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Regulatory rebuffs could force GE to seek other deals, more buybacks
 

A General Electric appliance in seen in a Sears store in SchaumburgU.S. and European regulatory resistance could force General Electric Co to seek another buyer for its appliances business and different paths to expand its industrial operations in an ongoing strategic overhaul. Chief Executive Jeff Immelt wants further focus on manufacturing of higher-margin products such as jet engines and power-generating turbines, and to move away from riskier finance earnings. GE met with European regulators on Thursday to allay worries its 12.4 billion euro ($13.7 billion) acquisition of Alstom's power equipment business would leave Europe with two gas turbine players.



U.S. Confirms First Measles Death Since 2003
 

U.S. Confirms First Measles Death Since 2003SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington woman died from measles in the spring — the first measles death in the U.S. since 2003 and the first in the state since 1990, health officials said Thursday.The woman lacked some of the measles' common symptoms, such as a rash, so the infection was not discovered until an autopsy, Washington State Department of...



Health insurer Centene adds muscle with $6.3 billion Health Net deal
 U.S. health insurer Centene Corp will buy smaller rival Health Net Inc for $6.3 billion, underscoring the healthcare industry's rush to bulk up to negotiate better prices with suppliers and hospitals, and attract new customers. Health Net's shares touched a record high of $76.67 on Thursday, but stayed shy of Centene's offer of $78.57, which is at a 21 percent premium. Centene shares were down 3 percent at $78.42.

Former Democratic Senator Webb announces White House campaign
 

U.S. Senator Jim Webb talks to reporters during his news conference at the U.S. embassy in YangonFormer U.S. Senator Jim Webb launched a long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, promising to fight the political influence of big-money interests and bring a new approach to solving problems. Webb, 69, who represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate from 2007 to 2012, is the fifth Democrat to seek the White House in 2016. "I understand the odds, particularly in today's political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money," Webb said in a message on his website.



FDA clears drug for leading form of cystic fibrosis
 WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials have approved a new combination drug for the most common form of cystic fibrosis, the debilitating inherited disease that causes internal mucus buildup, lung infections and early death. But it will come at a steep price — more than $250,000 for a year's treatment.

Treat 'whole person' by bringing behavioral health into primary care: docs
 By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - In a new position paper, the American College of Physicians (ACP) lays out six strategies for bringing mental health and substance abuse care into primary care to better treat each patient as “a whole person.” Mental and behavioral health issues like inappropriate eating behaviors, sedentary lifestyle, and patterns of social isolation, are common, and have been linked to increased physical illness, higher mortality rates, poorer treatment outcomes and higher healthcare costs, the ACP committee writes in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “The literature shows that most people with behavioral health needs access the health care system through their primary care physician or other health care professional,” said lead author of the statement Ryan A. Crowley, senior health policy analyst for the ACP.

White House directs GMO regulators to update, improve oversight
 The White House on Thursday directed the three U.S. agencies that oversee biotech crop products to improve and modernize their regulatory "framework" to boost public confidence in a system that critics call a failure. The order, announced in a statement by President Barack Obama's Office of Science and Technology Policy, followed demands by consumers, food-related organizations and businesses for tighter U.S. regulation of genetically modified (GMO) crops, amid a nationwide debate over whether they should be labeled. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposed a rule in 2008 after being cited in a government audit for oversight lapses, and after high-profile GMO contaminations that led to food recalls and disrupted trade.

Colorado movie gunman not faking psychosis, defense witness says
 

Accused Aurora theater gunman James Holmes listens during his arraignment in CentennialA neuropsychologist who ran tests on Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes over three days after the 2012 attack told jurors at his murder trial on Thursday there were no signs the shooter was faking mental illness. Prosecutors say Holmes, 27, is a cold-blooded mass killer who aimed to murder all 400 people watching a midnight premiere of a Batman film at a Denver area cinema, and say he has only pleaded insanity to escape execution. Robert Hanlon, a Chicago-based clinical neuropsychologist, described for the court the tests he performed on Holmes on behalf of the defense team over more than 13 hours of jail house sessions in April 2013.



