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Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer.

Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer. Officials are close to limiting doses of the painkillers, but doctors say doing so could put older patients into withdrawal or lead them to buy deadly street drugs.
Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016, a staggering one in three of the 43.6 million beneficiaries of the program’s drug plan had been prescribed the painkillers.
Medicare, they decided, would now refuse to pay for long-term, high-dose prescriptions; a rule to that effect is expected to be approved on April 2. Some medical experts have praised the regulation as a check on addiction.
But the proposal has also drawn a broad and clamorous blowback from many people who would be directly affected by it, including patients with chronic pain, primary care doctors and experts in pain management and addiction medicine.
Criti..

For Many Strokes, There’s an Effective Treatment. Why Aren’t Some Doctors Offering It?

Supported by Health For Many Strokes, There’s an Effective Treatment. Why Aren’t Some Doctors Offering It? It was one of those findings that would change medicine, Dr. Christopher Lewandowski thought.
For years, doctors had tried — and failed — to find a treatment that would preserve the brains of stroke patients. The task was beginning to seem hopeless: Once a clot blocked a blood vessel supplying the brain, its cells quickly began to die. Patients and their families could only pray that the damage would not be too extensive.
But then a large federal clinical trial proved that a so-called clot-buster drug, tissue plasminogen activator (T.P.A.), could prevent brain injury after a stroke by opening up the blocked vessel. Dr. Lewandowski, an emergency medicine physician at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and the trial’s principal investigator, was ecstatic.
“We felt the data was so strong we didn’t have to explain it” in the published report, he said.
He was wrong. That groundbr..

Public Health: You’d Be Surprised at How Many Foods Contain Added Sugar

You’d Be Surprised at How Many Foods Contain Added Sugar Photo Some pasta sauces have high amounts of added sugar. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times You may know there’s added sugar in your Coke or cookies. But did you know that it’s in your salad dressing, pasta sauce and bread?
The Food and Drug Administration came out Friday with its new template for nutrition labels. One big change was the addition of a line for “added sugar,” to be placed below a line for total sugar. The change is designed to distinguish between sugars that are naturally occurring in a food — like the milk sugar in a plain yogurt — and the sugars that food manufacturers include later to boost flavors — like the “evaporated cane juice” in a Chobani Kids strawberry yogurt.
A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina conducted a detailed survey of the packaged foods and drinks that are purchased in American grocery stores and found that 60 percent of them include some form of added sugar. When the..

The New Health Care: Sorry, There’s Nothing Magical About Breakfast

Sorry, There’s Nothing Magical About Breakfast Photo Our belief in the power of breakfast is based on misinterpreted research and poor studies. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times I don’t eat breakfast. It’s not that I dislike what’s offered. Given the choice of breakfast food or lunch food, I’d almost always choose eggs or waffles. It’s just that I’m not hungry at 7:30 a.m., when I leave for work.
In fact, I’m rarely hungry until about lunchtime. So, other than a morning cup of coffee, I don’t eat much before noon. This habit has forced me to be subjected to more lectures on how I’m hurting myself, my diet, my work and my health than almost any other. Only a fool would skip the most important meal of the day, right?
As with many other nutritional pieces of advice, our belief in the power of breakfast is based on misinterpreted research and biased studies.
It does not take much of an effort to find research that shows an association between skipping breakfast and poor health. A 2013..

How to Spot a Nuclear Bomb Program? Look for Ghostly Particles

How to Spot a Nuclear Bomb Program? Look for Ghostly Particles Photo The Boulby mine in northeast England will be home to the Watchman experiment, which aims to detect antineutrinos from a nearby nuclear power plant. Credit Science and Technology Facilities Council Boulby Underground Laboratory What are nations like North Korea and Iran really doing at nuclear reactors that are out of sight?
Someday, wispy subatomic particles known as antineutrinos could provide a clear view of what countries with illicit nuclear weapons programs are trying to hide.
Antineutrinos are devilishly difficult to detect, but this quality is precisely what makes them potentially ideal for monitoring international nonproliferation agreements aimed at preventing the spread of atomic weapons.
A collaboration of American and British scientists announced on Tuesday that they would build a test antineutrino detector called Watchman in a mine on the northeast coast of England. The project is sponsored by the Nationa..

