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Barry Manilow rushed back to Los Angeles from Memphis concert
12 Feb 2016 at 3:53am
Barry Manilow has been rushed back to Los Angeles after a performance in Memphis because of complications from emergency oral surgery this week, a statement on his website said. The 72-year old, known for hits "Mandy", "Can't Smile Without You", "Could It Be Magic" and "Copacabana", had performed in Memphis on Wednesday. "Following a triumphant sold out concert in Memphis, Barry Manilow was rushed back to Los Angeles due to complications from emergency oral surgery that Manilow had on Monday," the statement posted on the singer's website and his Facebook page on Thursday said.
WHO sees Zika link proven in weeks as U.S., India lead vaccine race
12 Feb 2016 at 3:45am
The World Health Organization (WHO) expects suspected links between the Zika virus and two neurological disorders, microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre syndrome, to be confirmed within weeks, a top official said on Friday. A sharp increase in birth defects in Brazil has triggered a global health emergency over the mosquito-borne virus and spurred a race to develop a vaccine and better diagnostic tests. "We have a few more weeks to be sure to demonstrate causality, but the link between Zika and Guillain-Barre is highly probable," Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, told a news briefing.
Munich deal could be breakthrough: chair of U.N. aid talks
12 Feb 2016 at 3:37am
Jan Egeland, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council who will chair a U.N. meeting on Syrian humanitarian access later on Friday, said an agreement by big powers in Munich on Thursday could be a breakthrough if pressure is put on the warring sides. ?We have high hopes that the parties in the International Syria Support Group, including Russia and the United States, will do everything they can to push for humanitarian access to civilians in need inside Syria. ?This could be the breakthrough we have been waiting for to get full access to desperate civilians inside Syria.
Large-scale trials for Zika vaccines at least 18 months away: WHO
12 Feb 2016 at 2:34am
Large-scale trials for Zika virus vaccines are at least 18 months away, while establishing a possible link between the virus and two more harmful conditions will likely only take weeks, the World Health Organization said Friday. An estimated 15 companies or groups have begun work on a vaccine for the virus, the spread of which has been declared an international health emergency, WHO's deputy director for health systems and innovation Marie-Paule Kieny told journalists. There are currently two vaccine candidates which appear most promising, including one product being developed by the US National Institutes of Health and another from India-based Bharat biotech, Kieny said.
Outlook for Syria peace talks still 'cloudy': U.N.
12 Feb 2016 at 2:12am
The United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura is very keen to hold a new round of peace talks after big powers agreed on a rapid "cessation of hostilities", a U.N. spokesman said on Friday, but plans to reconvene the talks were still "cloudy". De Mistura abruptly suspended a first round of talks between the Syrian sides on Feb.3, saying there was more work to be done by the big powers sponsoring the talks, but he hoped to bring them back to the table in Geneva by Feb. 25.
WHO: possible Zika vaccines months away from broad trials
12 Feb 2016 at 1:51am
GENEVA (AP) ? The World Health Organization says possible Zika vaccines are at least 18 months away from large-scale trials.
Zika pushes 38 percent of U.S. businesses surveyed to let workers defer trips
12 Feb 2016 at 1:09am
Some 38 percent of U.S. multinationals, universities and non-profits surveyed by an arm of the State Department are allowing female employees to defer travel or leave countries where the Zika virus has been reported. A fifth of the 321 respondents said they were giving male employees similar options, a sign of how employers' travel policies are diverging as they react to the mosquito-borne virus and uncertainty about the way it is transmitted. Scientists are investigating a potential link between Zika infections of pregnant women and more than 4,000 suspected cases in Brazil of microcephaly, a condition marked by abnormally small head size that can result in developmental problems.
Venezuelan President says three dead from Zika-linked complications
11 Feb 2016 at 10:00pm
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday that three people had died of complications linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus and that suspected cases of Zika had risen to 5,221. Brazil said on Thursday that three people who died last year had the Zika virus, although authorities could not confirm that Zika alone was responsible for their deaths. Only one in five people infected with Zika experience illness and even then they are normally mild symptoms.
Clinton, Sanders clash over Obama as they vie for minority votes
11 Feb 2016 at 10:00pm
By John Whitesides MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed sharply in a debate on Thursday over their support for President Barack Obama, with Sanders accusing Clinton of "a low blow" after she compared him to Republicans. As the Democratic race moves to states with large minority populations, both candidates openly courted black and Hispanic votes during a debate that was far more restrained and cordial than last week's contentious debate in New Hampshire. In the sharpest exchange of the night, Clinton attacked Sanders for being too critical of Obama, who is extremely popular with the black voters who will play a big role in the outcome in South Carolina and other upcoming nominating contests.
Venezuela says 3 dead from Zika complications
11 Feb 2016 at 8:52pm
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) ? Venezuela has announced the first Zika-related deaths in the South American country.
The Health Requisite for Development
11 Feb 2016 at 8:42pm
Last month, as I attended presentations at the World Economic Forum, I came away impressed by many of the conversations on addressing the world's overlapping economic, social, and environmental threats. But I also came away hoping for more discussion about health as central to meeting these global challenges. Of course, I arrived at the Forum...
Three dead in Venezuela after contracting Zika: Maduro
11 Feb 2016 at 8:27pm
Three people have died in Venezuela from complications linked to Zika, President Nicolas Maduro said -- the first fatalities reported in the country in connection with the mosquito-borne virus. Maduro said 68 patients with complications "have been in intensive care," adding that the country had the necessary drugs to treat them. Without providing any details, he said that 5,221 suspected cases of Zika had been reported from November 5 until February 8.
Influential Texas panel recommends halt to use of bite-mark evidence
11 Feb 2016 at 7:09pm
An influential Texas scientific panel recommended on Thursday that bite-mark analysis not be admissible as evidence in courts, a decision experts said could lead judicial systems in other states to exclude it too. The Texas Forensic Science Commission panel recommended a moratorium on bite-mark evidence until there is science to support its admissibility. Bite-mark evidence has been used in U.S. courts for decades, most often to identify suspects in murders, sexual assaults and child abuse through marks on the flesh of victims.
Massive gas leak near Los Angeles plugged after 16 weeks
11 Feb 2016 at 5:15pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? A blowout at a natural gas well that leaked uncontrollably for 16 weeks and drove thousands of residents from their Los Angeles homes was plugged Thursday, a utility said.
Airports boost efforts to stop spread of Zika: UN agency
11 Feb 2016 at 2:42pm
Airports are stepping up efforts to reduce populations of mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus in order to prevent its spread, the UN aviation agency said Thursday. "The management of the outbreak is currently focused on reducing the populations of the Aedes mosquito that transmit the virus at airports (vector control)," the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said in a statement. Vector control refers to the spraying of insecticides or other pest control measures.