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Pfizer's Ibrance drug slows progression of breast cancer

By Deena Beasley CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Phase III trial of Pfizer Inc's drug Ibrance showed that, in combination with hormone therapy, the drug more than doubled the duration of disease control for women with the most common type of breast cancer. At the time of an interim analysis, patients given Ibrance in combination with AstraZeneca Plc's Faslodex (fulvestrant), a widely used treatment to block estrogen, lived an average of 9.2 months before their cancer worsened. The trial enrolled 521 patients whose breast cancer was classified as estrogen-receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (ER+/HER2-).

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Study sees benefit from more extensive breast cancer surgery

CHICAGO (AP) — A new study could change care for many women who have breast cancer surgery.

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Drug anastrazole boosts long-term survival after breast cancer

A US federally funded phase III study involving more than 3,100 postmenopausal women with a kind of breast cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ showed the drug anastrazole may work better than tamoxifen, researchers saidAfter a diagnosis of localized breast cancer, women are often prescribed tamoxifen for five years to help prevent a recurrence, but researchers said Saturday another drug, anastrazole, may work better. The federally funded phase III study involved more than 3,100 postmenopausal women with a kind of breast cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ, which was treated by removing the cancerous lump followed by a radiation regimen. Some women were then randomly assigned to receive tamoxifen and others anastrazole.


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U.N. warns of coming hunger in North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance at the 810 army unit’s Salmon farms in this undated photoBy Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - A drought in North Korea could lead to huge food shortages this year, the top U.N. official in the country told Reuters in an interview. Rainfall in 2014, the lowest in records going back 30 years, was 40-60 percent below 2013 levels, and reservoirs are very low, said Ghulam Isaczai, the U.N. resident coordinator.


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U.S. military orders review as anthrax mishap widens

Spores from the Sterne strain of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) are pictured in this handout scanning electron micrographBy Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Friday it discovered even more suspected shipments of live anthrax than previously thought, both in the United States and abroad, and ordered a sweeping review of practices meant to inactivate the bacteria. The Pentagon said a total of 11 states, two more than it first acknowledged, received "suspect samples," as did Australia and South Korea. It had previously only identified a foreign shipment to a U.S. air base south of Seoul.


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Rights activists protest award for ex-Montana judge who blamed victim of rape

A small group of women's rights activists rallied in Montana on Friday to protest a lifetime achievement award for a state judge censured for suggesting that a 14-year-old girl was partly to blame for her rape by a teacher. More than two dozen protesters led by the Montana chapter of the National Organization for Women attended the candlelight vigil outside the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings where former state District Judge G. Todd Baugh was to be given the annual award by a local bar association, said Marian Bradley, regional NOW head.

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Kansas hospital monitoring patient for possible Ebola infection

The University of Kansas Hospital said on Friday it was monitoring a patient for a possible Ebola infection after he returned from the West African nation of Sierra Leone and developed a fever. "The patient is extremely low risk. It's just the fever that tipped the balance," Dr. Lee Norman at University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, told a news conference.

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Pentagon: Anthrax shipments broader than first thought

In this May 11, 2003, file photo, Microbiologist Ruth Bryan works with BG nerve agent simulant in Class III Glove Box in the Life Sciences Test Facility at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. The specialized airtight enclosure is also used for hands-on work with anthrax and other deadly agents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is investigating what the Pentagon called an inadvertent shipment of live anthrax spores to government and commercial laboratories in as many as nine states, as well as one overseas, that expected to receive dead spores. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon said Friday that the Army's mistaken shipments of live anthrax to research laboratories were more widespread than it initially reported, prompting the Defense Department's second-ranking official to order a thorough review.


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U.S. military orders broad review as anthrax mishap widens

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Friday it discovered even more suspected cases of inadvertent shipments of live anthrax than previously thought, both in the United States and abroad, and ordered a sweeping review of its practices for inactivating samples. "As of now, 24 laboratories in 11 states and two foreign countries are believed to have received suspect samples," the Pentagon said in a statement. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Zimmerman gets GPS protection from Florida shooter

George Zimmerman listens to judge during a first-appearance hearing in Sanford, FloridaA Florida man who this month fired a shot at George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of murder in the 2012 death of an unarmed black teenager, was ordered on Friday to wear a GPS tracking device to warn of possible future attacks, according to local news reports of the court hearing. Matthew Apperson, 36, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, shooting into a vehicle and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after an encounter with Zimmerman on a road in Lake Mary, central Florida, on May 11. In a motion asking for the GPS requirement, prosecutors said Apperson has a history of mental illness including bipolar disorder and general anxiety disorder.


