Health

Union warns of 'labor disputes' if casino contracts expire

For people and groups planning to stay in Atlantic City, the resort’s main union for casino workers is warning that “labor disputes” could occur if the casinos don’t agree to new contracts by a May 31 deadline. Local 54 of the Unite Here union set up a website listing other hotels that have union contracts in place that travelers might want to consider using if picketing or a strike occur. The move comes at the start of what will be a crucial season for Atlantic City’s casinos in the third year of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

G7 agree pact to better prepare for future pandemics

The Group of Seven wealthy democracies has announced plans to strengthen epidemiological early-warning systems to detect infectious diseases with pandemic potential. Germany’s health minister said Friday that an existing World Health Organization office in Berlin would be used to gather and analyze data more quickly. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the G-7 also wants to increase compulsory contributions to WHO by 50% in the long term to ensure the U.N. agency can perform fulfill its global leadership role. The ministers who met in Germany's capital this week separately agreed to better protect the global population from the health impacts of global warming by making adaptation to climate change part of medical training.

Seeing a country with the most high-ranking tour guide

Now that he can travel again, Peter Greenberg is resuming “The Royal Tour,” a two-decade-long series that shows off the best tourist spots of a given country. The gimmick? The nation's leader is the tour guide. In the most recent episode, President Samia Suluhu Hassan shows the veteran travel journalist — and his viewers — the sights and sounds of the African nation of Tanzania. National leaders cede editorial control and take Greenberg around their country. In return they get an hour-long special that offers exposure to millions of rich and curious travelers. Hassan came to the United States to screen her country's episode of "The Royal Tour."

Wall Street, global markets bounce back on China's rate cut

Wall Street is pointing toward gains before the opening bell after a surprise interest rate cut from China relieved investors anxious about a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. Futures for the Dow Industrial Average are up 1% Friday and the S&P 500 rose 1.2%. Major benchmarks will need much bigger gains by the close to avoid a seventh straight week of losses for markets shaken by rising interest rates, a global pandemic and war in Ukraine. Shares in Europe and Asia also rose. Major U.S. benchmarks are down around 3% for the week heading into Friday trading.

Senate OKs Bill to Overhaul Infant Formula Rules

FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A bill that would allow families in a U.S. government assistance program to buy whatever brand of baby formula they can find is on the way to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

Risk Factors for Dementia May Change With Age

FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Dementia risk factors appear to shift with age, and experts say knowing that could help people make lifestyle changes to reduce their chances of developing the disease.

How Long Do Teeth Survive After Root Canal?

FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- If you've had a root canal, you can expect your tooth to survive for about 11 years, researchers say.

Bill pushes feds to notify families of sick, dying inmates

New legislation in the Senate requires the Justice Department to establish guidelines for the federal Bureau of Prisons and state correctional systems to notify the families of inmates if their loved one has a serious illness, a life-threatening injury or if they die behind bars. The bill was introduced by Sens. Jon Ossoff and John Kennedy. It's the latest maneuver by Congress to further oversight of the beleaguered federal prison system, which has lurched from crisis to crisis in recent years. The bill’s introduction on Thursday comes more than two years after The Associated Press reported how the federal Bureau of Prisons had ignored its internal guidelines and failed to notify the families of inmates who were seriously ill with coronavirus.

'I can’t see the light': War fuels surging prices in Europe

Russia's war in Ukraine has accelerated inflation across Europe, with prices for energy, materials and food surging at rates not seen for decades. It’s causing sticker shock at the grocery store, gas pumps, electricity bills and construction sites. Inflation is expected to hit nearly 7% this year in the 27-nation EU and is contributing to slowing growth forecasts. Fishmongers and farmers are being forced to charge prices for their catch and crops that even they see as astronomical. High fuel prices threaten to paralyze ground transport of goods, and bread prices are soaring from Poland to Belgium.

Biden in Asia: New friends, old tensions, storms at home

President Joe Biden hopes to use his visit to Asia to confirm his belief that long-standing friendships can afford to become even friendlier — and pay dividends. He opens the trip in South Korea on Friday and ends in Japan next week at a time when world events are resetting the foundations of the global order. Among the issues on the table for Biden are seeking ways to show tighter relationships, rethinking national security aims, launching a new trade framework and improving the availability of computer chips after a debilitating shortage.