NASA’s Webb Telescope Faces More Setbacks

NASA’s Webb Telescope Faces More Setbacks Photo Engineers and technicians assembling the James Webb Space Telescope in November 2016 at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. A large space-based observatory optimized for infrared wavelengths, the Webb is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images America’s next big space telescope has been delayed at least a year to May 2020, NASA said on Tuesday, throwing the nation’s plan and budget for space astrophysics into potential turmoil.
It now seems likely the cost of the James Webb Space Telescope, the agency’s long-planned successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, will exceed an $8 billion limit that was imposed by Congress, meaning that the project will have to be reauthorized and other NASA missions could be jeopardized.
NASA is beefing up management overview of the program and has appointed an independent review board, chaired by Thomas Young, a former agency manager and a retired aerospace execut..

Deal With U.S. Military Sets Off Protests in Ghana

Deal With U.S. Military Sets Off Protests in Ghana Photo Protesters in Accra, Ghana, demonstrated Wednesday against a military agreement with the United States. Credit Cristina Aldehuela/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images DAKAR, Senegal — Thousands of Ghanaians rallied in the streets of their capital on Wednesday to protest a deal that would give the United States military an expanded role in Ghana.
As part of the agreement struck last week, the United States would invest about $20 million in equipment and training for the Ghanaian military, carrying out joint exercises with Ghana and using the nation’s radio channels and runways.
Ghanaian officials said the agreement was an extension of a two-decades-long relationship between the United States and Ghana, a West African nation that has been a regular host of bilateral and multilateral military exercises.
“It’s the same arrangement we’ve had in times past,” said Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the deputy minister of information. He said that resi..

Militants Linked to Al Qaeda Unleash Deadly Car Bombings in Somalia

Militants Linked to Al Qaeda Unleash Deadly Car Bombings in Somalia Photo The Shabab claimed responsibility for a deadly car bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Sunday. Credit Said Yusuf Warsame/EPA, via Shutterstock MOGADISHU, Somalia — Three explosions over four days in or near the Somalian capital have left a trail of carnage, killing nearly 20 people and injuring dozens of others, as Islamist militants unleashed a wave of attacks on the country.
On Sunday, a car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint near the Interior Ministry on a road leading to the presidential palace in the capital, Mogadishu. At least three people, in addition to the bomber, were killed, a police chief said.
The blast sent a plume of black smoke billowing above the skyline.
The police chief, Gen. Bashir Mohamed Jama, said that five other people had been injured in the blast and that the authorities had thwarted two other suicide bombing attacks on Sunday morning.
The Shabab, an Islamist extremist group affiliate..

Skybet fined £1m by gambling regulator for not protecting vulnerable customers

Over 730 self-excluded users were able to open and use duplicate accounts to gamble
Skybet has been fined £1m by the gambling regulator for failing to protect its most vulnerable customers.
The Gambling Commission said on Wednesday that it had issued the penalty in response to the sports betting company allowing customers who had self-excluded to open accounts.
Self-exclusion is a tool offered to those who feel they are having trouble controlling their gambling habits, and request that the operator refuse their service.
Read more FOBTs cost taxpayers £210m per year, research finds The commission said that its investigation had shown that 736 self-excluded customers were able to open and use duplicate accounts to gamble, and that around 50,000 self-excluded customers received marketing material by email, mobile text or a push notification within a mobile app.
In addition, 36,748 self-excluded customers did not have their account balance funds returned to them on account closure,..

Uber agrees to pay $10m settlement in gender and race discrimination lawsuit

The ride-hailing company compensates 285 women and 135 men of colour for financial and emotional harm
Uber has agreed to pay $10m (£7.1m) to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by two women engineers who accused the ride-services company of gender and race discrimination.
The settlement, disclosed in a filing in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, says Uber also agreed to reforms to its system for compensation, reviews and promotions.
According to the filing, the settlement compensates for financial and emotional harm to about 285 women and 135 men of colour.
Read more Uber will halt autonomous vehicle testing in California The settlement arises out of two actions filed in October, one in the San Francisco Superior Court and another in the California district court.
On 24 October, Roxana del Toro Lopez and Ana Medina, who described themselves as Latina software engineers, filed an action in the Superior Court, followed by another three days later in..