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  • France raises risk level on bird flu to 'high'

    France raised to "high" the risk level across the country after the detection of several cases of the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu strain in Southwestern France farms and in wild ducks in Northern France, the farm ministry said on Tuesday. The decision was also motivated by the "rapid change in the... situation in France and in several European countries," the statement said. France, which has the largest poultry flock in the EU, is still recovering from a severe bird flu epidemic in southwestern France earlier this year which led to a total halting of duck and geese output in the region and import restrictions from trading partners.

  • South Korea expands poultry cull to fight bird flu

    Chickens are displayed for sale at chicken store in SeoulSouth Korea plans to cull more chickens and ducks as it tries to contain an outbreak of bird flu, with a total of around 8 percent of the nation's poultry population expected to be slaughtered. The government said on Tuesday that 28 cases of the H5N6 strain of bird flu had been confirmed since mid-November, with another 10 possible cases being investigated. The agriculture ministry said in a statement that 4.4 million farm birds had been slaughtered as of Tuesday, with another 2.6 million expected to be culled.


  • Senior British minister seeks to calm China concerns on Brexit

    Britain's Health Secretary Hunt arrives to attend a cabinet meeting at Number 10 Downing Street in LondonA senior British cabinet minister sought on Tuesday to assuage concerns in China about market access in the wake of the Brexit vote, pointing to Hong Kong's success as a trading hub as proof of Britain's commitment to keeping its doors open to global business. Britain has been a popular choice for Chinese investment, with many firms seeing it as a springboard for the far larger European Union market. "It is incredibly important that China and our other partners and friends across the world know, this is in no way about Britain closing its doors to the outside world," said British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at a press conference in Shanghai.


  • Jeremy Hunt seeks to calm China concerns on Brexit

    Britain's Health Secretary Hunt arrives to attend a cabinet meeting at Number 10 Downing Street in LondonA senior British cabinet minister sought on Tuesday to assuage concerns in China about market access in the wake of the Brexit vote, pointing to Hong Kong's success as a trading hub as proof of Britain's commitment to keeping its doors open to global business. Britain has been a popular choice for Chinese investment, with many firms seeing it as a springboard for the far larger European Union market. "It is incredibly important that China and our other partners and friends across the world know, this is in no way about Britain closing its doors to the outside world," said British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at a press conference in Shanghai.


  • Global prescription drug spend seen at $1.5 trillion in 2021: report

    FILE PHOTO OF PILLS OF ALL KINDS.Global spending on prescription medicines will reach nearly $1.5 trillion by 2021, although the annual rate of growth will decrease from recent years, according to a forecast by Quintiles IMS Holding released on Tuesday. The United States will account for up to $675 billion of the $1.5 trillion. When accounting for anticipated discounts and rebates to health insurers and other payers, 2021 net spending will be closer to $1 trillion, the QuintilesIMS Outlook for Global Medicines through 2021 report found.


  • UN says dairy a potential ally in Asia nutrition challenges

    BANGKOK (AP) — An apple a day kept the doctor away — but now in Asia, a cup of milk might do the trick.

  • Texas releases abortion booklet citing refuted cancer links

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas state agency has released a new edition of a booklet for women considering an abortion that suggests there may be a link between terminating pregnancies and increased risks of breast cancer and depression.

  • Asia-Pacific loses steam in efforts to end hunger: study

    A two-year-old malnourished boy sleeps in a hammock while taking refuge with his family in a classroom in SukkarBy Coco Liu HONG KONG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Even as malnutrition killed millions of children worldwide last year - with many deaths in Asia-Pacific, the region's progress toward defeating hunger has slowed down, a new study has found. The study, published on Tuesday by the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, said although Asia- Pacific halved the number of hungry mouths from 1990 to 2015, in many countries, progress has faltered in the last five years.


  • Space oddity as Dr David Bowie treats 'starman' Buzz Aldrin in NZ hospital

    Buzz Aldrin testifies at space competitiveness hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Swati Pandey WELLINGTON (Reuters) - In what can only be described as a space oddity, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is being cared for in a New Zealand hospital by Dr David Bowie after being evacuated from the South Pole. In a truly remarkable coincidence, Aldrin's doctor shares the name of the late British singer whose greatest hits included songs such as "Starman" and others about space travel that could easily have been penned for the great American astronaut. The coincidence certainly tickled Aldrin's manager, Christina Korp, who posted a photo on Twitter of Aldrin and Dr Bowie together in a Christchurch hospital.


  • U.S. patent agency to weigh rival claims on gene-editing technology

    The U.S. patent agency on Tuesday will hear arguments in a heated dispute over who was first to invent a revolutionary gene-editing technology known as CRISPR. Hundreds of millions of dollars may be at stake, as the technology promises commercial applications in treating genetic diseases, engineering crops, and other areas. CRISPR works as a type of molecular scissors that can trim away unwanted parts of the genome, and replace them with new stretches of DNA.