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Genetic glitch can predict response to new class of cancer drugs

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Patients with colon and other cancers who have a specific defect in genes needed for DNA repair are far more likely to respond to a new class of drugs such as Merck & Co's Keytruda, which enlist the immune system to attack tumors, a new study has shown. The small study, financed not by Big Pharma but by swimmers who raised charitable donations, tested Keytruda in patients with advanced colon and rectal cancers and found 92 percent of patients with the genetic defect had their disease controlled compared with 16 percent who did not carry the defect. The findings, announced on Friday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, point to a new way to predict who will respond to the treatments, which are known as PD-1 inhibitors and can cost $150,000 a year.

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Obesity increases risk for common heart rhythm disorder

By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Obesity increases the risk for atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder that can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure, a new analysis suggests. Researchers reviewed data from 51 previously published studies covering more than 600,000 people and found that obesity also made it more likely that patients with atrial fibrillation would have complications after surgery to treat the condition. “A lower risk of developing heart rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation can be added to the list of health benefits from weight reduction,” senior study author Dr. Prashanthan Sanders, director of the center for heart rhythm disorders at the University of Adelaide in Australia, said by email.

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U.S. bird flu outbreak in poultry

(Reuters) - The United States is dealing with its worst outbreak of bird flu on record. More than 44 million chickens, turkeys and other birds have been culled since last December. This is not the same avian influenza virus that has caused human infections in Africa, Asia and Europe. Migrating birds are believed to be responsible for some of the virus' spread and researchers are still studying how it is reaching poultry farms. In the current outbreak, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed bird flu in commercial and backyard flocks in 16 states so far. ...

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5 Ways to Build Awareness This Summer

5 Ways to Build Awareness This SummerRecently I accomplished a goal that I've been trying to achieve for a long while - I finally got certified to be a yoga teacher. I went to a studio and went through a 12 week long yoga immersion. I was so happy with the wide variety of knowledge and experience that this process gave to me, but this is only just the beginning of my yoga journey....


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With no peace, Ukraine is beset by humanitarian risks: U.N.

A boy rides a bicycle past combatants onboard a truck attending the memorial service and the funeral of Aleksey Mozgovoi, a militant leader of the separatist self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, and his subordinates in AlchevskBy Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - Ukraine's flawed ceasefire has left pensioners, infants and women mired in a humanitarian crisis that could get rapidly better or rapidly worse, the U.N.'s top representative in the country said in an interview on Friday. A Feb. 12 Minsk ceasefire agreement was "not really working", with hundreds of shelling incidents every day, said Neal Walker, U.N. resident coordinator in Ukraine. "Very clearly, you have a huge humanitarian risk if the conflict escalates," Walker told Reuters.


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Bristol's Opdivo cuts risk of lung cancer death for some

By Deena Beasley Chicago (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's drug, Opdivo, improved survival in a trial of patients with the most common form of lung cancer, but it did not work in patients who tested negative for a specific protein in their tumors, leading to a nearly 7 percent sell-off in the company's shares on Friday. The Phase III trial found that Opdivo, part of a new class of drugs that harness the immune system to fight cancer, reduced by 27 percent the risk of death from advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), compared with chemotherapy.

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People may drink more than they realize

In England, surveys measuring everyday alcohol consumption account for only 60 percent of the total alcohol sold in stores, the researchers write in BMC Medicine. By only focusing on typical drinking patterns, surveys miss a lot of alcohol consumption that happens on special occasions like weddings, holidays, and sporting events, according to Mark Bellis, the lead author on the study. The researchers conducted a phone survey of over 6,000 people over the age of 16 in England to assess the amount of special occasion drinking that may not be picked up by other surveys.

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More cancer success with drugs that enlist immune system

John Ryan poses for a photo in his office at his house in Aldie, Va., Friday, May 29, 2015. For the first time, a major study has shown that a drug targeting the body's disease-fighting immune system may improve survival for the most common form of lung cancer. Ryan was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer two years ago. Standard cancer medicine left him exhausted, prone to infections and did little to shrink the tumor. In October 2013 he joined the immunotherapy study and was randomly assigned to get Opdivo. Three months later his tumor had been reduced by 65 percent and he felt well enough to help his son cut down a large tree for firewood. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)CHICAGO (AP) — For the first time, a major study shows that a drug targeting the body's disease-fighting immune system may improve survival for the most common form of lung cancer.


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Mom Receives Gift of Life From Son's Unexpected Death

Rose Perry received her son's kidney in a transplant after the 24-year-old died from a stroke.

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University of Oregon meningitis outbreak grows; student's father diagnosed

By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - The father of a University of Oregon student has contracted the potentially deadly meningococcal disease amid an outbreak that started in January and has killed one student, bringing the total number of people infected to seven, state health officials said on Friday. The 52-year-old man fell ill with meningococcemia, a bacterial precursor to meningitis, six weeks after the last on-campus infection, said Jason Davis, spokesman for Lane County Public Health. The man's infection was traced to his May 2 visit with his undergraduate daughter, according to state public health officials.

