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Widespread placebo prescriptions prompt debate over the ethics of overmedication

According to a recent study, doctors sometimes prescribe treatments they don’t have any evidence for. Is this ethical? Almost all UK GPs have at some point given a patient a treatment they don’t need. This is according to the results of a survey of 783 of them across the country,…

Ford apologizes for ads featuring women bound and gagged in car driven by Silvio Berlusconi

Ford India has apologised for a series of advertisements featuring caricatures of bound and gagged women in the boot of a Figo car driven by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The advertisements for the best-selling hatchback, created by the Indian unit of global advertising giant JWT, appeared on the…

Colorado shooting suspect Evan Ebel had ‘a streak of cruelty and anger’

The former Colorado inmate and white supremacist is at the center of an investigation into the shooting death of state prisons chief Tom Clements and a pizza delivery man.(Colorado Department of Corrections/AP) With all evidence…  …

Junk food fight between U.S. manufacturers and health advocates intensifies

The fight between food purveyors and health advocates over junk food is getting intense. From the successful campaign against trans fats to San Francisco’s ban on toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals to first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity, it’s clear that makers of so-called junk…  …

New Zealand bans foreign students from working as prostitutes

International students in New Zealand, where prostitution is legal, have been told they are to be barred from working in the sex trade. A government immigration website, www.nzstudywork.com, said Monday overseas students have the same workplace rights as all New Zealanders, but lists jobs they cannot do. Foreign students “can’t…

Violence and vaccine fears keep polio from disappearing

Sixty years after the first successful polio vaccine trial, the disease has been wiped out in much of the world, but violence, conspiracy theories and lack of cash keep it from disappearing. “The world is closer than ever to eradicating polio,” said Oliver Rosenbauer, spokesman for the World Health Organization’s…

Tortoises thrive on coral atoll where the creatures outnumber humans 10,000-to-one

It is perhaps not surprising that there are only a handful of humans on one of the most remote islands on Earth, coral atolls far out in the turquoise seas of the Indian Ocean. What is unexpected are the 100,000 giant tortoises — more than are found on the world…

Teenage cancer deaths cut to half of what they were in the 1970s

Almost half as many teenagers and young adults are dying from cancer today as did in the 1970s, according to a report from Cancer Research UK published Monday. Deaths between 2008-2010 in this age group were around 300 a year, down from 580 a year in the period 1975-1977. The…

U.S. cedes full control of Bagram military prison to Afghan forces

Afghanistan on Monday took full control of Bagram military prison from the United States, healing one running sore in their testy relationship as US-led forces wind down more than a decade of war. President Hamid Karzai had made the fate of the detention centre north of Kabul part of his…

CIA helping boost arms shipments to Syria rebels: NYT

Arab nations and Turkey, helped by the CIA, have dramatically increased military aid to Syrian rebels in recent months, The New York Times reported Monday. The US Central Intelligence Agency was helping their efforts, the newspaper added, citing air traffic data and interviews with unnamed officials and the rebel commanders.…

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