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One Dead as Swine Flu Returns to Venezuela

At least one person has died from a resurgence of swine flu in Venezuela that infected 12 other people, Health Minister Eugenia Sader said Thursday.

"We have an outbreak of H1N1 in the state of Merida," she said, adding that 12 people have tested positive for the disease and a 32-year-old has died.

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Tainted Pork is Latest Food Scandal to Hit China

China has been hit by a fresh food scandal after the country's largest meat processor was forced to apologize when an illegal additive was reportedly found in some of its pork products.

Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development Co said it had halted operations at one of its subsidiaries while authorities investigate the case, in a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Wednesday, where it is listed.

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Gene Therapy improves Parkinson's Symptoms

An experimental treatment improved symptoms of Parkinson's disease in a mid-stage test, echoing results of an earlier pilot study.

The new research is the first to show positive results in a test of gene therapy against a sham operation in about three dozen U.S. Parkinson's patients.

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Health Experts Sound Warning Over Iodine Rush

Japan's nuclear crisis has sparked panic buying of iodine pills, with online bids exceeding $500 for a single packet, but health experts hosed down the hysteria and warned the pills are of limited use.

As fresh blasts rocked a stricken atomic plant on Japan's east coast, and crews worked frantically to cool reactors that emitted dangerous levels of radiation near the facility, jitters spread to Tokyo and beyond

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Hungary Considers ‘Hamburger Tax' to Reduce Health Problems

Hungary's government said Friday it is considering a novel way of tightening the public belt -- the introduction of a "hamburger tax".

"The ministries concerned are examining the effects of the introduction of a so-called 'hamburger tax'," Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy said on the Hungarian parliament's website, in a reply to an opposition lawmaker's inquiry.

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Study Shows Anti-AIDS Drugs Slow Deaths in S.Africa

South Africa's AIDS deaths have fallen by nearly 25 percent due to scaled up access to life-saving drugs, which the government for years had refused to provide, new research has shown.

"The rapid expansion of South Africa’s anti-retroviral program appears to have slowed down the AIDS mortality rate in recent years," said the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) in a statement.

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Coffee Tied to Lower Stroke Risk in Women

Women who enjoy a daily dose of coffee may like this perk: It might lower their risk of stroke.

Women in a Swedish study who drank at least a cup of coffee every day had a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who drank less coffee or none at all.

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US Approves First New Drug for Lupus in 56 Years

The Food and Drug Administration approved Wednesday the first new drug to treat lupus in over 50 years, a milestone that medical experts say could prompt development of other drugs that are even more effective in treating the debilitating immune system disorder.

Known as Benlysta, the injectable drug is designed to relieve flare-ups and pain caused by lupus, a little-understood and potentially fatal ailment in which the body attacks its own tissue and organs.

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Cigarette Displays to Be Banned in British Stores

The cigarette packs piled into prominent displays behind store counters and supermarket checkouts in England can't be missed. They occupy prime retail real estate, helping to keep addicts hooked and quitters tempted.

But the government announced a ban on them Wednesday, a move that will keep cigarettes hidden away and make it just a tad more difficult for smokers to find their fix.

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Study Says Lack of Sleep Can Make you Overly Optimistic

When people do not get enough sleep, they tend to make overly optimistic decisions and may be more prone to risky gambling, U.S. researchers said.

The study published in the journal Neuroscience provides scientific evidence for what casino managers have long known -- that flashing lights and ringing slot machines encourage gamblers to keep going until their money is gone.

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