Report Says One-Quarter of the World’s Children Are Suffering From Chronic Malnutrition

Ability of children to learn is being harmed by global malnutrition crisis, analysis finds. The report, by the charity Save the Children, said that the one in four children who are malnourished often suffer irreversible damage, growing up smaller and weaker, and that their brains might not develop fully. It found that 8-year-old children who were stunted because of chronic malnutrition were 19 percent more likely than expected for kids that age to make a mistake when reading a simple sentence like “I like dogs” or “The sun is hot.” The report also said the global economic impact of malnutrition may be up to $125 billion, with malnourished children going on to earn 20 percent less as adults than youngters who are well-nourished. BBC, NBC News, The Guardian

U.S. Senator seeks Justice Department probe of electric utility with troubled nuclear plant. The call for an investigation by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was prompted by a 2004 internal letter written by a senior Southern California Edison executive. Boxer said the letter “leads me to believe that Edison intentionally misled the public and regulators” to avoid a potentially costly review of four replacement steam generators before they went into service at the San Onofre nuclear power plant in northern San Diego County. The plant hasn’t produced electricity since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusually rapid wear inside hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water in the plant’s generators. The Associated Press

Depositions show firearms manufacturers claiming they bear little responsibility for monitoring gun dealers. Although the world’s firearms manufacturers have been largely silent in the debate over gun violence, their voices emerge from thousands of pages of depositions from a series of liability lawsuits a decade ago. The company executives’ statements were made before Congress passed a law shielding the industry from such suits in 2005, and marked the only time many of them were forced to answer such questions. The documents shows the industry’s leaders claiming not to know if their guns had ever been used in a crime. They also eschewed voluntary measures to lessen the risk of guns falling into the wrong hands. The New York Times

Texas bars low-population counties from adopting fire codes, even though rural businesses often have hazardous materials. In all, 173 of Texas’ 254 counties are prohibited by state law from adopting fire codes. An attempt to scrap that law failed this year, even after the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Studies have documented the benefits of fire codes many times. Fire calls in the U.S. have dropped by roughly half since 1977, with code-related measures such as smoke alarms and sprinklers getting credit. Despite fears that a fire code would force businesses to spend big sums to comply, many problems can be fixed for little or no money, with the inspector serving as an adviser, one expert said.  The Dallas Morning News

Food and Drug Administration scrutinizing iPhone app that analyzes urine samples. The FDA, in  what’s believed to be its first regulatory action targeting a mobile app, wrote a letter to Biosense Technologies of Mountain View, Calif., to alert the company that it needs agency clearance for its product. The company’s app, uChek, is designed for use by people with diabetes and other medical conditions to check levels of blood, protein and other substances in their urine. An FDA official said that, depending on the company response, the agency may follow up with a warning letter indicating specific violations that must be addressed immediately. The agency has said it wants stricter rules for apps that directly diagnose or treat conditions. Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein


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