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Novartis reshapes research, closes some Swiss, Chinese units

By John Miller ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis is closing some of its research operations in Switzerland and China and cutting 175 jobs, part of the Swiss drug maker's effort to centralize control over its drug discovery programs and contain costs. Novartis, which employs 120,000 globally, is also relocating its tropical disease research arm from Singapore to California. The Basel-based company is consolidating research oversight within its Swiss headquarters and the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) near Boston, now headed by Jay Bradner.

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.

Double joy as mother of only giant panda twins in U.S. pregnant again

By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) – The mother of the only giant panda twins in the United States may soon deliver a second set of twins, Zoo Atlanta said on Tuesday, capping off an eventful month for lovers of the fluffy black and white bears across the globe. Three years ago, mother bear Lun Lun gave birth to female cubs Mei Lun and Mei Huan, who are still at the Georgia zoo but could be returned this fall to China, which owns them, zoo spokeswoman Rachel Davis said. An ultrasound on Monday confirmed that Lun Lun, who turns 19 years old on Thursday, is once again pregnant with twins, the zoo said.

Chinese guide stabs, kills tourist in Kenya’s Maasai Mara

A Chinese tour guide stabbed and killed a tourist who was visiting Kenya's famed Maasai Mara Game Reserve after an argument over the seating arrangement for dinner, police and a lodge manager said on Tuesday. John Kiruti, manager of Keekorok Lodge, which is within the park, said the woman, also a Chinese citizen, sustained serious chest injuries in the incident late on Monday and died as she was being transferred to another tourist camp for treatment. “The tour guide who had brought three clients from his country for two nights differed with the couple … over the sitting arrangement at dinner time,” Kiruti said.

China tightens controls on paid-for internet search ads

China's internet regulator said on Saturday that search engines should tighten management of paid-for ads in search results, making clear which results are paid-for and limiting their numbers. Chinese regulators last month imposed limits on the number of lucrative healthcare adverts carried by Baidu Inc following the death of a student who underwent an experimental cancer treatment which he found using China's biggest internet search engine. Wei Zexi, 21, died in April of a rare form of cancer, and the case sparked widespread public anger.

China curbs Baidu healthcare ads business after student’s death

By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese regulators imposed limits on the lucrative healthcare adverts carried by Baidu Inc on Monday following the death of a student who underwent experimental cancer treatment he found via China's biggest search engine. Baidu's shares fell by 5 percent in pre-market trading in New York following the move, as healthcare provides 20 to 30 percent of the company's search revenue, analysts at Nomura and Daiwa said. Baidu shares have fallen since the controversy over the death of student Wei Zexi erupted at the start of the month and had lost 10.5 percent of their value by last week's close.

After China vaccine scare, Hong Kong to limit inoculations for non-resident children

Hong Kong is to limit the number of non-resident children getting vaccinations at government clinics, after an illegal vaccine scandal in mainland China raised fears some families would come to the city for inoculations and put pressure on supplies. From April 1, Hong Kong’s Maternal and Child Health Centres will only accept 120 new non-resident children a month.

China to consolidate drug market, promote traditional medicines

China plans to consolidate its huge and fragmented drug market and will support a greater role for traditional Chinese medicines (TCM), the central government said in a statement on Sunday following a meeting of the State Council. China will also strengthen safety controls and traceability of domestic drugs, the statement said, part of an ambitious program of healthcare reforms to improve home-made medicines and reduce reliance on generic and more innovative drugs from overseas. “Accelerating the development of our domestic drug industry will better serve our people's healthcare needs, help build a healthier China and unleash economic growth potential,” the statement posted on the central government website said.

Blue skies over Beijing? Decaying suburbs bear cost as China cuts pollution

By Jessica Macy Yu CHAOMIDIAN, China (Reuters) – On the outskirts of Beijing, the disused factories of Chaomidian show the impact of China's drive to shut down thousands of small firms causing big pollution. After a three-year campaign, China's push to cut smog appears to be paying off, whatever the localised cost, just as economic growth weakens to its slowest pace in 25 years. While a World Health Organization report in 2014 found 13 of the world's 20 dirtiest cities were in India, a still smog-bound Beijing issued its first pollution “red alerts” last month.

Hong Kong on holiday health alert after China bird flu death

A woman in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has died after being infected with the highly contagious H5N6 bird flu virus, days after she was admitted to hospital, Hong Kong’s Health Department said on Wednesday. All border check points between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and the airport, had already introduced disease prevention measures with thermal imaging systems in place, a department spokesman said. Hong Kong culled thousands of chickens and suspended imports of live poultry from mainland China in December 2014 after a H7 bird flu strain was discovered in live chickens.