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Vermont leading US in GMO labeling campaign
23 Apr 2014 | 7:59 pm
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont could likely be the first state in the country to require labels on genetically modified foods, under a bill approved by both legislative chambers and favored by the governor.
Doctor convicted in Michael Jackson death denied latest appeal
23 Apr 2014 | 7:56 pm
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear an appeal by Michael Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death. Murray was released from a Los Angeles jail in October after serving two years but wants to clear his name. The cardiologist's attorney, Valerie Wass, said Murray will likely attempt to overturn his conviction in federal court.
U.N. chief demands Security Council action on Syria
23 Apr 2014 | 7:28 pm
By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded on Wednesday that the Security Council take action in Syria on violations of international law as he reported to the body that none of the warring parties was adhering to U.N. demands for aid access. In his second monthly report to the 15-member council on the implementation of a resolution demanding great humanitarian aid access in Syria, Ban said "none of the parties to the conflict have adhered to the demands of the Council." "The Security Council must take action to deal with these flagrant violations of the basic principles of international law," he wrote in the 21-page report. But diplomats said Russia was unlikely to agree to any action, such as sanctions, if Syria's government was found to be at fault.
Herbalife punished 600 distributors for medical claims: ABC News
23 Apr 2014 | 7:07 pm
Herbalife, a weight loss and nutrition company being investigated for allegations of running a pyramid scheme, disciplined hundreds of distributors last year for making unsubstantiated medical claims about its products, ABC News reported on Wednesday. The network said the company disclosed the internal figures after an ABC News investigation found what it called "numerous examples of distributors boasting to potential customers that the company's products helped treat maladies ranging from diabetes to heart disease." In one case, an ABC reporter posing as a customer caught a Staten Island, New York, distributor on a hidden camera saying a woman overcame a brain tumor after using Herbalife products, the network said. Asked by ABC in a televised report if Herbalife cured brain tumors, Herbalife President Des Walsh said: "Absolutely not. ... This is not the Herbalife I know." ABC said that since the interview, Herbalife had told the network it disciplined almost 600 distributors last year for making such claims and stripped 12 of their distributorships.
Two 10-year-olds caught selling grandparents' pot at Colorado school
23 Apr 2014 | 5:53 pm
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Two 10-year-old boys in Colorado were caught selling and swapping marijuana that they pilfered from their grandparents' supplies of legally purchased pot in separate incidents at the same school, a district official said on Wednesday. John Gates, director of safety and security for Weld County School District 6, said a fourth-grade boy at Monfort Elementary in Greeley brought a small amount of marijuana to school on Monday and sold it to three other classmates. That boy nibbled on the edible, but suffered no ill-effects, Gates said, adding that another student observed the incident and reported it to school authorities. Voters in Colorado approved the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis by adults for recreational purposes in 2012, and the first state-licensed retail pot stores opened in the state in January.
Vermont lawmakers send GMO food-labeling law to governor
23 Apr 2014 | 5:49 pm
A law that would make Vermont the first U.S. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, received final approval from state lawmakers on Wednesday and now heads to the governor's desk. The Vermont House of Representative passed the bill 114-30. Last week, the Vermont Senate, by a vote of 28-2, approved the measure, which requires foods containing GMOs sold at retail outlets to be labeled as having been produced or partially produced with "genetic engineering." "Vermont's leading the nation on this, giving consumers basic information about the food that they are eating," said Falko Schilling, a spokesman for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, which backed the bill. The Vermont bill also makes it illegal to describe any food product containing GMOs as "natural" or "all natural." Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont's contains no such trigger clause.
California county tries to ban pot farms as medical weed business thrives
23 Apr 2014 | 4:57 pm
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - Citing marijuana fields springing up next to high schools and in abandoned barns, Sacramento County supervisors are set to declare pot gardens a public nuisance in the latest move by a local government to rein in California's cannabis industry. U.S. states are increasingly moving to drop curbs on marijuana following landmark voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington state in 2012 that legalized the drug for recreational use. But in California, where medical marijuana is legal but recreational use is not, state laws are hazy on who is allowed to grow and sell the drug, leading to a chaotic and largely unregulated marketplace of street-corner pot dispensaries, illegal cannabis farms and inappropriate prescribing by unethical doctors. Cities and counties have struggled to impose order on an piecemeal basis as the state wrestles with developing a regulatory framework for the thriving if messy medical marijuana industry.
Wall Street snaps six-day run; Apple to split stock
23 Apr 2014 | 4:47 pm
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday to snap a six-session winning streak as gains in Boeing and Gilead were offset by slides in AT&T and the wider biotech sector. AT&T Inc fell 3.8 percent to $34.92 a day after the Dow component reported earnings that beat expectations, offset by weak service revenue growth. Verizon Communications shed 1 percent to $47.43 while the S&P telecom sector index dropped 2.2 percent, easily making it the session's worst-performing sector. Biotech shares pulled the Nasdaq lower.
California city sees spike in whooping cough cases
23 Apr 2014 | 4:32 pm
A Southern California city has seen a spike in reported whooping cough cases so far this year, with the number of infections nearly tripling compared to all of last year, possibly due to a less potent vaccine or lower vaccination rates, officials said on Wednesday. Some 43 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, have been documented since January in Long Beach, a city of about 470,000, up from 15 cases reported in all of 2013 and four cases reported in 2012, Long Beach Health Officer Michael Kushner said. Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that often begins with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough, followed by severe coughing that can last for several weeks. Kushner said the rise in whooping cough cases in Long Beach was likely due to a drop in vaccinations or booster shots, a weakened vaccine or infections that are left untreated.
Oregon investigates mysterious honeybee deaths along state highway
23 Apr 2014 | 4:25 pm
By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Oregon agriculture authorities are investigating the mysterious deaths of potentially thousands of honeybees along a highway, the second die-off of bees in the state in less than a year. Officials said on Wednesday that they did not reach the site along highway 99 in Sherwood, a small city southwest of Portland, in time to document the precise number of bees. "From what I've learned, when bees swarm, there can be anywhere from one to 10,000 in a swarm, so if that indeed was a case of a swarm of bees in the area, it could be in that range," said Oregon Department of Agriculture spokesman Bruce Pokarney.
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