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Vermont leading US in GMO labeling campaign
23 Apr 2014 at 6:01pm
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) ? Vermont could likely be the first state in the country to require labels on genetically modified foods, under a bill approved by both legislative chambers and favored by the governor.
Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'
23 Apr 2014 at 11:44am
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) ? A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
Ebola death toll in West Africa rises to 147
23 Apr 2014 at 11:01am
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) ? The World Health Organization says 147 people have died from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
Saudi Arabia reports 2 more deaths from MERS virus
24 Apr 2014 at 2:12am
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) ? Saudi Arabia's health ministry says two more patients who became infected with a Middle East virus related to SARS have died, and that 13 others have contracted the virus.
AstraZeneca flags cancer advances, silent on Pfizer bid talk
24 Apr 2014 at 1:08am
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca highlighted progress with new cancer drugs that may revive its fortunes as it posted a 17 percent fall in core earnings per share on Thursday, reflecting patent losses on profitable older medicines. Britain's second-biggest drugmaker made no reference to a reported 60 billion pound bid approach from Pfizer in its results statement. The firm's new cancer drugs are seen as a big draw for the U.S. group. Analysts at Berenberg Bank said bid speculation and progress with the late-stage drug pipeline should support the shares, despite "another difficult set of financials".
FDA moves to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors
24 Apr 2014 at 12:22am
By Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed rules on Thursday that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18, but would not restrict flavored products, online sales or advertising, which public health advocates say attract children. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said at a briefing that the proposal represented the first "foundational" step towards broader restrictions if scientific evidence shows they are needed to protect public health. Critics of e-cigarette advertising say it risks introducing a new generation of young people to conventional cigarettes when little is known about the long-term health impact of the products. "It's very disappointing because they don't do anything to rein in the wild-west marketing that is targeting kids," said Stanton Glantz, a professor at the Center of Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California San Francisco.
Managers mishandled radiation leak at New Mexico nuclear site -official
24 Apr 2014 at 12:19am
Managers mishandled a radiation leak at a New Mexico nuclear waste dump in which 21 workers were exposed to airborne radioactive particles due in part to substandard equipment and safety systems, a U.S. investigator said on Wednesday. But the contamination from the underground salt mine in the Chihuahuan Desert - where radioactive waste from U.S. nuclear labs and weapons facilities is deposited - was unlikely to have harmed the workers' health, inspectors said. Ted Wyka, chairman of a federal accident review board, said improperly placed or inoperative air monitors, a substandard ventilation system and mismanagement contributed to the February 14 leak of radioisotopes including plutonium. The preliminary findings by Wyka and other officials assembled by the U.S. Energy Department, which oversees the plant, came during a public meeting in Carlsbad, New Mexico on Wednesday.
Technology group to decide Cover Oregon's future
23 Apr 2014 at 11:25pm
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) ? After weeks of deliberation, a committee is poised to make a final recommendation Thursday on what to do with Oregon's botched health insurance exchange portal.
Exclusive: Marubeni says Chinese authorities detain three staff at grain unit
23 Apr 2014 at 10:46pm
By James Topham and Niu Shuping TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) - Three employees at one of Marubeni Corp's grain trading units in China have been detained by authorities, the Japanese trading house said on Thursday, a move industry sources said was prompted by allegations of tax evasion on soy bean imports. The employees worked at a Chinese unit of Marubeni's Columbia Grain, Inc, a spokesman at Marubeni said, adding he did not know why they had been detained. Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said none of the detained staff at the unit were Japanese citizens. The detentions come amid a wave of soybean defaults in China, where a combination of poor crushing margins and difficulty getting credit has led to a spike in rejected cargoes.
Herbalife punished 600 distributors for medical claims: ABC News
23 Apr 2014 at 8:07pm
Herbalife, a weight loss and nutrition company being investigated for allegations of running a pyramid scheme, disciplined hundreds of distributors last year for making unsubstantiated medical claims about its products, ABC News reported on Wednesday. The network said the company disclosed the internal figures after an ABC News investigation found what it called "numerous examples of distributors boasting to potential customers that the company's products helped treat maladies ranging from diabetes to heart disease." In one case, an ABC reporter posing as a customer caught a Staten Island, New York, distributor on a hidden camera saying a woman overcame a brain tumor after using Herbalife products, the network said. Asked by ABC in a televised report if Herbalife cured brain tumors, Herbalife President Des Walsh said: "Absolutely not. ABC said that since the interview, Herbalife had told the network it disciplined almost 600 distributors last year for making such claims and stripped 12 of their distributorships.
Oklahoma high court clears way for two inmates' executions
23 Apr 2014 at 8:01pm
By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted a stay of execution on Wednesday for two murderers, put in place due to concerns over secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs, clearing the way for them to be put to death next week. The court said their records indicate that the inmates have been provided with the identity and dosages of the drugs for the lethal injections and there were no pending secrecy concerns that would merit a further stay. The decision came a few hours after a member of the House of Representatives said he would start proceedings that could have led to impeachment proceedings in the state's legislature for court members. The two inmates, Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, had been scheduled to be executed in March but had the death sentences put on hold after lower courts ruled that the state needed to provide more information on the drugs.
Doctor convicted in Michael Jackson death denied latest appeal
23 Apr 2014 at 5:56pm
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear an appeal by Michael Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death. Murray was released from a Los Angeles jail in October after serving two years but wants to clear his name. The cardiologist's attorney, Valerie Wass, said Murray will likely attempt to overturn his conviction in federal court.
U.N. chief demands Security Council action on Syria
23 Apr 2014 at 5:28pm
By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded on Wednesday that the Security Council take action in Syria on violations of international law as he reported to the body that none of the warring parties was adhering to U.N. demands for aid access. In his second monthly report to the 15-member council on the implementation of a resolution demanding great humanitarian aid access in Syria, Ban said "none of the parties to the conflict have adhered to the demands of the Council." "The Security Council must take action to deal with these flagrant violations of the basic principles of international law," he wrote in the 21-page report. But diplomats said Russia was unlikely to agree to any action, such as sanctions, if Syria's government was found to be at fault.
Two 10-year-olds caught selling grandparents' pot at Colorado school
23 Apr 2014 at 3:53pm
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Two 10-year-old boys in Colorado were caught selling and swapping marijuana that they pilfered from their grandparents' supplies of legally purchased pot in separate incidents at the same school, a district official said on Wednesday. John Gates, director of safety and security for Weld County School District 6, said a fourth-grade boy at Monfort Elementary in Greeley brought a small amount of marijuana to school on Monday and sold it to three other classmates. That boy nibbled on the edible, but suffered no ill-effects, Gates said, adding that another student observed the incident and reported it to school authorities. Voters in Colorado approved the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis by adults for recreational purposes in 2012, and the first state-licensed retail pot stores opened in the state in January.
Vermont lawmakers send GMO food-labeling law to governor
23 Apr 2014 at 3:49pm
A law that would make Vermont the first U.S. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, received final approval from state lawmakers on Wednesday and now heads to the governor's desk. The Vermont House of Representative passed the bill 114-30. Last week, the Vermont Senate, by a vote of 28-2, approved the measure, which requires foods containing GMOs sold at retail outlets to be labeled as having been produced or partially produced with "genetic engineering." "Vermont's leading the nation on this, giving consumers basic information about the food that they are eating," said Falko Schilling, a spokesman for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, which backed the bill. The Vermont bill also makes it illegal to describe any food product containing GMOs as "natural" or "all natural." Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont's contains no such trigger clause.