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Associated Press

Word Health reports rise of neuro disorder in Zika outbreak

BERLIN (AP) -- A rare neurological disorder is on the rise in several Latin American countries that are also seeing an outbreak of the Zika virus, the World Health Organization said Saturday.

The U.N. health body in Geneva said in a weekly report that Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which can cause temporary paralysis, has been reported in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname and Venezuela.



Testing of possible diabetes cure fast tracks

(AP) — Johnson & Johnson, continuing its long quest for a Type 1 diabetes cure, is joining forces with biotech company ViaCyte to speed development of the first stem cell treatment that could fix the life-threatening hormonal disorder.

They've already begun testing it in a small number of diabetic patients. If it works as well in patients as it has in animals, it would amount to a cure, ending the need for frequent insulin injections and blood sugar testing.



Generals say women should have to register for draft

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top Army and Marine Corps generals told senators Tuesday that it will take up to three years to fully integrate women into all combat jobs, adding that women also should have to register for the draft.

The military service leaders repeatedly vowed that they will not lower standards to bring women into the more grueling jobs. But they warned that inherent physical differences and different injury rates between men and women will have an impact on how the integration moves ahead.



UN: Zika virus is 'spreading explosively'

GENEVA (AP) -- Declaring that the Zika virus is "spreading explosively," the World Health Organization announced it will hold an emergency meeting of independent experts Monday to decide if the outbreak should be declared an international health emergency.

At a special meeting Thursday in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said the virus - which has been linked to birth defects and neurological problems - was becoming much more of a threat. One WHO scientist said the Americas could see up to 4 million cases of Zika in the next year.



Health officials probe tie between Zika, nerve syndrome

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Two Latin American countries are investigating whether outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Zika virus are behind a rise in a rare and sometimes life-threatening nerve condition that can cause paralysis and leave victims on life-support.

The Zika virus has already been tentatively linked to a rash of microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies are born with unusually small heads. And while the mechanics of how the virus may affect infants remain murky, authorities in Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador are urging women to avoid the risk by postponing pregnancies.



CDC expands tropical virus alert, Samoa on the list

(AP) — Health authorities have added eight tropical destinations to a travel alert about an illness linked with a severe birth defect and spread by mosquitoes.

The updated alert issued Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brings the total to 22 destinations, most in Latin America and the Caribbean, where there have been outbreaks of the Zika virus.

The new locations are Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Guyana; Cape Verde, off the coast of western Africa; and Samoa in the South Pacific.



2015 was Earth's hottest by a wide margin

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Last year wasn't just the Earth's hottest year on record - it left a century of high temperature marks in the dust.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced Wednesday that 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of record keeping. For the most part, scientists at the agencies and elsewhere blamed man-made global warming, with a boost from El Nino.



Search off Hawaii finds life rafts but no sign of Marines

HONOLULU (AP) — Authorities searching the area where two Marine helicopters crashed off Hawaii have found some life rafts that were carried aboard the aircraft, but still no sign of the 12 crew members who were on board.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers said Monday she believes three life rafts have been recovered so far. Some were inflated, but it was unclear how they came to be inflated, she said.

The search for the Marines entered its fourth day Monday. Mooers said at this point, it is still a search for survivors.



High surf complicating Hawaii search for Marines

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) -- Rescuers battled winds of up to 23 mph and waves up to 30 feet Saturday as they searched for 12 Marines who are missing after two helicopters crashed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

The winds and the waves dispersed the debris and complicated the search, which was expanded Saturday to include waters off Oahu's west coast.

"It makes finding things incredibly difficult," Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Scott Carr said.



Marine helicopters collide off Oahu, search started

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) -- Two Marine Corps helicopters carrying six crew members each collided and went down off the Hawaiian island of Oahu while on a nighttime training mission, and rescuers searched choppy waters Friday where debris had been sighted, military officials said.

There was no immediate word on the fate of those aboard or what caused the accident.

The transport helicopters known as CH-53Es crashed just before midnight Thursday, officials said.

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