Bail set for Florida doctor tied to Senator Menendez corruption case
 

Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen arrives to the Federal court in Newark, New JerseyA judge set bail on Thursday at $18 million in a Medicare fraud case for a doctor who has also been accused of bribery and political corruption for giving lavish gifts to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, his attorney said. Salomon Melgen, 60, has pleaded not guilty to 76 counts of Medicare fraud and falsifying medical records in federal court in southern Florida. Melgen is accused of ordering unnecessary tests and falsifying records at his Florida practice.



Thousands evacuated after freight train derails, catches fire, in Tennessee
 

Smoke rises from the site of a train derailment near Maryville, TennesseeA freight train carrying flammable and toxic gas derailed in eastern Tennessee, igniting a fire in one car and spreading noxious fumes that forced the evacuation of more than 5,000 people and the hospitalization of 25, officials said. Homes and businesses were evacuated following the derailment around midnight Wednesday of the CSX Corp train in Blount County, near Maryville, the officials they said. Local officials said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was monitoring air quality in the area.



John Smoltz the 1st HOFer following Tommy John surgery
 When John Smoltz is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in three weeks he'll be the first player enshrined following Tommy John surgery.

Washington state reports first U.S. measles death in 12 years
 By Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) - A previously undetected measles infection was found by an autopsy to be the underlying cause of a Washington state woman's death this spring, marking the first known U.S. fatality from the disease in 12 years, public health officials said on Thursday. The woman from Clallam County, in northwestern Washington, was most likely exposed to measles at a medical facility during a recent outbreak in the area, the state Health Department said in a statement on its website. The cause of her death was ruled by medical examiners as pneumonia due to measles, according to the agency.

For first time, gene therapy shows promise in cystic fibrosis
 By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists conducting a major trial of a therapy that replaces the faulty gene responsible for cystic fibrosis say the treatment has showed significant benefit for the first time in patients' lung function. The technique, developed with the technology commercialization firm Imperial Innovations, replaces the defective gene behind the inherited lung disease by using inhaled molecules of DNA to deliver a normal working copy of the gene to lung cells. "Patients who received the gene therapy showed a significant, if modest, benefit in tests of lung function compared with the placebo group," said Eric Alton, a professor at Imperial College London who led the trial.

New Embassies Open Door to Cuba's Health Care Triumphs
 

New Embassies Open Door to Cuba's Health Care TriumphsAs President Obama proclaimed diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba for the first time in 50 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) was simultaneously celebrating Cuba Wednesday as the first country ever to eliminate mother-to-child transmissions of HIV/AIDS and congenital syphilis. Dr. Roberto Morales, minister of public health and the first Cuban minister to come to the United States since 1952, visited Washington, D.C., to discuss the historic success. While the monumental public health achievement was the intended focus of his news conference, Obama’s news was critical to the process.



California cancer patient with amnesia identified by family
 A Southern California cancer patient unable to recall her identity or family since she was found dazed on a street four months ago has finally reconnected with relatives after a nephew spotted her on the evening news, media reported on Thursday. The woman, whose Facebook image has circulated widely on the Internet and was previously known only as Sam, was identified on Wednesday night as Pennsylvania native Ashley Manetta, 53, according to San Diego's NBC television affiliate. The TV station, which originally broke the story about a California cancer patient with amnesia, said the two siblings then spoke by telephone.

Possible Link Between Eye Color and Alcoholism Risk Revealed in New Study
 

Possible Link Between Eye Color and Alcoholism Risk Revealed in New StudyThere's a new potential clue in the ongoing effort to understand the genetic links to alcoholism: eye color. People with lighter eye colors appear to be more likely to develop alcoholism, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics. The study, published this week, examined genetic samples from 1,263 people with alcohol dependency and found that those with lighter eyes, especially blue eyes, appeared to develop alcoholism at a higher rate.



