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After damaging Reuters report, J&J doubles down on talc safety message

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson Inc’s statement was unequivocal. FILE PHOTO: Bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder line a drugstore shelf in New York October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson"The FDA has tested Johnson's talc since the '70s. Every single time it did not contain asbestos," the company said in a Dec. 19 tweet. It followed by several days the publication of a Reuters investigation (here) that found the healthcare conglomerate knew for decades that the carcinogen lurked in its Baby Powder and other cosmetic talc products. The tweet, posted under the handle @JNJNews, didn't mention that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…

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With Drone Deliveries on the Horizon, Europe Moves to Set Ground Rules

LIMBURG, Belgium — Two years after Amazon completed its first delivery by commercial drone, the idea of routinely using unmanned devices to drop off items at front doors remains a distant, if not far-fetched, dream. The recent shutdown of London’s Gatwick Airport, caused by sightings of drones near the runway, underscored the risks and complexities of the efforts.But as e-commerce continues to grow, drones have the potential to reduce the time, cost and energy needed for many everyday deliveries — assuming they are managed well and used safely.Before a commercial drone industry can thrive, particularly in the crowded urban areas of Europe, different kinds of drones must…

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Firm Led by Google Veterans Uses A.I. to ‘Nudge’ Workers Toward Happiness

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Technology companies like to promote artificial intelligence’s potential for solving some of the world’s toughest problems, like reducing automobile deaths and helping doctors diagnose diseases. A company started by three former Google employees is pitching A.I. as the answer to a more common problem: being happier at work.The start-up, Humu, is based in Google’s hometown, and it builds on some of the so-called people-analytics programs pioneered by the internet giant, which has studied things like the traits that define great managers and how to foster better teamwork.Humu wants to bring similar data-driven insights to other companies. It digs through employee surveys using artificial…

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House Democrats maneuver to end shutdown, without Trump wall money

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pushing a proposal to end a partial U.S. government shutdown now in its 10th day, Democrats in the House of Representatives plan to hold a vote on Thursday on a funding package that would not include the $5 billion President Donald Trump has demanded for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Capitol is seen on the first day of a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, U.S., December 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File PhotoThe two-part package will include a bill to keep funding for the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Feb. 8 with $1.3 billion for border security, as well as…

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Factbox: Departments hit by partial U.S. government shutdown

(Reuters) - Shuttered U.S. government agencies remained closed on Monday, as Democrats in the House of Representatives readied legislation intended to reopen the government that would not meet President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion to fund a border wall. FILE PHOTO: A sign declares the National Archive is closed due to a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, U.S., December 22, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File PhotoFunding for about a quarter of the federal government came to an end on Dec. 22, with Trump and Democrats far apart on a solution. On Thursday, Democrats intend to vote on a two-part package to end the shutdown. Its prospects in…

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Wall Street limps to end of a tumultuous year on a positive note

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street rose solidly in relatively light trading on Monday as revelers gathered to ring in 2019, marking the end of the worst year for major U.S. indexes in a decade. After a strong January, Wall Street was challenged for much of 2018 by tariff disputes, rising interest rates, and fears of diminishing corporate profits. December was a particularly trying month for U.S. equities. The S&P 500 .SPX looks set to post its worst December since the Great Depression and the Nasdaq .IXIC confirmed it was in a bear market, or 20 percent below its high. All three are down more than 9…

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As Mattis exits, he tells U.S. military to keep ‘faith in our country’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave his farewell message to the U.S. armed forces on Monday, telling them to “keep the faith in our country” and stand firm alongside allies after he resigned over policy differences with President Donald Trump. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis waits to welcome Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Wei Fenghe to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File PhotoMattis, who had been seen as a stabilizing factor in U.S. defense policy, is due to transfer authority near midnight to his deputy, Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing Co executive. Mattis, a retired Marine general…

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Democrat Warren takes step to challenge Trump in 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a liberal firebrand who has taken on Wall Street and traded barbs with Donald Trump, on Monday became the most prominent Democrat to announce a challenge to the Republican president in 2020. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) leaves after delivering a major policy speech on "Ending corruption in Washington" at the National Press Club, Washington, U.S., August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri GripasWarren said she had formed an exploratory committee, which will allow her to begin raising money to compete in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field before the November 2020 presidential election. She said on…

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Seven dead, dozens trapped under rubble after Russian gas blast: agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) - As many as 40 people could still be trapped in the rubble of a Russian apartment block that partially collapsed in a gas explosion on Monday, killing at least seven people, news agencies reported. Emergency personnel work at the site of collapsed apartment building after a suspected gas blast in Magnitogorsk, Russia December 31, 2018. Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief/Handout via REUTERS. The blast, thought to have been caused by a gas leak, damaged 48 apartments in a nine-storey building in Magnitogorsk, an industrial city in the Urals some 1,700 km (1,050 miles) east of Moscow, the emergencies ministry said. President…

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Russia detains U.S. citizen in Moscow for suspected spying

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s FSB state security service said on Monday it had detained an American citizen suspected of spying in Moscow and had opened a criminal case against him. The FSB said the American had been detained on December 28 but it gave no details of the nature of his alleged espionage activities. A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Russia had notified it that a U.S. citizen had been detained and it expected Moscow to provide consular access to see him. “We have requested this access and expect Russian authorities to provide it,” the spokesperson said, without providing details of the identity of the American or…

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