Canadian province tries decriminalizing drugs to fight overdose crisis

VANCOUVER, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The western Canadian province of British Columbia on Tuesday began a three-year pilot program to stop prosecuting people for carrying small amounts of heroin, meth, ecstasy, or crack cocaine, as part of an effort to fight a drug overdose crisis. BC accounts for about a third of the 32,000 deaths … Read more

US court rejects J&J bankruptcy strategy for tens of thousands of talc lawsuits

Jan 30 (Reuters) – A US appeals court upended Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ.N) attempt to offload into bankruptcy tens of thousands of lawsuits over its talc products, ruling the healthcare conglomerate improperly placed a subsidiary into Chapter 11 proceedings even though it did not face financial distress. The decision by the US 3rd Circuit Court … Read more

Memphis disbands police unit after fatal beating as protesters take to streets

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan 28 (Reuters) – The specialized police unit that included the five Memphis officers charged with the fatal beating of Tire Nichols was disbanded on Saturday as more protests took place in US cities a day after harrowing video of the attack was released. The police department said in a statement it was … Read more

India expects more clashes with Chinese troops in the Himalayas

NEW DELHI, Jan 28 (Reuters) – A security assessment by Indian police in the Himalayan region of Ladakh says there could be more clashes between Indian and Chinese troops along their contested frontier there as Beijing ramps up military infrastructure in the region. At least 24 soldiers were killed when the armies of the Asian … Read more

UK regional airline Flybe ceases trading, cancels all flights

Collapses for the second time in three years 276 workers made redundant by administrators About 75,000 customers had future bookings Hurt by delayed delivery of aircraft Rivals seeing rebounding demand LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – British regional airline Flybe on Saturday ceased trading for the second time in three years, with all flights canceled and … Read more

US CDC still looking at potential stroke risk from Pfizer bivalent COVID shot

Jan 26 (Reuters) – New data from one US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) database shows a possible stroke risk link for older adults who received an updated Pfizer (PFE.N)/BioNTech (22UAy.DE) COVID-19 booster shot, but the signal is weaker than what the agency had flagged earlier in January, health officials said on Thursday. … Read more

North Korea locks down capital city over ‘respiratory illness’

SEOUL, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Authorities in the North Korean capital Pyongyang have ordered a five-day lockdown due to rising cases of an unspecified respiratory illness, the Russian embassy and Seoul-based NK News reported on Wednesday, citing a government notice. The notice, shared by the embassy on its Facebook page, said that a “special anti-epidemic … Read more

Exclusive: WHO investigating links between cough syrup deaths, considers advice for parents

Jan 24 (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating whether there is any connection between manufacturers whose contaminated cough syrups it has linked to the deaths of more than 300 children in three countries, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. Citing “unacceptable levels” of toxins in the products, the WHO is … Read more

US FDA proposes shift to annual COVID vaccine shots

Jan 23 (Reuters) – The US health regulator on Monday proposed one dose of the latest updated COVID-19 shot annually for healthy adults, similar to the influenza immunization campaign, as it aims to simplify the country’s COVID-vaccine strategy. The US Food and Drug Administration also asked its panel of external advisers to consider the use … Read more

Oil prices hit 7-week high on stronger China outlook

Brent, US crude hit highest since early December G7 seeks two price caps for Russian oil products India’s crude imports hit 5-month high in December NEW YORK, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose by around 1% on Monday to a seven-week high, extending last week’s gains on the back of a stronger outlook thanks … Read more