America News

Passage of Inflation Reduction Act gives Medicare historic new powers over drug prices

The legislation represents a historic expansion of Medicare's power that was fiercely opposed by the pharmaceutical industry.

Polio detected in New York City sewage suggesting local circulation of virus, health officials say

Health officials are aggressively assessing how far polio has spread in the city and in New York state.

DOJ plans to retry Philip Esformes despite Trump commuting sentence of Florida nursing home owner

Florida nursing homes operator Philip Esformes was one of dozens of criminal defendants who received executive clemency from President Donald Trump.

Pharma stock investors brace for billions in heartburn drug litigation charges

For many investors and analysts, this ordeal brings back memories of the Bayer Roundup saga.

CDC eases Covid guidance as U.S. has more tools to fight the virus and keep people out of the hospital

The public health agency said the virus now poses a significantly lower risk due to high levels of immunity from vaccines and infections.

American News is brought to you by CNBC

Europe News

Reader Question: Why did my French electricity bill increase by more than 4%?

The French government has capped electricity prices rises at four percent - but as with many French rules, there are certain exceptions.

Firefighters contain French blazes but caution reigns

A huge fire that has devastated swathes of southwestern France appeared contained on Friday as French and foreign firefighters worked flat out, but blistering temperatures made victory uncertain, local authorities said.

Spain hails Berlin call for Europe gas link

Spain and Portugal backed Germany's call for a gas pipeline linking the Iberian peninsula with central Europe on Friday, with Madrid saying its part of the connection could be "operational" within months.

German word of the day: Belastung

Sometimes things can be too hard to carry - but keep this German word to hand and you may be able to lighten the load.

Why Monday August 15th is a public holiday in France

It might feel like most of France is already on holiday, but Monday is an extra holiday - here's why.

Europe News is brought to you by TheLocal

BBC World News

HIV medicines: India patients say hit by drugs shortage

India's health ministry denies supply disruptions, but activists allege a shortage of essential drugs.

India independence to tsunami: Meet Indians named after historic events

The BBC met six Indians who were named after landmark events that unfolded during their birth.

Week in pictures: 6 - 12 August 2022

A selection of powerful images from all over the globe, taken in the past seven days.

In pictures: Defying Mozambican jihadists to go to school

Riding motorbike taxis has become a lifeline for young men fleeing Mozambique's Islamist insurgency.

Salman Rushdie: Author on ventilator and unable to speak, agent says

The Satanic Verses author was stabbed several times at an event in New York state on Friday.

Ibiza: The birth of the 'party island'

In June 1973, the nightclub Pacha opened in Ibiza and it changed the island forever.

Anne Heche dies: 'We have lost a bright light'

The Donnie Brasco actress is legally dead, a representative says, after a car crash in Los Angeles.

Montenegro: Gunman kills 10 after family dispute

Three members of the same family were killed - the gunman was shot dead by a civilian.

Ukraine war: Moscow's next step, nuclear plant warning and clean-up raves

More nuclear plant shelling could be "worse than Chernobyl" and young people mix cleaning and techno.

Ukraine war: Crimea blasts significantly hit Russian navy - UK

The Ministry of Defence says the blasts have "significantly degraded" Moscow's Black Sea Fleet.

BBC World News is brought to you by BBC

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Case Tracker

Provided by Johns Hopkins University this COVID-19 Global Case Tracker Dashboard shows you the most up-to-date information about the global spread of the new corona virus.

About the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding COVID-19 on 30 January 2020, and later declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 2 June 2021, more than 171 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 3.56 million confirmed deaths attributed to COVID-19, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are highly variable, ranging from none to life-threateningly severe. COVID-19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are in close proximity, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors. Transmission can also occur if splashed or sprayed with contaminated fluids, in the eyes nose or mouth, and rarely via contaminated surfaces. People remain contagious for up to 20 days, and can spread the virus even if they do not develop any symptoms.

