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Merck plans to sell its allergy business unit to cut debt: Bloomberg

Branch of drugs and chemicals group Merck is pictured in central German city of Darmstadt(Reuters) - German drugs and chemicals maker Merck KGaA is planning to sell its allergy business, Allergopharma, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

ADHD impact on families predicts whether kids get needed services
 By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) - Many elementary school children with ADHD don’t get services like medication and behavior therapy that might improve their condition, according to an Australian study. “ADHD is not a trivial problem. It can have major negative effects on children's learning, social interactions, emotional well-being, self-esteem and quality of life,” said lead author Dr. Daryl Efron by email.

Lawmakers: Agency not doing enough against dengue fever

This Nov. 25, 2015 photo provided by Hawaii state Sen. Russell Ruderman shows Ruderman and his wife Dina pose for a photo on in Pahoa, Hawaii. The senator is worried about a dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island where they live because his wife is six months pregnant. He's among the Big Island lawmakers who say the state Department of Health isn't doing enough to combat the outbreak. (Russell Ruderman via AP)HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii state Sen. Russell Ruderman worries whenever there's a mosquito buzzing in his home.

As climate impacts hit, Pakistan faces migration surge: experts
 By Aamir Saeed THATTA, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Fisherman Muhammad Yusuf's family has been living on the island of Hajamaro, just over three miles off the coast of southern Pakistan, for generations. Sea level rise and frequent cyclones are eroding Yusuf’s property. Across Pakistan, families are struggling against rising sea level, droughts, floods and other climate-change related pressures.

More than one million children need urgent aid in the conflict-torn Central African Republic: U.N.
 More than a million children in the Central African Republic are in urgent need of humanitarian aid while almost half of those under five are malnourished, the United Nations said on Friday ahead of Pope Francis' visit to the conflict-torn country. Sectarian violence has plagued the country since and fresh fighting broke out in Bangui two months ago, the worst violence in the capital this year, when the murder of a Muslim man triggered reprisal attacks on a largely Christian neighborhood. Some two million children have been affected by violence which first broke out in December 2012, and 1.2 million now need urgent aid, said the U.N. children's agency, UNICEF.

Farm recalls produce used in Costco salad linked to E. coli

In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, cars fill the parking lot of a Costco store in Seattle. A California farm is recalling a vegetable mix believed to be the source of E.coli in Costco chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened several people in multiple states, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, Nov. 26. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California farm is recalling a vegetable mix believed to be the source of E.coli in Costco chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened 19 people in seven states, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

E. coli from Costco chicken salad traced to tainted celery

In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, cars fill the parking lot of a Costco store in Seattle. A California farm is recalling a vegetable mix believed to be the source of E.coli in Costco chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened several people in multiple states, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, Nov. 26. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A multi-state E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 19 people who ate rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco Wholesale Corp's stores has been traced to a celery-and-onion mix used in the salad, prompting its California maker to recall the product. The contaminated chicken in that case was supplied by California-based Foster Poultry Farms.

Storm in a herbal cup: Indonesian elixirs get a modern twist

An employee of a cafe selling traditional Indonesian herbal medicine known as 'jamu' prepares a jamu drink for a customer in JakartaThe trendy cafe looks like a typical coffee shop in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, but in fact it sells herb-infused brews promising to fix every ailment from coughs to impotence. Indonesians have for generations taken herbal medicine, known locally as "jamu", as a remedy for common ailments, and many children's early memories include being forced to gulp down concoctions of ingredients such as ginger and turmeric. A resurgence in domestic popularity is being driven by hangouts such as the Jakarta cafe, which welcomes young professionals and students to a retro setting that mixes old-fashioned furniture with touches of the past, such as black and white prints and vintage bicycles.

One killed, several injured in hit-and-run crash in New York City

A New York City police officer inspects cars at a crash site in the Brooklyn borough in New York(Reuters) - One person was killed and several people were injured on a busy New York City street on Thursday when a hit-and-run driver struck a pedestrian before driving away and crashing into parked cars, police said.

Allegations of plot against Thai government unfounded: opposition

Policemen stand guard outside the Parliament as National Legislative Assembly members vote during an impeachment hearing for ousted former PM Yingluck Shinawatra, in BangkokBy Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - Allegations by Thailand's prime minister that members of the opposition planned to attack senior officials are baseless and designed to deflect attention from a corruption investigation, one of the main opposition groups said on Friday. Accusations of graft involving a park built to honor Thailand's monarchy are threatening to damage an anti-graft drive by the ruling junta, which seized power last year vowing to clean up government and protect royal prestige. The graft accusations, leveled by some Thai media and opposition groups, have transfixed a country anxious over the declining health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 87.

