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Fighting likely to surge in South Sudan as rainy season ends - report
 By Alex Whiting LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The end of the rainy season is imminent and warring parties in South Sudan's civil war are preparing for major offensives likely to cause fresh displacement and hunger, the think-tank International Crisis Group said in a report. President Salva Kiir's government forces and rebels allied to his former deputy Riek Machar have been fighting since December 2013, despite ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa and several ceasefire agreements. A growing number of militias and self-defence forces are joining the conflict. ...

To stop Ebola's spread in West Africa, target funerals: study
 

Volunteers lower a corpse, which is prepared with safe burial practices, into a grave in KailahunBy Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the global health community ramps up its efforts to treat Ebola patients and curb its spread in West Africa, a new analysis finds that the greatest impact would come from insuring safe burials for victims, scientists reported on Thursday. The need for safe burials has been known from the beginning of the epidemic last spring, when people who attended the funeral of a faith healer in Guinea became infected. U.S. ...



JAL worried about potential impact of Ebola on travel market
 TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan Airlines Co Ltd CEO Yoshiharu Ueki on Friday expressed worry about the potential impact of the Ebola outbreak on the travel market. "I'm very concerned, the potential impact could be great," he said at an earnings briefing. (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

A look at Ebola guidelines in some states
 States have broad authority to quarantine people to prevent the spread of disease, and several are exercising that right to go beyond the safety recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control for containing the deadly Ebola virus.

India considers ban on e-cigarettes, sale of single smokes
 By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is considering a ban on electronic cigarettes over the risks to public health that they may cause, a senior Health Ministry official told Reuters. The World Health Organization (WHO) in August called for stiff regulation of e-cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use, in the latest bid to control the booming $3 billion global market. Such devices use battery-powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced vapor but there is a lack of long-term scientific research that confirms they are safe. ...

Soldier or civilian, Ebola protocols not the same
 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Hagel ordered military men and women helping fight Ebola to undergo 21-day quarantines that start upon their return _ instead of their last exposure to an Ebola patient. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. soldier returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa would have to spend 21 days being monitored, isolated in a military facility away from family and the broader population. A returning civilian doctor or nurse who directly treated Ebola patients? Depends.



Siemens seen picking EQT for hearing aids next week
 MUNICH/LONDON (Reuters) - Siemens is likely to pick EQT next week to buy its hearing aids unit for about 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion), two sources familiar with the matter said. Danish hearing aid maker GN Store Nord was also in the running. Private equity firm Permira, which had been interested, is now out of the race, another source close to the matter said. Siemens' board is expected to make a decision on the matter next Wednesday, all three sources said. Siemens and EQT declined to comment. ...

Japan's central bank shocks markets with more easing as inflation slows
 

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda walks into a news conference at the BOJ headquarters in TokyoBy Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan shocked global financial markets on Friday by expanding its massive stimulus spending in a stark admission that economic growth and inflation have not picked up as much as expected after a sales tax hike in April. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda portrayed the board's tightly-split decision to buy more assets as a preemptive strike to keep policy on track, rather than an admission that his plan to reflate the long moribund-economy had derailed. ...



Police harass Kenyan patients and clinics as abortion battle heats up
 By Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Police threats against patients and medics they accuse of giving "illegal abortions", coupled with reversals in Kenyan policies, are stirring fears likely to reduce access to safe abortions, campaigners said. Doctors and nurses say police intimidation has increased since last month’s sentencing to death of a nurse, Jackson Tali, for murder after a woman died in his car. ...

China to send elite army unit to help fight Ebola in Liberia
 

Medical staff members take part in a Ebola virus preventive drill at Ditan Hospital in BeijingBy Megha Rajagopalan BEIJING (Reuters) - China will dispatch an elite unit of the People's Liberation Army to help Ebola-hit Liberia, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, responding to U.N. calls for a greater global effort to fight the deadly virus in West Africa. Washington has led the international drive to stop the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 5,000 people, sending thousands of troops and committing about $1 billion, but Beijing has faced criticism for not doing enough. ...



