said a statement by The Lancet Psychiatry, which published the results.
U.S. Dept. of Justice investigating Dole after deadly Listeria outbreak
29 Apr 2016 at 3:43pm
Dole Food Company Inc [DFCI.UL] on Friday said the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to packaged salad products from its processing plant in Springfield, Ohio. "Dole has recently been contacted by the Department of Justice in connection with its own investigation, and we will be similarly cooperating with the DOJ to answer questions and address any concerns," Dole said in a statement.
U.S. approves first drug for psychosis linked to Parkinson's
29 Apr 2016 at 3:32pm
Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc's drug for psychosis linked to Parkinson's disease was approved in the United States on Friday, becoming the first treatment for the condition to get a nod in the country. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, asked Acadia to include a black-box warning, its strictest warning, on the drug's label for an increased risk of death associated with its use in older people. The drug, Nuplazid, is expected to be priced at $13,500 per patient for a year and reach more that $1 billion in sales in 2021, according to Leerink analyst Paul Matteis.