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Writer: Patrick Corcoran

Warning Wire

National Research Council Urges Action to Combat Climate Change

The nation's scientific establishment has issued a blunt warning that the risks posed by climate change are "pressing" and demand substantial action, reports The New York Times. The warning came in a report by the National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences. It offered no specific recommendations [...]

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Federal Authorities Investigate Google’s Drug Ads

Federal investigators are looking into whether Google has been posting ads of illegal pharmacies, and the web giant has set aside $500 million for "a potential resolution" of a federal investigation, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing obtained by The New York Times. As the Times reports, the [...]

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Increase in Near Collisions Blamed on Inexperienced Air Traffic Controllers

Federal authorities say that the deployment of inexperienced air traffic controllers at some of the nation's busiest airports may explain the soaring number of near-collisions in American skies last year. As the Associated Press reports, the  Department of Transportation, which oversees air traffic through the Federal Aviation Administration, testified before [...]

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Fire Hazards Often Ignored at U.S. Nuclear Plants

Amid the crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi reactor, the threat that earthquakes and tsunamis pose to nuclear safety is drawing lots of attention. But many experts say that a much more pressing concern, and a much more likely source of a domestic disaster, is fire. As the Center for Public [...]

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Bedbugs and Superbugs Unite: Pest Carries Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Bedbugs typically are thought of as a disgusting nuisance rather than a clear and present health danger, but a Canadian research team has discovered that they can carry potentially hazardous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As LiveScience reports, the researchers detected so-called superbugs in bedbugs extracted from three hospital patients in Vancouver. The [...]

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Amid Fukushima Disaster, Japan Halts Nuclear Expansion

As Japan struggles to deal with the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the government is pulling back from plans to increase the nation's reliance on nuclear power. As the Associated Press reports, Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced on Tuesday that Japan will drop the plan it announced last [...]

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Safety Problems Spur Order for Follow-Up Studies on Artificial Hips

Amid growing reports of serious health complications, federal authorities have ordered manufacturers of a type of artificial hip to conduct follow-up safety studies of the devices. As The New York Times reports, the action by the Food and Drug Administration applies to 21 manufacturers of "metal-on-metal" hips. For the agency [...]

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Baby Chair Marketer Resists Regulator’s Push for Product Recall

Federal product safety regulators are warning that parents immediately should stop using certain clip-on, tabletop chairs for infants and toddlers, and they say that the company that sells the items has refused to carry out a product recall acceptable to the agency. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that some [...]

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Medical Societies Throw Doors Open to Industry Money

Despite widespread concerns about the potential influence of drug and medical device company money on doctors, societies that represent specialists continue to take in lots of Big Pharma cash. As ProPublica reports, the Heart Rhythm Society provides a leading illustration of the practice. It pulls in millions off of its [...]

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To Prevent a 2nd Disaster, Japan Moves to Shut Hamaoka Nuke Plant

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called for the closing of a controversial nuclear plant about 120 miles southwest of Tokyo until improvements are made to protect the facility and the surrounding region against the risk of an earthquake and tsunami. As Agence France-Presse reports, the Japanese government wants the [...]

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Coal Industry Makes Pitch for Relaxed Safety Regulation

Barely a year after the nation's deadliest coal mining accident in four decades, the industry is calling for relaxing federal regulatory procedures to exempt mines with good safety records from routine workplace inspections. As the The Charleston Gazette reports, a representative from the National Mining Assn. suggested the idea at [...]