Economy, China, climate dominate as Australia set for polls

Australians will go to the polls Saturday following a six-week election campaign that has focused on pandemic-fueled inflation, climate change and fears of a Chinese military outpost being established less than 1,200 miles off Australia’s shore. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition is seeking a rare fourth three-year term. Recent opinion polls have put the center-left Labor Party narrowly ahead of the coalition. But pollsters’ credibility has yet to recover since their spectacular failure in the 2019 election. The split of votes between the government and Labor in 2019 was 51.5% to 48.5% — the mirror opposite of the result that Australia’s five most prominent polls had predicted.

Religious backers of abortion rights say God's on their side

The loudest voices in the abortion debate are often characterized along a starkly religious divide, the faithful versus not. But the reality is much more nuanced, both at an Alabama abortion clinic and in the nation that surrounds it. The clinic’s staff of 11 — most of them Black, deeply faithful Christian women — have no trouble at all reconciling their work with their religion. And as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to dismantle the constitutional right to an abortion, they draw on their faith that they will somehow continue. God is on our side, they tell each other. God will keep this clinic open.

Religious backers of abortion rights say God's on their side

The loudest voices in the abortion debate are often characterized along a starkly religious divide, the faithful versus not. But the reality is much more nuanced, both at an Alabama abortion clinic and in the nation that surrounds it. The clinic’s staff of 11 — most of them Black, deeply faithful Christian women — have no trouble at all reconciling their work with their religion. And as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to dismantle the constitutional right to an abortion, they draw on their faith that they will somehow continue. God is on our side, they tell each other. God will keep this clinic open.

US, S Korean leaders meet in face of N Korea nuclear threat

U.S. President Joe Biden will meet South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol this week as the allies face a growing threat from North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile program. The North may highlight the threat with a major weapons demonstration, even as it grapples with a COVID-19 outbreak that is ripping through its unvaccinated populace. Both U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials say it’s possible that North Korea will conducts a ballistic or nuclear test around Biden’s visit to South Korea and Japan. While North Korea is expected to be at the top of the agenda when Biden and Yoon meet in Seoul on Saturday, it’s unclear whether the meeting will produce a meaningful new approach in handling the nuclear threat.

N. Korea's low death count questioned amid COVID-19 outbreak

North Korea says that nearly 10% of its 26 million people have fallen ill and 65 people have died amid its first COVID-19 outbreak. Outside experts question the validity of its reported fatalities and worry about a possible humanitarian crisis. Some observers say North Korea was likely forced to acknowledge the omicron outbreak last week because it couldn’t hide the highly contagious viral spread among its people and suffer possible public discontent with leader Kim Jong Un. Observers also believe North Korea is underreporting mortalities to try to show that its pandemic response is effective, while the country lacks test kits to confirm a large number of virus cases.

FDA head: Baby formula factory could reopen by next week

The Food and Drug Administration's commissioner says a shuttered baby formula factory could be up and running by next week. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf faced congressional anger Thursday for not answering questions about whether his agency should have intervened earlier at the Michigan plant tied to a national formula shortage. Members of a House subcommittee questioned Califf about why the FDA didn’t step in when there were signs of problems at Abbott Nutrition's plant last fall before it was closed. The shortage has rattled parents and become a political headwind for President Joe Biden, who’s invoked the Defense Production Act to ease supply. Califf asked lawmakers for new food safety funding.

Senate OKs overhaul of baby formula rules in aid program

The Senate has approved a bill aimed at easing the baby formula shortage for families participating in a government assistance program known as WIC. That program accounts for about half of all formula purchases in the U.S. The House had passed the bill the day before, so it now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. The vouchers can generally only be used to purchase one brand of infant formula, which encourages the manufacturer to offer big discounts to secure a state’s business. The bill makes it possible for families to redeem the WIC vouchers for whatever formula brand is available.

Oklahoma passes strictest abortion ban; services to stop

Abortion providers in Oklahoma say they will no longer provide the service in the state after the governor signs the latest anti-abortion measure heading to his desk. The bill passed Thursday is part of an aggressive push in Republican-led states across the country to scale back abortion rights. The bill would prohibit all abortions, except to save the life of a pregnant woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement. It now heads to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it.

CDC urges Pfizer booster for children ages 5 to 11

U.S. health advisers are urging a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly signed off on the advice. The decision opens a third COVID-19 shot to healthy elementary-age kids, just like what is already recommended for everybody 12 and older. Regulators this week authorized the extra dose to be given at least five months after youngsters' last shot. CDC's advisers endorsed it during a public meeting on Thursday.

CDC: U.S. Cases of Acute Hepatitis in Children Keep Rising

THURSDAY, May 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The number of American children affected by acute hepatitis of unknown cause continues to grow, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.