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Health insurer Centene's profit beats; raises forecast
26 Jul 2016 at 4:03am
(Reuters) - Centene Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as the health insurer benefited from lower medical costs and an increase in Medicare and commercial customers from its acquisition of rival Health Net. The company, which primarily focuses on government-sponsored health plans, said commercial membership rose more than eight times and Medicare and dual plan membership jumped nearly 11 times in the second quarter from a year earlier. Centene intends to continue to make its mark in the Medicare Advantage market and is said to have made competing offers for the plans that Aetna Inc may shed to seek clearance for its acquisition of Humana Inc. The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast range to $2.65-$3.00 per share from $2.45-$2.80.
Lilly sales beat estimates on demand for new drugs
26 Jul 2016 at 3:55am
(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, driven by demand for its newer treatments for diabetes and cancer. Revenue rose 8.6 percent to $5.4 billion in the second quarter, topping Wall Street estimates of $5.15 billion, as demand increased for its drugs including Trulicity, Cyramza and Humalog. Lilly resumed earnings growth last year after three years of tumbling sales due to weak demand for its key products amid competition from generic products. The 140-year-old U.S. drugmaker said its net income rose 24.5 percent to $747. ...
Female photographer gives voice to Nigeria's Boko Haram victims - with Instagram
26 Jul 2016 at 3:32am
By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Armed with nothing more than a camera and a notepad, 30-year-old Fati Abubakar wanders around Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram's former stronghold, snapping portraits of people whose lives have been affected by the Islamist militants. "I was unhappy that no one was documenting the everyday life of Nigerians - I wanted to show that people were still thriving despite the Boko Haram insurgency," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.
Scientist-developed compound brings hope of new epilepsy treatment
26 Jul 2016 at 2:51am
Researchers based in the USA have developed a compound that may prevent the development of epilepsy. After being tested on mice, the compound could soon be brought to human trials. Scientists from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center have developed a compound that blocks the hyper-excitability of neurons in epileptic mice.
Olympic travelers face tiny risk of Zika: US study
26 Jul 2016 at 12:52am
Under a worst-case scenario, just three to 37 of the up to 500,000 people expected to go to Rio de Janeiro for the games, which start next month, could be expected to come down with Zika, said the report by the Yale University School of Public Health. "The possibility that travelers returning from the Olympics may spread Zika has become a polemic issue that has led to athletes dropping out of the event, and without evidence, undue stigmatization of Brazil," said study co-author Albert Ko, chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale. The research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is based on a mathematical model that accounted for a series of factors, including recent Zika transmission in Rio de Janeiro, seasonal conditions and travel patterns.
Australian PM orders inquiry after teenage prisoners teargassed, stripped naked
26 Jul 2016 at 12:41am
By Matt Siegel and Tom Westbrook SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into the treatment of children in detention after the airing of video showing prison guards teargassing teenage inmates and strapping a half-naked, hooded-boy to a chair. Footage of the abuse of six aboriginal boys in a juvenile detention center sparked renewed criticism of Australia's treatment of Aborigines and their high imprisonment rate. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) aired CCTV footage late Monday of boys in a Northern Territory juvenile detention center also being stripped naked, thrown by the neck into a cell, and held for long periods in solitary confinement.
Knife attacker in Japan kills 19 in their sleep at disabled center
26 Jul 2016 at 12:24am
By Elaine Lies and Kwiyeon Ha SAGAMIHARA, Japan (Reuters) - A knife-wielding man broke into a facility for the disabled in a small town near Tokyo early on Tuesday and killed 19 patients as they slept, authorities said, Japan's worst mass killing in decades. At least 25 other residents were wounded in the attack at the Tsukui Yamayuri-En facility in Sagamihara town, about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Tokyo. "This is a very heart-wrenching and shocking incident in which many innocent people became victims," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference in Tokyo.
