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Cans of Bushman insect repellent, made by Melbourne-based Juno Laboratories Pty Ltd, sit on a shelf at a shop in central Sydney, AustraliaAustralia will intensify testing for the Zika virus in Queensland state where Aedes mosquitoes are found, authorities said on Saturday, adding that two new cases among local residents were the result of travel to affected countries. Queensland's government has earmarked A$400,000 ($283,000) to boost laboratory capacity, particularly in the northeastern city of Townsville, where testing will begin on March 1. A A$1 million public education campaign will also be rolled out in the state, which is on high alert for any entry of the disease from Australia's Asian and Pacific neighbors. . . more
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 07:12:02 -0500 
A Chipotle logo is seen on a store entrance in Manhattan, New YorkBy Julie Steenhuysen and Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - In recent months, Chipotle has lost customers, sales and profits after outbreaks of foodborne illnesses that sickened more than 500 people from Seattle to Boston. The burrito chain will shut its 1,900 U.S. restaurants on Monday for a meeting with employees to review a rapid overhaul of practices that it hopes will eliminate outbreaks of E. coli, Salmonella and norovirus. Food safety investigations in the United States begin - and often end - at the local level, and some states limit the disclosure of implicated restaurants, keeping diners in the dark. . . more
Nigeria's President Buhari arrives to address the European Parliament in StrasbourgNigerians have an image problem abroad which makes it difficult to emigrate to the West, but they can stay at home where their services are needed, President Muhammadu Buhari was quoted as saying by a British newspaper on Saturday. A former army ruler from the 1980s who returned to power as a civilian after winning an election in March last year, Buhari has the image of an ascetic disciplinarian keen to tackle his country's persistent problems with crime and corruption. "Some Nigerians' claim is that life is too difficult back home," he was quoted as telling the Daily Telegraph newspaper. . . more
U.S. President Obama reacts at a meeting with students from the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative at Taylor's University in Kuala Lumpur(Reuters) - President Barack Obama is set on Tuesday to unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, his final year in office. The following are some of the proposals that will be included: PENTAGON The Pentagon will ask for more than $7 billion for the fight against Islamic State, up about 35 percent from the previous year's budget request to Congress, and wants a fourfold increase for military training and exercises in Europe to support NATO allies. TAX ON OIL In a long-shot bid to raise $20 billion to expand transit systems and research self-driving cars, Obama will propose a $10-a-barrel tax on crude oil. . . more
Supporter of Amama Mbabazi, former Ugandan prime minister and presidential candidate for The Democratic Alliance (TDA), holds a poster of him atop a mini bus during a campaign rally in Lyantonde townBy Yasin Kakande KAMPALA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Ugandan women's rights groups are setting up a control centre to monitor any violence against women in the East African nation's elections this month and to act quickly on any reports. The move comes after the United States voiced concern that the electoral environment in Uganda was deteriorating in the run-up to the Feb. 18 elections. Violence during an election cycle is common in many African countries where it may be triggered by political or ethnic tensions, or flawed electoral processes, with women and children the most likely to be affected. . . more
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 00:45:02 -0500 
Sao Paulo's Health Secretary Alexandre Padilha (R)jokes with two revellers dressed as mosquitos during a street carnival in the Brazilian city of Sao PauloSao Paulo resident Juliana Matuoka always thought her stunning tropical flowers were something to appreciate from afar. "Here, I got one!" exclaimed Marcio Hoglhammer, a municipal health department worker who arrived along with colleagues and two young soldiers as part of Brazil's massive house-to-house effort to eradicate the Zika virus and dengue-carrying mosquitoes. "I found larvae of the Aedes aegypti (mosquito)," he said. . . more
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 00:33:25 -0500 
A Health Ministry employee fumigates a home against the Aedes aegypti mosquito in the San Lucia del Camino community, Oaxaca State, Mexico on February 5, 2016The mosquito-borne Zika virus sweeping through Latin America has claimed three lives in Colombia, as the United Nations urged increased access to abortion because of fears of severe birth defects. In the first direct statements from government health officials blaming Zika for causing deaths, Colombia's National Health Institute (INS) said Friday that the patients died after contracting the virus and developing a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome. . . more
A couple kisses during the "Carmelitas" block party, during Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Top Brazilian Health officials said this Friday that the active Zika virus has been found in urine and saliva samples, cautioning that further study is needed to determine whether the mosquito-borne virus in those body fluids is capable of infecting people. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) In a sign of mounting global concern over the Zika virus, health officials on Friday warned pregnant women to think twice about the lips they kiss and called on men to use condoms with pregnant partners if they have visited countries where the virus is present. . . more
