Health

Blood Test to Help Doctors Make Right Call on Prescribing Antibiotics

Jessica Berman January 21, 2016 2:44 PM Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem worldwide. One of the biggest culprits is treatment for routine colds. Experts say doctors often send their patients home with prescriptions for antibiotics because they can not determine the source of the illnesses. Researchers concerned about the overuse of antibiotics have developed a blood test to help physicians determine whether patients' colds are the result of bacterial or viral infections. Ephraim Tsalik, a professor of medicine at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and an emergency room physician, said viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, and…
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Emails: Michigan Officials Initially Belittled Claims of Toxic Water in Flint

Ken Bredemeier Newly released emails from the Michigan governor's office show officials in the central state initially belittled claims that residents in the impoverished city of Flint were being poisoned by lead that had seeped into its water supply. One top aide to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said the complaints about the city's brownish water supply drawn from the Flint River were coming from an "anti-everything group."  Other critics of a lack of state assistance for one of its cities were accused of turning the issue into a "political football" and a pediatrician's worrisome findings were sarcastically dismissed as "data,"…
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Politics

US Presidential Hopeful Cruz Found Misstating Science on Climate Change

Associated Press NORTH CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE—Answering a question this week about climate change during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Ted Cruz was worlds apart from the scientific consensus that sees a world that is warming because of human activity. Here are some of the Republican presidential candidate's claims and how they compare with the facts: Cruz: “The satellites that actually measure the temperature, that we've launched into the air to measure the temperature, they have recorded no significant warming whatsoever for the last 18 years.” The facts: Scientists, including those who work with the very satellite measuring system that…
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US News

Obama: Flint’s Water Crisis ‘Inexplicable and Inexcusable’

Ken Schwartz President Barack Obama said Wednesday that it is "inexplicable and inexcusable" that residents of Flint, Michigan, were not immediately informed about lead in their drinking water. "That shouldn't happen anywhere," Obama told CBS television. On January 16, Obama declared a federal emergency in Flint, freeing up to $5 million in federal aid to help solve the health crisis, but he denied Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's request for a disaster declaration because the contamination was a man-made problem and therefore didn't meet the definition of a "major disaster" under federal law. "What is inexplicable and inexcusable is once people…
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US News

US Senate Blocks Bill Restricting Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

Michael Bowman CAPITOL HILL—Legislation restricting America’s acceptance of refugees from Syria and Iraq failed in the Senate Wednesday after passionate debate about security needs and the nation’s long history as a destination for the oppressed. Senate Democrats banded together to block debate on a bill requiring the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence to certify that Syrian and Iraqi refugees posed no security risk before they could be approved for asylum. “That is physically impossible,” said Democrat Richard Durbin. “Let’s call it for what it is. This is an effort to stop any –…
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Politics

Senate Hearing Debates Obama Actions on Guns

Carolyn Presutti A senator on Wednesday questioned recent executive actions on gun control, saying he thought President Barack Obama was overstepping his authority and "trying to get around the law." Senator Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican who was conducting an Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the executive orders, said the nation's founders sought "to ensure that power was not concentrated in a single branch of the federal government. The president has ignored the founders’ system and has accelerated the use of executive fiat to an alarming new level.” "This subcommittee," he said, "will have no part in undermining the Constitution and…
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US News

Supreme Court Weighs Alaska Moose Hunter’s Hovercraft Claim

Outdoorsman John Sturgeon's fight with the government is about much more than whether the National Park Service can ban his use of a hovercraft to travel over otherwise inaccessible parts of Alaska's Nation River. The former Alaskan chief forester's legal battle has tapped into deep-seated anger at Washington and a passionate desire among Alaskans to preserve a way of life — including lots of hunting and fishing and unrestricted use of the rivers that cut through the state's wild hinterlands. That's why Sturgeon and his lawyer, Matthew Findley, were joined Wednesday at the Supreme Court by a slew of Alaskan…
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World News

Doctors Without Borders Blasts EU Migration Policies

VOA News Humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders(Médecins Sans Frontières) has denounced Europe’s migration policy of deterrence in 2015 as a "catastrophic failure" that has endangered asylum seekers and created more business for smugglers. In its report “Obstacle Course to Europe” issued Tuesday, the organization said erecting razor wire fences, continuously changing administrative and registration procedures, and not providing adequate reception conditions in Italy and Greece, made matters worse for more than one million people. It said most migrants were attempting to flee war, persecution and poverty through a dangerous sea crossing. The report said that deterrence and anti-immigration policies have…
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World News

Turkey’s Crackdown on Kurdish Rebels Includes Local Mayors

Dorian Jones ISTANBUL—Eighteen mayors and nearly 50 locally elected representatives of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party are being prosecuted in this month, for example, the mayor of Van was sentenced to 15 years in jail on charges of being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party. The prosecutions and severity of the charges are unprecedented, says senior Turkey researcher Emma Sinclair Webb of the Human Rights Watch. "It is the most serious move against democratically elected mayors in towns we have seen in years,” she said. “Mayors have been targeted in the past, with arrest and periods in jail.…
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World News

Russian Parliament Committee Rejects Law Punishing LGBTs

Daniel Schearf MOSCOW—A Russian parliament committee has rejected a bill that would have allowed fines or jail time for public displays of affection or sexuality by anyone who is not it leaves the committee, it goes up for a vote by Parliament, which is likely to reject the bill. Rights groups welcomed the move, but also called for the repeal of a 2013 “gay propaganda” law that has encouraged discrimination. The law rejected Monday was proposed by Communist Party members of the legislature.  Had it passed, gay people could have been fined between $50 and $65 for public displays of…
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