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Chamomile tea tied to lower thyroid cancer risk
20 April 2015 - Consumption of chamomile tea was linked with a lower risk of thyroid cancer in a small Greek study. After accounting for age, gender, and body mass index, the researchers found that as consumption of chamomile tea increased, the odds of developing any type of thyroid malignancy significantly declined. (more)

Pulitzer Prizes set to be awarded honouring journalism, arts
20 April 2015 - The prestigious Pulitzer Prizes were set to be awarded on Monday, honouring top work in U.S. journalism, literature, drama, and other arts. The celebrated prizes, awarded annually by Columbia University, can bring badly needed attention and recognition to newspapers and websites suffering from economic pressures and budget constraints. (more)

Survey: US businesses expect sales rebound, more hiring
20 April 2015 - U.S. businesses expect their sales will rebound in the next three months after a sluggish first quarter, and they also plan to boost hiring and pay, according to a survey released Monday. Nearly three-quarters of companies forecast higher sales over the next three months, up from 68 percent in January and just 54 percent in October. (more)

Toyota to launch two hybrid cars in China this year
20 April 2015 - Toyota Motor Corp, the world's largest automaker by sales volume, plans to launch two hybrid cars in China this year as part of efforts to launch vehicles that will help to reduce pollution in the country. The gasoline-electric hybrid cars, called Levin Hev and Corolla, will be launched in China in the second half of the year, the Japanese company said on Sunday on the eve of the Shanghai autoshow. (more)

US: Kraft macaroni and cheese shedding the dyes
20 April 2015 - In January (2016), Kraft says its macaroni and cheese will be colored using paprika, annatto, and turmeric. There has been a huge shift away from processed foods in the U.S. and larger food producers are trying to follow their customers in that direction. Already the company is selling a version in the U.S. which has no artificial flavors, preservatives, or synthetic colors. (more)

World's oldest living person: 'Everything comes from above'
20 April 2015 - Jeralean Talley, the world's oldest-known living person, will celebrate her 116th birthday in Detroit next month thanking God for her longevity. 'Everything comes from above. Everything just comes from above,' Talley told Reuters, surrounded by her family, at her one-storey home in the Detroit suburb of Inkster. (more)

Data app pushes Chinese factories to cut pollution
19 April 2015 - When environmentalist Ma Jun set out to tackle pollution from Chinese industries, it seemed a near-impossible task. Taking polluting factories to court was difficult. Factory owners were powerful, and the incentives were stronger to cut environmental corners than comply with regulations. But China's government, worried about public anger over worsening pollution, had begun collecting real-time emissions data from factories and when Ma asked for water pollution data be made public, officials agreed, giving him fodder for an app. 'This is a clear sign of the political will of the central government to solve the environmental problem,' he said. It has been downloaded by three million people in China. Today, more than 1,800 factories and 120 international firms have taken steps to reduce pollution because of public pressure brought about by the app, Ma said. (more)

India tea-sellers become unlikely heroes battling indoor air pollution
19 April 2015 - Armed with clean energy biomass stoves, tea-sellers in India's western city of Nashik are becoming unlikely heroes in the country's battle against indoor air pollution by not only using the wood-fuelled stoves for their trade but also selling them. Various companies have designed cheap, efficient biomass stoves using wood as fuel but have struggled to gain traction. Indian social enterprise Swami Samarth Electronics came up with the idea of using tea-sellers in Nashik as salesmen when it realized a regular dealer and distributor model did not work. (more)

US consumer sentiment rises in April
19 April 2015 - US consumer sentiment rose more than expected in April, a survey released on Friday showed. The University of Michigan survey's subindex on business conditions rose to 108.2 from 105.0 in March, while a read on consumer expectations rose to 88.0 from 85.3. (more)

Canada's Prime Minister Harper returns India's lost 'Parrot Lady' sculpture to PM Modi
18 April 2015 - An ancient Indian statue that turned up in Canada four years ago after it mysteriously vanished is being returned to the country of its origin. Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, with the so-called 'Parrot Lady' sculpture during an event Wednesday on Parliament Hill. The life-sized statue, believed to be some 900 years old, depicts a dancing woman with a parrot resting on her head. (more)

Denmark: It may be a small European country, but it's also seriously amazing
18 April 2015 - A BuzzFeed staff writer has posted captivating photos of Denmark saying it is 'The best and most underrated European country.' To see the photos: (more)

Manitoba, Canada sees highest growth rate in new jobs
18 April 2015 - Manitoba is the new rising star on the regional job-creation front, boasting the highest employment growth rate of any province between March of last year and last month, according to new labour force data released 10 April. Statistics Canada said the Manitoba economy churned out 19,200 new jobs over the 12-month period -- 16,200 of them full-time positions. Canada's economy posted a surprise job gain in March as more people found part-time work. Statistics Canada also noted a spike in the number of older women who found jobs in March. (more)

