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Beijing's bid to move polluting firms watched warily in nearby regions

By David Stanway BEIJING (Reuters) - China's capital has ordered more than 50 companies to shut down this year in an effort to cut pollution but pushing factories out could raise objections in surrounding areas reluctant to host Beijing's polluters. Smog-shrouded Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei have become a front in a "war against pollution" declared by Premier Li Keqiang last month. But experts say efforts to cut coal consumption and industrial output in big cities like Beijing is likely to put pressure on other regions to endure more pollution to keep the economy growing, with overall coal consumption expected to rise by a quarter from 2011 to 2015. "Moving Beijing's plants to Hebei isn't the best way," said Yang Fuqiang, a former government researcher and senior energy and environment adviser with the National Resources Defense Council, a U.S.-based think-tank.  More »

Founder of scandal-hit drugmaker Servier dies at 92

Jacques Servier, founder and president of France's second-largest drugmaker, has died before his trial over Mediator, a weight-loss pill at the center of the country's biggest public health scandal in years. Servier died of old age, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday. Officials have blamed at least 500 deaths on Mediator, which was marketed to overweight diabetics but often prescribed for weight loss. Servier posted revenue of 4.2 billion euros ($5.8 billion) in 2013, making it France's second-biggest drugmaker by sales behind Sanofi.  More »

'X-Men' director Singer accused of drugging and raping teenager

Producer and director Bryan Singer has been accused of drugging and raping a teenage boy in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. court on Wednesday. Michael Egan seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial after wide-ranging abuses at California and Hawaii house parties beginning in the late 1990s, according to the civil action filed in a Hawaii federal court. The suit accuses Marc Collins-Rector, a former entertainment business executive and registered sex offender, of initiating the sexual abuse by arranging for Singer to meet Egan at "notorious parties" in Encino, California, around 1998.  More »

Portland plans reservoir flush after teen cited

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Call it the Big Flush 2, and this time the sequel promises to be much bigger than the original.  More »

Galapagos, GSK successfully conclude phase 2a study of skin disease drug

Belgian biotech group Galapagos NV on Thursday said it has successfully concluded the phase 2a study of a skin disease drug it is developing with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline PLC. Galapagos tested drug GSK2586184 on 66 patients with chronic psoriasis and observed a 75 percent improvement in significantly more patients than in the placebo group. GSK, which owns the drug's commercial rights, will decide whether to proceed with clinical trials, Galapagos said in a statement. Galapagos said it could receive a milestone payment of up to 34 million euros ($46.94 million) as well as double-digit royalties as the program proceeds towards commercialization.  More »

Reports of e-cigarette injury jump amid rising popularity, U.S. data show

By Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Complaints of injury linked to e-cigarettes, from burns and nicotine toxicity to respiratory and cardiovascular problems, have jumped over the past year as the devices become more popular, the most recent U.S. data show. Between March 2013 and March 2014, more than 50 complaints about e-cigarettes were filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to data obtained through a public records request. The health problems were not necessarily caused by e-cigarettes. Still, David Ashley, director of the office of science at the FDA's tobacco division, said the uptick is significant, especially in light of a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing an increase in the number of e-cigarette-related calls to poison control centers.  More »

Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

NEW YORK (AP) — In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.  More »

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain — evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.  More »

California city evacuation lifted after military ordinance found

(Reuters) - An evacuation order was lifted in a California city on Thursday after a piece of potentially explosive "military ordinance" reported in its business district was rendered safe, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office sa...  More »

Beijing's bid to move polluting firms watched warily in nearby regions

By David Stanway BEIJING (Reuters) - China's capital has ordered more than 50 companies to shut down this year in an effort to cut pollution but pushing factories out could raise objections in surrounding areas reluctant to host Beijing's...  More »

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