WHO says 2 suspected Ebola cases in Mali, 57 contacts sought
 GENEVA (Reuters) - Two people are suspected of having Ebola after coming into contact with a two-year-old girl who died of the disease in Mali last week, according to data from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. An epidemiological presentation by both agencies, given on Thursday and seen by Reuters on Friday, breaks down the girl's journey from Guinea to Mali with her grandmother, five-year-old sister and her uncle, and shows she may have had contact with 141 people in all, 57 of them yet to be identified. ...

This Halloween, Let's Protect Kids From the Deadliest Demons
 

This Halloween, Let's Protect Kids From the Deadliest DemonsWith Halloween just around the corner, little goblins and ghosts are preparing for the eeriest evening of the year. Their spooky costumes are ready and their jack-o-lanterns carved, witch cackles practiced and down to an art. But when trick-or-treaters take to the streets tonight, the most spine-chilling horror will be nowhere in sight.That's...



Sierra Leone soccer boss backs Nations Cup postponement over Ebola
 

Sierra Leone's Michael Lahoud fights for the ball with with Ivory Coast's Bony Wilfried during their 2015 African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match in AbidjanCAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The president of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), who has seen the sport come to a "grinding halt" in her country because of the Ebola outbreak, has backed host Morocco's request to have the African Cup of Nations finals postponed. Isha Johansen also revealed that the SLFA has used money donated to the organisation by the sport's international governing body FIFA, which had been intended to develop football infrastructure, to drive charity projects raising awareness of how to avoid contracting the deadly disease. ...



Habits That Could Be Making You Age Prematurely
 Taking care of your body should be a top priority. Unfortunately, in a world of flavored sodas and lazy Segways, we lose track of what it means to take care of ourselves. Exercise is key, and eating properly plays just as major of a role. But, there are other habits of our day to day lives that are negatively affecting our bodies.Click Here to...

Judge issues order enforcing Ebola isolation of defiant Maine nurse
 

Nurse Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend Ted Wilbur address the media during an informal meeting with the news media outside their home in Fort KentWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The confrontation between the state of Maine and a nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone heated up on Friday when a judge issued a temporary order enforcing a quarantine after she defied state officials and took a bike ride. The order from Charles LaVerdiere, chief judge of the Maine District Court, instructs nurse Kaci Hickox to submit to "direct active monitoring," and "not to be present in public places" like shopping centers, movie theaters or workplaces except to receive necessary healthcare. ...



Did You Look Beyond the Pink This Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
 

Did You Look Beyond the Pink This Breast Cancer Awareness Month?As October comes to an end, the pink martinis have been drunk, the pink pompoms have gone flat, and the grocery store is getting ready to change out their donation signage for another important cause. But breast cancer? It doesn't care one bit about the calendar. I know this because if it did, when my friend Dana was 37 weeks pregnant with her...



Conflicts at home affect teens at school and vice versa
 By Shereen Lehman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - - Conflicts in a teen's life can spill over at school and at home for days afterward, a new study suggests. Finding out why the spillover occurs, and which teens are most vulnerable to it, could help target ways to interrupt this damaging negative feedback loop, the study team writes in the journal Child Development. “We know that family conflict is a risk factor for poor school performance, but less is known about how these processes are associated on a daily basis,” lead author Adela Timmons told Reuters Health in an email. ...

Watch: Hannah Storm's Campaign for Children
 The sports journalist is giving back beauty.

5 Tips to 'Fall Back' From Daylight Saving Time
 What's better than sleeping in on a Sunday? How about dodging the days-long consequences of rolling the clocks back this weekend?

Watch: How to Properly Put on a Hazmat Suit
 Doctors at the NIH in Maryland demonstrate the use of protective equipment used for treating Ebola patients.

Sleep apnea tied to memory problems
 By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - The ability to remember locations and directions may suffer when deep sleep is disrupted by breathing difficulties, a new study suggests. People with sleep apnea tended to score worse on spatial memory tests after sleeping without their breathing aid, compared to mornings after they’d used their breathing aids at night, researchers found. “There had been some evidence in animal models that REM sleep or dreaming sleep is important for spatial memory, but no one had shown or proven that in people,” said Dr. ...

Staying Lean This Halloween
 

Staying Lean This HalloweenIt's that time of year when tricks and treats seem to find their way into your pantry, much to the dismay of your weight loss and health goals. A bit of nervousness and fear is probably setting in for you've been here before, and although you often start this season off with the best intentions, "THIS year it's going to be different!" or "THIS...



