Source Match Health News
Italy's once-luxurious Costa Concordia cruise ship embarked on its last voyage on Wednesday, as tug boats began towing it from its island wreckage site to a scrapyard grave in one of the biggest salvage operations in maritime history. Hundreds of onlookers on the Mediterranean island of Giglio, including survivors from the nighttime disaster two and a half years ago that left 32 people dead, watched from shore as the crippled giant began its crawl up the coast. "This is a big day for Giglio but we'll only be able to relax once it reaches Genoa", Nick Sloane, the South African salvage master in charge of the operation, was quoted by Italian news agency Ansa as saying. The rusting liner, roughly twice the size of the Titanic and now hoisted afloat by massive air chambers, will be tugged to the port of Genoa in northwest Italy, where it will be dismantled and scrapped.
The first bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines plane that was downed over Ukraine were flown back on Wednesday to the Netherlands where a national day of mourning has been declared. Members of the Dutch royal family were due to meet the two military transport planes carrying 40 bodies which will undergo identification before being handed over to families. The Netherlands lost 193 citizens on the doomed jet that had 298 passengers and crew on board when it was downed last Thursday in eastern Ukraine, in a region controlled by pro-Russian rebels. Officials at Kharkiv airport held a minute's silence before the coffins were loaded onto the first Hercules plane, which took off at around noon local time.
Recent outbreaks of encephalitis in India have killed more than 150 people, with health officials on alert fearing the death toll could rise further, state government directors said. Some 102 people have died in West Bengal state from the mosquito-borne virus which affects mainly malnourished children and can cause brain damage and seizures, said medical education director Sushanta Banerjee. "We have alerted health officials across the state to take preventive measures to stop Japanese encephalitis from spreading to newer areas," Parthajyoti Gogoi, regional director of health and the family welfare department in Assam, told AFP.
Prime Minister David Cameron called on Tuesday for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation and child marriage as he launched the first UN-backed "Girl Summit" on issues that affect millions around the globe. Cameron announced that parents in Britain would face prosecution for failing to prevent their daughters from being subjected to FGM, while setting out steps to tackle both practices in developing nations. "Our aim is to outlaw FGM and child marriage everywhere for everyone," Cameron told the summit in London, to applause from an audience of experts and campaigners from around the world. FGM, which affects tens of millions of women, particularly in the Horn of Africa, ranges from removal of the clitoris to the mutilation and removal of other female genitalia.
By Adam Jourdan SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shanghai police said on Wednesday they detained five people in an investigation into a Chinese-based supplier of foreign fast-food brands, including KFC, McDonald's Corp and coffee chain Starbucks Corp, over allegations the firm supplied old and rotten meat. The five detained include the head of the company - Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC - and the firm's quality manager, the police said in an online statement. McDonald's and Yum Brands Inc, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, and a number of other global brands have pulled products from their outlets after it emerged that Shanghai Husi supplied expired meat to clients in China, as well as Japan. Earlier, the official Xinhua news agency cited the Shanghai food and drug watchdog as saying that food safety violations at Shanghai Husi were company-led rather than the acts of individuals.
The Obama administration is developing a method for religious organizations opposed to contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act to opt out of providing the coverage in their health plans without filling out a form. Under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare, employers must provide health insurance policies that cover preventive services for women, including contraception and sterilization. As a result, the Obama administration intends to augment its regulations to provide an alternative way for such religious organizations to provide notification while ensuring that enrollees in plans of such organizations receive separate coverage of contraceptive services.
By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Clippers could face an exodus of players, sponsors, fans and their coach if embattled owner Donald Sterling is still associated with the team, Richard Parsons, the franchise's interim chief executive, said on Tuesday at a trial over the NBA team's $2 billion sale. Parsons, the former Time Warner CEO who was installed by the NBA to run the Clippers in May, testified that the team would likely lose profitability and its overall value if sponsors, one of its top revenue streams, leave because of Sterling. "We have a bunch of sponsors who are sitting at the edge of the pool and they don't want to go into the water," Parsons told Los Angeles Superior Court a day after failed settlement talks between Sterling, 80, and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who won the bidding for the team.