Recommended preventive measures include social distancing, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air-filtering, hand washing, covering one's mouth when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring and self-isolation for people exposed or symptomatic. Several vaccines have been developed and widely distributed since December 2020. Current treatments focus on addressing symptoms, but work is underway to develop medications that inhibit the virus. Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns and quarantines, workplace hazard controls, and business closures. Numerous jurisdictions have also worked to increase testing capacity and trace contacts of the infected.

The pandemic has resulted in significant global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has led to widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, agricultural disruption, and food shortages. However, there have also been decreased emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Numerous educational institutions and public areas have been partially or fully closed, and many events have been cancelled or postponed. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media, and political tensions have been exacerbated. The pandemic has raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.

Source: Wikipedia (June 2, 2021)

Please find below further updates from The World Health Organization (WHO).

Suspension of supply of COVID-19 vaccine (COVAXIN®)

Suspension of supply of Covaxin produced by Bharat, through UN procurement agencies and recommending to countries that received the vaccine to take actions as appropriate.

WHO, Qatar, FIFA leaders agree actions to promote health at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

As part of a unique global partnership to promote health, the senior leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO), the State of Qatar and FIFA today agreed a range of measures that will be implemented at this year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ to protect and encourage health; and take lessons learned from the first tournament in the Middle East and Arab world to share with future mega sporting events.

The heads of WHO, Qatar Ministry of Public Health, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) met together for the first Steering Committee meeting of the “Healthy FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – Creating Legacy for Sport and Health” partnership. Launched in late 2021, the partnership is committed to:

"The State of Qatar is proud to be the first country from the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup,” said HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Public Health and Chair of the Steering Committee Meeting. “Our overall goal is not just to hold a successful sporting event, but to also show how football and sports in general can be drivers of better health for all people. This is why we are working so closely with WHO, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.”

At today’s meetings, the Steering Committee leaders agreed a range of action areas to be taken for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and future events, including:

“WHO is committed to working with the State of Qatar and FIFA to leverage the global power of football to help people lead the healthiest lives possible,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This partnership will help to make the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 a role model for healthy sporting events.”

The first-of-its-kind agreement was also lauded by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who said, “It’s important that the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East will be the healthiest World Cup ever. Here, we put our efforts together through this innovative partnership to promote health in a different way, using the power of football to communicate certain messages. We have been working together on different awareness campaigns and what better platform now than the FIFA World Cup for passing the Health for All message?"

“You have to do whatever you can to protect your health and that of those around you. That is part of education and that is why we are proud to be part of this team here. We need health for football, and we need football for health. Let’s win this World Cup, our World Cup, which is a World Cup of humanity in the end,” Mr Infantino added.

As part of the agreement, two SC legacy programmes – Generation Amazing and B4Development (B4D) – will provide operational and technical collaboration on a range of projects. Generation Amazing is a football for development programme that has positively impacted more than 725 000 people globally since being launched during Qatar’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup™, while B4D is the region’s first “nudge unit” that utilizes behavioural science to solve a range of societal issues.

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General, said, “As FIFA World Cup hosts, Qatar has worked to underscore the importance of leaving sustainable and transformative social legacies that improve lives – in Qatar, within our region and around the world.”

“This partnership is critical for us as we prepare for hosting the world at the end of this year in the context of the pandemic, which has affected so many lives around the world.  We’re engaging in every effort along with local and international partners to ensure a healthy and safe FIFA World Cup.”

“Together, our work with FIFA and WHO will add to our current efforts, including projects delivered by our legacy programmes such as Generation Amazing and B4Development, to ensure the first FIFA World Cup in our region serves as a benchmark for future mega-events across the globe,” he added.

Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, reinforced the Organization’s commitment to advancing health for all in the Region, and said that the partnership between WHO and Qatar would support improvements in physical activity, mental health and organized sports.

“WHO looks forward to working closely with Qatar in the months ahead to use the platform that sporting events offer to bring people together and foster solidarity, which is the core of our regional vision of 'Health for all by all: a call for solidarity and action', while at the same time promoting healthier habits, from diet to physical activity, for people of all ages, genders and cultures.”