Montana polygamist vows to fight for marriage license
 

Undated handout shows self-styled Montana polygamist Nathan Collier posing with his wives Christine and VickiNathan Collier, 46, said his bid to make his marriage to his second wife “legitimate” was influenced by the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week that legalized same-sex marriages in the United States. Collier, his lawful wife and a woman he said he married in a “spiritual” ceremony earlier this week sought a license from officials in Billings to legalize their plural marriage. Bigamy and polygamy are illegal under both federal and Montana state law.



VA hospital that once treated Civil War veterans could close
 

This photo taken April 13, 2015, shows exterior of the grand rotunda entry to the historic Black Hills VA in Hot Springs, S.D. The 108-year-old veteran’s hospital built of thick blocks of pink sandstone and topped with red, tiled roofs in a Spanish mission-style overlooks the tiny town of Hot Springs, a scenic escape that’s become a haven known for healing veterans over the last century. (AP Photo/Kristina Barker)HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) — Perched atop a bluff in the remote Black Hills, a veterans hospital built of thick blocks of pink sandstone and topped with red-tiled roofs in a Spanish mission style overlooks the tiny town of Hot Springs, South Dakota, and has provided recovering soldiers a bucolic haven for more than a century.



Could insulin pills prevent diabetes? Big study seeks answer
 

In this photo taken Wednesday, May 13, 2015, Hayden Murphy, 13, sits for a photo with his medicine at his home in Plainfield, Ill. Hayden is among more than 400 children and adults participating in U.S. government-funded international research investigating whether experimental insulin capsules can prevent or at least delay Type 1 diabetes. To enroll, participants must first get bad news: results of a blood test showing their chances for developing the disease are high. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)CHICAGO (AP) — For nearly a century, insulin has been a life-saving diabetes treatment. Now scientists are testing a tantalizing question: What if pills containing the same medicine patients inject every day could also prevent the disease?



Liberia investigating animal link after Ebola re-emerges
 

Health workers collect the body of a suspected Ebola victim from a street in the town of KoiduBy Alphonso Toweh and James Harding Giahyue MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia confirmed a third Ebola case on Thursday, nearly two months after it was declared Ebola free, and officials said they were investigating whether the disease had spread through animals before resurfacing. Dr Moses Massaquoi, case management team leader for Liberia's Ebola task force, said the three villagers who had tested positive for the disease "have a history of having had dog meat together." Dog meat is commonly eaten in Liberia. The first new Liberian sufferer, 17-year-old Abraham Memaigar, died on Sunday in the village of Nedowein, about 50 km (30 miles) from the capital Monrovia.



Thailand's first MERS case to leave hospital
 An Omani man who became Thailand's first case of Middle East Respiratory Sydnrome (MERS) has made a full recovery and will be discharged from hospital on Friday, Thailand's health minister said. The 75-year-old man, who had traveled to Bangkok for treatment for a heart condition and was then diagnosed with the virus, was declared free of the disease earlier this week. "The medical team looking after the patient and three of his relatives have decided that they can return home," Thai Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told reporters, adding that the man and three of his relatives who traveled with him to Bangkok were preparing to leave an infectious diseases facility.

Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills California Woman
 

Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills California WomanA 21-year-old woman from Bishop, California, has reportedly died from a rare but devastating infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba.Inyo County public health officials told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the woman died on June 20 after being infected by Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic amoeba usually found in warm freshwater and soil. The...



Thai hospital discharges only MERS case after found virus-free
 

Thai hospital staff work in the isolation ward where a 75-year-old man from Oman was being treated for MERS at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi provinceA 75-year-old Omani man who became Thailand's first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was discharged from hospital Friday after being declared free of the deadly virus, officials said. Thailand now appears to be MERS-free after the Omani patient tested negative for the virus and the 176 other people who were under surveillance for having been in contact with him also showed no signs of the disease. "A communicable diseases expert has confirmed that he's free from MERS," Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said in a statement.



