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Studies: Some cancer treatments can be skipped
11 Dec 2013 at 11:06am
SAN ANTONIO (AP) ? Tens of thousands of women each year might be able to skip at least some of the grueling treatments for breast cancer ? which can include surgery, heavy chemo and radiation ? without greatly harming their odds of survival, new research suggests.
Fight against malaria slows, fewer nets given out
11 Dec 2013 at 8:03am
LONDON (AP) ? Global efforts to curb malaria are stalling after a drop in funds to buy bed nets, according to the latest report Wednesday from the World Health Organization.
Health care sign-ups pick up but may not close gap
11 Dec 2013 at 2:38pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? With time running short, the nation's health care rolls still aren't filling up fast enough.
For some Obamacare shoppers, a brief grace period on premiums
11 Dec 2013 at 10:10pm
By Caroline Humer and Lewis Krauskopf NEW YORK (Reuters) - As a deadline approaches for people to sign up for medical insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, some insurers and state-run online marketplaces are giving shoppers an extra week to pay their first premiums. The Obama administration could face a new crisis over the healthcare law should a significant number of consumers discover that their preferred insurer does not have a record of their new policy. Aetna Inc, which is selling health insurance on exchanges, or marketplaces, in more than a dozen states, will allow consumers to pay premiums as late as January 8. The Connecticut exchange, Access Health CT, said some shoppers can pay as late as January 7.
Insight: Philips restores profit by rediscovering relevance
11 Dec 2013 at 9:04pm
By Sara Webb AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Every year Singaporeans and Malaysians choke on smoke when farmers and plantation firms in neighboring Indonesia clear the land with fires during the dry season. Last summer, Philips diverted stocks of air purifiers from Hong Kong and China to the area in time for the worst pollution in 16 years. The switch of supplies was emblematic of a more nimble approach fostered by Chief Executive Frans van Houten that has helped Philips reinvent itself in healthcare, lighting and consumer goods and revived the company's fortunes. ...
Budget deal headed to vote in U.S. House, passage predicted
11 Dec 2013 at 8:05pm
By David Lawder and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday were falling in line behind a bipartisan two-year budget deal, indicating that the normally rambunctious group of lawmakers is not spoiling for a year-end fiscal fight. Despite conservative groups' denunciation of the plan and public opposition from some members associated with the conservative Tea Party movement, the Republican-controlled House was planning to vote on Thursday to pass the deal, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking Republican told Reuters. A key House panel, on a 9-3 vote, cleared the legislation for debate and votes in the full House. The Republican-controlled Rules Committee refused to allow Democrats to offer an amendment to extend federal unemployment benefits that expire later this month.
China tells pilots to improve landing skills to deal with Beijing smog
11 Dec 2013 at 6:31pm
Chinese authorities have told pilots who fly to Beijing they must be qualified to land their aircraft in the low visibility bought about by smog, state media said on Thursday, as the government tries to reduce flight delays due to pollution. Beginning January 1, pilots flying from the country's 10 busiest airports into the Chinese capital must be qualified to use an instrument landing system on days when smog reduces visibility to around 400 meters (1,315 feet), the official China Daily said, citing China's civil aviation regulator. Despite investing billions of dollars in new airports and advanced Western-built aircraft, China suffers a chronic problem with flight delays, partly because of the country's often wildly-fluctuating weather and partly because the military tightly controls most of China's airspace.
California given two-month extension to reduce prison crowding
11 Dec 2013 at 6:19pm
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California will have an extra two months to reduce crowding in its prison system, a panel of three federal judges ruled on Wednesday, in the latest twist in a decades-long dispute over conditions and medical care for inmates. California prisons have been in the national spotlight for the past year as officials wrestled with crowding and concerns about the state's use of long-term solitary confinement for prisoners with suspected gang ties, which led to a hunger strike this year. The state has been under court orders to reduce inmate numbers since 2009, when the same panel ordered it to relieve overcrowding that several courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have said was to blame for inadequate medical and mental-health care. California Governor Jerry Brown has repeatedly said he believes that the state has fixed its problem.