Easing of China one-child policy too late for those who lost only child

The Wider Image: China: when an only child diesBy Kim Kyung-Hoon BEIJING (Reuters) - Cui Wenlan was devastated when she heard the news last month that China was scrapping its one-child policy. Cui's story underscores the punitive nature of China's family planning policy, beyond the more well-known stories of forced abortions and sterilisations, and highlights the plight of an estimated million "shidu" families, or those who have lost their only child. China, the world's most populous country with nearly 1.4 billion people, says the once-child policy has averted 400 million births since 1980, saving scarce food resources and helping to pull families out of poverty.

South Sudan food team finds risk of "widespread catastrophe"

Residents displaced due to the recent fighting between government and rebel forces in the Upper Nile capital Malakal wait at a World Food Program (WFP) outpost where thousands have taken shelter in Kuernyang PayamBy Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people surviving on water lilies and swamp fish after fleeing South Sudan's war may run out of food entirely when the dry season starts in January, food security experts said in a report seen by Reuters on Thursday. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) team said after a trip to South Sudan's Unity State that said 40,000 people there were projected to be in a food security "catastrophe" and at risk of famine. The IPC members include non-governmental organisations and U.N. agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Programme.

Produce in Costco salad linked to E. coli is being recalled

In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, cars fill the parking lot of a Costco store in Seattle. A California farm is recalling a vegetable mix believed to be the source of E.coli in Costco chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened several people in multiple states, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, Nov. 26. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal officials say a business is recalling a vegetable mix believed to be the source of E.coli in Costco chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened 19 people in seven states.

Study shows that low-sugar diet makes food taste sweeter

A low-sugar diet makes food taste sweeter: studyA new study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that adults who stuck to a low-sugar diet found that food tasted sweeter. Results showed that for those who had reduced their sugar intake, food tasted much sweeter than for those who stuck to their original sugar intake.

The 'Angelina effect' has doubled preventative mastectomy numbers in the UK

The American actress underwent a preventative double mastectomy and removal of her ovaries in 2013 to eliminate risk of cancer.Two years after the actress Angelina Jolie went public about having a gene mutation linked to breast cancer and her preventative double mastectomy, a new UK study has shown that the number of preventative operations of this kind has risen. Angelina Jolie's announcement in May 2013 that she had had a double mastectomy caused a media storm. The American actress carries a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, as did her mother, who died of breast cancer.

5 Things Psychologists Wish Their Patients Would Do

5 Things Psychologists Wish Their Patients Would DoDoes your therapist have a secret wish list of things you should do to optimize your therapy?If you’re one of the millions of people in the United States who sees a therapist, you may have had this exact thought. To answer that question, we asked five psychologists -- Melanie Greenberg, PhD, Laura Kauffman, PhD, Craig Malkin, PhD, Simon...

8 Questions To Ask Your Pharmacist

8 Questions To Ask Your PharmacistMore than 4 billion prescriptions were filled at retail pharmacies in 2014, according to data from theHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Of those prescriptions, roughly half to three-quarters were used incorrectly, says pharmacist Linda Bernstein, a volunteer clinical professor at University of California-San Francisco School of Pharmacy and a...

Misleading HPV vaccine websites are easy to find
 By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Parents who go online to find out about the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer, may have a hard time finding accurate information, a recent U.S. study suggests. In the U.S., the HPV vaccine is recommended for children at age 11 or 12 years, with the goal of protecting them against the virus before they become sexually active, and also for teens and young adults who may not have previously been vaccinated. The Internet, where the vast majority of Americans go for answers to a wide variety of medical questions, may be particularly misleading when it comes to facts about HPV, researchers report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Broad smiles and enduring spirit at Holocaust survivors' beauty contest

Rita Berkowitz, a Holocaust survivor and winner of a beauty contest for survivors of the Nazi genocide, waves on a stage, in the northern Israeli city of HaifaBy Amir Cohen HAIFA, Israel (Reuters) - To the strains of Madonna's "Vogue", the 13 women with a combined age of about 1,050 strutted down the runway cautiously, hindered only slightly by walking sticks and the odd dodgy hip. The third annual Holocaust survivors' beauty pageant, honoring women who lived through the concentration camps and death marches of Nazi Germany, was held in the city of Haifa this week with hundreds of relatives turning out in support. "Many of them were children, teenagers or young adults during the Holocaust," said Jurgen Buhler, the German director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, a sponsor.

