New Zealand schools to offer free sanitary products

All schools in New Zealand will offer free period products from June, as part of efforts to stamp out period poverty. Authorities are concerned that some female students are skipping classes because they cannot afford products such as tampons and sanitary pads. The move follows a successful pilot programme last year in 15 schools. PM Jacinda Ardern said: “Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population.” Ms Ardern said one in 12 young people in New Zealand were missing school because of period poverty, which … Continue reading New Zealand schools to offer free sanitary products

Over half of Chinese adults overweight, study finds

Over half of adults in China, or more than half a billion people, are now overweight, an official report has found, the figures have risen significantly since 2002, when 29% of adults were overweight. The country’s rapid economic growth in recent decades has led to major changes to lifestyle, diet and exercise habits. In October, the Chinese government unveiled plans to tackle rising levels of obesity, a higher body mass increases the risk for a number of diseases including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The issue of obesity has come under renewed focus during the pandemic as studies showed that … Continue reading Over half of Chinese adults overweight, study finds

US sues Walmart for alleged role in opioid crisis

The US Department of Justice has accused Walmart of helping to fuel America’s opioid crisis, in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, prosecutors said the retail giant filled hundreds of thousands of questionable prescriptions, “knowingly” violating vetting rules. Walmart revealed in October that it had been threatened with such a suit, at the time, Walmart said the US was imposing “unworkable requirements that are not found in any law”. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, operates more than 5,000 pharmacies at its stores across the US and for years has also acted as a drug distributor. According to the lawsuit, the company pressured … Continue reading US sues Walmart for alleged role in opioid crisis

Instagram influencer Josi Maria dies at 24 after public battle with anorexia

Social media influencer Josi Maria, who spoke publicly about her battle with anorexia, died during a recent trip to the Canary Islands, according to German news reports and a friend who was traveling with her. The 24-year-old Instagram star felt sick while flying to the Spanish archipelago in late November and later died in Gran Canaria alongside her friend and fellow influencer Vanja Resova. Calling Maria “an angel on earth,” Resova revealed the heartbreaking news in an Instagram post Wednesday. “She has motivated many of you every day to see the positive in everything and to stay strong,” Resova wrote, referring … Continue reading Instagram influencer Josi Maria dies at 24 after public battle with anorexia

Scotland first in world to make period products free

Scotland has become the first country in the world to make period products free for all, MSPs unanimously approved the Period Products (Free provision) (Scotland) Bill on Tuesday. There is now a legal duty on local authorities to ensure that free items such as tampons and sanitary pads are available to “anyone who needs them”. The bill was introduced by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, she has been campaigning to end period poverty since 2016, she said it was a “practical and progressive” piece of legislation made all the more vital because of the coronavirus pandemic. “Periods don’t stop for pandemics and … Continue reading Scotland first in world to make period products free

McDonald’s to introduce plant-based burgers and fast food

Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced it will introduce a line of plant-based meat alternatives called “McPlant” in 2021, McDonald’s said it would offer plant-based burgers, chicken substitutes and breakfast sandwiches. McDonald’s has tested out a plant-based burger in Canada with Beyond Meat – a producer of plant-based meat. However, shares of Beyond Meat plummeted after the announcement by McDonald’s as it was not clear who would supply the fast-food chain with the meat alternative. Barclays Bank forecasts that consumption of meat alternatives might be worth $140bn (£106bn) by 2029. The move towards meat substitutes has been driven primarily by … Continue reading McDonald’s to introduce plant-based burgers and fast food

OMG: Indians asked to eat more sugar to tackle oversupply

A glut of sugar has prompted India’s industry body to start a campaign to encourage Indians to eat more. The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said it wants to bust myths about sugar and its health effects, on average, Indians eat around 19kg a year, which is well below the global average. Still, the country is the world’s biggest consumer of the sweetener overall. India’s production is expected to rise by 13% this year to 31m tonnes but the government has indicated that it might stop export subsidies aimed at clearing surpluses. ISMA’s new website features short articles with titles … Continue reading OMG: Indians asked to eat more sugar to tackle oversupply

South Korea launch investigation into 13 deaths after vaccine

South Korean authorities have sought to reassure people as the number who have died after being vaccinated against seasonal influenza rose to 13, the doctor leading an inquiry into the deaths has said he does not believe the vaccine and fatalities are connected, but public trust in the vaccine programme has been dented as the government tries to avoid a mass flu outbreak while it tackles Covid-19. So far around 13 million people in South Korea have received the flu jab. The country launched a free flu vaccination programme for 19 million eligible people last month. A 17-year-old boy who … Continue reading South Korea launch investigation into 13 deaths after vaccine

An Alaska dentist who extracted a patient’s tooth on a hoverboard sentenced to 12 years in jail

A former dentist who was filmed extracting a patient’s tooth while standing on a hoverboard has been sentenced to 12 years in jail, according to a statement from the Alaska Department of Law. Seth Lookhart, 35, was convicted on 46 felony and misdemeanor counts in January, including medical assistance fraud, scheme to defraud, illegal practice of dentistry and reckless endangerment. Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton sentenced Lookhart on Monday to serve 20 years in jail with eight years suspended, the statement said. That means Lookhart will serve 12 years behind bars. He also cannot practice dentistry during his 10 years of probation. … Continue reading An Alaska dentist who extracted a patient’s tooth on a hoverboard sentenced to 12 years in jail

Bacterial outbreak infects thousands after factory leak in China

A microscope view of the Brucella bacterium responsible for brucellosis, also known as Malta fever. Several thousand people in northwest China have tested positive for a bacterial disease, authorities said on Tuesday in an outbreak caused by a leak at a biopharmaceutical company last year. The Health Commission of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province, confirmed that 3,245 people had contracted the disease brucellosis, which is often caused by contact with livestock carrying the bacteria Brucella. Another 1,401 people have tested as preliminarily positive, though there have been no fatalities reported, the city’s Health Commission said. In total, authorities have tested … Continue reading Bacterial outbreak infects thousands after factory leak in China

A MILESTONE: Africa to be declared ‘POLIO FREE’

Africa is to be declared free from wild polio by the independent body, the Africa Regional Certification Commission. Polio usually affects children under five, sometimes leading to irreversible paralysis. Death can occur when breathing muscles are affected by the paralysis. There is no cure but the polio vaccine protects children for life. The disease is now only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nigeria is the last African country to be declared free from the disease, having accounted for more than half of all global cases less than a decade ago. Polio is a virus which spreads from person to person, … Continue reading A MILESTONE: Africa to be declared ‘POLIO FREE’

South Korea on brink of nationwide virus outbreak, officials warn

South Korea, a country held up as a model for its response to Covid-19, is on the brink of a new nationwide outbreak, according to officials. The latest surge of coronavirus cases centered around a right-wing Presbyterian church has spread to all 17 provinces throughout the country for the first time. Each day brings a new three digit virus total. Social distancing rules have been stepped up. Masks are now mandatory in Seoul. The government is also considering whether to close schools and businesses. Infectious diseases experts in the country have called on the government to step up social distancing … Continue reading South Korea on brink of nationwide virus outbreak, officials warn