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Japan makes a start on sharing lessons from nuclear crisis
26 Mar 2015 at 6:06pm
By Megan Rowling SENDAI, Japan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When professional boxer and model Tomomi Takano heard that children in Japan's Fukushima prefecture were becoming unfit and overweight as the 2011 nuclear crisis there limited the time they could play outside, she decided to use her skills to help. "They really concentrated on the boxing and tried hard," she said at a recent U.N. conference on disasters in the northeastern city of Sendai. The boxer hopes to run more sessions in Fukushima to improve children's agility and provide an outlet for their emotions. Takano and civil society activists in Sendai said they wanted to communicate to the rest of the world the human impacts of the crisis sparked when a huge earthquake and tsunami caused nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to melt down four years ago.
Senate tries to score political points on way to budget vote
26 Mar 2015 at 5:23pm
By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday launched a marathon session that will end with a vote on a budget plan after lawmakers weigh in on dozens of amendments that are likely to have more effect on campaign ads in 2016 than the final spending plan. Senators are voting on everything from gun control to sick leave to sanctions on Iran. The marathon session is supposed to be part of the Senate's annual budget ritual, but this is the chamber's first budget vote in two years and only the second since 2009. It drew more than 600 initial proposals, more than twice the number in 2013, Senate aides said.
UK must cut aid for Nepal if 'endemic' corruption persists: report
26 Mar 2015 at 5:04pm
By Kieran Guilbert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The British government should make cuts to its 86 million pound aid budget for Nepal unless the country takes action to combat poor governance and "endemic" corruption, a parliamentary committee said on Friday. The Department for International Development (DFID)'s funding has seen Nepal make huge progress in health, water and sanitation, but this spending will only be justified if governance improves, the International Development Committee (IDC) said. DFID should also address the needs of women and girls in Nepal, who are at risk of trafficking, early marriage, domestic abuse and murder, by working to change social norms and ensure justice for victims, the IDC said in a report.
Dallas Woman Behind Bars for Allegedly Giving Illegal Butt Injections
26 Mar 2015 at 5:00pm
A Dallas woman has been arrested for allegedly administering to patients illegal cosmetic procedures -- butt injections -- without a medical license, according to police. Denise Rochelle Ross, known as "Wee Wee," turned herself in to authorities Wednesday because she had been wanted for practicing medicine without a license, according to the Dallas Police Department. Her alleged accomplice, Jimmy Joe Clark, is still at large.
White House crafts first-ever plan to fight superbugs
26 Mar 2015 at 4:59pm
By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Lisa Baertlein NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The White House is due to issue an ambitious plan to slow the growing and deadly problem of antibiotic resistance over the next five years, one that requires massive investments and policy changes from a broad array of U.S. government health agencies, according to a copy of the report reviewed by Reuters. The 60-page report is the first ever to tackle antibiotic resistance so broadly. A White House official confirmed that it would release the plan on Friday. Doctors and health experts have warned for decades that rising rates of resistant bacteria are leading to tens of thousands of deaths, threatening to nullify modern medical advancements.
Swiss authorities target 'live cell' injection clinics
26 Mar 2015 at 4:42pm
Swiss health regulators announced Thursday they have launched a criminal probe into clinics suspected of giving clients potentially dangerous animal cell injections as part of anti-ageing treatments. The investigation targets private clinics and people who have illegally offered the injections which are particularly popular among wealthy Chinese, Middle Eastern and Russian nationals, said the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP).
Boehner, Pelosi show gridlock is not U.S. Congress's only option
26 Mar 2015 at 4:04pm
By Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Maybe it was the kiss that John Boehner planted on Nancy Pelosi's cheek that early January day in front of the entire House of Representatives that should have provided a clue. Not long afterward, Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, dispatched a top healthcare adviser to a secret meeting with his counterpart working for Pelosi, the Democratic leader. The Boehner aide's mission, according to a source who asked not to be identified, was to determine whether Pelosi might be willing to collaborate on major legislation. Two months later, after scores of private conversations and hard bargaining, the work by America's political odd couple bore fruit with a 392-37 House vote to overhaul the Medicare program that delivers healthcare for the elderly and disabled, including fixing for good its troubled formula for paying physicians.
