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SOTO DEL REAL, Spain (AP) — Spanish officials have ordered the immediate release of a detained British couple who were wanted by police in the United Kingdom after they took their critically ill child for treatment abroad without doctors' consent. . . more
GENEVA (Reuters) - Islamic State insurgents in Iraq have carried out mass executions, abducted women and girls as sex slaves, and used children as fighters in systematic violations that may amount to war crimes, the United Nations said on Thursday. In a report based on 500 interviews, it also said Iraqi government air strikes on the Sunni Muslim militants had caused "significant civilian deaths" by hitting villages, a school and hospitals in violation of international law. ... . . more
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain made a plea for international help to deal with the world's worst Ebola outbreak at the start of a conference in London on Thursday, with one charity warning that five people are being infected with the virus every hour in Sierra Leone. Ebola has killed at least 3,338 in West Africa -- mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia -- out of 7,178 cases as of Sept. 28, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says, and cases have been recorded elsewhere, including in the United States. ... . . more
By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Britain must set up a programme to tackle female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone, where the practice is seen as a prerequisite for marriage and even used as a political tool, a parliamentary committee said. The International Development Committee said on Thursday it was astounded that Britain – which has put itself centre stage in global efforts to eradicate FGM – had left Sierra Leone out of its £35 million programme to help end FGM in Africa. ... . . more
By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Two days after he was sent home from a Dallas hospital, the man who is the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States was seen vomiting on the ground outside an apartment complex as he was bundled into an ambulance. The Dallas Ebola case, involving a man who flew back to the United States last month from Liberia, has prompted national concern over the potential for a wider spread of the deadly virus from West Africa, where at least 3,338 people have died in the worst outbreak on record. U.S. ... . . more
Air emissions from oil and gas waste are among the least regulated, least monitored and least understood components of the fracking boom. . . more
By Rupam Jain Nair NEW DELHI (Reuters) - His hands protected by torn orange gloves, Dalbira Singh has a grim job scraping waste from train toilets from the tracks at New Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin station, a few minutes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office. Like an estimated 1 million other Indians, Singh does the work because he was born into a low caste. His parents did the same work before him. "This is a disgusting job but no one will give me another. ... . . more
By Colleen Jenkins CHARLOTTE N.C. (Reuters) - With the number of Ebola cases in West Africa expected to rise by the thousands, a Christian relief organization in North Carolina is gearing up for a new community and home-based care effort aimed at stopping the spread of the deadly virus. Samaritan's Purse leaders said the 100 tons of equipment and supplies loaded onto a cargo jet due to fly from Charlotte to Liberia on Wednesday was just a fraction of what is needed to combat the disease that has now killed more than 3,000 people. ... . . more
By Kieran Guilbert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Britain must restore planned cuts in its aid budget for Sierra Leone and Liberia in light of the Ebola crisis sweeping through West Africa, a parliamentary committee said on Thursday. The Department for International Development's (DFID) bilateral budget for the two Ebola-stricken countries will drop by nearly a fifth from 2013-14 to 2015-16, a cut of 14.5 million pounds ($23.5 million), the International Development Committee said. ... . . more
By David Lewis and James Harding Giahyue DAKAR/MONROVIA (Reuters) - The man being treated for Ebola in Texas showed no signs of fever or symptoms of the virus when he left Liberia for the United States via Brussels on Sept. 19, Liberian and U.S. authorities said on Wednesday. The case is the first to be diagnosed outside West Africa during the current outbreak, raising the prospect that the worst epidemic of the deadly hemorrhagic fever on record could spread to nations beyond the region. ... . . more
By Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women’s anger is mounting in Sudan as a result of surging food prices and worsening repression in the name of Islam, rights activists said on Wednesday at the launch of a report. The cost of living has soared in Sudan since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output. Women are bearing the brunt of increasing Islamisation, illustrated by the case of Miriam Ibrahim who was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity in May. ... . . more
(Reuters) - Dutch healthcare equipment company Philips said on Thursday it would appeal against a U.S court ruling ordering it to pay $466.8 million in compensation to Masimo Corp for infringing two patents. The patents related to technology used to help measure blood oxygen and track pulse rates. "We are very disappointed in the verdict of the jury and surprised by the magnitude of the proposed award," Philips Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten said. "Philips intends to pursue all avenues of appeal of this verdict at both the District and Appellate courts in the US. ... . . more
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Both GlaxoSmithKline and NewLink Genetics are working to boost their capacity to make Ebola vaccines, with a goal of a "very significant increase in scale during the first half of 2015", the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. Even under the best conditions, if the experimental vaccines are proven to be safe and confer protection in clinical trials, a significant number of doses will not be available until late in the first quarter of 2015, the WHO said. ... . . more
By Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When the elderly man, in his black-and-white striped prison uniform, confessed to raping his 18-month-old granddaughter to prove his manhood, Reverend Timothy Njoya knew he had made a breakthrough. “He stood up and testified: ‘I wanted to show who has the penis, who is the boss’,” recalled Njoya, a retired Kenyan cleric who campaigns for gender equality. “‘My son had a Mercedes, my daughter-in-law a BMW and I was still driving a Volkswagen. I had to prove that I still have what it takes to be a man,’” the prisoner said. ... . . more
By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) - Chronic lapses in safety procedures at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico may have led to a radiation leak that has forced a prolonged shutdown across the state of the only permanent U.S. nuclear waste repository, federal inspectors said on Wednesday. The inspectors, in a sharply critical report, sought to explain how a barrel of plutonium-tainted debris from the nuclear weapons lab near Santa Fe ended up improperly packaged before it was shipped off for burial 300 miles away at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. ... . . more
By Patrick Rucker and Julie Steenhuysen WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The United States is days away from settling the critical question of how hospitals should handle and dispose of medical waste from Ebola patients, a government official said on Wednesday. Experts have warned that conflicting U.S. regulations over how such waste should be transported could make it very difficult for U.S. hospitals to safely care for patients with Ebola, a messy disease that causes diarrhea, vomiting and in some cases, bleeding from the eyes and ears. ... . . more
By Andrew Osborn and William James BIRMINGHAM England (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hand almost half the British population a tax cut if re-elected next year, a pledge he hopes will win over millions of voters and refocus debate away from a schism inside his party over Europe. The promise, which will cost over 7 billion pounds to fund, was a calculated gambit to try to shift the narrative from one which has focussed on the damage the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) is doing to Cameron's re-election hopes by siphoning off voters and lawmakers. ... . . more


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