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Boxing school in Rio slum shows sport’s power before Olympics

By Daniel Flynn and Nacho Doce RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Beneath a street lamp in one of Rio de Janeiro's slums, 19-year-old boxer Wanderson de Oliveira does pull-ups from a metal bar outside the Fight for Peace academy while two skinny young boys watch intently. Much of the Complexo da Maré, a teeming neighborhood of 140,000 people near Rio's international airport, remains in the grip of drug gangs despite efforts to break their hold on the city's poor districts ahead of the August Olympic Games. For many young residents like Oliveira, the academy offers a glimpse of an alternative: a chance to build discipline and self-esteem through boxing and martial arts.

Obama: Filtered water in Flint is safe for kids over 6 years old

FLINT, Mich. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged parents in Flint, Michigan, to ensure their children were tested for lead in their blood even as he sought to assure the community that filtered water in the city was safe for anyone over the age of six. Obama said it would take more than two years to replace water pipes in the city, which is struggling with the effects of lead-poisoned drinking water. The president also sipped filtered water during a meeting with regulators there. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner, editing by G Crosse)

Two former Flint officials blame state and feds for water crisis

The former mayor and former emergency manager of Flint both blamed the dangerously high lead levels in the city's water on state and federal officials, according to testimony released on Monday that is to be delivered at a hearing in Washington this week. Former Mayor Dayne Walling and former emergency manager Darnell Earley, who was appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, are among witnesses who will testify at two days of hearings by the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The water crisis has drawn national attention and led to heavy criticism of Snyder, with some voters mounting a petition drive to have him recalled.

Rat poison sales boom in Nigeria over Lassa fever fears

Sales of rat poison have taken off in Nigeria following an outbreak of Lassa fever that has left at least 76 people dead and sparked fears of contagion across the country. In the northern city of Kano, the capital of one of 17 states where the haemorrhagic virus has been recorded, there have been “unprecedented” purchases of the pest control product. The head of the city's chemicals traders, Shehu Idris Bichi, said sales have have increased four-fold since the outbreak was first announced earlier this month.

Jesse Jackson to speak at rally about contaminated Flint, Michigan water

By Serena Maria Daniels FLINT, Mich. (Reuters) – Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson is scheduled to speak on Sunday at a rally in Flint, Michigan, about the city’s lead-contaminated drinking water that has led to investigations, two lawsuits and multiple apologies by the state’s governor. The rally, which will be held at 1:30 p.m. local time (1830 GMT) at the Heavenly Host Church of the Harvest, comes two days before Michigan Governor Rick Snyder gives his annual speech about the state. State officials expect this month to ask lawmakers to tap Michigan’s budget surplus to cover costs related to the crisis.

Firm agrees to refund to settle suit over weight-loss pills

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Salt Lake City-based company has agreed to pay refunds to consumers who purchased its weight-loss tablets to settle a class-action lawsuit that claimed its advertising slogan, “Eat All You Want & Still Lose Weight,” was deceptive.