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Female hormonal contraception linked to higher HIV risk

PARIS — Women who use hormonal birth control are roughly twice as likely to become infected with HIV or pass on the AIDS virus to their partner, according to a study published on Tuesday. The research was carried out among 3,790 heterosexual couples in Africa where one partner had the…

Act now to diversify crops at risk, say scientists

Farm chiefs have a narrowing chance to diversify vital crops at rising threat from drought, flood and pests brought by climate change, food researchers warned on Monday. The world’s nearly seven billion people are massively dependent on a dozen or so crops that, thanks to modern agriculture, are intensively cultivated…

Afghan women’s rights ‘at risk’ after war decade: Oxfam

Women’s rights in Afghanistan risk being forgotten as international troops withdraw and the government struggles for a peace deal 10 years after the Taliban were ousted, Oxfam said Monday. In a new report the NGO said women’s rights had improved in Afghanistan since the October 2001 US-led invasion, particularly access…

Lifestyle changes may cut Alzheimer’s risk

PARIS — Up to half of worldwide cases of Alzheimer’s disease could be due to modifiable lifestyle risk factors, according to a study released Tuesday based on a mathematical model. The theoretical analysis suggests that seven known behaviour-related risk factors, taken together, account for 50 percent of the more than…

Governor Chris Christie to implement New Jersey’s medical marijuana program

New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie announced Tuesday that he would lift his suspension on implementing the state’s medical-marijuana program. “We’re moving forward with the program as it was set up,” said Christie at a press conference. “I believe that the need to provide compassionate pain relief to these citizens…

Moody’s suggests U.S. eliminate debt ceiling

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ratings agency Moody’s on Monday suggested the United States should eliminate its statutory limit on government debt to reduce uncertainty among bond holders. The United States is one of the few countries where Congress sets a ceiling on government debt, which creates “periodic uncertainty” over the…

UK troops in Libya to get operational allowance

British military personnel serving in Libya will receive an operational allowance in recognition of the “rigour and risk” they face, Defence Secretary Liam Fox said on Wednesday. UK servicemen and women operating in Libyan airspace and territorial waters will be paid an extra £29.02 a day tax-free, backdated to the…

AIDS drugs can prevent infection, two studies show

LONDON (Reuters) – AIDS drugs used to treat HIV can also be used to prevent infection among heterosexual men and women, according to the results of two studies conducted in Africa released on Wednesday. The findings add to growing evidence that drugs used since the mid-1990s to treat people who…

Studies: Autism may be triggered in the womb

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) – Environmental factors may play a greater role in autism than previously thought, tipping the scale away from a strict focus on genetics, two studies released on Monday suggest. In one, a team at Stanford University compared cases of autism in identical and fraternal twins…

Pfizer’s quit smoking drug raises heart risks by 72 percent: study

LONDON (Reuters) – Healthy, middle-aged smokers who take Pfizer’s Chantix or Champix, one of the most popular quit-smoking drugs on the market, have a higher risk of suffering heart attacks or other serious heart problems, a study found on Monday. British and American scientists analyzed 14 clinical trials of Champix,…

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