Shock as peaceful Japanese town wakes to 'unthinkable' disabled center horror
25 Jul 2016 at 11:12pm
By Elaine Lies and Kwiyeon Ha SAGAMIHARA, Japan (Reuters) - Shock and bewilderment gripped neighbors of a disabled center in a town near Tokyo on Tuesday after a man stabbed and killed 19 residents in their sleep and wounded dozens more in Japan's worst mass killing in decades. "This kind of thing doesn't happen in Japan. It's unthinkable it happened so close to me," said Masae Mizoguchi, a 78-year-old retiree who lives up the hill from the Tsukui Yamayuri En (Tsukui Lily Garden) facility.
Early menopause may speed up aging in women: study
25 Jul 2016 at 10:24pm
Women who enter menopause early may age faster than women in whom menopause arrives later, said a study Monday that could help pinpoint women at highest risk of age-related diseases. The findings could settle a long-standing debate, said Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. "For decades, scientists have disagreed over whether menopause causes aging or aging causes menopause," said Horvath, senior author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Japan knifing suspect had said he was willing to kill disabled-official
25 Jul 2016 at 10:11pm
The suspect in a fatal stabbing spree in Japan on Tuesday had been hospitalized early this year after expressing a willingness to kill disabled people if the government approved, a city official said. Police in the town of Tsukui near Tokyo contacted the suspect, Satoshi Uematsu, and he was involuntarily committed to hospital on Feb. 19 after he had tried to present a letter to the speaker of the lower house of Japan's parliament, said an official from nearby Sagamihara city who declined to be named. Nineteen people were stabbed and killed in their sleep and at least 25 wounded at a facility for the disabled in Sagamihara in the early hours of Tuesday.
Japanese government spokesman told 19 dead after knife attack
25 Jul 2016 at 7:59pm
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's top government spokesman said on Tuesday he had been told that 19 people were dead after an attack by a knife-wielding man at a facility for the disabled in central Japan. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also told a news conference that police had not obtained any information to suggest there was a link between the attack and Islamist extremism. (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Paul Tait)
China's condom policies to prevent HIV fail to protect sex workers: research
25 Jul 2016 at 5:03pm
By Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Chinese police cracking down on sex workers routinely look for condoms as evidence of illegal activity, hindering efforts to prevent the spread of HIV among sex workers, one of the biggest at-risk groups in the country, experts said. China, with a population of about 1.4 billion, has a relatively low HIV prevalence rate, with around half a million reported cases of people living with HIV or AIDS by the end of 2014, according to a government report published last year. Up to 92 percent of the 104,000 cases diagnosed in 2014 resulted from sexual contact, according to research commissioned by Asia Catalyst, which promotes the right to health of marginalized groups in the region.
100-year global study finds world's tallest are Dutch, Latvians
25 Jul 2016 at 4:13pm
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Dutch men and Latvian women are the planet's tallest people but Iranian men and South Korean women have grown the fastest in the last century, according to the largest ever study of height around the world. Americans, once among the world's tallest people, have dropped from having men and women at 3rd and 4th in the global height rankings a 100 years earlier, to placing 37th and 42nd respectively in 2014. The research, led by scientists at Imperial College London and published in the journal eLife, also found some nations have stopped growing over the past 30 to 40 years, despite having spurts at the start of the century studied.
Nineteen feared dead after knife attack in Japan: media reports
25 Jul 2016 at 4:07pm
By William Mallard TOKYO (Reuters) - Nineteen people were feared dead and 45 injured after an attack by a knife-wielding man at a facility for the disabled in Japan early on Tuesday, national broadcaster NHK reported. Police in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Tokyo, have arrested Satoshi Uematsu, a 26-year old former employee at the facility, Japanese media reported. The 3-hectare (7.6 acres) facility, established by the local government and nestled on the wooded bank of the Sagami River, cares for people with a wide range of disabilities, NHK said, quoting an unidentified employee.
Up there: Netherlands, Latvia lead world for people's height
25 Jul 2016 at 4:06pm
NEW YORK (AP) ? If you want to see a tall population of men, go to the Netherlands. Tall women? Latvia.