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Beijing to try to cap population at 23 million by 2020
6 Mar 2015 at 3:43am
By Kathy Chen and Dominique Patton BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing will try to cap its population at 23 million in 2020, Vice Mayor Li Shixiang said on Friday, as the Chinese capital comes under pressure from a severe water shortage. The city's population has expanded rapidly in recent years, as migrants from other parts of the country arrive seeking jobs. With a population of 21.5 million people last year, Beijing already exceeds the 2020 target of 18 million set in 2005. "Beijing wants to restrict the population to no more than 23 million by 2020," said Li.
After battle, frostbite in the ruins of Ukraine's Donetsk
6 Mar 2015 at 2:02am
Zubko, 57, saw the war in East Ukraine at its worst. An eight-month long battle over the Donetsk international airport leveled his neighborhood, a region of Donetsk called Oktyabrski, laying waste to its one-storey houses and leaving the tails of rockets sticking out of the pavement.
MERS kills 10 more in Saudi, health campaign broadened
6 Mar 2015 at 1:59am
The MERS virus has killed 10 more people in Saudi Arabia over the past week, pushing the death toll above 400, as health officials broaden their campaign to halt its spread. Saudi Arabia is the country worst-hit by Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Six of those deaths were in Riyadh, health ministry data show. A total of 936 people have been infected with MERS since it was first identified in the kingdom in 2012, and 402 of them have died.
What kills more women than AIDS and breast cancer? Dirty water - TRFN
6 Mar 2015 at 1:30am
By Maria Caspani NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Diseases spread through dirty water and poor sanitation are the fifth biggest killer of women worldwide, causing more deaths than AIDS, diabetes or breast cancer, researchers say. Nearly 800,000 women die every year because they lack access to safe toilets and clean water, said the development organisation WaterAid, which analysed data from the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics research centre. "This completely unacceptable situation affects women and girls' education, their health, their dignity and ultimately, in too many cases, results in an early and needless death," WaterAid CEO Barbara Frost said in a statement. The only conditions more fatal for women than the lack of decent sanitation are heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the report.
AstraZeneca keeps 2015 outlook after financial reporting change
5 Mar 2015 at 11:59pm
Drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Friday it would change the way it reported results with effect from the first quarter of 2015 to make revenue from so-called externalization deals more visible to investors. The move means the company will now focus on total revenue rather than sales revenue in its financial outlook, though both measures are expected to decline by the same rate this year. Consistent with its previous sales outlook, AstraZeneca expects total 2015 revenue to fall by a mid single-digit percent at constant exchange rates. Historically, revenue from such deals formed part of "other operating income" presented below cost of goods sold (COGS).
Cheaper biosimilars take aim at world's top medicines
5 Mar 2015 at 11:05pm
(Reuters) - Lower-cost versions of biological drugs, known as biosimilars, are taking aim at some of the world's biggest-selling medicines. Unlike chemical compounds, such as aspirin or statins, these biotech products are made of hormones, antibodies and other proteins. SEVEN OUT OF 10 TOP DRUGS ARE BIOLOGICAL The proliferation of potent biological drugs, coupled with price tags that run into tens of thousands of dollars per patient a year, means they now account for around 30 percent of U.S. and European drug spending.
Copy me: Europe shows U.S. a path to cheaper biotech drugs
5 Mar 2015 at 11:03pm
By Ben Hirschler and Deena Beasley LONDON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A revolution is brewing in healthcare with lower-cost copies of complex biotech drugs finally set to reach the United States, nine years after so-called biosimilars were launched in Europe. The first approval for a biosimilar in the United States is expected imminently - Zarxio, Novartis' copy of Amgen's white blood cell-boosting product Neupogen. The conventional wisdom has been that such copycats, which are still far more difficult to make than standard chemical drugs, will sell at a modest discount of perhaps 20 to 30 percent to the original biotech brands. Yet when Norway's drug procurement agency held its latest national hospital tender in January for a biosimilar copy of Johnson & Johnson and Merck's Remicade it was offered a whopping 69 percent discount to the original brand. The decision to slash the price was made by Orion Pharma, which distributes the biosimilar known as Remsima in Norway for South Korea's Celltrion.