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Agribusiness nervous as WHO cancer unit analyzes popular pesticide

The World Health Organization is set to examine a widely used pesticide and agribusiness is bracing for bad news, less than three months after the group classified another popular herbicide as "probably" cancer-causing. Twenty-four scientists representing WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) will analyze scientific findings regarding links between cancer in humans and the herbicide known as 2,4-D at a June 2-9 meeting in Lyon, France. A separate group of IARC scientists in March unanimously decided to classify glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup weedkiller, as "probably carcinogenic to humans." The designation prompted outrage and calls for a retraction from Monsanto, and demands by some public officials and consumers for bans on the pesticide.

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Bristol-Myers sues immunotherapy exec who left for AstraZeneca

By Caroline Humer NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb has sued a top cancer immunotherapy executive for violating confidentiality and non-compete agreements after he left for direct competitor AstraZeneca, court documents show. The suit, filed in Delaware's Court of Chancery late on Thursday, said that David Berman violated agreements that prevented him from using confidential and trade secret information when he accepted a job at AstraZeneca, which is also developing treatments that use the immune system to fight cancer. Berman, who worked at Bristol for 10 years on immunotherapy-based cancer drugs, including Yervoy and the recently launched Opdivo, also broke non-compete agreements that were part of incentive pay packages, Bristol said.

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Some older breast cancer patients may skip invasive biopsy

By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Older women with early-stage breast cancer might be able to skip a lymph node biopsy without changing their survival odds, a small study suggests. “For women this age with early breast cancer, a biopsy may not affect the treatment or the outcome,” said senior study author Dr. Armando Giuliano, head of surgical oncology at Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Worldwide, breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women.

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Merck immunotherapy appears effective in head and neck cancer-study

Branch of drugs and chemicals group Merck is pictured in central German city of DarmstadtA Merck & Co drug that helps the immune system fight cancer was about twice as effective as the current standard therapy for patients with recurrent or advanced head and neck cancers, according to study data released on Friday. Advanced head and neck cancer is currently treated with Eli Lilly's Erbitux, known chemically as cetuximab, which typically has a response rate of 10 percent to 13 percent. "The only thing that works is cetuximab and this looks at least twice as good," said Seiwert, who was presenting the Keytruda data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago.


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Why Is It So Hard to Forgive Yourself?

Why Is It So Hard to Forgive Yourself?It's like a bad 1980s newspaper dating ad:Are you a Type A, guilt-ridden adult living in the city?Do you suffer from crippling anxiety and a fear of disappointing everyone (including people you don't even know)?Join me for long walks down regret lane and candlelit dinners agonizing over the calories you have convinced yourself you don't...


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Live anthrax found in U.S. military shipment to Australia: official

Spores from the Sterne strain of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) are pictured in this handout scanning electron micrographBy Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An investigation of a U.S. military facility's mistaken shipments of live anthrax bacteria has turned up another live sample, this one from a 2008 batch sent to Australia, a U.S. defense official said on Friday. The disclosure, if confirmed, suggests the possibility of a broader problem among anthrax samples meant to have been made inactive at the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. Suspected live samples sourced to Dugway have already been traced going to nine U.S. states and a U.S. air base in South Korea over a period from March 2014 to April 2015 before being discovered this month.


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Naked Is Not Nude: Going Native in Germany

Ah, Germany! Beer and bratwurst. Light and fruity Rieslings. Floating down the Rhine past castles. Quaint villages. Cosmopolitan cities with fabulous museums. Trains that run on time. Yet what is it that I most miss about Germany? Any of the above? No, it is the 'bads,' the thermes, the hot minerals springs, the saunas. The infusions. Picture...

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Idaho abortion restrictions are unconstitutional: appeals court

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An Idaho law that prohibits abortions of fetuses 20 or more weeks after fertilization is unconstitutional, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday. The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, also struck down an Idaho law that required all second-trimester abortions to occur in a hospital. Bans on abortion after 20 weeks have been passed in 12 U.S. states since 2010, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights advocacy group.

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Pediatric Cancer Patients Get to Celebrate Very Special Prom

The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has celebrated patients with their annual spring prom for 25 years.

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Haiti struggles to stem cholera as rains come early

By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The number of Haitians infected by cholera has risen more than 300 percent in the past year as early rains, poor sanitation, and a lack of funding means the impoverished Caribbean nation struggles to stem the disease, the United Nations said. From January to April this year, 14,226 Haitians were infected with cholera, a 306 percent increase from the same period last year, with the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince hardest hit. "An upsurge in the last quarter of 2014 continues to affect Port-au-Prince's metropolitan area, illustrating the shift of the epidemic from rural to urban areas," said the latest U.N. humanitarian agency (OCHA) report on Haiti.

