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Right to Die: Colombian Man Ends Life with Government Backup

Dr. Gustavo Quintana walks out of a modest, two-floor apartment building in southern Bogota. Inside his black doctor's bag are vials containing anesthesia and muscle relaxants, a syringe and a rubber tourniquet. The man known in Colombia as Dr. Death has just ended the life of his 234th patient: a middle-aged woman suffering from incurable stomach cancer.

For years, Quintana and a handful of other physicians have been performing what they consider mercy killings in a semi-clandestine state, at risk of prosecution and amid widespread rejection from other doctors and church officials.

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Malnutrition Brings a Terrible Disease to Children in Niger

Mourdja's nose has been eaten away, like one lip and part of her upper gum, leaving the 13-year-old girl atrociously disfigured by noma, a disease that thrives on malnutrition.

"It was better before," the teenager says shyly and simply in the arid heartland of Niger, one of the world's poorest nations, clearly ill at ease and fiddling with her bracelets.

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Deaths, Injuries in Kenya Illicit Alcohol Crackdown

Eight people have died and scores more have been wounded in a crackdown in Kenya on illegally brewed alcohol, reports and officials said Saturday.

Hundreds of people have also been arrested, business premises destroyed and thousands of liters destroyed in the operation, sparked by government concern over rising alcoholism and a recent spate of deaths linked to illicit drinks.

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Tests Rule out MERS in Czech Tour Guide

Tests have ruled out the potentially fatal MERS virus in a Czech tour guide hospitalized in Prague, the health minister said Friday.

"Based on laboratory tests on the patient... I can definitely confirm the disease was not MERS," Svatopluk Nemecek told reporters without elaborating.

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U.N.: Cholera Deaths in South Sudan Rise, Thousands at Risk

At least 29 people have died in a cholera outbreak in war-torn South Sudan with thousands more at risk of infection, the United Nations said Friday.

A total of 484 cholera cases, including 29 deaths -- six of them children under five -- had been reported by the end of June, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said.

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Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Promising for Some Patients

Doctors who gave children with cystic fibrosis a replacement copy of a defective gene say it appeared to slow the expected decline of some patients' lungs, but called the results "modest" and say there must be major improvements before offering the treatment more widely.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition that fills the lungs with mucus, making people susceptible to infections that can eventually destroy the lungs; the average life expectancy is about 37 years. After scientists identified the genetic sequence that causes cystic fibrosis in 1989, many experts hoped the disease could be cured by replacing the problem gene. But before the new study, all attempts at such gene therapy — where a normal version of the faulty gene is given to patients — failed to show a benefit.

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U.S. Announces First Death from Measles in 12 Years

Health authorities on Thursday announced the first U.S. death from measles in 12 years, after an autopsy showed a woman's fatal pneumonia was caused by the contagious disease.

"The cause of death was pneumonia due to measles," said a statement from the Department of Health in Clallam County, Washington.

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Study: Diabetes Drug Helps People Lose Weight

Liraglutide, an injectable diabetes drug that U.S. regulators approved last year for weight loss, helped obese people lose an average of 18 pounds (eight kilograms), a yearlong study said.

Most patients were able to keep the weight off for the duration of the 56-week study on the drug marketed as Saxenda by Novo Nordisk, according to the findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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French Court Rules 'no Error' by German Body over Faulty Breast Implants

A French appeals court on Thursday found German safety standards body TUV had "fulfilled its obligations" in certifying breast implants that were found to be faulty and sparked a worldwide scare.

The ruling overturns a decision by a lower French court in 2013 which had found the body liable and ordered the company to pay millions of euros in compensation to distributors and victims.

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Mass Fainting at Cambodian Garment Factories Renews Concerns

Nearly 200 Cambodian garment workers have been hospitalized after a new spate of mass fainting at factories this week, officials said Wednesday, renewing concerns about conditions in the kingdom's crucial textile industry.

At least 61 workers at a factory in southern Takeo province fainted on Wednesday Cheav Bunrith, a spokesman for the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), told AFP. 

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