Liberia releases last known Ebola patient from care
5 Mar 2015 at 10:51pm
By James Harding Giahyue MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia's last Ebola patient left hospital on Thursday to cheers of delight from friends and family, a year after the West African country reported its first case. Liberia's capital, Monrovia, was once at the heart of an epidemic that has killed nearly 10,000 across West Africa. Liberia has reported no new Ebola cases in 13 days, but can be deemed Ebola-free only after 42 days have passed -- double the normal incubation period for the virus. Dressed in a bright orange T-shirt and multi-coloured beads, a joyous Beatrice Yardolo greeted a small crowd outside the Chinese Ebola treatment centre in the Paynesville suburb of Monrovia, where she was hospitalised for two weeks.
What kills more women than AIDS and breast cancer? Dirty wate
5 Mar 2015 at 8:59pm
By Maria Caspani NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Diseases spread through dirty water and poor sanitation are the fifth biggest killer of women worldwide, causing more deaths than AIDS, diabetes or breast cancer, researchers say. Nearly 800,000 women die every year because they lack access to safe toilets and clean water, said the development organization WaterAid, which analyzed data from the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics research center. "This completely unacceptable situation affects women and girls' education, their health, their dignity and ultimately, in too many cases, results in an early and needless death," WaterAid CEO Barbara Frost said in a statement. The only conditions more fatal for women than the lack of decent sanitation are heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the report.
Chain of kidney transplants begins at San Francisco hospital
5 Mar 2015 at 8:33pm
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Zully Broussard thought she was going to help one person by donating a kidney.
U.S. says inaction on online piracy risks public safety
5 Mar 2015 at 7:11pm
By Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade office on Thursday called for a crackdown on website name registrars who fail to take action against sellers of illegal goods such as counterfeit medicines and warned that turning a blind eye puts public safety at risk. The U.S. Trade Representative also said it is keeping an eye on China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's consumer shopping website for sales of fake and pirated goods, but refrained from reinstating the site on its piracy blacklist. USTR named a domain name registrar, a company which manages the registration of internet names, for the first time in its annual "notorious markets" list as an example of concern about some registrars not taking action to block or suspend sites selling illegal goods. The registrar, Canada's Tucows Inc, said it took down dozen of sites every day but unlike some competitors, it considered all complaints carefully to ensure they were justified.
California 'maternity hotel' operators may face heat from guests
5 Mar 2015 at 5:39pm
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - At least some of the pregnant women from China caught up in raids this week on so-called maternity hotels, catering to foreign mothers-to-be seeking U.S. citizenship for their babies, are still likely to remain long enough in California to give birth on American soil. Federal officials have declined to say how many pregnant customers they encountered in searches conducted on Tuesday of more than 50 locations suspected of involvement in three large "maternity tourism" networks in Southern California. No arrests have been made as of Thursday, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE. She declined to say how many if any of the women would end up staying long enough to give birth in the United States now that the schemes were exposed but suggested some were likely to remain in California as the investigation progresses.
Exclusive: Costco working to end use of human antibiotics in chicken
5 Mar 2015 at 4:25pm
By Nathan Layne CHICAGO (Reuters) - Costco Wholesale Corp is working toward eliminating the sale of chicken and meat from other animals raised with antibiotics that are vital to fighting human infections, senior executives at the third-largest U.S. retailer told Reuters on Thursday. The ongoing push by Costco, which sells 80 million rotisserie chickens a year, highlights growing pressure on the supply chain in the wake of this week's announcement by fast-food giant McDonald's Corp that it would stop buying chicken raised with so-called "shared-use" antibiotics within two years. "We are working towards, and working with our suppliers and the regulatory agencies... to see how we can get rid of shared-use antibiotics in animals," Craig Wilson, vice president of food safety at the Issaquah, Washington-based retail giant, said in a phone interview. "I think all of us want to move to a point where we can get the human-use antibiotics out of the system.
Opening statements in Colorado cinema massacre trial due April 21
5 Mar 2015 at 3:16pm
By Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - The judge overseeing the Colorado cinema massacre trial said on Thursday he wants opening statements in the much-delayed case against gunman James Holmes to begin on April 21. "We hope to have openings on April 21," Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour told one prospective juror.
Report: Suicides by girls and young women continue to climb
5 Mar 2015 at 3:15pm
NEW YORK (AP) ? The suicide rate for girls and young women in the U.S. continues to rise, at a pace far faster than for young males, health officials said Thursday.