On Denton's Upcoming Referendum for a Fracking Ban
 

On Denton's Upcoming Referendum for a Fracking BanBy: Najmedin Meshkati, Nima Jabbari, Jamie Heinecke, and Cyrus Ashayeri As we all know, on November 4 there will be a referendum on a fracking ban in Denton, TX. Regardless of the outcome, the impact of this unprecedented grassroots movement will transcend well beyond Denton's city limits and affect the future of the entire oil and gas fracking...



Africans worst responders in Ebola crisis
 JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The head of Africa's continental body did not get to an Ebola-hit country until last week — months after alarm bells first rang and nearly 5,000 deaths later.

U.S. envoy to U.N. defends Ebola guidelines; praises airlines
 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker panel discussion, "The Ebola Crisis: How it Arose and What you Need to Know" in New YorkBy Louis Charbonneau and Bill Berkrot NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power on Friday defended federal guidelines for monitoring health workers returning from three Ebola-stricken West African countries and praised the airlines still flying there. Amid controversy in the United States over some states ordering 21-day quarantines for nurses and doctors returning home after treating Ebola patients, Power said current federal rules balanced "the need to respond to the fears that this has generated" with the known science on the disease. ...



Mali Ebola victim had contact with 141 people, 57 still sought
 

Health worker checks the temperature of a baby entering Mali from Guinea at the border in KouremaleBy Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - A 2-year-old girl who brought Ebola to Mali may have had contact with as many as 141 people, 57 of whom have yet to be traced, according to health experts concerned the disease could spread in Mali and beyond. Two people known to have had contact with the girl were suspected of having the disease, according to a slide presentation by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control seen by Reuters on Friday. One of the two had not been tested and the other had been tested but with no result yet known. ...



No Quarantine for Kaci Hickox While She Awaits Hearing, Judge Rules
 Temporary court order prohibits her from public places.

Judge imposes conditions on Maine nurse, rejects stricter measures: lawyer
 NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Maine judge imposed certain conditions on an American nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone but rejected a bid from state officials for more restrictive measures, her lawyer told Reuters. Charles LaVerdiere, chief judge of Maine District Court, on Thursday had earlier instructed Kaci Hickox to avoid "public places" like shopping centers and to maintain a three-foot distance from others at the state's request, hours after she defied officials and went for a bike ride. ...

Medicare paid for meds after patients were dead
 

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2014 file photo, Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. A government watchdog agency says Medicare’s prescription drug program kept paying for costly medications even after patients were dead. The problem seems to have started with a bureaucratic rule now getting a second look. A report coming out Friday from the Health and Human Services inspector general says Medicare has been allowing payment for prescriptions filled up to 32 days after a patient’s death. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it drugs for the departed: A quirky bureaucratic rule led Medicare's prescription drug program to pay for costly medications even after the patients were dead.



AbbVie says strong results lessen need for big deal
 

A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Ransdell Pierson (Reuters) - AbbVie, which this month abandoned its planned $55 billion purchase of Dublin drugmaker Shire , reported impressive quarterly earnings on demand for its Humira arthritis drug and said it could deliver strong long-term growth without rushing into another big merger attempt. "The underlying growth prospects of AbbVie don't require us to do a deal of that size," AbbVie Chief Executive Richard Gonzalez said in conference call, but added the company was keen on smaller acquisitions, particularly of treatments involving rare diseases, cancer and hepatology. ...



Judge's rejection of nurse quarantine 'unfortunate': Maine governor
 (Reuters) - Maine Governor Paul LePage said on Friday it was unfortunate that a judge rejected the state's attempts to impose a strict quarantine on an American nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, but said he will abide by the ruling. The ruling appeared to end a stand-off between the state and the nurse, Kaci Hickox, who had defied officials by leaving her house and going for a bike ride. "The judge has eased restrictions with this ruling. And I believe it is unfortunate," LePage said in a statement. "However, the state will abide by law." (Reporting by Jonathan Allen)

Routines most vital in avoiding Ebola infection: WHO
 

Health workers take part in a pre-deployment training for staff heading to Ebola-hit areas on October 29, 2014 in GenevaMeticulously following stringent routines when putting on and removing protective equipment is more important than the kind of gear health care workers use to ward off Ebola infection, the World Health Organization said Friday. "The choice of (protective equipment) is much less important than the way it is used," said Edward Kelley, head of service delivery and safety at WHO. Presenting updated WHO guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment, or PPE, he said health care workers contracting Ebola on the job were not doing so because they made the wrong choice of gear. "It's the way that PPE has been put on and taken off," he told reporters, stressing the importance of in-depth training and clear systems in which health care workers always have a colleague watching and guiding their dressing and undressing.



