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Thursday, Jul 02nd

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Puerto Rico Governor Signs Order To Legalize Medical Marijuana

medical marijuanaPuerto Rico's governor on Sunday signed an executive order to authorize the use of medical marijuana in the U.S. territory in an unexpected move following a lengthy public debate.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said the island's health secretary has three months to issue a report detailing how the executive order will be implemented, the impact it will have and what future steps could be taken. The order went into immediate effect.

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Cuba's medical magicians

Cuba's medical magiciansWhile the US trade embargo imposed in 1961 has restricted life-saving equipment and medicine, it has only made medical professionals more imaginative in their work - and more determined to provide the best care possible.

Gladys Rodriguez, 80, was also saved by quick-thinking medical staff after heart and kidney failure nearly killed her last year. Rodriguez said she suddenly became dizzy and blacked out, waking up in the hospital days later. Doctors said she needed a special blood coagulating drug, but because of the US embargo, none could be found.

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St. Louis Burning: A ticking time bomb beneath the city?

St. Louis ticking time bombIf it were any other morning after six inches of overnight snow in St. Louis, Dawn Chapman probably would have been sledding with her three kids.

But one phone call from a distressed neighbor at 6 a.m. changed that. A 21-year-old who lives nearby — their friend’s daughter — got the biopsy results from her ruptured appendix. The tests confirmed everyone’s fears: appendix cancer.

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Pharmaceutical Companies Buy Rivals’ Drugs, Then Jack Up the Prices

Big pharmaOn Feb. 10, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. bought the rights to a pair of life-saving heart drugs. The same day, their list prices rose by 525% and 212%.

Neither of the drugs, Nitropress or Isuprel, was improved as a result of costly investment in lab work and human testing, Valeant said. Nor was manufacture of the medicines shifted to an expensive new plant. The big change: the drugs’ ownership.

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Chipotle removes all food containing GMOs from its menu

ChipotleChipotle Mexican Grill announced on Sunday that it had completed an initiative to remove all food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) from its menu. The Denver-based company is the first major fast-food restaurant chain to ban genetically engineered ingredients.

“This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” Chipotle co-CEO Steve Ells told The New York Times, which first reported the story. “Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors.”

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Diet Pepsi dropping aspartame on customer concerns

Diet PepsiPepsiCo says it's dropping aspartame from Diet Pepsi in response to customer feedback and replacing it with sucralose, another artificial sweetener commonly known as Splenda.

The decision to swap sweeteners comes as Americans keep turning away from popular diet sodas. Rival Coca-Cola said this week that sales volume for Diet Coke, which also uses aspartame, fell 5 percent in North America in the first three months of the year.

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Blue Bell expands recall to all of its products

Wisteria outbreakBrenham-based Blue Bell Creameries is pulling all of its products from the shelves after more ice cream samples tested positive for a life-threatening bacterial infection.

The voluntary decision, announced Monday, is the latest and most sweeping development to plague the Texas business icon since a recall last month, the first in the company's 108-year history.

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