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Nepal Bans Chicken Sales after Bird Flu Outbreak

Nepal on Thursday banned the sale of chicken after health workers found cases of bird flu at several poultry farms on the outskirts of the capital Kathmandu, officials said.

Officials at Kathmandu District Animal Health Office said the government had imposed a week-long ban on the supply and sale of poultry products to prevent the H5N1 virus from spreading to humans.

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Research: No Link Between Sleep, Fatigue Level

New Swedish research has shown that there is little or no relation between how much sleep people get at night and how fatigued they feel, the head researcher said Thursday.

"The length of sleep is not a good measurement to analyse whether we get enough sleep or not," Torbjoern Aakerstedt told Agence France Presse of the studies conducted at the Stress Research Institute of Stockholm University.

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WHO: Three New Cases of MERS Virus Confirmed in Saudi

Three women have contracted the deadly MERS virus in Saudi Arabia, which has been hardest hit by the enigmatic disease, the World Health Organisation said Thursday.

One of the patients is a 67-year-old woman from Riyadh with underlying medical conditions, but who was not known to have come into contact with animals or another sufferer of the virus.

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Key Points in the Genetically Modified Food Debate

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to securing a massive free trade agreement between the United States and Europe is a sharp disagreement on genetically modified foods. Much of the corn, soybean, sugar beets and cotton cultivated in the United States today contains plants whose DNA was manipulated in labs to resist disease and drought, ward off insects and boost the food supply. Though common in the U.S., they are largely banned in the 28-nation European Union. Washington wants Europe to ease restrictions on imports of GMO foods, but the EU is skeptical they are safe. Intense emotions on both sides of the divide make it difficult to separate between strongly held belief and science. Here is a look at key points in the debate.


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Indian Doctors Discharge Baby with Swollen Head

Doctors Friday discharged a one-year-old Indian baby who underwent multiple surgery to correct a rare disorder that caused her head to nearly double in size, a neurosurgeon told Agence France Presse.

Roona Begum endured several surgical procedures which saw doctors at a hospital near New Delhi drain fluid from her head in a life-saving operation and dramatically reduce the size of her skull.

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School Children Fall Ill in India from Drinking Water

About a dozen children in eastern India fell ill and were taken to hospital on Thursday after drinking suspected contaminated water at their school, a hospital official said.

The children became sick after drinking water from a hand pump in the dirt-poor state of Bihar, in the same district where 23 children died last month after eating a poisoned lunch provided by their school.

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Uruguay Takes Step toward Full Pot Legalization

Uruguay's unprecedented plan to put the government at the center of a legal marijuana industry has made it halfway through congress, giving President Jose Mujica a long-sought victory in his effort to explore alternatives to the global war on drugs.

All 50 members of the governing Broad Front coalition approved the proposal in a party line vote just before midnight Wednesday, keeping a narrow majority of the 96 lawmakers present after more than 13 hours of passionate debate.

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Taiwan Orders More Human Vaccine as Rabies Returns

Taiwan has ordered tens of thousands of vaccine doses to protect people against the island's first rabies outbreak in more than 50 years.

Health officials have struggled to contain the Taiwan outbreak since July 17, when a ferret badger in the southern part of the island was confirmed as rabid. Since then, 17 more ferret badger cases have been confirmed, and the case of a rabid Asian house shrew reported Wednesday indicates the disease is jumping species. No humans or dogs have yet been involved in the outbreak.

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Nepal Bans Chicken Sales in Capital over Bird Flu

A Nepalese official says the government has banned the sale and transport of chicken and all poultry products in the capital city to prevent the spread of the H5N1 bird flu virus.

Agriculture Ministry spokesman Prabhakar Pathak said Thursday that the virus has been detected in several poultry farms in Katmandu and surrounding areas.

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India's Poor Drain 'Impure' Blood to Cure Ills

Mother-of-three Lilavati Devi stands perfectly still in the hot sun in Old Delhi as a practitioner and his assistants check the veins in her hands.

Then, armed with razor blades, the practitioner slices neatly into her skin and lets the "impure blood" drain out.

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