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(MENAFN - AFP) Bans on smoking in public and the workplace led to a 10 percent drop in premature births and in emergency asthma treatment for children, researchers said Friday.

The evidence, based on the records of more than two million children, comes from 11 published investigations into the impact of local or national smoking bans in the United States, Canada and four ...


(MENAFN - AFP) An Ebola epidemic which has killed dozens of people in Guinea's southern forests has spread to the capital Conakry, health sources said on Thursday, confirming four new cases.

The patients were immediately put in isolation centres to avoid the highly contagious virus getting into the population, the sources told AFP.

Conakry, a vast, sprawling port ...


(MENAFN - AFP) One in 68 US children has autism, a 30 percent rise over the last estimate released in 2012, health authorities said Thursday.

The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised concern and sparked calls for early screening, as well as more research and investment.

Autism is a developmental disorder that has no known cause or cure. ...


(MENAFN - AFP) An artificial heart may help patients survive while awaiting a heart transplant, although the devices remain risky 10 years after they were approved, according to a US study Thursday.

Researchers followed 22 patients with end-stage heart failure over the course of two months, to see how they responded to implantation with a Syncardia total artificial heart, ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Apple is likely to release its newest iPhone globally in September with a higher resolution and bigger screens, Japan's leading Nikkei business daily reported Friday.

The handset, expected to be called the iPhone 6, is expected to come in two versions with a 4.7- or 5.5-inch screen, up from the current four-inch panel, the report said, without citing sources.

US-based ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Facebook revealed it has a lab working on using drones, satellites and solar-powered planes to provide web access around the world.

"We've been working on ways to beam Internet to people from the sky," Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the leading social network.

The team at the Connectivity Lab builds on a quest by Facebook-launched ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Qatar will buy 22 NH90 military helicopters from European aerospace group Airbus worth nearly two billion euros ($2.8 billion), the French defence ministry said Thursday.

It said 12 of these would be transport helicopters and the other 10 would be the frigate version. Qatar will also acquire two Airbus-made refuelling tankers.

The decision was conveyed ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Welfare cuts ordered in the wake of Europe's economic crisis are hitting the poor disproportionately hard, with child poverty rising and people's health at risk, a leading Catholic charity warned on Thursday.

A new report by Caritas depicted "an unfair Europe" struggling with "disturbing" poverty levels after studying the impact of the financial crisis ...


(MENAFN - AFP) The European Commission agreed Thursday that Agence France-Presse news agency could receive state aid as a provider of a public service but must stick by EU competition rules.

The Commission, which is the European Union's competition watchdog, made its ruling following a 2010 complaint that the agency receives unfair state aid.

It demanded that the ...


(MENAFN - AFP) A unit of Iceland's Landsbanki has lost an appeal against French authorities which seized the debts of the clients who lost money in a scheme that had them mortgage their homes to bet on the stock market, sources said Thursday.

France has been engaged in a legal tussle over the attempts by the Luxembourg branch of Landsbanki to take over homes used as guarantees ...

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