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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Health Health News From the Associated Press


Opposition erupts as Iceland eyes banning most circumcisions

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:46:24 UT

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Icelandic lawmakers are considering a law that would ban the circumcision of boys for non-medical reasons, making it the first European country to do so. Some religious leaders in Iceland and across Europe have called the bill an attack on religious freedom. It is seen as a particular threat by Jews and Muslims who traditionally embrace the practice. Under the proposed law, the circumcision of boys — removing the foreskin of the penis, usually when the child is a newborn — would be viewed as equal to female genital mutilation and punishable by up to six years in prison.

Arizona could face fines in lawsuit over prison health care

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:15:06 UT

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge overseeing a class-action lawsuit over the quality of health care in Arizona's prisons will hold hearings this week to determine whether to fine the state for falling short in improving care for inmates. U.S. Magistrate David Duncan also will examine an allegation that the inmate-care provider skirted a promise Arizona made when it settled the lawsuit by denying care to an inmate to avoid paying a fine. The hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday were called after the judge repeatedly voiced frustration over what he described as the state's "abject failure" to carry out improvements it promised three years ago when it settled allegations that inmates were receiving shoddy health care.

Italians stage protests in violence-marred election campaign

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 17:35:11 UT

ROME (AP) — Italians demonstrated Saturday against racism, revivals of fascism, labor reforms, mandatory vaccines and other hotly-debated issues, at some points clashing with police, as antagonism flared between far-left and far-right activists in a violence-marred election campaign. It was the last weekend for political rallies ahead of Italy's March 4 national election, and protesters held at least a dozen marches or rallies in several Italian cities. In Milan, far-left demonstrators clashed with police trying to block them from reaching a far-right rally. Police in riot gear wielded batons against the front line of protesters to drive them back.

US asks judge to approve seizure of Pharma Bro's assets

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 23:13:20 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli appeared in court Friday for the first time since a judge locked him up for his online antics, and the brash former pharmaceutical CEO had a new look since his bail was revoked in September: a scruffy beard that made his appearance less boyish. He also was wearing a loose-fitting jail uniform instead of street clothes as he listened to the government argue that he's on the hook for more than $7 million for his securities fraud conviction. "Under the circumstances, I think he's doing remarkably well," his attorney, Ben Brafman, told reporters when asked about his client's stint in a fortress-like federal jail in Brooklyn.

CDC seeking $400 million to replace lab for deadliest germs

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 21:05:25 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Thirteen years after building a state-of-the-art lab for the world's most dangerous germs, the nation's top public health agency is asking for more than $400 million to build a new one. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the current lab building in Atlanta is quickly wearing down, and cannot be upgraded without shutting down the facility for years. The lab investigates deadly and exotic germs like Ebola, smallpox and dangerous new forms of flu. The agency disclosed its plans for a new lab on Friday. The CDC lab is one of only eight U.S.

The Latest: Governors push national health care compromise

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 19:35:29 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a bipartisan group of governors working on a health care solution (all times local): 2:30 p.m. A bipartisan group of governors working to strike compromise on hot-button policy issues is taking on health care. Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk) presented the group's blueprint for policy changes at the National Press Club in Washington on Friday. He lamented that one of the country's largest challenges seems to have been set aside by policymakers. Kasich and Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper have been working for more than a year on identifying common ground in health care, immigration and other top policy issues. They were joined in Friday's effort by independent Alaska Gov.

The Latest: Prosecutors want Martin Shkreli to forfeit $7.3M

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:00:24 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Martin Shkreli's court appearance Friday (all times local): 1 p.m. The federal government says "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli (SHKREL'-ee) is on the hook for more than $7 million for his securities fraud conviction. Shkreli appeared in a New York court on Friday for the first time since a judge locked him up for his online antics. U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto didn't immediately rule on the government's demand. Prosecutors say he should forfeit $7.3 million in assets that include a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" album that he has boasted he bought for $2 million.

Nasty flu season showing signs of winding down in US

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:02:30 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Could this nasty flu season finally be winding down? U.S. health officials on Friday said fewer visits to the doctor last week — 1 out of 16 — were for fever, cough and other flu symptoms than during the previous two weeks. The number of states reporting high patient traffic for the flu also dropped, to 39 from 43. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they're cautious about saying the flu season has peaked but called the downturn encouraging. Flu usually peaks in February. This season started early and surged for months. It has been driven by a formidable type of flu that tends to cause more hospitalizations and deaths.

Drugs likely in deaths of 3 found on San Francisco street

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 00:33:50 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Public health authorities are warning against the dangers of buying drugs potentially laced with fentanyl after three men were found dead near a school in San Francisco's historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. It's unlikely the medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death Thursday, but the department wanted to alert health care officials and drug users, said Rachael Kagan, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Public Health. "People who buy drugs on the street are at risk of purchasing drugs contaminated by fentanyl, which is a very strong opioid, much more potent than heroin," said Dr. Tomas Aragon, San Francisco Health Officer.

Leading liberal policy group unveils 'coverage for all' plan

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:44:25 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A leading liberal policy group is raising the ante in the health care debate with a new plan that builds on Medicare to guarantee coverage for all. Called "Medicare Extra for All," the proposal Thursday from the Center for American Progress, or CAP, would provide a path toward universal health care coverage. But in a nod to political pragmatism, the plan would preserve roles for employer coverage and for the health insurance industry. Employers and individuals would have a choice of joining Medicare Extra, but it would not be required. That differs from the more traditional "single-payer" approach advocated by Vermont independent Sen.