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Swine Flu Kills Second Jordanian in Week

A Jordanian woman has died of swine flu in the second such death in a week, Health Minister Abdullatif Wreikat said on Sunday.

"The woman, who was in her forties, was taken to hospital last Sunday, suffering from pneumonia," Wreikat told the official news agency Petra.

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Spaniards Protest Health Care Reforms

Thousands of people marched in Madrid on Sunday to protest plans to privatize parts of their public health care system, with some questioning the motives behind the government's actions.

The march by employees and users of the system is the year's second large "white tide" demonstration, named after the color of the medical scrubs many protesters wear. Several similar marches took place last year.

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China Pollution Anger Spills into State Media

Public anger in China at dangerous levels of air pollution, which blanketed Beijing in acrid smog, spread Monday as state media editorials queried official transparency and the nation's breakneck development.

State media joined Internet users in calling for a re-evaluation of China's modernization process, which has seen rapid urbanization and economic development achieved at the expense of the environment.

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Lung Cancer Scans Backed for Older, Heavy Smokers

After decades of qualms about lung cancer screening, the American Cancer Society says there now is enough evidence to recommend it, but only for current and former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74 and after a frank talk about risks and benefits.

The new guidelines, announced Friday, are a cautious but exciting step against the world's most deadly cancer, doctors who wrote the advice say.

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Air Pollution in Beijing Reaches Hazardous Levels

Air pollution levels in China's notoriously dirty capital were at dangerous levels Saturday, with cloudy skies blocking out visibility and warnings issued for people to remain indoors.

Local authorities warned that the severe pollution was likely to continue until Tuesday.

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FDA Requires Lower Doses for Sleep Medications

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring makers of Ambien and similar sleeping pills to lower the dosage of their drugs, based on studies suggesting patients face a higher risk of injury due to morning drowsiness.

The agency said Thursday that new research shows that the drugs remain in the bloodstream at levels high enough to interfere with alertness and coordination, which increases the risk of car accidents.

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France at Odds with European Medicines Agency Over Pill

France insisted Friday on restricting the prescription of newer-generation birth control pills even as Europe's medicines watchdog declared there was no evidence to merit a health warning.

Citing concerns over risks of blood clots from the so-called 3rd- and 4th-generation pills, France said it would limit prescriptions of these contraceptives and urged the European Union (EU) to follow suit.

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Massive U.S. Flu Outbreak Claims at Least 18 Lives

The United States was in the grip Thursday of a deadly influenza outbreak that has hit harder and earlier than in previous years, and has claimed the lives of at least 18 children.

"It looks like the worst year we've had since 2003-2004," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Israeli Law Aims to Make Ultrathin Models Obsolete

When Margaux Stelman began modeling a few months ago, she always had her sister Aline in mind.

Aline was an ex-model who died three years ago after a long battle with anorexia, a common affliction of models trying to look thinner and thinner — and girls trying to look like them.

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Indonesia to Add Photo Warnings to Cigarette Packs

Indonesia has issued regulations that will require cigarette packets to bear graphic photographic warnings, a long-delayed measure in a country with one of the highest rates of smoking in the world.

The regulations were watered down following opposition by tobacco farmers and cigarette companies, and fall far short of those in many Western countries and other Asian markets. Billboard and television advertising remains widespread, as is sponsorship of sports and pop music events.

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