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Wednesday, Jan 28th

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World AIDS Day to be marked around world

World Aid DayPeople around the world on Monday will join forces to show their support for those living with HIV, as well as those who have died from the virus, when the 26th World Aids Day is marked.

An estimated 34 million people are living with HIV and more than 35 million have died from the disease.  This year's theme is "Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation."

Ahead of World Aids Day, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) urged for more investment and access to treatment for children. The group said that 1.1 million infections among children under 15 have been averted, but that more needs to be done.

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Pennsylvania launches Medicaid expansion, overhaul

MedicaidHundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents left out of coverage under the 2010 federal health care law now have a chance to get insurance as the state undertakes a massive overhaul to health care for the poor.

On Monday, enrollment begins in the Healthy Pennsylvania program, the name given to Pennsylvania's Medicaid expansion by outgoing Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, and state officials say some 600,000 people — primarily low-income, single working adults — are newly eligible for coverage under guidelines set by the 2010 law.

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U.S. CEOs threaten to pull tacit Obamacare support over 'wellness' spat

CEO wellness plansLeading U.S. CEOs, angered by the Obama administration's challenge to certain "workplace wellness" programs, are threatening to side with anti-Obamacare forces unless the government backs off, according to people familiar with the matter.

Major U.S. corporations have broadly supported President Barack Obama's healthcare reform despite concerns over several of its elements, largely because it included provisions encouraging the wellness programs.

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Indoor smoking ban coming to Beijing

Beijing smoking banSmokers in China's capital city will not be allowed to light up in all indoor public places, at work or on public transit under new legislation passed by the Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress.

Initially limited only to Beijing, the new restrictions will start in June, according to Chinese state media. Among those affected will be teachers, who are forbidden from smoking in front of students in primary and secondary grades. Schools themselves will be required to educate students about the dangers of smoking.

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Ebola vaccine from Glaxo passes early safety test

Ebola vaccineAn experimental Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline caused no serious side effects and produced an immune response in all 20 healthy volunteers who received it in an early-stage clinical trial, scientists reported on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The trial, which began on Sept. 2 and will monitor the volunteers for 48 weeks, is primarily aimed at assessing how safe the vaccine is. But the immune response offered hope that it would also be effective.

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Smoking levels reach all-time low in the United States

Smoking at all time low in USAmericans are kicking the habit in record numbers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes is at an all-time low in the United States. From 2005 to 2008, the number of smokers in the U.S. dropped from from 45.1 million to 42.1 million. Today, just 17.8 percent of Americans over the age of 18 smoke cigarettes -- a record low.

The annual report, released Wednesday by the CDC, found the percentage of admitted smokers who smoke cigarettes daily is also falling. Additionally, smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes per day. Health experts greeted such details with lukewarm enthusiasm.

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Coca-Cola's new venture: Expensive milk

coca cola milkWith soda sales sagging, Coca-Cola is moving into the dairy business. It plans to offer milk with some big differences to the stuff now on supermarket shelves: For starters, it will cost twice as much.

A Coke exec told a conference last week that the company's Fairlife will be "a milk that's premiumized and tastes better and we'll charge twice as much for it as the milk we're used to buying," the Guardian reports. Chief Customer Officer Sandy Douglas said the milk, which is being produced in venture involving 92 family-owned farms and will launch next month, will contain 50% more protein and 30% less sugar than regular milk.

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