Judge eases limits on nurse who treated Ebola patients
 By Joel Page FORT KENT Maine (Reuters) - A Maine judge on Friday imposed limited restrictions on an American nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone and rejected a bid by state officials for more stringent measures. The confrontation between Kaci Hickox and officials in the state of Maine has become the focal point of a dispute pitting several U.S. states opting for strict quarantines against the federal government, which opposes such measures. ...

Republicans question preparedness spending after Ebola missteps
 

U.S. President Barack Obama talks next to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Burwell after meeting with his team coordinating the government's Ebola response in the Oval Office of the White House in WashingtonBy David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Texas Republicans, including Tea Party-backed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, sought to ratchet up the pressure on the Obama administration's Ebola response on Friday, by questioning its use of federal tax dollars for emergency preparedness. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the lawmakers said they were concerned about missteps in the Dallas Ebola case of Thomas Eric Duncan, which they said occurred after large sums of federal money were spent to help U.S. cities prepare for infectious diseases. ...



Ebola death toll rises, fewer cases in Guinea than thought: WHO
 

A billboard with a message about Ebola is seen on a street in Conakry, GuineaGENEVA (Reuters) - The Ebola epidemic has killed 4,951 people out of 13,567 infected in eight countries, the World Health Organization said on Friday, slightly revising downwards its figures for cases mainly due to "suspected cases in Guinea being discarded". The toll reflects a rise of 31 deaths since the United Nations agency reported its previous figures on Wednesday, while the number of overall cases fell by 136. ...



Judge rejection of quarantine over Ebola good compromise: nurse
 (Reuters) - The American nurse who had defied the state of Maine's quarantine order after her return from Sierra Leone treating Ebola patients said a judge's rejection of the order on Friday was a good compromise. Maine Governor Paul LePage wanted the nurse, Kaci Hickox, to be quarantined in her house until the middle of next month even though she has tested negative for the virus and says she is healthy. (Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Grant McCool)

Flu or Ebola? US hospitals prepare for a confusing season
 

Local residents gather brochures about Ebola prior to a meeting with community leaders and Health Department medical professionals October 29, 2014 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New YorkAfter weeks of Ebola panic, false alarms and quibbles over quarantine in the United States, health authorities are bracing for a new battle: flu season. The end of October marks the start of influenza season, bringing with it the predictable sniffles, sneezes, fever and aches that can extend well into the spring months. First is the Ebola epidemic in West Africa that spilled into the United States when a Liberian man traveled to Texas in September and infected two nurses who helped care for him. The prospect of facing all three illnesses in a single season has led the CDC to start a public education campaign to help people understand the risks, and to remind people to get their annual flu vaccine.



China lifts suspension on Washington State delicious apples
 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China is lifting its suspension on the import of red and golden delicious apples from Washington State, reopening a market once valued at about $6.5 million a year, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Friday. The restrictions were placed in 2012 by Chinese quarantine authorities due to the repeated interception of three apple pests: speck rot, bull's-eye rot, and Sphaeropsis rot. Since then, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service worked with the U.S. ...

Judge rejects Ebola quarantine for nurse
 FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A Maine judge gave nurse Kaci Hickox the OK to go wherever she pleases, handing state officials a defeat Friday in their bid to restrict her movements as a precaution against Ebola.

Accused in Canada dismemberment trial had troubled childhood, his father says
 

An artist's sketch shows Luka Rocco Magnotta in court for his preliminary hearing in MontrealBy Allison Lampert MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Canadian man who killed and dismembered a Chinese student in 2012 was raised by a domineering mother who would get drunk on vodka and was obsessed with germs, the man's father testified on Friday, while describing himself as an alcoholic schizophrenic. Luka Magnotta, 32, has admitted killing and dismembering engineering student Jun Lin, 33, and to videotaping the acts and mailing parts of the body to several addresses. He is pleading not guilty due to mental illness. ...



 
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