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Ebola vaccine seems safe in first-stage testing
 

FILE - This handout file photo taken Sept. 2, 2014, provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a 39-year-old woman, the first participant enrolled in VRC 207, receiving a dose of the investigational NIAID/GSK Ebola vaccine at the National Institute of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md. The experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe and triggered signs of immune protection in the first 20 volunteers to test it, U.S. researchers reported Wednesday. The vaccine is designed to spur the immune system’s production of anti-Ebola antibodies, and people developed them within four weeks of getting the shots at the National Institutes of Health. Half of the test group received a higher-dose shot, and those people produced more antibodies, said the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (AP Photo/NIAID, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — An experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe and triggered signs of immune protection in the first 20 volunteers to test it, U.S. researchers reported Wednesday.



Uruguay pushes back start of marijuana sale in pharmacies
 MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Uruguay could start selling marijuana in pharmacies in March, the head of the National Drugs Board said on Wednesday, although the government had initially been aiming for year-end. The South American country is the world's first to permit the cultivation, distribution and use of marijuana, aiming to wrest control of the trade from drug gangs while at the same regulating and even taxing its consumption. But a variety of hurdles are preventing the government from making its deadlines in implementing the measures passed into law last December. ...

It's not cricket: tradition trumps innovation in helmets
 * Helmet safety in focus after Hughes injury * Manufacturers say baseball, cycling ahead on safety * Elite players slow to adopt new styles By Jane Wardell SYDNEY Nov 27 (Reuters) - Former Australia cricketer Bryce McGain wore a new, safety-conscious helmet for a series of televised one-day matches a few years ago - and quickly found himself the butt of commentator and player jibes. "They explained the technology and I liked the idea that it was safer," McGain said of the futuristic-looking helmet he wore in 2009. ...

China takes 'zero tolerance' approach to regional polluters: Cabinet
 

A man wearing a face mask stands on a bridge in front of the financial district of Pudong on a hazy day, in ShanghaiBEIJING (Reuters) - China will take a "zero tolerance" approach to a wide range of environmental violations and has promised stronger action against regional governments that protect polluters or hinder inspections, according to a Cabinet document. Authorities across China have been ordered to take part in a comprehensive inspection program to be completed by the end of 2015, said the policy document that was released on the official government website late on Wednesday. ...



Cricket-Australia batsman Hughes dies from head injury
 SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday after being struck by a ball and suffering a severe head injury two days earlier. "We are extremely sad to announce that Phillip Hughes has passed away at the age of 25," Cricket Australia said in a statement. "Our thoughts go out to Phillip's family, friends, and the entire cricket community on this incredibly sad day." Hughes was struck in the head while batting in a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday. ...

Cricket-Statement on the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes
 SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the batsman was struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match. Cricket Australia released the following statement from team doctor Peter Brukner announcing the 25-year-old's death. - - - - "It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away. "He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday. "He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends. ...

Tradition trumps safety innovation in cricket helmets
 * Helmet safety in focus after Hughes injury * Manufacturers say baseball, cycling ahead on safety * Elite players slow to adopt new styles (Edits headline) By Jane Wardell SYDNEY Nov 27 (Reuters) - Former Australia cricketer Bryce McGain wore a new, safety-conscious helmet for a series of televised one-day matches a few years ago - and quickly found himself the butt of commentator and player jibes. "They explained the technology and I liked the idea that it was safer," McGain said of the futuristic-looking helmet he wore in 2009. ...

Cricket-Reaction to the death of cricketer Phillip Hughes
 SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the batsman was struck on the head by a bouncer during a domestic match. Australian Primer Minister Tony Abbott led a flood of tributes for the 25-year-old. - - - "His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family. What happened has touched millions of Australians. For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration. ...

Australia batsman Hughes passes away aged 25
 

Cricket Australia Invitational XI player Hughes kicks up dirt as he takes a catch to dismiss England's Pietersen for 57 runs during their warm-up match at the Sydney Cricket GroundSYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the international batsman was struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match. Governing body Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the 25-year-old had lost his fight for life, casting a pall over the cricket-mad nation who are co-hosting the World Cup early next year. "We are extremely sad to announce that Phillip Hughes has passed away at the age of 25," CA said on its Twitter feed. "Our thoughts go out to Phillip's family, friends, and the entire cricket community on this incredibly sad day. ...



Number of Ebola cases nears 16,000 as Sierra Leone loses ground: WHO
 

Health workers remove the body a woman who died of Ebola virus in the Aberdeen district of FreetownBy Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic has risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries by Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. Almost all cases and all but 15 deaths have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - the three hardest-hit countries, which reported 600 new cases in the past week, the WHO said in its latest update. "The total number of cases reported in Sierra Leone since the outbreak began will soon eclipse the number reported from Liberia," it said. ...



