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McDonald's says 12 Russian branches temporarily closed
29 Aug 2014 at 6:33am
McDonald's said on Friday that a total of 12 of its branches in Russia had been temporarily closed over the state food safety regulator's allegations of sanitary violations.
Guinean student is first case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal
29 Aug 2014 at 6:23am
Senegal, a major hub for the business and aid community in West Africa, became the region's fifth country to confirm a case of Ebola on Friday after a student arrived from neighboring Guinea carrying the disease. Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told a news conference the young man had turned up for treatment at a hospital in the Senegalese capital Dakar on Tuesday but concealed that he had had close contact with victims in his home country. "The results of tests carried out by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar were positive (for Ebola)," the minister said. The worst ever outbreak of the deadly virus, first detected in the jungles of southeast Guinea in March, has killed more than 1,550 people.
Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students
29 Aug 2014 at 6:19am
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) ? College students from West Africa may be subject to extra health checks when they arrive to study in the United States as administrators try to insulate campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in history.
Train Your Brain to Thrive From 9 to 5
29 Aug 2014 at 5:35am
The majority of employers throughout the world are "strongly committed to creating a workplace culture of health" and are investing in programs to achieve these goals, according to Buck Consultants at Xerox, describing their newly released survey, "Working Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies." That's...
Guinean security forces break up riot in Ebola-racked south
29 Aug 2014 at 5:14am
Riots broke out in Guinea's second-largest city Nzerekore over rumours that health workers had infected people with the deadly Ebola virus, a Red Cross official and residents said on Friday. A crowd of young men, some armed with clubs and knives, set up barricades across the southern city on Thursday and threatened to attack the hospital before security forces moved in to restore order. Gunshots were fired and several people were injured, said Youssouf Traore, president of the Guinean Red Cross. "People revolted and resorted to violence, prompting soldiers to intervene." Local Red Cross workers had to flee to the military camp with their medical equipment.
BioCryst expects to begin Ebola study in weeks
29 Aug 2014 at 4:51am
(Reuters) - BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc said it expects to initiate a study within weeks to test its antiviral in primates for use against Ebola infections The biotechnology company's stock was up about 5.4 percent in premarket trading after it also said it had received an additional $2.4 million in U.S. The World Health Organization has allowed for people infected in the West African epidemic to be given untested drugs, ushering in an opportunity for makers of potential therapies. This $2.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funding is in addition to the $22 million contract awarded to BioCryst by the agency last September. The company received $4.1 million from NIAID earlier this month to advance development of an intramuscular formulation of its drug, BCX4430.
Drug charges dropped against man over Seymour Hoffman's death: New York Times
29 Aug 2014 at 3:35am
(Reuters) - The Manhattan district attorney has dropped drug-selling charges against a jazz musician and friend of late film star Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of an accidental drug overdose in February, the New York Times newspaper reported. Montreal-born Robert Aaron Vineberg, 58, was arrested after police traced what they believed to have been the source of the heroin suspected of killing the Oscar-winning actor. Vineberg was charged with intent to sell heroin. The district attorney said in an Aug. 14 letter that two police officers who first interrogated Vineberg after his arrest had not read him his Miranda rights -- which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney -- , rendering his statements to them unusable in court, the newspaper said.
Gene studies of Ebola in Sierra Leone show virus is mutating fast
29 Aug 2014 at 3:34am
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters)- Genetic studies of some of the earliest Ebola cases in Sierra Leone reveal more than 300 genetic changes in the virus as it leapt from person to person, changes that could blunt the effectiveness of diagnostic tests and experimental treatments now in development, researchers said on Thursday. It's mutating," said Pardis Sabeti of Harvard University and the Broad Institute, who led the massive study of samples from 78 people in Sierra Leone, all of whose infections could be traced to a faith healer whose claims of a cure attracted Ebola patients from Guinea, where the virus first took hold. The findings, published in Science, suggest the virus is mutating quickly and in ways that could affect current diagnostics and future vaccines and treatments, such as GlaxoSmithKline's Ebola vaccine, which was just fast-tracked to begin clinical trials, or the antibody drug ZMapp, being developed by California biotech Mapp Biopharmaceutical. The findings come as the World Health Organization said that the epidemic could infect more than 20,000 people and spread to more countries.