Canada's CPPIB acquires minority stake in France's Orpea
11 Dec 2013 at 4:54pm
By Euan Rocha TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) said on Tuesday it has invested 320.8 million euro ($442.4 million) to acquire a 15 percent stake in nursing home operator Orpea as it bets on the French company's growth prospects in Europe and overseas. CPPIB, one of Canada's top pension fund managers with over C$192.8 billion ($181.70 billion) in assets under management, is buying the shares from Orpea's founder Jean-Claude Marian and Santé Finance et Investissement. The pension fund has also agreed to underwrite a 100 million euro equity issue by Orpea. "We are de-risking the deal for the company and that speaks to our conviction around the company's growth opportunities and our desire to back them by providing capital beyond just buying a part of the founder' stake," said Scott Lawrence, the head of Relationship Investments at CPPIB, in an interview.
U.S. FDA panel backs use of Boston Scientific anti-stroke device
11 Dec 2013 at 4:53pm
(Reuters) - An advisory panel of medical experts voted on Wednesday to recommend that U.S. health regulators approve an experimental stroke-prevention device made by Boston Scientific Corp The panel voted 13 to 1 that the benefits outweigh the risks of the Watchman device. The committee advised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the Watchman for the prevention of ischemic stroke and systemic embolism in patients with a dangerous cardiac rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. People with atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia, are five times more likely to suffer a stroke than those without the condition. The FDA typically follows the recommendations of its expert advisory panels, but is not obligated to do so.
Space station cooling system shuts down, but no emergency, says NASA
11 Dec 2013 at 4:46pm
By Irene Klotz SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - NASA is assessing a problem with one of two cooling systems aboard the International Space Station, a potentially serious but not life-threatening situation, officials said on Wednesday. The system automatically shut itself down after detecting abnormal temperatures, said NASA spokesman Josh Byerly at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Repairs may require a spacewalk, Byerly said.
New U.S. rules aim to cut antibiotic use in farm animals
11 Dec 2013 at 4:17pm
U.S. regulators announced new guidelines on Wednesday to phase out the use of antibiotics as a growth enhancer in livestock, in an effort to stem a surge in human resistance to these drugs. The Food and Drug Administration said the antibiotics could still be used to treat illnesses in animals raised for meat, but should otherwise be pared back over the next three years under a program to keep them out of the human food supply. It said two of the biggest purveyors of these antibiotics, Eli Lilly & Co and Zoetis Inc, had agreed to narrow their use. Doctors and hospitals have become increasingly worried by new strains of bacteria that cannot be controlled by a wide range of current antibiotics.
Factbox: U.S. antibiotic phase-out may have minimal impact on livestock
11 Dec 2013 at 4:11pm
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's planned phase-out over the next three years of some antibiotics used in animal production could have a minimal immediate impact on cattle, pork and chicken production, said economists and traders. FDA on Wednesday outlined a proposal that would help reduce the use of some antibiotics in animal production to counter bacterial resistance to those drugs when they are prescribed for humans. In its statement on Wednesday, the agency did not specify which antibiotics would be targeted. * It appears FDA aims to halt or curtail the use of antibiotics for weight gain, Chicago-based Daniels Trading commodities broker Craig Turner told Reuters.
A New Kind of Fight
11 Dec 2013 at 4:05pm
I was a boxer. Now I'm a fighter. I fight every day, I fight for my kidney brothers and sisters. I fight to be healthy, I fight to be positive. I fight kidney disease.
Michigan legislature approves extra insurance fee for abortions
11 Dec 2013 at 4:00pm
(Reuters) - The Michigan legislature on Wednesday approved a proposal that would make it the ninth state to prohibit insurance companies from offering abortions unless women pay a fee in addition to the premium. The proposal, which was brought before the legislature as an initiative petition organized by Right to Life of Michigan, an anti-abortion group, was approved in the House and Senate, both of which have Republican majorities. Under Michigan's constitution, such voter initiatives become law 90 days after the current session ends, without the need for Governor Rick Snyder's signature. Snyder said in a letter to constituents the bill went too far because it treated situations involving rape and incest as elective abortions, and interfered with the private insurance market.