Ebola vaccine from Glaxo passes early safety test
 

A nurse holds a syringe containing an experimental Ebola vaccine during a media visit at the CHUV in LausanneNEW YORK (Reuters) - An experimental Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline caused no serious side effects and produced an immune response in all 20 healthy volunteers who received it in an early-stage clinical trial, scientists reported on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The trial, which began on Sept. 2 and will monitor the volunteers for 48 weeks, is primarily aimed at assessing how safe the vaccine is. But the immune response offered hope that it would also be effective. ...



Cricket-Australia's Hughes dies after being hit by ball
 * Hughes suffers "massive" brain bleeding * Hughes dies two days after emergency surgery * Tributes flood social media (Recasts, adds quotes, details) By Swati Pandey SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday, two days after being struck by a ball that led to a "catastrophic" injury which caused "massive" bleeding to his brain and ultimately proved fatal. ...

Cricket-Reaction to the death of Phillip Hughes
 * Australian PM leads tributes * "a shocking aberration," says Abbott (Updates with more reaction) SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the batsman was struck on the head by a bouncer during a domestic match. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott led a flood of tributes for the 25-year-old. - - - "His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family. What happened has touched millions of Australians. For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration. ...

Cricket-'Freakish accident' gave Hughes little chance of survival - doctors
 SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes was caused by a "freakish accident" that gave the 25-year-old international batsman little chance of survival, his doctors said on Thursday. Hughes was struck by a short-pitched delivery on Tuesday while playing in a domestic match and died in St Vincent's hospital on Thursday having never regained consciousness. "I think in this instance, this was a freakish accident because it was an injury to the neck that caused haemorrhage in the brain. ...

Cricket-Fractured cheekbone lucky escape from bouncer - Shehzad
 KARACHI, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Pakistan test opener Ahmed Shehzad knows he had a lucky escape when a short-pitched ball cracked his cheekbone earlier this month and says he "froze" when he heard the news of Australian batsman Phil Hughes' death on Thursday. Hughes died in a Sydney hospital two days after being struck by a ball that led to a "catastrophic" injury which caused "massive" bleeding to his brain. ...

Cricket-Hughes death casts doubts on first India test
 * Hughes would have wanted game to go ahead - Chappell * The whole of Australian cricket is grieving, says Cricket Australia boss (Updates after Hughes death) MELBOURNE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The shocking death of batsman Phillip Hughes on Thursday has cast doubts on whether the first test between Australia and India will go ahead in Brisbane next week. A two-day tour match between India and a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide was called off following the announcement of the 25-year-old's death, while New Zealand and Pakistan suspended their test match in Sharjah for the day out of respect. ...

Lab-coated Muggles use Harry Potter to study brain
 

Leila Wehbe, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, displays images that used brain scans made from volunteers in a recent experiment while in her office on Wednesday Nov. 26, 2014. Images show a combination of data and graphics compiled as each word of a chapter of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was flashed for half a second onto a screen inside a brain-scanning MRI machine. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)WASHINGTON (AP) — Harry Potter swoops around on his broom, faces the bully Malfoy and later runs into a three-headed dog. For scientists studying brain activity while reading, it's the perfect excerpt from the young wizard's many adventures to give their subjects.



Thai court sentences five to death in war-torn south
 BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai court sentenced to death five suspected Muslim separatists convicted of killing four soldiers, prompting Human Rights Watch to accuse the government of applying "double standards" in the turbulent south. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist but parts of the south, in particular the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, are majority Muslim. A low-level insurgency in the region has claimed more than 6,000 lives since 2004 following the resurgence of a dormant Muslim separatist movement. ...

Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary
 

In this Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, photo, Alyssa Riggan, who was the first in the United States to successfully receive a liver from a living donor 25 years ago, poses with her husband, Benjamin, in their home in Severn, Md. As Riggan marks the 25th anniversary of her successful surgery on Thursday, she says its success has enabled her to live a normal life almost completely untouched by what was an often-fatal disorder. Riggan was 21 months old when her mother, Teri Smith, donated more than a third of her liver to save her daughter from a disorder called biliary atresia. (AP Photo/ Brian Witte)SEVERN, Md. (AP) — Alyssa Riggan hasn't dwelled on being the first person in the U.S. to successfully receive part of a liver from a living donor 25 years ago, a medical procedure that paved the way for routine live-donor transplants.



Cricket-Grief-stricken Clarke shows true off-field leadership
 By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Long called upon to rescue his team from treacherous situations, Australia captain Michael Clarke could do little to save his close friend Phillip Hughes, but bore his grief quietly in a vital supporting role for his "little brother's" family. Clarke was among the first to arrive at St Vincent's hospital on Tuesday after Hughes was rushed there with a sickening head injury and read the family's statement upon his death, three days before his 26th birthday. ...

