HOTTOPIC: Johnson & Johnson recalls baby powder after asbestos traces found

The company will recall 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after the FDA found traces of the carcinogen. Johnson & Johnson has said it is recalling about 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the federal health regulator – found trace amounts of asbestos in samples taken from a bottle purchased online. The voluntary recall is limited to one lot of a product called Johnson’s Baby Powder that was produced and shipped in the US in…

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HOTTOPIC: School calls rape-awareness note bullying, suspends student

Aela, 15, is taking a Maine school district to court for suspending her over a note drawing attention to sexual assault. A 15-year-old girl was suspended for bullying after trying to draw attention to what she believed was an unaddressed problem of sexual assaults involving students at her high school. Now, she is taking the school district to court. Aela Mansmann, a 15-year-old sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School outside Portland, Maine, has been at odds with Cape Elizabeth Schools for a month after posting a note in a toilet…

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HOTTOPIC: Find help to quit vaping and smoking

Federal and state officials have reported hundreds of total possible cases of pulmonary disease and several deaths that may be related to vaping. Yale Medicine in early September shared what it deemed a “startling” statistic: More than 3.6 million middle- and high-school students currently use e-cigarettes. The report explained vaping — to inhale vapor created from a liquid heated up inside a device — and pointed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current warnings regarding health risks: “Federal and state officials have reported hundreds of total possible cases…

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HOTTOPIC: Prevention tips for cold and flu

Definitely avoid, when possible, close contact with sick people. Many pharmacies and even grocery stores already tout signage and advertisements announcing the beginning of cold and flu season and the need for protective flu shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides comprehensive information on the 2019-20 influenza season at cdc.gov/flu, and emphasizes some ways to avoid getting the flu in the first place: ‒ Avoid, when possible, close contact with sick people. ‒ While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible. ‒ Especially when experiencing the…

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HOTTOPIC: US-Mexico border wall poses ‘severe environmental threat’

Bulldozers are clearing the way to build a new wall that may come with an enormous environmental cost. Bulldozers are clearing the way to build a new wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. The wall is a $5bn commitment by US President Donald Trump to stop asylum seekers getting into the US. But experts say the environmental cost of the wall may be enormous too, as well as irreversible. Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports from northern Mexico.

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HOTTOPIC: Which is more important to recognize, emojis or road signs?

If you were to take a quiz to test your ability to identify common emojis and road signs, how do you think you’d fare? According to the results from a recent survey by Mercury Insurance, 1,890 respondents did not do so well. The meaning of the “yawning” emoji was correctly identified by 85% of the respondents, but only 31% of quiz-takers correctly identified the meaning of the “lane reduction” road sign. Additionally, 71% knew the “in love” emoji, but the “keep right” road sign was correctly identified by only 51%…

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HOTTOPIC: UN climate talks: Activist Greta Thunberg files rights complaint

Despite official complaints about violating children’s rights and Thunberg’s damning speech, little action taken at UN climate talks. A new United Nations report has found commitments to cut greenhouse gases must be, at the minimum, tripled to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement. At least 66 countries have committed to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. But 14 nations, representing a quarter of global emissions, have refused to improve their current climate goals by next year, a deadline set by UN chief Antonio Guterres. This prompted anger…

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‘Storm Area 51’: Possible crowds worry Nevada desert towns

Residents prepare for influx of people near restricted US military site after online joke received millions of responses. The visitors descending on the remote Nevada desert for “Storm Area 51” are from Earth, not outer space. No one knows what to expect, but the two tiny towns of Rachel and Hiko near the once-secret military research site are preparing for an influx of people over the next few days. “It’s happening. We already have people from all over the world,” Little A’Le’Inn proprietor Connie West said Wednesday from her bustling…

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Lewandowski defends Trump at chaotic impeachment hearing

Corey Lewandowski assails ‘angry Democrats’, repeatedly refuses to answer questions about his conversations with Trump. Washington, DC – US President Donald Trump‘s former 2016 campaign manager, appearing before a US House of Representatives committee, struck a combative tone and defended the president against Democrat allegations of abuse of power. Corey Lewandowski, a Trump loyalist who is considering a possible run as a Republican for US Senate, was a figure in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. “As for actual ‘collusion’, or ‘conspiracy’, there…

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Gun laws: Texas state eases restrictions

Since recent mass shootings in Texas, eight new pro-gun laws passed in state with highest number of registered guns. As Congress in the United States continues to debate possible gun-control measures, the state of Texas has moved in the opposite direction, making guns more accessible. That’s despite two mass shootings in the cities of El Paso and Odessa in August. But in Texas, owning and carrying a gun has actually become easier. Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro reports from Mission, Texas.

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HOTTOPIC: Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg takes climate protest to Trump

After bringing her message from Stockholm to Berlin, Paris, Rome and New York, the teen advocate hits Washington, too. Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who has shot to global fame for inspiring worldwide student strikes to promote an urgent response to climate change, took her mission to United States President Donald Trump’s doorstep on Friday with a protest in Washington, DC. Hundreds of mostly young people gathered across the street from the White House to meet her carrying signs that read “People or Profit?” and “Warming!”, chanting “This is a…

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‘It is time to stop vaping’: 6th US death linked to lung illness

Health officials have yet to fault specific e-cigarette device as potential cause in outbreak of major health problems. A resident of the state of Kansas was the sixth person to die in the United States of a mysterious respiratory illness related to vaping, state authorities said on Tuesday. “It is time to stop vaping,” Kansas State Health Officer Lee Norman said in a statement, as public health officials scrambled to understand what has quickly become a nationwide problem. “If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop,” said Norman.…

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Doctors urge public to QUIT vaping as deaths, illnesses rise

The American Medical Association has discouraged e-cigarette use until scientists better understand their effects. The American Medical Association has urged Americans to stop using electronic cigarettes of any sort until scientists have a better handle on the cause of 450 lung illnesses and at least five deaths related to the use of the products. The AMA, one of the nation’s most influential physician groups, also called on doctors to inform patients about the dangers of e-cigarettes, including toxins and carcinogens, and swiftly report any suspected cases of lung illness associated…

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UPS plans to pay its army of holiday workers more this year

The package delivery giant faces stiff competition for seasonal workers as US unemployment hovers near half-century low. Package delivery giant United Parcel Service (UPS) on Monday said it expects to hire about 100,000 seasonal workers and pay them more than it did in the past to handle the avalanche of packages shipped in the United States between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, from November 28 through December 25. That’s about the same number of people the Atlanta-based company hired for the 2018 holiday season.  UPS is also counting on automation to keep up…

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How to Get Out of the Debt Trap When Banks Won’t Help

In many rural areas, a lack of banking options has led to an increase in predatory lending. In eastern Kentucky, a new nonprofit is fighting back. Erica Knight had been in charge of her own money since she was 16, when she had her first job. “I was always very independent and very good with trying to manage my own money and do it all on my own,” Knight said. But when she got married in 2017, she realized that she and her husband needed to get their finances in…

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