AstraZeneca boosted by start of new cancer drug trial
29 Aug 2014 at 3:31am
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Hopes for AstraZeneca's promising cancer drug pipeline were boosted on Friday by news the company had moved its immuno-oncology medicine MEDI-4736 into a mid-stage study in colorectal cancer. Analysts at UBS said the decision opened up "a potentially multi-blockbuster opportunity", given that colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. AstraZeneca is already studying MEDI-4736 in lung cancer and head and neck cancer. Head of medicines development Briggs Morrison said in July that it might start tests in another tumour type in 2014 but he did not identify colorectal cancer as a target at the time.
USDA seizes more than 1,200 illegal giant snails
29 Aug 2014 at 1:11am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The giant African snail damages buildings, destroys crops and can cause meningitis in humans. But some people still want to collect, and even eat, the slimy invaders.
No more changes to Nations Cup venues say CAF
29 Aug 2014 at 12:32am
The Confederation of African Football have ruled out any more venue changes for next week?s African Nations Cup qualifiers in the wake of requests by several countries to move matches following the Ebola virus outbreak and stadium violence in Algeria. CAF had previously ordered Guinea and Sierra Leone to move their qualifiers on the advice of health authorities but said in a statement on Thursday there would be no more changes. The two west Africa countries are at the epicentre of the Ebola virus outbreak, which has claimed more than 1,500 deaths. In recent days, Cameroon, Congo, Mali and Tunisia have asked CAF to move matches in which they are involved but their requests have been rejected.
Australia seeks Thai help for Aussie couples, surrogate babies
29 Aug 2014 at 12:05am
By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - Australia urged Thailand on Friday to allow Australian couples with babies born by Thai surrogate mothers to return home with their children following a crackdown on commercial surrogacy that has left many couples in limbo. Foreigners attempting to leave Thailand, a top destination for infertile couples wanting children, have been prevented from doing so in recent weeks following a spate of surrogacy scandals that have shone a spotlight on Thailand's largely unregulated "wombs for hire" business of commercial surrogacy. "For those who are caught by these transitional arrangements it is obviously a matter of some high concern and we wish to find a fair and workable means of resolving this issue," Peter Varghese, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told a news conference in Bangkok on Friday. "I'm confident that we will be able to find a practical way forward that respects the best interest of the child and the birth mother," said Varghese, adding there are 200 Australian surrogacy cases in Thailand each year.
Ebola fears halt rotations of Sierra Leone forces into Somalia
28 Aug 2014 at 11:51pm
Sierra Leone, which is battling to contain the deadly Ebola virus, will stop new rotations of its U.N.-led forces into Somalia for now as authorities move to establish safeguards, Somalia's president said on Monday. Sierra Leone is one of the key countries contributing troops to the Africa Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is helping battle Islamic militant al Shabaab insurgents there. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, speaking to reporters during the African leaders' summit in Washington, said there would be no new rotations of Sierra Leone's forces until proper procedures were in place. "AMISOM (will) stop the rotation of the Sierra Leone battalion so that new soldiers won't arrive into Somalia unless we provide a means to ensure" that people arriving are unaffected, he said.
Takeda, Lilly lose bid to overturn $9 billion award for hiding cancer risk
28 Aug 2014 at 10:16pm
(Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and Eli Lilly & Co lost a bid to overturn a combined $9 billion punitive damage award by a U.S. "Plaintiffs have pointed to sufficient evidence from which the jury could have concluded that the 'information' about bladder cancer contained in Actos labels did not adequately warn of the increased risk of cancer," U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty of the Western District of Louisiana said on Wednesday. The development is a setback for Takeda but leaves open the possibility of a retrial or reduced verdict, for which Japan's top drugmaker made a separate appeal in April.
Colorado judge denies special probe in James Holmes' notebook leak
28 Aug 2014 at 8:18pm
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado judge overseeing the murder case against accused theater gunman James Holmes said on Thursday that police may have lied when they denied leaking details of the case to Fox News, but declined to appoint a special prosecutor. Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour denied a motion by public defenders seeking independent investigation into the source of the story, saying public defenders can ?cast doubt on the credibility" of the officers during trial. Days after the massacre, an online article published by Fox News' New York-based reporter Jana Winter cited two law enforcement officials who said Holmes sent his psychiatrist a notebook outlining his plans to commit mass murder. Public defenders argued the leak was in violation of a gag order imposed by the judge presiding over the case at the time, and wanted Winter to reveal her sources.