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By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - Vietnam War veterans on Saturday called for more research into the health effects of U.S. service members' exposure to Agent Orange, in a first of its kind open meeting at a VA hospital in Portland, Oregon, on the lingering effects of the chemicals. The U.S. military during the Vietnam War sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange to destroy foliage and expose enemy troops. The herbicide, nicknamed for its giant orange storage drums, was often contaminated with a type of dioxin, a potently carcinogenic chemical. ... . . more
(Reuters) - The University of Virginia is suspending all fraternal organizations until January after a magazine article described in detail an alleged sexual assault that occurred on the campus, the school said on Saturday. All fraternal organizations and associated social activities will shut down until Jan. 9, the beginning of the spring semester, so that students, faculty and alumni can address sexual assault and sexual violence on campus, said Teresa Sullivan, president of the prestigious state university, located in Charlottesville, about 100 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. ... . . more
LONDON (Reuters) - British insurer Aviva plc said on Saturday it would compensate around 250 annuity customers who had been short-changed because of an error in its sales process. The Telegraph newspaper reported on Saturday that Aviva had discovered staff had sold hundreds of customers inappropriate pensions in 2013. Savers with medical conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and smokers should have been offered an increased annuity - which provides an income for life - based on their lower life expectancy, the newspaper said. ... . . more
BERLIN (Reuters) - A senior ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the foreign minister and his fellow Social Democrats (SPD) against pursuing a more friendly approach towards Russia in the Ukraine crisis, according to Spiegel magazine. "I know Mr (Frank-Walter) Steinmeier as a sensible diplomat. And we also need the dialogue with Russia," Horst Seehofer, leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), was quoted as saying in an interview published on Saturday. ... . . more
BERLIN (Reuters) - German authorities on Saturday confirmed a second case of the H5N8 strain of bird flu in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with the virus found in a wild bird. The strain is highly contagious among birds but has never been detected in humans. "For the first time, the H5N8 virus has been confirmed in a wild bird in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern," Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said in a statement. ... . . more
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) Mali on Saturday confirmed a new case of Ebola and said two more suspected patients are being tested, raising concern about a further spread of the disease which has already killed at least five people in the country. . . more
Sat, 22 Nov 2014 10:37:16 -0500
VATICAN CITY (AP) Pope Francis tenderly embraced children with autism spectrum disorders, some of whom avoided meeting his gaze, during an audience Saturday aimed at offering solidarity to people living with the condition. . . more
BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali has recorded a new case of Ebola in the capital Bamako after the friend of a nurse who died of the hemorrhagic fever earlier this month tested positive for the disease, health and medical officials said on Saturday. The nurse contracted the disease after treating an imam from neighboring Guinea, who died after being incorrectly diagnosed with kidney problems. This allowed Ebola to spread to five other people in the West African nation's second outbreak. "Of two suspected cases tested, one was negative and the other positive. ... . . more
By Kate Kelland LONDON, (Reuters) - (This story corrects to make clear that the finding that 97 percent of cases were hospital-acquired was from a study of an outbreak in Jeddah, paragraph 10) Saudi Arabia has not yet traced the source of a mysterious camel virus, leaving many questions about a disease that has killed 346 people in the Kingdom. ... . . more
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) The first wave of volunteers from Britain's National Health Service arrived in Sierra Leone Saturday amid what the World Health Organization has described as an "intense" surge in cases. . . more
Sat, 22 Nov 2014 06:22:54 -0500
JOHANNESBURG (AP) A plague outbreak has killed 40 people on the island nation of Madagascar, with 119 people diagnosed with the bacterial disease since August. . . more
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch health authorities on Saturday were destroying 8,000 ducks to prevent the possible spread of bird flu, which has infected three farms in a week in the Netherlands, a leading poultry and egg exporter. A government statement said ducks were being culled in the central town of Barneveld as a precaution because authorities want to eliminate all risks after the H5N8 virus spread to three out of 12 provinces since last Sunday. ... . . more
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International efforts to fight Ebola are helping to slow the rate of new infections in some areas but increased infections in others and fears of further contagion in Mali indicate much work is still to be done, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday. Ban said more trained medical teams are needed, especially in remote districts of countries in West Africa where more than 5,400 people have been killed by the virus. Ban said the coordinated efforts of country leaders and safer burial practices, combined with international support, are helping. ... . . more
CONAKRY (Reuters) - Robbers in Guinea hijacked a Red Cross vehicle this week and made off with a cooler containing blood samples from suspected Ebola patients, a senior Red Cross official said on Friday. "No doubt they thought it was something else," Youssouf Traor, head of the Red Cross delegation in Guinea, told Reuters. He gave no further details of the attack but said the robbers would probably dump the cooler once they found it did not contain gold or diamonds. More than 5,000 people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus on record. . . more
GENEVA (Reuters) - An outbreak of the plague has killed 40 people out of 119 confirmed cases in Madagascar since late August and there is a risk of the disease spreading rapidly in the capital, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. So far two cases and one death have been recorded in the capital Antananarivo but those figures could climb quickly due to "the city's high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system", the WHO warned. ... . . more
Sat, 22 Nov 2014 02:57:49 -0500
GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll in the Ebola epidemic has risen to 5,459 out of 15,351 cases identified in eight countries by the end of Nov. 18, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. The figures showed an increase of 39 recorded deaths and 106 new cases since those issued on Wednesday. "Transmission remains intense in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone," the WHO said, referring to the hardest-hit countries. All six known Ebola cases in Mali have now died and 327 contacts exposed to the virus are being monitored in the capital Bamako, it said. . . more
By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE Fla. (Reuters) - Authorities are investigating mailed packages linked to a gunman who shot three people before he was killed by officers at Florida State University, the FBI said on Friday. Officials said the packages were part of their investigation into why the gunman opened fire in a crowded library. Thought to have been mailed by suspected shooter Myron May before his rampage, the packages were not considered a threat to the public, said U.S. Postal Inspection Service officials. ... . . more


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