Tropical fly-borne illness reported near Damascus: WHO
 GENEVA/BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least three wounded people have been infected near Damascus with a tropical disease spread by flies that had never before been reported in Syria, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. The outbreak of myiasis, also known as screw worm, stems from deteriorating water and sanitation conditions. While not life-threatening, its presence is an indicator of how bad health conditions have become, according to the global health body. ...

Cricket-Former ICC chief wants review of safety standards
 By Sudipto Ganguly MUMBAI, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Former International Cricket Council chief Jagmohan Dalmiya has called on the game's administrators to work on upgrading safety standards to ensure that incidents like the shock death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes never happen again. Hughes, wearing a helmet, was struck on the neck by a short-pitched delivery when batting in a domestic match on Tuesday, with the force of the blow piercing his vertebral artery and causing blood to gush into his brain. He died in hospital on Thursday aged 25. ...

Europe and Central Asia failing to curb spread of HIV: WHO
 By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Despite major advances in treating and preventing HIV, Europe and Central Asia have failed to tackle the epidemic, with some 136,000 people becoming newly infected with the incurable AIDS virus last year, health officials said on Thursday. Figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed 80 percent more new HIV cases in 2013 compared to 2004, meaning a crucial target to reverse the tide of AIDS in the region will be missed. ...

Ebola shows WHO needs revamp, says U.N. reformer Rudd
 By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) needs reform to prevent a recurrence of crises such as West Africa's Ebola outbreak, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd said on Thursday. Rudd is leading a two-year study to suggest ways to improve the effectiveness of the United Nations system and other global bodies, which are often deadlocked by disagreements between states or hamstrung by their internal bureaucracy. The WHO's Africa office has been widely criticized for its slow response to the Ebola epidemic, which has now killed at least 5,689 people. ...

Liposomal spray may ease contact lens discomfort
 By Kathryn Doyle Contact lens wearers with “dry eye” and discomfort may find relief from sprays or drops that add lipids back to the eye, Australian researchers say. They found that among contact lens wearers with the bothersome symptoms, the outermost layer of tears on the eye, a protective layer of lipids, is more degraded than among people without the symptoms. The liposomal spray used in the study is already available on the market, as are similar compounds in drop form, senior author Fiona Stapleton told Reuters Health by phone. ...

Most chickens sold in UK stores have traces of food bug - watchdog
 LONDON (Reuters) - Almost three-quarters of fresh chickens sold by British retailers were found to have traces of a potentially fatal food-poisoning bug, a food watchdog warned on Thursday and said major grocers were not doing enough to tackle the problem. Tackling the campylobacter bug, the most common form of food poisoning in Britain, affecting an estimated 280,000 people a year, is the Foods Standards Agency's (FSA) number one food safety priority and it is leading a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to deal with the problem. ...

Ebola shows WHO needs revamp, says UN reformer Rudd
 

Health workers in protective equipment handle a sample taken from the body of someone who is suspected to have died from Ebola virus, near Rokupa HospitalBy Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) needs reform to prevent a recurrence of crises such as West Africa's Ebola outbreak, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd said on Thursday. Rudd is leading a two-year study to suggest ways to improve the effectiveness of the United Nations system and other global bodies, which are often deadlocked by disagreements between states or hamstrung by their internal bureaucracy. The WHO's Africa office has been widely criticised for its slow response to the Ebola epidemic, which has now killed at least 5,689 people. ...



Cricket-Helmets have made batsmen feel too safe, says Boycott
 (Adds Gatting quotes) LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Helmets have given a false sense of security to batsmen, who no longer have the necessary technique to deal with fast bowling, according to former England opener Geoff Boycott. The death of Australian Phillip Hughes on Thursday after being struck on the head by a short-pitched delivery has fuelled debate about safety in cricket. "Most of my career I batted on uncovered pitches without a helmet," Boycott wrote in the Daily Telegraph. "This taught me how important it was to have a good technique against fast bowling. ...

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg released from hospital
 

File of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg attends the lunch session of The Women's Conference in Long BeachWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member of the nine-justice court, was released from a Washington hospital on Thursday after undergoing a heart procedure, a court statement said. Ginsburg, 81, had a stent placed in her right coronary artery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Wednesday to improve blood flow after she reported discomfort following routine exercise. "Justice Ginsburg was released from the hospital this morning," court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said in a statement. ...



Bird flu outbreak in India caused by strain humans can contract: OIE
 PARIS (Reuters) - A bird flu virus found in India this week is the H5N1 strain that can be transmitted to humans, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday. However, the organization said it was not concerned about the situation, because India had faced outbreaks of the virus before. No human case has been reported since at least 2003. India has found thousands of dead ducks infected by a highly contagious bird flu virus in the southern state of Kerala, prompting the authorities to cull more than 200,000 birds. ...

