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Cricket-Golf’s Rio exodus may hit sport’s Olympic prospects – ICC

High-profile withdrawals of male golfers from next month’s Rio Games might damage cricket’s chances of becoming an Olympic sport, fears the International Cricket Council (ICC). Golf’s return to Olympics for the first time since 1904 has been hit by big-name male withdrawals over health concerns triggered by the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil. The top four male golfers in the world — Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy — have pulled out and ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson fears a ripple effect.

Olympics-Pace becomes first women’s golfer to opt out of Rio

South African Lee-Anne Pace, citing Zika concerns, became the first women’s golfer to withdraw from the 2016 Rio Olympics on Wednesday, joining a growing exodus on the men’s side that includes the world’s top-ranked player. Pace, a nine-times winner on the Ladies European Tour who is ranked 38th in the world, said she was eager to represent South Africa at the Aug 5-21 Olympics but felt Zika was too big a risk to take. “After weighing up all the options and discussing it with my family and team, I have decided that due to the health concerns surrounding the Zika virus, I will not be participating,” Pace, 35, said in a statement.

India’s Dr Reddy’s in $350 million deal to buy eight U.S. drugs from Teva, Allergan

By Zeba Siddiqui MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s second-largest drugmaker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd said it agreed to buy eight generic drugs from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Allergan Plc for $350 million in cash to bolster its U.S. business. The deal is among Dr Reddy’s biggest acquisitions, and comes at a time when the company has been facing slowing growth in the United States, its largest market, due to regulatory troubles and fewer new drug approvals. The drugs Dr Reddy’s is buying are being divested by Israel-based Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, to win U.S. antitrust clearance for its $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan’s generic drugs portfolio.

Boxing great Muhammad Ali close to death in hospital: source

Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was close to death in a Phoenix-area hospital on Friday, a source close to the family said. Ali, 74, one of the world's most celebrated athletes, was hospitalized this week for a respiratory ailment. Asked about Ali's condition, the source said: “It's extraordinarily grave.

World Humanitarian Summit: ‘The way we respond to crisis is itself a crisis’

Governments, aid organizations and U.N. agencies are meeting in Istanbul this week to develop a better response to what has been called the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two, as conflicts and natural disasters have left some 130 million people in need of aid. On Monday, celebrities who work on humanitarian issues set out their concerns and hopes for the two-day U.N. summit: FOREST WHITAKER, U.S. ACTOR AND FILMMAKER “Around the world 250,000 boys and girls are serving as soldiers.

Costa Rica confirms microcephaly birth, possible Zika link

A Salvadoran woman suspected of being infected with the Zika virus has given birth in Costa Rica to a baby girl that tested positive for microcephaly, a rare birth defect, authorities said on Friday. If confirmed, the case would mark the sixth instance of microcephaly linked to a Zika infection in Central America and the first in Costa Rica. According to the World Health Organization, there is a strong scientific consensus that Zika can cause microcephaly as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that can result in paralysis, though conclusive proof may take months or years.

UK court rejects Big Tobacco’s appeal against plain packaging

Britain got the go-ahead on Thursday to make plain packaging compulsory on cigarettes when a UK court rejected a legal challenge brought by the world's top four tobacco companies. Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands had argued the law, due to come into force on Friday, unlawfully took away their intellectual property.

Abortion rates fall to historic low in wealthy countries, little changed elsewhere

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – Abortion rates have dropped dramatically in the past 25 years to historic lows in wealthy countries, but dipped only slightly in poorer developing nations, according to a global study published on Wednesday. The study – by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Guttmacher Institute – also found that imposing restrictive laws does little to lower abortion rates, but is more likely to force people into having unsafe terminations. The overall findings highlight a lack in poorer countries of access to modern contraception methods – such as the pill, implants and coils – to reduce unwanted pregnancies, the researchers said.

Drug resistance adds to India’s tuberculosis menace

After three years of battling tuberculosis, a disease that claimed the lives of his father and younger brother, Sonu Verma, a patient in northern India, hopes a cure for his illness may be within reach. “Only a few more months and my nightmare will end… it will be my rebirth, free from tuberculosis,” the 25-year-old scrap dealer, who has been left visibly lean and weak by the disease, told AFP. As India marks World TB Day on Thursday, it faces an estimated 2.2 million new cases of the disease a year, more than any other country, according to the World Health Organisation.

CDC, Brazil start big study to test Zika link to birth defects

U.S. and Brazilian researchers are heading to João Pessoa in the state of Paraíba on Monday to recruit mothers and babies in one of the biggest government-led studies to understand whether the Zika virus is linked to microcephaly, a rare birth defect. Brazil has confirmed more than 500 cases of microcephaly, defined by an unusually small head, since the start of the outbreak. The spike in microcephaly prompted the World Health Organization on Feb. 1 to declare Zika an international health emergency.