U.N. Syria envoy says downing of Russian jet 'did not help' peace process
 STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Turkey's downing of a Russian jet near the Syrian border earlier this week risks harming the Syrian peace process, the United Nation's top Syria diplomat said on Friday, speaking in Stockholm. "It certainly did not help... there is a likelihood of it complicating this," U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said about political negotiations over peace or a cease fire. NATO member Turkey and Russia have been in a war of words after Turkey's air force shot down a Russian warplane. (Reporting by Alistair Scrutton, Writing by Daniel Dickson; Editing by Simon Johnson)

UNICEF: AIDS leading cause of death for African teenagers

Mani Djelassem, a 17-year-old activist who was born HIV-positive, speaks at a United Nations' agency for children (UNICEF) news conference in Johannesburg, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Djelassem says it was essential to educate teenagers about the disease and the medication that has been vital to saving her own life. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)JOHANNESBURG (AP) — While the global push to eradicate HIV may have saved over a million babies, AIDS is now the leading cause of death for African teenagers and the second most common killer for adolescents across the globe, the United Nations' agency for children said on Friday.

Screen time, in moderation, not linked to youngsters' depression
 There was, however, little difference in depression risk between children who didn’t have any screen time and those who got about two hours a day. Screen time didn't appear connected to depression in older teens.  Overall, in smaller doses, screen time appeared to be a good thing. “The finding of the lower depression risk with a relatively low quantity of screen time may suggest that exposure to screen/media, when in moderation, can have potentially positive impacts on adolescents’ mental health,” said senior study author Dr. Yao Shuqiao of the Medical Psychological Institute, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University in Hunan, China.

Passengers on BA jet that caught fire in Las Vegas sue Boeing, GE

A British Airways passenger jet is shown after a fire at McCarran International Airport in Las VegasPassengers on a British Airways plane that caught fire taking off from Las Vegas in September are suing the makers of the plane and its engines in Chicago, their lawyers said on Friday. The engine of the Boeing 777 burst into flames, forcing all 170 passengers and crew to escape via emergency slides, after a part of a spool in the high-pressure compressor failed, according to findings from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Now 65 passengers from the United States, Britain, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Germany are seeking damages from Boeing and engine maker GE for pain, suffering, emotional stress as well as financial losses, law firm Stewarts Law said in a statement.

Exclusive: Lazard works with Sanofi on $12.7 billion animal health unit deal - sources

The Sanofi logo is seen at the company's headquarters in LyonBy Pamela Barbaglia, Olivia Oran and Arno Schuetze LONDON/NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Investment bank Lazard is working with Sanofi's management to prepare a sale or listing of its Merial animal health unit, aiming to land the leading advisory job for the deal, which could value the business at up 12 billion euros ($12.7 billion), sources familiar with the matter said. Lazard is expected to win the role for the so-called dual-track process having helped Sanofi's management in the ongoing review, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Sanofi and Lazard declined to comment.

Preschoolers in daycare need more outdoor time

Preschool children dressed as animals participate in a parade ahead of preschool education celebration day on the outskirts of LimaBy Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Many preschoolers in daycare may need more outdoor time to help increase their odds of getting enough physical activity, a small U.S. study suggests. Pediatricians recommend that young children get at least an hour a day of physical activity to help build motor skills, coordination and strong muscles and bones, as well as to reduce the potential for obesity later in life. “But when children are in child care for eight to 10 hours, all of the daylight hours may be in child care settings, so this is not always possible." Researchers studied 380 children ranging in age from three to six years old at 30 childcare centers from 2009 through 2011.

Oklahoma hospital will not charge homecoming crash victims for ER treatment
 The Oklahoma hospital that treated about 40 people after a woman driving a vehicle plowed into a crowd at a university homecoming parade last month will not bill the patients for their initial treatment, hospital officials said on Friday. Stillwater Medical Center will cover some costs through automobile insurance claims and probably take a loss on other billing from the aftermath of the Oct. 24 crash that killed four people at the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade. “We know this has been a very difficult time for our patients and our community,” CEO Jerry Moeller said in a statement.

Brazil to sue BHP, Vale for $5 billion in damages for dam burst

A combination photograph shows windows of damaged houses in Bento Rodrigues district after a dam, owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd, burst in Mariana, BrazilBrazil's federal and state governments plan to sue the owners of the Samarco iron ore miner for 20 billion reais ($5.24 billion)in damages caused by the burst of a tailings dam, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira told reporters on Friday. Samarco is a joint venture between the world's largest mining company, BHP Billiton Ltd, and the biggest iron ore miner, Vale SA. The dam burst earlier this month unleashed 60 million cubic meters of mud and mine waste that devastated a village, killed at least 13 people and polluted a major river valley. Teixeira said the suit will be filed on Monday.