Thailand's only known MERS patient is virus-free
 BANGKOK (AP) — A 75-year-old Omani man who became Thailand's only known case of the often-deadly MERS virus was declared free of the illness by the Health Ministry on Friday.

Kenya port workers end strike, warn of further protests
 

A ship docks at the main port in the Kenyan coastal city of MombasaBy Joseph Akwiri MOMBASA (Reuters) - Striking workers at East Africa’s biggest port in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa returned to work on Friday after being warned they could lose their jobs, but said protests over higher health care costs could resume next week. The work stoppage has disrupted business at the biggest in the region, which handles imports such as fuel for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia but the port's management has said normal services would resume by Monday. Workers protesting higher deductions for the government's national health insurance scheme refused to work on Wednesday and Thursday, paralysing operations at the port and prompting port management to advertise their positions in local media.



Tests rule out MERS in Czech tour guide
 

South Korean workers spray antiseptic solution at the customs, immigration and quarantine office (CIQ) of Gimpo international airport in Seoul on June 17, 2015 in measures to prevent the spread of MERSTests have ruled out the potentially fatal MERS virus in a Czech tour guide hospitalised in Prague, the health minister said Friday. "Based on laboratory tests on the patient... I can definitely confirm the disease was not MERS," Svatopluk Nemecek told reporters without elaborating. The 33-year-old tour guide spent a week in May in South Korea, where the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has killed 33 people out of the 184 diagnosed since the latest outbreak in late May.



Scientists convinced European heat waves boosted by climate change
 By Laurie Goering LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As Germany and Spain sweated and London sweltered through its hottest July day on record this week, scientists said it is "virtually certain" that climate change is increasing the likelihood of such heat waves in Europe. In real-time data analysis released on Friday, a team of international climate scientists from universities, meteorological services and research organizations said the kind of heat waves hitting Europe this week – defined as three-day periods of excessive heat – are becoming much more frequent in the region. In De Bilt in the Netherlands, for example, a heat wave like the one forecast for the next few days would have been a roughly 1-in-30-years event in the 1900s, according to the scientists.

Liberia works to contain Ebola, find source of new cases
 

In this photo taken on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, the home where a 17-year-old lived before he died of Ebola is seen after it was placed under Ebola quarantine, on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. Authorities say that contact tracing has intensified in the town where a 17-year-old died from Ebola on Sunday, June 28, 2015, as a third person has been found to have the deadly virus. (AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia is working hard to contain Ebola and find the source of the latest infections of the deadly virus recorded this week.



Aetna to buy Humana for $37 billion in largest insurance deal
 

A trader points up at a display on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeHealth insurer Aetna Inc on Friday said it would buy smaller rival Humana Inc for about $37 billion in cash and stock, in the largest ever deal in the insurance industry. The combination will push Aetna close to Anthem Inc's No.2 insurer spot by membership, and would nearly triple Aetna's Medicare Advantage business. The deal will face antitrust scrutiny but if it goes through it would dwarf the previous largest insurance deal announced just this week, where Swiss property and casualty giant ACE Ltd announced it was buying Chubb Corp for $28 billion.



U.N. calls on Israel, Palestinians to prosecute Gaza war crimes
 By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations called on Israel and the Palestinians on Friday to prosecute alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Gaza war and to cooperate with the International Criminal Court's preliminary investigation. The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, presented by Muslim states, by a vote of 41 to one, with five abstentions. Israel's closest ally, the United States, was the only country to vote against.