Venezuela says 13 inmates die of overdose after robbing infirmary ward
 By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Thirteen inmates have died after breaking into a Venezuelan jail's infirmary and ingesting medical products including pure alcohol and antibiotics, the government said on Thursday, in the latest outbreak of unrest in the country's turbulent prisons. A total of 145 prisoners were intoxicated during a revolt in the David Viloria penitentiary center in the western state of Lara on Monday, the government said in a statement. Inmates had launched a hunger strike to demand the dismissal of an official, and the protest quickly spiraled. "Around 8.30 a.m. ...

Ebola cases near 16,000, Sierra Leone to overtake Liberia soon with most cases: WHO
 

A car drives past a public health advertisement against the Ebola virus in MonroviaBy Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic has risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries by Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. Almost all cases and all but 15 deaths have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - the three hardest-hit countries, which reported 600 new cases in the past week, the WHO said in its latest update. "The total number of cases reported in Sierra Leone since the outbreak began will soon eclipse the number reported from Liberia," it said. ...



Exercise may prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy
 By Shereen Lehman (Reuters) - Moderate exercise is encouraged during pregnancy for plenty of reasons, but it may also help women avoid gaining too much weight, say UK researchers. They reviewed studies since the 1990s looking at whether exercise alone helps prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy, and found that it does, or helps with weight loss after delivery, and found that it doesn’t. They also found a total of only five solid studies on those questions. ...

FDA regs highlight harms of indoor tanning
 By Roxanne Nelson (Reuters) - Early in 2014, the United States Food and Drug Administration moved tanning lamps into a new category of “moderately harmful” medical devices, and with good reason, researchers say. In a review of the evidence that indoor tanning does damage, and has no health benefits, the study authors point out that the new rules will force device manufacturers and salons to do more to protect users. "We feel that this is a very positive move by the FDA," said Dr. ...

Mindfulness program may improve some rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
 By Shereen Lehman (Reuters) - A two-month program combining gentle yoga with meditation techniques, known as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, seemed to ease tenderness, pain and stiffness among patients with rheumatoid arthritis in a new study. “I think these findings are pretty consistent with other studies of mindfulness and chronic conditions,” said Mary Jo Kreitzer, who was not involved in the research. ...

ICRC seeks record $1.7 billion for humanitarian work in 2015
 By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed on Thursday for a record 1.6 billion Swiss francs ($1.67 billion) to respond to humanitarian crises next year in Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and other hotspots. The ICRC said its most costly operation in 2015 will be Syria, where more than three years of fighting have uprooted 7.2 million people inside the country and led 3.3 million to flee abroad, mainly to neighboring states like Lebanon and Jordan. ...

Canada to deploy military health staff to Sierra Leone in Ebola fight
 By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will send up to 40 military staff to Sierra Leone to help battle Ebola, the government said on Thursday as it also launched a campaign to recruit healthcare workers to help operate treatment centers in three West African countries. The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic had risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries as of Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. ...

Needy patients to get new hips or knees for free next week
 By Randi Belisomo (Reuters Health) - Excruciating hip pain forced 50-year-old Army veteran David Chalker to leave his machinist job two years ago, a decision that led to mounting debt, inability to afford health insurance and even a move into his in-laws’ home with his wife and three daughters. But his family is counting on one operation next week - entirely free of charge - to change the course of both his health and finances. The Long Island, New York resident is one of 120 patients scheduled for hip or knee replacement during the first week of December, provided by Operation Walk USA. ...

Italy's pharmaceutical watchdog raises alarm on batches of flu drug
 ROME (Reuters) - Italy's pharmaceutical watchdog AIFA suspended two batches of anti-flu vaccine FLUAD made by Switzerland's Novartis on Thursday, saying three deaths potentially connected to the drug had been reported. AIFA said it had not yet established whether there was a direct link between the drug and the fatalities and had imposed the ban only as a precaution. Novartis said in a statement that no causal relationship had been established. ...

Soccer great Pele in intensive care, condition improving: hospital
 

Brazilian soccer legend Pele laughs during the inauguration of a refurbished soccer field at the Mineira slum in Rio de JaneiroSAO PAULO (Reuters) - Retired Brazilian soccer great Pele is in the intensive care unit in a Sao Paulo hospital where he is being treated for a urinary tract infection, but his condition is improving, the hospital said on Thursday. The Albert Einstein Hospital said Pele, 74, was receiving renal support treatment, which helps kidneys to filter waste products from the blood, after he had an operation to remove kidney stones earlier this month. Earlier on Thursday, Pele was moved to a special care unit at the hospital, suffering what the hospital called "clinical instability. ...



 
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