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Belgium reports first case of euthanasia for a minor

By Francesco Guarascio BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A 17-year-old has been euthanized in Belgium in what is the first application of rules adopted by the country in 2014 allowing doctor-assisted death for minors of all ages, the head of the national committee for euthanasia said on Saturday. Wim Distelmans, who chairs Belgium’s Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia, said in an emailed statement that the first case was reported to his committee by a local doctor last week. Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002, and two years ago amended the rules to permit doctor-assisted death for minors in a hopeless medical situation and with their explicit consent.

Global goal to reduce maternal deaths threatened by lack of access to quality care: study

By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Unequal access to health services and poor quality care for pregnant women is hampering progress in meeting international goals for eradicating deaths during childbirth, researchers said on Thursday. U.N. member states agreed a year ago to reduce the rate of maternal mortality, defined as a woman’s death during pregnancy, childbirth or within 6 weeks after birth, to fewer than 70 per 100,000 live births globally by 2030 as part of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Globally maternal deaths have nearly halved since 1990 – falling to 216 women dying of maternal causes per 100,000 live births in 2015 from 385 per 100,000 in 1990.

Bayer wins over Monsanto with improved $66 billion bid: source

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German drugs and crop chemicals company Bayer has won over U.S. seeds firm Monsanto with a takeover offer of around $66 billion, a source close to the matter said, ending months of wrangling after increasing its bid for a third time. The source said on Wednesday an agreement had been signed for Bayer to pay $128 per share, up from its previous offer of $127.50 a share. Bayer and Monsanto were not immediately available to comment.

How to get sick on the U.S. campaign trail: Little sleep, bad food, germs everywhere

By Steve Holland and Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton's bout of pneumonia has shed light on a problem seldom seen by American voters: The long days, little sleep, cross-country travel, bad food and kissing babies add up to a recipe for illness for presidential candidates and aides. Brooke Buchanan, former press secretary to 2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, remembers leaving the campaign trail in Beaufort, South Carolina to visit an emergency room. “I was back on the road the next day, full of antibiotics.” Supporters of Clinton, who will face Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election, worried on Monday that the Democratic presidential nominee's medical scare would fuel conspiracy theories about her health.

Hollande to meet ministers over Alstom’s plans for Belfort plant

French President Francois Hollande will meet Prime Minister Manuel Valls and ministers in charge of economic and transport policy on Monday morning to discuss trainmaker Alstom's sudden decision to scale down its Belfort plant, the president's office said. Alstom said on Wednesday it planned to stop making trains at Belfort and transfer production to its plant in Reichshoffen in eastern France by the end of 2018. Valls said on Sunday Alstom's decision was unacceptable.

Chelsea Manning announces hunger strike over treatment in prison

U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year prison term for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, said on Friday that she would refuse to eat until given help for her gender dysphoria and “treated with dignity, respect and humanity” by the government. The 28-year-old Army private, who was born male but revealed after being convicted of espionage that she identifies as a woman, tried to commit suicide in July over what her representatives said was the government's denial of appropriate treatment for those gender issues. The Army announced later that month that it would investigate Manning for misconduct in connection with the attempt to take her own life, a probe that could lead to indefinite solitary confinement, reclassification into maximum security or additional prison time.

Apple jack ax ushers in a voice-driven world

While some fans opposed the widely anticipated move – one online petition urging Apple to keep the headphone jack drew more than 300,000 signatures – equipment suppliers and experts heralded a change in how users will interact with their devices. Axing the jack, they say, paves the way for discreet, bean-sized earbuds that can simultaneously translate, filter out unwanted noise or let us control other devices by voice – and drive up the value of the so-called ‘hearables’ market to $16 billion within five years. It’s the vision of the futuristic 2013 movie “Her”, where a human has a love affair with a disembodied voice in his ear.

Deliver twins slightly short of full term, study says

Current recommendations for twin births vary from 34 to 39 weeks, short of the normal 40 weeks of gestation, to lower the risk of still birth. For the new analysis, an international research team looked at 32 studies published in the past 10 years of women with uncomplicated twin pregnancies whose children died at birth or shortly thereafter. Scientists had previously observed a thirteenfold increase in stillbirths in monochorionic twins compared to single child pregnancies, and five-fold in dichorionic ones.

Climate change threatens to double malaria risk from African dams, say researchers

By Magdalena Mis LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The number of Africans at risk of malaria who live near dams will nearly double to 25 million by 2080 as areas where the disease is not currently present will become transmission zones due to climate change, researchers said on Monday. Without prevention measures, the number of malaria cases associated with dams could triple to nearly 3 million a year over the same period, they said in a study published in Malaria Journal. “While dams clearly bring many benefits … the role of climate change on malaria around dams will fundamentally alter the current impact,” said Solomon Kibret of the University of California and the paper's lead author.

Hailing cooperation, US and China join global climate deal

HANGZHOU, China (AP) — Setting aside their cyber and maritime disputes, President Barack Obama and China's President Xi Jinping on Saturday sealed their nations' participation in last year's Paris climate change agreement. They hailed their new era of climate cooperation as the best chance for saving the planet.