Exclusive: Hospira wins French biosimilar drug tender at 45 percent discount
 By Matthias Blamont PARIS (Reuters) - A major French hospital group has chosen a cheap copycat version of a top-selling drug for treating its patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and psoriasis in a victory for a new type of medicine known as biosimilars.    In a document seen by Reuters, the central purchasing agency for the Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) said on Friday it had decided to buy the biosimilar version of infliximab from Hospira , after the company offered a discount of some 45 percent to branded Remicade. AP-HP caters for nearly a quarter of the country's population and the tender decision will allow the copycat to make significant inroads in the French market. Hospira, which is being acquired by Pfizer , sells its drug under the brand name Inflectra.

How To Make Coffee Even Healthier
 

How To Make Coffee Even HealthierWe've all heard that phrase, "It's not what you said, but how you said it."Well, that's sort of what it's like with coffee, because we're hearing that it's not so much the coffee that creates problems but, rather, the way it's brewed... and stored... and ground.As a health coach, I do have my concerns about negative health impacts, but I also...



Row breaks out over Greek medicine supplies
 Wholesalers trading medicines across European borders have criticized a suggestion by manufacturers that Greek exports should be restricted to prevent shortages of life-saving drugs in the country. The European Association of Euro Pharmaceutical Companies (EAEPC), representing firms involved in this so-called parallel trade, said drugmakers were wrong to say supplies could be in jeopardy if Europe did not take such emergency action. "The wealthy pharmaceutical industry is exploiting the potential advent of another crisis in Greece for their own commercial purposes in portraying a medicines shortage," EAEPC wrote in a letter to EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Screening teens for obesity may not help them lose weight
 By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) - Weight screenings in high school were not enough to get overweight and obese kids on track toward a healthier weight, a recent U.S. study found. With obesity rates soaring among Arkansas teenagers, the state implemented a screening program in schools in 2003, with alerts sent to parents of kids with weight problems. While the screening and reporting measures in Arkansas have been both popular and controversial, there is no evidence to support their use, said study author Kevin Gee of the University of California, Davis School of Education, in email to Reuters Health.

Overweight U.S. women need better pre-pregnancy counseling: study
 By Janice Neumann (Reuters Health) - Better care and counseling is needed to teach overweight women hoping to become pregnant about the health dangers of their excess weight and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, a new U.S. study concludes. “Overweight women trying to conceive largely misperceive their weight, which is concerning because they may not try to adopt healthier behaviors,” said study author Mahbubur Rahman of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006 recommended improved pre-conception care, including screening for obesity and education about its risks, they add.

Change in LGBT health sparked 50 years ago in Philadelphia
 By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - On July 4, 1965, with protest signs raised above their heads, 40 marchers outside Philadelphia's Independence Hall showed many people their first glimpse of lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans. The protesters and their leaders, Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, were setting in motion the decision by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality as a mental illness less than a decade later. The events of 50 years ago are the focus of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration being held this weekend throughout Philadelphia.

Colombian man dies by euthanasia with government backing
 BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A 79-year old man suffering from incurable throat cancer has become the first Colombian to die by euthanasia with the full backing of the government.

Aetna to buy Humana as health insurer landscape shifts
 

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $37B dealAetna aims to spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.



Weight-loss surgery edges out lifestyle changes for type 2 diabetes
 

Patient takes a blood glucose test during event aimed to help people with diabetes to cope with their illness at Saint Luka diagnostics medical center in SofiaBy Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - People with type 2 diabetes who have weight loss surgery are more likely to have significant improvements in their diabetes three years compared to diabetics who try lifestyle changes, a small new study suggests. "One of the most important things to take away is that there is durability of remission over time," said Dr. Anita Courcoulas of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who led the research. Past studies have found that weight loss surgeries sometimes result in improvement for people with type 2 diabetes, but it remains to be seen if the surgeries are better at treating the condition than lifestyle interventions, the researchers write in JAMA Surgery.



Washington woman's measles death is first in US since 2003
 SEATTLE (AP) — A woman killed by measles in Washington state had been vaccinated against the disease as a child but succumbed because she had a compromised immune system, a local health official told a TV station.

 
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