America News

Viking Therapeutics emerges as a strong weight loss drug player — or takeover target

Some Wall Street analysts said Viking's experimental obesity treatment may be "best-in-class" following the release of midstage trial data.

Venture capital firm's plan to buy nonprofit hospital system has Ohio community on edge

Venture firm General Catalyst is in the process of trying to buy Summa Health, a nonprofit hospital system in Ohio with about 8,500 employees.

Oprah Winfrey is leaving WeightWatchers board and giving away all her stock at critical weight loss moment

WeightWatchers' embrace of weight loss and obesity drugs is a big deal, but the market still isn't sold on its future, and Oprah's departure doesn't help.

Change Healthcare sets up new electronic prescription service, funding program as cyberattack drags

UnitedHealth's Change Healthcare set up a new electronic prescription service to provide relief during its ongoing cyberattack.

Judge rejects AstraZeneca’s challenge to Medicare drug price negotiations

U.S. District Judge Colm Connolly's decision comes one day before manufacturers have to respond to Medicare's initial price offers for their drugs.

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Europe News

LISTED: The visa options Americans can apply for to live in Spain

Moving to Spain is a dream for many US nationals who have fallen in love with the country, but which Spanish residency visa should Americans opt for depending on their circumstances?

Socialists target far right in EU vote campaign launch

Europe's Socialists launched their campaign for June's European Parliament elections in Rome on Saturday with a focus on warding off "ghosts from the past" from an ascendant far right.

Is it legal for hotels and Airbnb owners in Spain to take a photo or scan your ID?

If you’ve ever stayed at hotels, serviced apartments or Airbnbs in Spain, you will be aware that receptionists and hosts usually ask either for your passport when you check in or another type of ID card.

OPINION: Which side would Le Pen be on in World War III? French history gives a clue

When I interviewed Marine Le Pen a decade or so ago - writes John Lichfield - I asked her a would-be clever question: 'If you had been alive in June 1940, who would you have supported, Charles de Gaulle or Marshall Pétain?'

PODCAST: Macron breaks war taboo, why Lyon is the place to move to and French language test tips

The team at The Local have a new series of the Talking France podcast, looking at all the latest news in France and the realities of French life, from Emmanuel Macron's military plans to tips for passing your French language test, via moving to Lyon and why the French taxman might be spying on your social media.

Europe News is brought to you by TheLocal

BBC World News

Girl, 7, dies in English Channel crossing attempt

A boat carrying 16 migrants capsized in French waters a few kilometres from the coast, local officials say.

France to enshrine abortion right in constitution

Macron's popular move is expected on Monday - but critics say he is using the issue for a political advantage.

Tributes as Nigerian actor Mr Ibu dies aged 62

John Okafor, aka Mr Ibu, was loved for his comic roles in a career spanning more than two decades.

Hopes rise of new Gaza ceasefire in Egypt talks

A Hamas delegation is understood to be in Cairo as US officials say Israel is close to accepting a new deal.

Norway king flies home after Malaysia hospital stay

King Harald, 87, was fitted with a pacemaker after falling ill whilst on holiday.

Gaza receives first airdrop of US humanitarian aid

The desperately needed supplies come as a US official says Israel is close to agreeing to a temporary truce.

Trump moves closer to nomination with string of wins

The results give Donald Trump 247 Republican delegates, compared to challenger Nikki Haley's 24.

The 'banned' Star Trek episode that promised a united Ireland

A scene discussing Ireland's "2024 unification" stopped the episode from being shown in the UK.

Massive blizzard hits western United States

The snowstorm hit California's Sierra Nevada mountains especially hard, with up to 10ft of snow expected.

Gazans crowdfund thousands for uncertain escape

People hoping to leave Gaza in a widening humanitarian crisis must dodge scammers and pay huge sums.

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 a global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identified in an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. Attempts to contain it there failed, allowing the virus to spread to other areas of Asia and later worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020, and began referring to it as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 25 May 2023, the pandemic had caused 766,894,311 cases and 6,935,876 confirmed deaths, making it one of the deadliest in history.

COVID-19 symptoms range from undetectable to deadly, but most commonly include fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Severe illness is more likely in elderly patients and those with certain underlying medical conditions. COVID-19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles containing the virus. 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 contaminated fluids reach the eyes, nose, or mouth, or, more rarely, through contaminated surfaces. Infected individuals are typically contagious for 10 days and can spread the virus even if they do not develop symptoms. Mutations have produced many strains (variants) with varying degrees of infectivity and virulence.

The COVID-19 vaccines have been approved and widely distributed in various countries since December 2020. According to a June 2022 study, COVID-19 vaccines prevented an additional 14.4 million to 19.8 million deaths in 185 countries and territories from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021. Other preventive measures include social distancing, wearing masks, improving ventilation and air filtration, and quarantining those who have been exposed or are infected. Treatments include novel antiviral drugs and symptom control. Common public health mitigation measures during the emergency phase included travel restrictions, lockdowns, business restrictions and closures, workplace hazard controls, mask mandates, quarantines, testing systems, and contact tracing of the infected, which, together with treatments, served to bring about the control of the pandemic.

The pandemic has triggered severe social and economic disruption around the world, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression. Widespread supply shortages, including food shortages, were caused by supply chain disruptions and panic buying. Reduced human activity led to an unprecedented decrease in pollution. Educational institutions and public areas were partially or fully closed in many jurisdictions, and many events were cancelled or postponed during 2020 and 2021. Many white-collar workers began working from home. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media, and political tensions have intensified. The pandemic has raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.

The WHO ended its declaration of COVID-19 being a global health emergency on 5 May 2023, but continued to refer to it as a pandemic. Prior to this, some countries had already transitioned their public health approach towards regarding COVID-19 as an endemic disease.

Source: Wikipedia (May 25, 2023)

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

WHO calls for access to health and humanitarian assistance on fourth day of conflict in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory

The World Health Organization (WHO) repeats its call for an end to the hostilities that are causing untold suffering in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Over 1000 people have died and many more injured following horrific acts of violence by Hamas and others on Saturday in Israel. Nine hundred people have died and many more injured in days of bombing by Israel in Gaza. The pain of so many families must be unbearable.

WHO has offered assistance to health officials in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.   

On 9 October, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who agreed to a WHO request to facilitate the delivery of health and other humanitarian supplies from WHO to Gaza via the Rafah crossing. Such humanitarian corridors must be protected.  

In the Gaza Strip, hospitals are running on back-up generators with fuel likely to run out in the coming days. They have exhausted the supplies WHO pre-positioned before the escalation. The life-saving health response is now dependent on getting new supplies and fuel to health care facilities as fast as possible.   

WHO is urgently working to procure medical supplies locally to meet demand, and preparing supplies from its Global Medical Logistics Hub in Dubai, UAE.  

WHO is also gravely concerned about the health and well-being of hostages, including elderly civilians, seized from Israel by Hamas in attacks on 7 October. The hostages’ health and medical needs must be addressed immediately, and we call for their safe release.   


New funding to ensure 370 million children receive polio vaccinations and to boost health innovation in low-income countries

Today, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new financing partnership to address critical global health opportunities: eradicating polio and ensuring that innovations in health are more accessible to the people who need them most.