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EU launches legal case against Germany, UK over Volkswagen scandal

Volkswagen logo is pictured at the newly opened Volkswagen factory in WrzesniaThe European Union opened legal action on Thursday against seven nations including Germany and Britain for failing to police emissions cheating by carmakers after the Volkswagen scandal. Germany, Britain, Spain and Luxembourg stand accused of not imposing the same kind of penalties VW faced in the United States over its use of illegal software to mask emissions of health-harming nitrogen oxide (NOx) on tests. The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, has further called Germany and Britain to account for refusing to share details on breaches of EU emissions laws uncovered in national investigations this year.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 06:24:25 -0500
Sweden joins dash to host EU drugs agency instead of London after Brexit

Pharmaceutical tablets and capsules are arranged on a table in this picture illustrationThe Swedish government on Thursday launched a campaign to become the new host of the London-based European drugs agency after Britain's vote to leave the European Union and compete with offers from other EU members including Spain, France and Poland. The tussle over the future location of nearly 900-strong European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to form part of complex political horse-trading around Brexit. "With one of Europe's top national medicines agencies, an excellent climate for research and life science as well as good conditions for an efficient relocation, Sweden is a good future home for the EMA," Health Care Minister Gabriel Wikstrom said in a statement.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05:24:00 -0500
Nearly 150 patients evacuated from east Aleppo: ICRC

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Nearly 150 civilians, most disabled or in need of urgent medical care, were evacuated overnight from a hospital in Aleppo's Old City, the first major evacuation from the eastern sector, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday. Eleven patients had died from lack of medication or been killed in crossfire before ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams could reach them, it said. The head of the ICRC delegation in Syria, Marianne Gasser, who is in the city, said in a statement on the evacuees: "Many of them cannot move and need special attention and care." Of the evacuated disabled, mental health patients and wounded from Dar Al-Safaa hospital in the Old City late on Wednesday, 118 patients were taken to three hospitals in the government-controlled west of Aleppo.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05:03:28 -0500
Lost and found: Japan tags dementia sufferers with barcodes

The World Health Organization says 36 million people around the world suffer from some form of dementia, most of them with AlzheimersA Japanese city has introduced a novel way to keep track of senior citizens with dementia who are prone to getting lost -- tagging their fingers and toes with scan-able barcodes. The adhesive QR-coded seals for nails -- part of a free service launched this month and a first in Japan -- measure just one centimetre (0.4 inches) in size. Japan is grappling with a rapidly ageing population with senior citizens expected to make up a whopping 40 percent of the population around 2060.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 04:35:02 -0500
Senate joins House to pass sweeping new health bill

Manni Baez takes some of his daily antiviral medications for HIV at the National Institutes of Health in BethesdaThe U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to support sweeping legislation that will reshape the way the Food and Drug Administration approves new medicines. It will also provide funding for cancer and Alzheimer's research, help fight the opioid epidemic, expand access to mental health treatment and advance research into precision medicine. Two years in the making, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed last week by the House of Representatives and will now go to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 04:33:56 -0500
Canada set to agree carbon price, marking climate split with Trump

By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government and 10 provinces are set to agree a national carbon price on Friday, doubling down on a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions just weeks before avowed climate change skeptic Donald Trump becomes U.S. President. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the carbon price - the first of its kind in Canada - will help the country meet its targets under the 2015 Paris environmental accords and boost the Canadian clean technology sector. The price deal is another sign of Trudeau's alignment on climate issues with U.S. President Barack Obama, who is pressing to curb greenhouse emissions, mainly from coal-fired power plants.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 04:21:24 -0500
Surgeon General calls youth vaping a public health threat

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2014, photo, U.S. Surgeon General appointee Vivek Murthy appears on Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. surgeon general is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation's youth. In a report being released Thursday, Murthy acknowledges a need for more research into the health effects of "vaping," but says e-cigarettes aren't harmless and too many teens are using them. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)WASHINGTON (AP) The U.S. surgeon general is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation's youth.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 03:07:07 -0500
US life expectancy drops for first time since AIDS crisis peak

