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Rebels launch assault in Syria's Aleppo, diplomats strain to revive truce
3 May 2016 at 8:34am
By Lisa Barrington and Denis Dyomkin BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Rebel fighters launched an assault in Syria's divided northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday and fired rockets on a hospital, in the latest violence to hit civilians as diplomats struggled to restore an unraveling ceasefire and resurrect peace talks. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that monitors the conflict, said rebel rockets had killed 19 people in government-held territory, including an unspecified number at the al-Dabit hospital. Rebels had hit a government gun position with a guided missile.
Psychotherapy should be first choice to treat chronic insomnia
3 May 2016 at 8:29am
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - People with chronic insomnia should try cognitive behavioral therapy before medications, suggests a prominent group of U.S. doctors. While the American College of Physicians (ACP) can't say cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) outperforms medications for chronic insomnia, the group does say psychotherapy is less risky than drugs. "Sometimes we forget that sleep medications have the potential for serious side effects in some patients, while cognitive behavioral therapy is very low (risk) to patients," said Dr. Wayne J. Riley, ACP president.
Calorie restriction may have some benefit for non-obese
3 May 2016 at 8:26am
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) ? Even for people who are a healthy weight or only somewhat overweight, cutting calories for two years may lead to weight loss as well as improved mood and sexual drive, according to a new study. ?We know that persons with obesity who lose weight experience improvements in quality of life, but it was not clear if similar benefits would occur in normal weight and mildly overweight people,? said lead author Corby K. Martin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. ?Some researchers and clinicians have hypothesized that calorie restriction in normal weight people might negatively affect quality of life,? Martin told Reuters Health by email.
Biogen to spin off hemophilia drugs and focus on core neuro business
3 May 2016 at 8:26am
(Reuters) - Biogen Inc plans to spin off its hemophilia drug business as a publicly traded company, leaving the drugmaker to focus on developing drugs for neurodegenerative diseases, the company said on Tuesday. Biogen said it considered a number of alternatives including a sale before deciding to split the business in a tax-free transaction, which it said would deliver the most value to its shareholders. The new company will include treatments Eloctate and Alprolix for hemophilia A and B, which had total sales of $554.2 million in 2015, about 5 percent of Biogen's revenue.
U.S. prosecutors consider more charges against ex-CEO Shkreli
3 May 2016 at 8:24am
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former drug executive Martin Shkreli, who last year became a lightning rod for outrage over soaring prescription drug prices, may face additional U.S. charges of securities fraud, a federal prosecutor said on Tuesday.
Exclusive: Venezuela's PDVSA quietly issues new debt to pay off suppliers
3 May 2016 at 8:05am
CARACAS/HOUSTON (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA has issued at least $310 million in debt to companies including General Electric Co as it negotiates private issuances to pay off its suppliers, industry sources told Reuters, stretching the finances of a company that bondholders already worry is on its way to default. The securities are not bonds but offer rights similar to those enjoyed by bondholders, and at least one issue offers dispute resolution via the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce, according to one of the three sources, who cited a term sheet. This means that if PDVSA defaults, investors holding their bonds may find that there are more creditors competing for compensation than they had originally anticipated.
Suspended R&D boss at VW's Porsche quits
3 May 2016 at 8:03am
Porsche's top engineer has left the sports-car maker, having been suspended since parent company Volkswagen's emissions test-cheating scandal broke last year, Porsche said on Tuesday, adding investigations had found no evidence against him. Wolfgang Hatz, a former head of group engine development at Volkswagen (VW) and R&D chief at Porsche since 2011, was suspended shortly after VW's manipulations were revealed in September, together with other senior managers. Porsche said on Tuesday Hatz had decided to leave because his suspension remained in force more than seven months later.
New drugs fuel strong Pfizer results; company raises 2016 forecasts
3 May 2016 at 7:42am
Pfizer said sales would be hurt in the fourth quarter of 2016, however, when those added days will be offset by fewer days. Pfizer walked away from the deal after the U.S. Treasury issued new rules curbing tax inversion deals, under which American companies move overseas to cut taxes. Many analysts believe Pfizer needs to buy new medicines or entire biotech companies to ensure competitive earnings growth.
5 Easy Steps to Sleep Better Tonight
3 May 2016 at 7:06am
Are you one of the more than 60 million Americans who struggles to get a good night sleep? Regardless of whether your trouble is falling asleep, staying asleep or both, the medical term for your struggle and frustration is insomnia. Insomnia is one of the most common complaints that my patients report. The underlying cause can be anything from...
7 (Not So) Obvious Things to Avoid if You Have Trouble Sleeping
3 May 2016 at 7:03am
Almost 1 in 3 American adults struggle with insomnia, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Insomnia can be trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking early in the morning or all of the above. Sound like anyone you know?Insomnia is one of the most common and frustrating complaints that my patients report. The underlying cause...
GE wants become big player in offshore wind, eyes Adwen takeover
3 May 2016 at 5:22am
By Geert De Clercq PARIS (Reuters) - General Electric wants to become a major player in the offshore wind industry and is interested in buying the Areva-Gamesa offshore joint venture Adwen, GE's new head of renewables said on Tuesday. "We have the ambition to become one of the three major players in the offshore wind market," GE renewables head Jerome Pecresse told reporters in Paris on Tuesday. Germany's Siemens is European market leader for offshore wind with 63.5 percent of installed capacity end 2015, followed by MHI Vestas with 18.5 pct. With the acquisition of Alstom, GE also acquired contracts to build 1,500 megawatts of offshore wind on the French coast for utility EDF , which are set to be built by 2019.
China to investigate Baidu over student's death, shares dive
3 May 2016 at 5:11am
China's Internet regulator said on Monday it will send a team to investigate Baidu Inc over the death of a university student who used the Chinese search engine to look for treatment for his cancer. Wei Zexi, 21, died last month of a rare form of cancer. Before dying, Wei accused Baidu online of promoting false medical information, as well as the hospital for misleading advertising in claiming a high success rate for the treatment, state radio said.
Invest in 'army of midwives' to cut stillbirths, maternal deaths in Nigeria
3 May 2016 at 5:09am
By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Investing in an "army of midwives" across Nigeria will cut the number of stillbirths and women dying during or after giving birth, a leading women's rights activist said ahead of the West African nation's first global conference on midwifery. Nigeria has the world's highest rate of stillbirths after Pakistan - one in every 23 pregnancies. It recorded more than 300,000 stillbirths last year, while around one in 120 women die during childbirth, according to data from medical journal The Lancet and the World Bank.
Factbox: 10 facts about childbirth, maternal deaths and midwives
3 May 2016 at 5:00am
By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Boosting the number of midwives in Nigeria, and globally, would reduce the number of stillbirths and women dying during or just after giving birth, according to the founder of women's rights organization Wellbeing Foundation Africa. Midwives can provide the majority of the services needed for newborns and pregnant women and those cared for by midwives are less likely to have complicated births or go into labor early. Toyin Saraki spoke to the Thomson Reuters Foundation ahead of this week's Global Midwifery Conference in Abuja, which is hosting its first global conference on midwifery.
App to identify poorest girls in India can help prevent trafficking: charity
3 May 2016 at 4:58am
By Rina Chandran MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A tablet-based application that helps to identify some of the poorest girls in eastern India has the potential to prevent human trafficking, early marriage and child labor, according to a charity which has developed the app. The GPower, or Girl Power, app developed by Accenture Labs and the charity Child in Need Institute (CINI), has been used to track more than 6,000 families in 20 villages in West Bengal. "The technology helps us identify the most vulnerable of the girls in minutes," CINI's assistant director Indrani Bhattacharya told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.