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A vegan diet may help with diabetes pain

By Janice Neumann (Reuters Health) - A low-fat vegan diet may help people with type 2 diabetes reduce physical pain related to the condition, suggests a small new study. “This new study gives a ray of hope for a condition where there are no other good treatments,” said Dr. Neal Barnard, the study's lead author and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit organization that promotes a vegan diet, preventive medicine, and alternatives to animal research. Most people with type 2 diabetes will develop peripheral diabetic neuropathy, the researchers write in Nutrition and Diabetes.

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Hollande, Merkel call for rapid implementation of Minsk agreement

French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel address a news conference at the Chancellery in BerlinFrench President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to rapidly implement measures agreed under the Feb.12 Minsk ceasefire, Hollande's office said in a statement. Hollande said he and Merkel had spoken on the phone with Putin early on Friday afternoon and told him they want to see concrete results from four working groups that were set up on May 6 to deal with political, security, economic and humanitarian issues. The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin expressed concern in the call over "increasingly frequent shelling by Ukrainian forces of civilian objects that have led to civilian casualties." It added the leaders exchanged views on potential additional measures that could shore up the fragile ceasefire.


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McCaskill: Medicare Advantage billing fraud 'must be investigated'

McCaskill cites Center stories, says Medicare Advantage 'must be investigated'

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'Chaotic picture' as funding gap threatens WHO operations in Iraq

By Magdalena Mis LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 3 million refugees and displaced Iraqis could be denied life-saving healthcare as the World Health Organization (WHO) scrambles to secure $60 million to fund their operations in the country to the end of the year. Without the money, healthcare providers in Iraq funded by the WHO and its partners could be forced to stop services -- including primary healthcare, disease outbreak detection and immunization -- at the end of June, said Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO's head of mission in Iraq. "By the 30th of June, the funding will be completely exhausted," Hussain told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Iraq.

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When Paternalism Doesn't Work for Patients

When Paternalism Doesn't Work for Patients"Does there have to be someone watching me?" Paula had asked the question as I was examining her. She was referring to the woman sitting in her hospital room, a "sitter." Paula had been in the hospital for days with a skin infection that was not healing. Earlier that morning, her nurse noticed a few pills covered underneath Paula's bed sheets....


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FGM campaigners: Nigeria ban welcome, but work not over

By Joseph D'Urso LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Activists on Friday welcomed Nigeria's new law banning female genital mutilation (FGM), but warned that legislation alone will not be enough to eradicate the practice. According to 2014 U.N. data, a quarter of Nigerian women have undergone FGM -- the partial or total removal of external genitalia which can cause physical and psychological problems. Although some of Nigeria's 36 states already prohibit the ritual, this week's new federal law brings in a nationwide ban.

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China's first confirmed MERS case arrived from Korea via Hong Kong

By Sui-Lee Wee and Nicole LI BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - China said on Friday a 44-year-old South Korean man had tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), China's first confirmed case, but that it had not found any symptoms in 38 people who had been in close contact with him. Health authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong said it was likely the disease would spread as the patient had taken a bus, crossed a busy border checkpoint from Hong Kong and stayed in a hotel before being taken to hospital. "As we have said before, the possibility of MERS transferring into Guangdong is very high," He Jianfeng, director for the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control, told reporters.

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Laborers toiling in Indian heat wave say have little choice

A worker takes a bath from the water of a bore pump on a hot summer day in GurgaonBy Sankalp Phartiyal and Tommy Wilkes GURGAON, India (Reuters) - In India's upmarket "Millennium City", laborers building luxury homes say they have little choice but to toil in the extreme heat, despite government warnings not to venture outside after this week's heat wave killed 1,700 people. This week's heat wave, the deadliest in a decade, has exposed the vulnerability of millions of Indians who work outside in extreme temperatures that meteorologists say are increasingly common. While temperatures regularly top 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in May and June, parts of the south and east of India have baked under heat as high as 47C for seven straight days.


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No radiation found after scare at India's Delhi airport

A scare at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport over a suspected radioactive leak turned out to be a false alarm on Friday as atomic inspectors gave the all clear. Airport authorities reported earlier that there had been a leak in a consignment of sodium iodide 131 - a radioactive liquid used in so-called nuclear medicine - that arrived on a Turkish Airlines passenger flight. "After an extensive assessment, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has confirmed that there was no leak of any radioactive substance in the subject shipments at Delhi Airport," a spokesman for airport operator DIAL said.

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USDA seeks more contractors to aid efforts in bird flu outbreak

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it is seeking to hire more federal contractors to help with the government's response to the domestic bird flu outbreak, which has resulted in more than 43 million birds being culled so far. The agency said it has existing contracts in place with many vendors, but "is seeking additional support due to the size and scope" of the outbreak and response needs. USDA officials have faced mounting criticism in the Midwest over the pace of disposing of the birds and other issues. ...





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