A New York man serving a 15-year prison sentence for providing support to al Qaeda is urging a federal judge to award him $7 million because of a medical condition he says went untreated while in U.S. custody. Lawyers for Wesam El-Hanafi, 40, and the U.S. government made their closing arguments on Friday in a week-long medical malpractice trial over whether the prison system failed to timely diagnose and treat a blood clot in a deep vein in his calf. El-Hanafi, a Brooklyn-born man who U.S. prosecutors say facilitated surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange, contends his symptoms began shortly after his arrest in Dubai in 2010. . . more
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:37:29 -0500 
By Larry Fine SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Troy Aikman says the Carolina Panthers could be on the brink of a blockbuster run in the National Football League if they can avoid pitfalls that can come with success. Hall of Famer Aikman, who won three Super Bowl rings in a four-year stretch in the 1990s, said the emergence of quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers' core of young players could make the Panthers a perennial powerhouse. Carolina, 17-1 this season, is nearly a touchdown favorite against the Denver Broncos for Sunday's Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in the suburb of Santa Clara. . . more
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Aikman introduces a performance by Jackson at the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in ArlingtonBy Larry Fine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Former quarterback Troy Aikman says he is fortunate to have gotten out of the NFL in good health as news of brain trauma in recently deceased former players is mounting, and he knows others are suffering. "I know there's people that I played with and against and those before me that are really battling some tough times as a result we assume from having played the game," the three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys told Reuters on Thursday. Two days before, a specialist said a study of former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler's brain following his death last year showed signs of CTE, which is closely associated with the repeated head blows common in boxing, hockey, football and other contact sports. . . more
A U.S. judge on Friday granted a preliminary injunction stopping the distribution of surreptitious videos taken by anti-abortion activists who alleged Planned Parenthood staff discussed the illegal sale of aborted fetal tissue. The National Abortion Federation (NAF), a nonprofit representing abortion providers, accused the Center for Medical Progress and its founder, David Daleiden, in a lawsuit last year of illegally infiltrating and recording its private meetings. San Francisco federal judge William Orrick last year issued a temporary order prohibiting the distribution of the videos, which he extended on Friday until the litigation is over. . . more
U.S. President Obama answers a reporter's question after delivering a statement on the economy in the press briefing room at the White House in WashingtonPresident Barack Obama will propose a $2.5 billion tax credit over five years for businesses that invest in programs at local community colleges and hire their graduates, administration officials said on Friday. The proposal, dubbed the Community College Partnership Tax Credit, would require businesses to donate funds for equipment, instruction, or internships related to programs in areas such as healthcare, energy and information technology. Employers that hire students from such programs would get a one-time, $5,000 tax credit per individual brought aboard. . . more
FILE - In this March 2, 2015 file photo, Republican Sen. Todd Weiler speaks on the senate floor at the Utah state Capitol in Salt Lake City. Weiler, wants to declare pornography a public health crisis, echoing an argument being made around the U.S. by conservative religious groups as porn becomes more accessible on smartphones and tablets. Utah lawmakers are scheduled to discuss the resolution Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 in a legislative hearing. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A panel of Utah lawmakers has heartily endorsed a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis. . . more
70 Million More Girls Underwent Genital Cutting Than Previously Thought, UNICEF FindsWhile the global rate of female genital mutilation is declining, a new report shows that more work needs to be done to end the harmful practice. At least 200 million women and girls alive today have suffered from female genital mutilation across 30 countries, according to a report released Friday by UNICEF. UNICEFs report comes a day before the U.N.s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. . . more
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, BrazilBy Pedro Fonseca RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Authorities in Brazil said on Friday Zika has been detected in patients' saliva and urine, adding to the concern over the spread of the virus, while U.S. officials offered new guidance on sex for people returning from Zika-hit regions. Zika, linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil, is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites, but word surfaced this week of infections through sex and blood transfusions, and news of the presence of the virus in the saliva and urine of two patients prompted new worries. In fact, the president of the Brazilian federal biomedical research institution that made the announcement urged pregnant women not to kiss strangers during the country's free-wheeling Carnival celebrations. . . more
A federal appeals court on Friday rejected former TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau's bid to overturn his conviction and 10-year prison sentence for having exaggerated the content of a weight-loss book he marketed through infomercials. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago found no basis to accept Trudeau's claims that the government lacked enough evidence to convict him, his sentence was too long, and jurors were instructed improperly. Trudeau, 52, was appealing his November 2013 conviction by a Chicago jury over his promotion of the 2007 book "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You To Know About" in three 30-minute infomercials, which aired roughly 32,000 times. . . more