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  • UnitedHealth CEO defends possible exit of Obamacare exchanges

    UnitedHealth Chief Executive Officer Hemsley takes part in a panel discussion titled "Getting From Care to Cure" at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills,UnitedHealth Group Inc's chief executive officer on Tuesday defended the company's possibly exiting the Obamacare health insurance exchanges in 2017, citing losses on health plans it said were designed to succeed. CEO Stephen Hemsley said that the health insurer had kept costs down by selling plans with small doctor networks, and that it had priced them competitively. UnitedHealth last month warned of mounting losses and said it might pull out of the exchanges.

  • Let pregnant girls return to school in Tanzania, campaigners plea

    Pregnant teenagers stand at the entrance of a maternity home in Jinotega cityBy Kizito Makoye DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Emily Nyoni was enjoying studying at Bunju secondary school in Dar es Salaam and hoped to pursue medical studies to become a doctor until she found out she was pregnant and was expelled. Nyoni, then 17, is just one of thousands of girls thrown out of school annually in Tanzania after falling pregnant in line with government regulations from 2002 that state pregnant girls have committed an "offence against morality".

  • On World AIDS Day, condom maker calls for safe-sex emoticon

    An activist holds a banner as others march through Pattaya resort town to raise awareness on the World Aids Day in Pattaya, east of BangkokCondom maker Durex says so and is presenting a formal submission on Wednesday, World AIDS Day, to get emoticon maker Unicode to adopt one. In the run-up to the day - designed to unite people around the world in the fight against HIV/AIDS - Durex launched a social media campaign last month "to create the first official safe-sex emoji", asking users to use #condomemoji. In an age of smartphones and tablets, emoticons, the small icons that are used to express emotions or physical things, are "crucial" to how young couples communicate, Durex said.

  • U.N. condemns air strike that cut water supplies to Syria's Aleppo

    A Syrian girl who fled recent fighting in Aleppo stands next to her tent in the south of Aleppo ProvinceAn air strike on a water treatment plant in Syria last Thursday cut water supplies for 3.5 million people, and although pumping has been partly restored, 1.4 million still have reduced supply, the head of U.N. agency UNICEF in Syria said on Tuesday. “In Syria, the rules of war, including those meant to protect vital civilian infrastructure, continue to be broken on a daily basis," UNICEF's representative in Syria, Hanaa Singer, said in a statement.

  • Snack bar maker Kind wants U.S. government to change labeling standard

    By Anjali Athavaley NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kind LLC wants a U.S. federal agency to change its standards for what can be labeled as healthy, months after the snack bar maker received a warning letter for using the term on packaging for bars that were deemed too fatty. Kind argues that fat from items like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains should not be counted in the tally, in a citizen petition the company said it plans to file with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. An FDA spokeswoman declined comment, but said the agency would respond directly to Kind once a petition is filed.

  • Malaysia says it plans to raise age for drinking alcohol

    Wider Image: Earthprints: SingaporeMalaysia plans to raise the minimum age for alcohol consumption from 18 to 21, it said in a filing to the World Trade Organization on Tuesday. It did not say when the change would take place, but said it was part of a strategy aiming to prevent underage drinking and limit the accessibility of alcohol to high risk groups. Malaysia also plans additional labeling requirements for alcohol products to warn about their effect on health, it said.

  • Jury picking resumes in Baltimore's Freddie Gray killing trial

    Protestors gather outside of the courthouse on the first day of jury selection for Baltimore Police Officer William Porter who is charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray in BaltimoreJury selection resumes on Tuesday in the trial of the first of six police officers charged in the death of a black man from an injury in police custody that triggered rioting and fueled a U.S. debate on police brutality. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams on Monday told the roughly 75 potential jurors that opening statements in the trial of Officer William Porter would take place as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday. The death of Freddie Gray, 25, in April followed police killings of black men in other cities, including New York and Ferguson, Missouri.

  • Fear of cholera, floods as Burundi refugees pack Tanzania camps

    A general view shows Burundian refugees receiving treatment at a makeshift clinic at the Lake Tanganyika stadium in Kigoma western TanzaniaBy Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Heavy rains, flooding and a spike in new arrivals could threaten the lives of over 110,000 Burundian refugees in overcrowded camps in Tanzania, six aid agencies said on Monday, amid warnings of rising political tension in Burundi. Life-threatening malaria and diarrhoea have been spreading in Nyarugusu, the world's third largest refugee camp, since the rainy season began, and damage caused by a powerful El Nino has left aid agencies short of funds throughout east Africa. "Refugees are arriving in their hundreds every day," the agencies, which include Oxfam, Save the Children and HelpAge International, said in a statement.

  • 17 countries in Americas may have eliminated mother-to-child HIV transmission: U.N.

    By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Data from 17 countries and territories across the Americas, including the United States, Canada and Chile, show they may have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, the U.N. World Health Organization said on Monday. The countries were able to cut mother-to-child transmission of HIV by improving pregnant women's access to prenatal care, HIV testing and antiretroviral treatment, said the WHO and its regional arm in the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

  • Despite treatment advances, AIDS stigma lingers in rural South Africa

    Nine-year-old Tumelo shows off antiretroviral (ARV) pills before taking his medication at Nkosi's Haven, south of JohannesburgBy Laurie Goering QUDENI, South Africa (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Eunice Khanyile opened a soup kitchen in a rural village in South Africa last year to help HIV-positive residents get the nutrition needed to stay healthy, not one person came. When it comes to AIDS, "the stigma is a huge problem", she said. People do not want to open up to others about their status." Today, just over 200 people eat the lunch cooked daily at the yellow-painted cement block kitchen in Qudeni, drawn by the smell of butternut and lentils and the banging of pots and pans.