Syria has OKed three of 33 U.N. aid access requests in 2015: official
26 Mar 2015 at 3:49pm
By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The Syrian government has only allowed the United Nations to deliver aid to three of the 33 sites it has requested access to this year, aid chief Valerie Amos said on Thursday as she urged the U.N. Security Council to take "concrete steps." Syrian troops removed surgical, medical and reproductive health supplies from two convoys granted access, Amos told the council. Medical supplies for just 58,000 people had reached some of the 4.8 million people in hard-to-reach areas, she said. "I ask this council to make it clear to the government of Syria that these convoys must be allowed to proceed and their security forces should allow the free passage of all supplies to people in need," Amos told the 15-member council.
U.S. House okays bipartisan bill to fix Medicare doctor payments
26 Mar 2015 at 3:46pm
By Susan Cornwell and Caroline Humer WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill to permanently repair the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, marking a rare bipartisan achievement and sending the issue next to the Senate. The measure drafted and driven forward by Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi would fix a long-standing problem with how Medicare pays doctors. The Senate may not act until it returns from a two-week recess that starts this weekend. Democratic President Barack Obama praised the House passage and said he hoped the Senate would approve the measure too, because he wants to sign it.
Ebola virus has mutated less than scientists feared: study
26 Mar 2015 at 3:44pm
The Ebola virus is not mutating as quickly as scientists had feared, which is good news for treating the disease and preventing its spread, a study showed Thursday. "The Ebola virus in the ongoing West African outbreak appears to be stable -- that is, it does not appear to be mutating more rapidly than viruses in previous Ebola outbreaks, and that is reassuring," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Two experimental Ebola vaccines pass safety test in African trial
26 Mar 2015 at 3:15pm
By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two experimental Ebola vaccines, one from GlaxoSmithKline PLC and the other from biotech start-up NewLink Genetics Corp, "appear to be safe" part way through a clinical trial being conducted in Liberia, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Thursday. The two vaccines, each given in a single injection, are being tested for safety and efficacy on more than 600 people in Liberia in a mid-stage clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a branch of NIH.
Ayurveda for Springtime Balance
26 Mar 2015 at 3:07pm
Happy Spring! Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space are the five elements that make up all that exists in our universe according to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life. Look around you and feel inside of yourself. Notice the elements. Can you find anything that is not a combination of the five elements?Each one of us has a unique mind...
Georgia governor to sign bill allowing limited medical marijuana use
26 Mar 2015 at 2:26pm
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal will sign legislation legalizing a non-smoking form of medical marijuana for patients with seizure disorders and seven other medical conditions, the governor's spokesman said on Thursday. Deal plans to wait until after the legislative session ends next week before signing it, spokesman Brian Robinson said. The Georgia bill, which was finalized by lawmakers on Wednesday, would allow patients with diseases including cancer and multiple sclerosis to use a non-intoxicating oil derived from the marijuana plant, a strain known as "Charlotte's Web." To legally use the oil, patients or their caregivers must obtain a registration card from the state Department of Public Health. Their physician also must certify that they are being treated for one of the medical conditions covered by the bill.
Widows may have fewer social and financial problems than in the past
26 Mar 2015 at 2:19pm
By Shereen Lehman (Reuters Health) ? - A new Swiss study says that widows and widowers still mourn their spouses as much as ever, but compared to 35 years ago, everyday life is easier, especially for women. Widows, at least in Switzerland, have fewer financial troubles and more social connections than their counterparts in 1979, but widowers still complain of loneliness, researchers found. ?Public knowledge about spousal loss in old age has in general a negative connotation -- bereavement is usually seen as an individual issue,? Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello told Reuters Health by email. ?However bereaved individuals vary considerably in their reactions to loss, and little is known on how the historical context contributes to adaptation to spousal loss,? said Perrig-Chiello of the University of Bern who led the study.
House OKs bipartisan Medicare doctor bill; fate up to Senate
26 Mar 2015 at 2:18pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? In uncommon bipartisan harmony, the House approved a $214 billion bill on Thursday permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts, moving Congress closer to resolving a problem that has plagued it for years.