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Whooping cough vaccine efficiency questioned

US researchers are questioning how the United States protects against whooping cough, a disease that killed 11 babies and sickened thousands of people in a major outbreak in 2010. The current vaccine known as DTaP, which is designed to protect against whooping cough but also tetanus and diphtheria, wanes greatly…

West Nile virus deaths up 35% in the U.S.

Deaths linked to the West Nile virus jumped 35 percent in the United States over the past week, amid one of the worst US outbreaks of the mosquito-borne disease, according to officials. As of Tuesday, a total of 118 fatalities have been blamed on West Nile virus infections since the…

Obama hits back at Romney for playing politics over Libyan consulate attack

Barack Obama has stepped into the political row over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s ill-judged response to the Benghazi consulate attack. Romney faced heavy criticism from across the political spectrum for statements issued on Tuesday evening and repeated at a press conference on Wednesday morning in which he accused the…

McDonald’s to post calories for its menu

WASHINGTON — First they began offering salad, then they added fruit. On Wednesday, McDonald’s announced it would put something else on its menu to help customers watching their waistlines: calorie counts. The fast food giant said that starting next week, it will begin listing calorie information at its more than…

Mars rover Curiosity working ‘flawlessly’: NASA

WASHINGTON — For the past week, the rover, which touched down on August 6, has undergone a series of instrument tests, as well as a rebooting of its steering computers, and everything so far appears fine, according to officials with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “Through every phase…

Pastor Terry Jones: Film not intended to insult Muslims

MIAMI — The film which has triggered deadly protests in the Middle East over its portrayal of the Islamic faith is not intended to insult Muslims, a controversial US pastor who backs the movie said Wednesday. Terry Jones, who has sparked deadly protests in the past by burning copies of…

U.S. vows to stand by Libya despite envoy killings

WASHINGTON — The United States vowed to stand by Libya on Wednesday despite the killing of the US ambassador and three colleagues by Islamist militants on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid tribute to the slain envoy, Ambassador Chris…

Iran plans protests over anti-Islam film

TEHRAN — Iran has condemned a film insulting Islam that sparked a deadly protest in Libya killing the US ambassador, while Iranian media reported an anti-US protest over the movie would take place in Tehran on Thursday. A foreign ministry statement slammed the film, an amateur production made in the…

Climate change: Research questions ‘worse drought’ warnings

PARIS — Some computer models for global warming may be over-estimating the risk of drought, according to a study published on Wednesday by the journal Nature. Several key models used in climate research that factor in warming trends suggest that droughts will intensify as world temperatures rise. This is on…

Israel says no connection to anti-Islam film

JERUSALEM — Israel on Wednesday denied any connection to an anti-Islamic film which was reportedly produced by a US national with Israeli nationality, which sparked attacks on the US missions in Egypt and Libya. “It is nothing to do with us, Israel is not connected in any way to this…

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