Meet the harmonium king of Queens, New York (+ audio and video)
18 April 2015 - Mindra Sahadeo lives Richmond Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York. The apartment he shares with his mother and sister doubles as a harmonium workshop. The instrument connects Sahadeo to his family's roots in India. His great-grandparents moved from there to Guyana, part of a wave of migrant workers at the turn of the 20th century, and they brought India's music with them. Sahadeo moved from Guyana to New York five years ago and started tuning up harmoniums at the Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras in his neighbourhood. Then demand grew and he started charging for repairs. 'Harmoniums for us are like sacred,' Sahadeo says. 't's part of us, our culture and tradition and everything.' (more)

Narendra Modi, Indian PM, delivers major speech in Toronto (with 3 CBC News videos)
16 April 2015 - Thousands chanted 'Modi, Modi, Modi' as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the stage to speak on Wednesday night in Toronto. Modi was welcomed to the Ricoh Coliseum stage by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen. The leader, who swept to power last May, thanks Canada for becoming a trade partner with India's Gujarat state, where he was chief minister at the time. He also praised the crowd, which he described as 'brothers and sisters' for their contributions to Canadian society. (more)

China to ban water-polluting paper mills, oil refineries
16 April 2015 - China will ban water-polluting paper mills, oil refineries, pesticide producers, and other industrial plants by the end of 2016, as it moves to tackle severe pollution of the country's water supply. The long-awaited plan comes as the central government steps up its 'war on pollution' after years of industrial development that have left one-third of China's major river basins and 60 percent of its underground water contaminated. (more)

Best boss in America? CEO raises firm's minimum wage to $70k after reading study on happiness
15 April 2015 - Dan Price, founder and CEO of credit card payment processing company Gravity Payments, decided to introduce a new minimum wage of $70,000 (£47,000) while reducing his own by 90 per cent. Mr Price, whose company handled $6.5billion in transactions last year, decided to raise his employees' pay after reading a study about happiness in the workplace. Research conducted by Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that what they called emotional well-being rises with income, but only to a point. And that point turns out to be about $75,000 a year. (more)

UK: FTSE rises to record as retailers advance
15 April 2015 - Britain's top share index reached a record high on Wednesday, helped by gains for domestic retailers such as Next, Dixons Carphone, and Sports Direct. The FTSE 100 closed up 21.52 points at 7,096.78 points, after rising to a new high at 7,111.72 points. (more)

US: Home builder sentiment rises to 2015 peak - NAHB
15 April 2015 - US home builder sentiment reversed a three-month slide in April and rose to its best monthly showing of 2015, the National Association of Home Builders said on Wednesday. 'This uptick shows builders are feeling optimistic that the housing market will continue to strengthen throughout 2015,' NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said in a statement. (more)

French lawmakers OK health care bill targeting anorexia
14 April 2015 - France's Parliament is cracking down on too-thin models, too much drinking, and cigarette packaging in a sweeping bill designed to improve public health and trim public health costs -- while tackling unhealthy stereotypes along the way. (more)

President Obama to remove Cuba from state sponsor of terror list
14 April 2015 - President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced Tuesday, a key step in his bid to normalize relations between the two countries. The terror designation has been a stain on Cuba's pride and a major stumbling block for efforts to mend ties between Washington and Havana. (more)

Canada claiming 'special relationship' with India's Narendra Modi
14 April 2015 - Narendra Modi is the first world leader to visit Canada since the newly elected Barack Obama six years ago to be described as a 'rock star'. His scheduled landing in Ottawa on Tuesday will also be his first visit to Canada as India's Prime Minister, and yes, the first by anyone with that title since the 1970s. (more)

Electric dreams: Montreal Mayor Coderre wants to see 1,000 electric cars on the road by 2020
14 April 2015 - Montreal hopes to radically increase the number of electric cars on city streets within the next few years, as Mayor Denis Coderre unveiled plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 30 per cent by 2020. (more)

Euro zone February industrial production much stronger than expected
14 April 2015 - Euro zone industrial production jumped much more than expected in February, data showed on Tuesday, rebounding from a brief slump in January and adding to signs that economic recovery was gathering pace. While services are the biggest contributor to euro zone economic growth, industrial production is very important too because of its large indirect impact on other sectors. (more)

Indian Prime Minister Modi arrives in Ottawa for start of landmark visit
14 April 2015 - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was met by Conservative MPs and fans from Ottawa's Indo-Canadian community Tuesday evening as he began a landmark visit that will take him to three Canadian cities. Mr. Modi's visit to Canada comes after stops in Germany and France. His trip to Canada this week marks the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister in more than 40 years. (more)

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