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Experts: Profit Motive Big Hurdle for Ebola Drugs

For nearly four decades, mention of the Ebola virus has evoked death and terror, yet a simple factor -- money -- has stood in the way of erasing the curse, experts say.

Despite its evil reputation, Ebola breaks out only rarely in brief if murderous spurts in impoverished African countries.

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Taiwan Executive Detained as Food Safety Scandal Deepens

The head of a Taiwanese company at the centre of a widening food safety scandal has been detained for selling hundreds of tonnes of "gutter oil" that caused mass product recalls, authorities said Saturday.

Yeh Wen-hsiang, chairman of Chang Guann Co, was taken into custody early Saturday on suspicion of fraud, officials said, deeming him a flight risk and fearing he could collude with other suspects or destroy evidence.

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FDA Approves Weight-Loss Drug Contrave

U.S. regulators have greenlighted a new weight-loss drug called Contrave, the third in a string of approvals for prescription medications aimed at the nation's 78 million obese adults.

The pill, Contrave, is a combination of two drugs that are already approved, naltrexone and bupropion. Naltrexone is used to treat alcohol and narcotic dependence. Bupropion is an antidepressant also used to help people quit smoking.

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Doctors: Finding Source Unlikely in E. Coli Deaths

Investigators say they don't expect to find the specific sources of fatal strains of E. coli that killed two children in the Pacific Northwest and left a Washington boy fighting for his life.

Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director of the communicable disease section of the Oregon Health Authority, said Thursday they need at least twice as many cases to pin down a source, which might be tainted food, lake water, or contact with livestock.

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Cuba Says Will Send 165 Health Workers to Sierra Leone in Ebola Fight

Cuba will send 165 doctors and nurses to Sierra Leone to help fight the Ebola outbreak, Cuba's health minister and the World Health Organization announced Friday.

"We will contribute with a brigade of 165 collaborators, consisting of 62 doctors and 103 nurses," Cuban Health Minister Roberto Morales Ojeda told reporters in Geneva.

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Japan's Centenarian Population Swells

The number of people aged 100 or older in rapidly greying Japan has hit a record high for the 44th straight year, the government said Friday.

The country's centenarian population jumped by 4,423 from a year earlier to a record 58,820 as of September 1, the health ministry said, adding that 87.1 percent of them were women.

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Abu Faour Closes al-Sanawbra Infirmary, Warns Notre Dame du Liban Hospital

Health Minister Wael Abu Faour issued an order on Thursday closing al-Sanawbra charity infirmary in Baabda and calling off its license after pharmacy inspections found expired medical products.

Furthermore, the inspectors found medical products for chronic diseases stamped with names of patients. The products which are usually given to patients for free are being traded commercially at the said clinic.

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South Korea to Hike Cigarette Price by 80%

South Korea on Thursday proposed a steep 80 percent hike in cigarette prices to cut consumption in a nation with one of the world's highest male smoking rates.

The decision requires parliamentary approval, but Health Minister Moon Hyung-Pyo said it was necessary to counter what has become the "biggest threat to national health".

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Guinean Ebola Patient Recovers in Senegal

A Guinean student who was Senegal's only confirmed case in the deadly Ebola epidemic has recovered, the health ministry said on Wednesday. 

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Puerto Rico Partners on U.S. HIV Vaccine Project

Puerto Rico's governor says the island's largest public university is partnering with federal agencies to oversee a U.S.-funded project aimed at trying to develop a prophylactic vaccine for the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Tuesday the University of Puerto Rico will work with the National Institutes of Health and other public and private agencies. Officials said 30 scientists and students will participate in the five-year project that will take place in three stages, starting with molecular research and development.

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