Brazil regulator to apply additional fines against Samarco
 BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's environmental regulator is planning additional fines against iron ore miner Samarco on top of the 20 billion reais in damages and clean-up charges the government is seeking, the country's attorney general, Luis Adams, said on Friday. The regulator, known as Ibama, has already fined Samarco 250 million reais in the aftermath of a rupture of a tailings dam that ravaged communities and contaminated a major river. Samarco is a joint venture between the world's largest mining company, BHP Billiton Ltd, and the biggest iron ore miner, Vale SA. ...

Chilean mom restricted access to baby for smoking marijuana
 SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A Chilean mother says a hospital is restricting her right to see her newborn daughter because she acknowledged smoking marijuana days before she gave birth.

Man charged with scaling White House fence to undergo psychiatric exam

A restricted area sign is seen outside of the White House in WashingtonA Connecticut man charged with scaling the White House fence draped in the U.S. flag was ordered on Friday to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after officials say they found a suicide note and will. The suspect, Joseph Caputo, 23, of Stamford, triggered a lockdown of the White House on Thanksgiving Day with President Barack Obama inside, according to his public schedule. The incident marks at least the third time someone has jumped the White House fence this year.

Hookah and e-cigarettes popular with high schoolers

File photo of the new e-cigarette Jai is displayed in a tobacco shop in ParisBy Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Almost 10 percent of 11th and 12th graders are using e-cigarettes, and other alternative tobacco products are increasingly popular, according to a new study. Young people often use multiple tobacco products at once, the researchers found. “From this analysis we can say that there are two groups of youth that are concerning: those who are likely using e-cigs and hookah concurrently and those youth who are likely using three or more products,” said lead author Tamika D. Gilreath of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Mixed drinks with diet beverages may boost breath alcohol levels
 By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - People who mix alcohol and diet drinks end up with more alcohol on their breath, according to a new study. People who drank vodka mixed with diet soda had higher alcohol concentrations on their breath than those who drank the same amount of vodka mixed with regular soda, researchers write in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Prevention materials should include this information so people know that by trying to avoid some extra calories in a mixed drink, they risk having higher breath alcohol concentrations, write the researchers, led by Amy Stamates of Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights.

Obama notified about shooting near Colorado clinic: White House
 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama was notified on Friday about a shooting near a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the White House said. "The president has been notified by his Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, and will be updated on the situation as necessary," a White House official said. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Police cannot confirm Colorado Springs gunman 'contained': spokeswoman
 (Reuters) - Police in Colorado Springs cannot confirm reports that a gunman who shot and wounded several people near a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city on Friday was "contained," or rule out the possibility that hostages were taken, a police spokeswoman said.

Colorado gunman still shooting from inside clinic, police say
 (Reuters) - The suspected gunman who shot and wounded several people near a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday is still shooting from inside the building, a police spokeswoman said.

FDA declines expanded approval for Bristol-Myers' Opdivo drug
 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve its immuno-oncology drug, Opdivo, for its expanded use to treat an additional type of advanced skin cancer. Bristol-Myers said it received a so-called complete response letter from the health regulator, which indicated the need for additional data in the BRAF mutated patient population. The regulator issues a complete response letter when a new or generic treatment cannot be approved in its current form.

New York police send vehicles to Planned Parenthood clinics across city
 (Reuters) - The New York Police Department said it has redeployed vehicles to Planned Parenthood locations throughout the city on Friday in the wake of a shooting at a clinic in Colorado, although there were no specific threats made.

At least nine injured by gunman at Colorado abortion clinic
 Police engaged in a shootout on Friday with a gunman who stormed a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Colorado Springs in a burst of violence that left four officers and an undetermined number of civilians injured, police said. Police swarmed the area around the building after an emergency call reporting shots fired at about 11:30 a.m. Mountain Time (1830 GMT), and officers ultimately confronted the suspect inside the building, said Lieutenant Catherine Buckley, the police department spokeswoman.

Three killed, nine injured in attack on Colorado abortion clinic

A suspect is taken into custody outside a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado SpringsBy Keith Coffman COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - A gunman stormed a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday and opened fire with a rifle in an attack that left three people dead and nine others injured, authorities said. The dead included one police officer and two civilians, Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey told reporters about an hour after the suspect had been captured. All nine surviving victims - five police officers and four civilians - were listed in good condition at area hospitals, Carney said.

Air pollution in Beijing hits hazardous levels

People wearing face masks walk across Tiananmen Square on a day with poor air quality in Beijing, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. Air pollution in Beijing reached hazardous levels on Saturday as smog engulfed large parts of the country despite efforts to clean up the foul air. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING (AP) — Air pollution in Beijing reached hazardous levels on Saturday as smog engulfed large parts of China despite efforts to clean up the foul air.

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