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Obama tech policy maven moves to Silicon Valley role
22 Aug 2014 | 7:46 pm
By Mark Felsenthal and Edwin Chan WASHINGTON D.C./SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Todd Park, President Barack Obama's chief technology officer who played a role in fixing the flawed Healthcare.gov website, is moving to a new job recruiting top Silicon Valley talent to government, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday. Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top adviser to Obama, will move to the West Coast at the end of the month as part of a White House team, the source said on condition of anonymity because it has not been made public. His move to California signals a growing effort by the government to try to recruit from Silicon Valley.
Air testing lapse at N.M. nuclear waste dump blamed on staff vacancy
22 Aug 2014 | 7:05 pm
State regulators failed to collect air samples in the week following a radiation release at a New Mexico nuclear waste dump because of a vacancy in the office responsible for monitoring the site at the time, a state official said on Friday. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where drums of plutonium-tainted refuse from government nuclear weapons laboratories are buried in caverns a half a mile deep, has been closed since Feb. 14, when unsafe radiation levels were detected at the site. The plant, the only facility of its kind in the United States, is run under contract for the government by Nuclear Energy Partnership LLC. Plant managers initially denied that employees working above ground at the site had been affected but said later that 22 workers were exposed to radiation, though at low levels not considered harmful to their health. State sampling resumed a week after the radiation leak, said Susan Kamat, director of that office.
Tech chief during Healthcare.gov rollout leaves White House: source
22 Aug 2014 | 6:24 pm
Todd Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top adviser to President Barack Obama, will move to the West Coast at the end of the month as part of a White House team, the source said on condition of anonymity because it has not been made public. The move signals a growing effort by the government to try to recruit from Silicon Valley.
New Obama birth control fixes for religious groups
22 Aug 2014 | 5:53 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception.
Canadian medical marijuana company OrganiGram set to go public
22 Aug 2014 | 4:40 pm
By John Tilak TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian medical marijuana producer OrganiGram Inc is set to go public on Monday, its chief executive said, the second such firm to list on the venture exchange next week, highlighting investor appetite for a high-growth industry. OrganiGram and Bedrocan Cannabis Corp both plan to list on Aug. 25. The two firms, via reverse takeovers, will join Tweed Marijuana Inc on the TSX Venture Exchange giving investors in public markets three licensed producers to choose from.
Oregon sues Oracle, claiming fraud over failed Obamacare website
22 Aug 2014 | 4:33 pm
By Teresa Carson PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - The state of Oregon sued Oracle America Inc. and six of its top executives Friday, accusing the software giant of fraud for failing to deliver a working website for the Affordable Care Act program. The 126-page lawsuit, filed in Marion County Circuit Court, claims that fraud, lying and "a pattern of racketeering" by Oracle cost the state and its Cover Oregon program hundreds of millions of dollars. Oregon paid Oracle about $240.3 million for a system that never worked, the suit said. Oracle issued a statement saying the suit "is a desperate attempt to deflect blame from Cover Oregon and the governor for their failures to manage a complex IT project.
CDC director to visit Ebola outbreak countries
22 Aug 2014 | 4:27 pm
WHO warns of 'shadow zones' and unreported Ebola cases
22 Aug 2014 | 4:17 pm
By Stephanie Nebehay and Clair MacDougall GENEVA/MONROVIA (Reuters) - Families hiding infected loved ones and the existence of "shadow zones" where medics cannot go mean the West African Ebola epidemic is even bigger than thought, the World Health Organization said on Friday. Some 1,427 people have died among 2,615 known cases of the deadly virus in West Africa since the outbreak was first identified in March, according to new figures released by the WHO on Friday. Independent experts raised similar concerns a month ago that the contagion could be worse than reported because some residents of affected areas are chasing away health workers and shunning treatment. Despite initial assertions by regional health officials that the virus had been contained in its early stages, Ebola case numbers and deaths have ballooned in recent months as the outbreak has spread from its initial epicenter in Guinea.
U.S. moves to ensure birth control access at religious companies
22 Aug 2014 | 3:28 pm
(Reuters) - The Obama administration will ensure access to birth control coverage for employees of closely held companies that object on religious grounds to contraception, one of the health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The move follows a Supreme Court ruling in June that allowed certain for-profit companies to refuse to cover contraceptives due to the religious beliefs of their owners. It provides for insurers to offer contraception to employees through separate coverage. President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law requires companies to provide free birth control coverage as a preventive service included in their health plans.
Mammography false alarms linked with later tumor risk
22 Aug 2014 | 3:17 pm
By Ronnie Cohen NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women whose screening mammograms produce false alarms have a heightened risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer years later, but the reason remains mysterious, researchers say. An increased risk of breast cancer among women with a “false positive” mammogram has been reported before. She told Reuters Health in a telephone interview that she could not explain most of the increased risk of later breast cancer in women with false-positive mammograms.
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