US life expectancy drops for first time since AIDS crisis peakLife expectancy in the United States dropped last year for the first time since the peak of the HIV/AIDS crisis more than 20 years ago, as deaths rose from nearly every major cause, federal data showed Thursday. The total US population's life expectancy in 2015 was 78.8 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2014, said the report by the National Center for Health Statistics. Deaths from eight of the top 10 causes mounted, including spikes in accidental deaths among children and deaths from Alzheimer's disease in the elderly.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 03:02:35 -0500
EU regulator accepts Sanofi/Regeneron's Dupixent product for review

French multinational pharmaceutical company SANOFI logo is seen at the headquarters in ParisThe European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Union's health regulator, has accepted for review the Dupixent product being developed by drugmakers Sanofi and Regeneron, the companies said on Thursday. Dupixent is aimed at adults with eczema or moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD), who are candidates for systemic therapy. If cleared by regulators, Dupixent would be the first approved systemic treatment for eczema, which in severe cases produces infection-prone rashes and a constant itch as bad as poison ivy.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 01:55:26 -0500
HIV alert for male-to-male sex in Philippines

Activists carry signs during a protest march marking World AIDS Day, in ManilaHIV infections among men having sex with men in the Philippines have surged 10-fold in five years, with authorities largely ignoring the problem, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Thursday. The Catholic country has one of the fastest-growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia-Pacific because successive governments have failed to promote contraceptives and give sex education to gay or bisexual men, it said. "National education on effective HIV prevention methods is non-existent, and laws prohibit condom access and HIV testing to people under 18 without parental consent," the report said.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 01:36:44 -0500
U.S. transgender people harassed in public restrooms: landmark survey

A gender neutral bathroom is seen at the University of California, IrvineAlmost 60 percent of transgender Americans have avoided using public restrooms for fear of confrontation, saying they have been harassed and assaulted, according to the largest survey taken of transgender people in the United States. The survey of 27,715 respondents reached an estimated 2 percent of the adult transgender population in 2015, seeking to fill a gap in data about a severely understudied group whose experiences and challenges from medicine to law to economics and family relations are poorly understood. The findings by the National Center for Transgender Equality on public restrooms counter the message of mainly conservative politicians and religious leaders that transgender people are the antagonists preying on others.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:05:41 -0500
U.S. surgeon general raises concerns over e-cigarette use among youth

E-cigarettes containing THC oils are pictured at Los Angeles Patients & Caregivers Group dispensary in West HollywoodBy Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. surgeon general on Thursday called for action to reduce the use of e-cigarettes among young people, noting they have overtaken cigarettes to become the most commonly used tobacco products among this group. "More studies are needed to elucidate the nature of any true causal relationship between e-cigarette and combustible tobacco product use," the report said.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:05:03 -0500
Japan Inc warns of global trade contraction under Trump presidency: Reuters poll

A cargo ship is pictured at an industrial port in TokyoCorporate Japan is bracing for a rocky ride under incoming U.S. President Donald Trump, a Reuters poll showed, with well over a third of firms seeing a contraction in global trade as concerns about a rise in U.S. protectionism threaten to shatter a fragile economic recovery. Fully three-quarters of Japanese companies expect no expansion in world trade, highlighting festering anxiety that Trump's fiery protectionist rhetoric during campaigning might turn into growth-sapping policies through his four-year term that begins in January.

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:01:07 -0500
Rights group, worried about HIV, urges Philippines action

MANILA, Philippines (AP) A human rights watchdog says the Philippines is facing one of the fastest growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific, fueled by government policies that restrict intervention, including access to condoms by men who have sex with men.

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 22:40:41 -0500
Ohio House committee approves 20-week abortion ban

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Abortions would be banned after 20 weeks under a bill that Republican lawmakers hope to pass Thursday and add to legislation already on its way to GOP Gov. John Kasich that would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 21:58:24 -0500
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