Lebanon’s Nasrallah says he’s against government resignation

Lebanon’s influential Hezbollah leader says he doesn’t support the government’s resignation amid nationwide protests calling for politicians to step down over a deepening economic crisis.

Hassan Nasrallah said Saturday that calls for the current national unity government to resign are “a waste of time” since the same political groups will haggle over forming a new one.

Largescale protests that have targeted the country’s entire political class have brought Lebanon to a standstill since Thursday.

Nasrallah warned the protesters against being pulled into political rivalries, saying that would derail their message. He said politicians who shirk responsibility, by quitting the Cabinet while the economy crumbles, should be brought to trial.

Lebanon’s prime minister gave his partners in government a 72-hour ultimatum to come up with convincing solutions amid the pressures.

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Hong Kong protests: bring back app or risk ‘complicity’ in repression, Apple told | World news

A bipartisan group of seven prominent US lawmakers has urged Apple chief executive Tim Cook to restore the HKMap app used in Hong Kong.

Earlier this month, Apple removed the app that helped track police and protester movements, saying it was used to target officers.

The lawmakers included Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Wyden and Marco Rubio and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The group separately wrote to Activision Blizzard’s chief executive Robert Kotick, calling on him to reverse the company’s decision to ban a player who voiced support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Activision Blizzard did not immediately comment on Friday.

“You have said publicly that you want to work with China’s leaders to effect change rather than sit on the sidelines and yell at them. We, too, believe that diplomacy and trade can be democratising forces. But when a repressive government refuses to evolve or, indeed, when it doubles down, cooperation can become complicity,” the members wrote to Cook.

Apple declined to comment on that latest appeal but said on 9 October that it had begun an immediate investigation after “many concerned customers in Hong Kong” contacted it about the app and the company found it had endangered law enforcement and residents.

It said the HKMap app “has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimise residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement”.

Critics said Apple acted after pressure from Beijing in a commentary in the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper.

The lawmakers said Apple has censored at least 2,200 apps in China, citing the nonprofit group GreatFire.

Apple’s action came amid a furore surrounding the US National Basketball Association after a team official tweeted in support of the Hong Kong protests, which led Chinese sponsors and partners to cut ties with the NBA.

Last week, Blizzard reduced the punishment dealt out to Chung Ng Wai, a Hong Kong-based Hearthstone esports gamer, for his public support of pro-democracy protests after its decision sparked controversy among players and the public.

Blizzard Entertainment, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, said initially that it would suspend the player from competition for a year and strip him of prize money.

The pressure by lawmakers came as Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters donned cartoon character masks as they formed human chains across the city on Friday night, in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public assemblies.

The peaceful event comes preceded a mass rally organisers are planning Sunday to press their demands. Police refused to authorise the march, citing risks to public safety and order, but protesters have previously ignored such rejections.

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What’s Modern Love? – The New York Times

For 15 years, Modern Love has brought personal essays about love, loss and redemption to readers of The New York Times. Four years ago, it became a podcast. And now the column has inspired an eight-episode series on Amazon Prime Video.

You can read the original essays that the episodes are based on here:

  • “When the Doorman Is Your Main Man” by Julie Margaret Hogben. For a single woman in New York and the man who stands watch in her building, their special bond proves lasting. Especially when she learns she’s pregnant.

  • “When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist” by Deborah Copaken. Thirty years ago, she thought her boyfriend had stood her up. The story was much more complicated. Now she can urge the subject of an interview to win back his lost love before it’s too late.

  • “Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am” by Terri Cheney. A woman goes public with her bipolar disorder, and assesses how it has shaped her love life.

  • “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive” by Ann Leary. Deciding to get divorced can be the key to staying married.

  • “At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity” by Brian Gittis. For six hours in the emergency room, of all places, he felt like his true self and could enjoy the date that landed him there.

  • “So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right?” by Abby Sher. A young woman works through feelings about her late father by spending time with an older man.

  • “The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap” by Eve Pell. With few outside pressures, an older couple has nothing to do but love each other, be happy and go running.

(They are also available, along with dozens of others, in our recently published Modern Love anthology.)

Once you’ve read the essays and watched the episodes, you may ask yourself: What’s happened since? Where is the author now? How is the author now?

So I interviewed four of the people whose essays inspired episodes, seeking answers. You can read those interviews here:

  • Deborah Copaken, author of “When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist,” on what happened with the one who got away. (Her episode stars Catherine Keener and Dev Patel.)

  • Terri Cheney, author of “Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am,” on what’s happened since she went public with her bipolar disorder and how she’s doing today. (She is played by Anne Hathaway.)

  • Ann Leary, author of “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” on her near-divorce from actor Denis Leary. (Tina Fey and John Slattery play the couple — and well.)

  • Julie Margaret Hogben, author of “When the Doorman Is Your Main Man,” on how she, her daughter and Guzim are doing today. (This episode stars Cristin Milioti.)

Then, if you’d like to check out a sampler of Modern Love columns without having to plunge blindly into our 750-column archive, I pulled together, in no particular order, a collection of 25 of the most read, most shared and most memorable Modern Love essays.

Some more things a Modern Love fan may want to do:

  • Sign up for Love Letter, our weekly newsletter with the latest Modern Love essays, Tiny Love Stories, podcast episodes and other relationship stories and news.

  • Listen to the Modern Love Podcast on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play Music.

  • Read all our Modern Love essays and Tiny Love Stories here.

  • Check out the updated anthology “Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption.”

  • Come to an upcoming event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 23; in San Francisco on Thursday, Oct. 24; or in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Oct. 27. We’ll update this page with more event information as they are scheduled.

  • Follow Modern Love on Facebook — or keep up with me and the Modern Love projects assistant, Miya Lee, on Twitter.

Thanks for reading, listening and watching. We hope you enjoy.

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J&J recalls baby powder after trace asbestos found in bottle

Johnson & Johnson on Friday recalled a single batch of its baby powder as a precaution after government testing found trace amounts of asbestos in one bottle bought online.

The recalled lot consists of 33,000 bottles which were distributed last year.

J&J said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found minuscule amounts of asbestos in one bottle during routine testing and notified the company on Thursday. J&J said it immediately began investigating with the FDA.

“The FDA’s testing on prior occasions, and as recently as last month, found no asbestos,” said spokesman Ernie Knewitz.

J&J said it was checking where the bottles were shipped, if the tested bottle is counterfeit or authentic and whether the sample might have been contaminated during testing.

The recall comes as J&J fights thousands of lawsuits in which plaintiffs claim its iconic baby talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos and that it caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked to inhaling asbestos fibers.

At multiple trials, J&J’s expert witnesses have testified asbestos hasn’t been detected in the talc in its baby powder in thousands of tests over the last 40 years. Several juries have reached multimillion-dollar verdicts against the company, nearly all of which are being appealed or have been overturned on appeal.

Talc, the softest of minerals, is mined from deposits around the world, which can be contaminated with asbestos. J&J says the company and its talc suppliers routinely test their talc to ensure there’s no asbestos. The talc is then crushed into a white powder and purified for use in personal care products to absorb moisture.

The recalled lot of 22-ounce bottles is #22318RB. Consumers who have a bottle from that lot should stop using it; refunds are available through the company’s website .

The company’s shares dropped 5% to $129.33 at midday Friday, following the recall news and, just a day earlier, the announcement of a $117 million settlement with 41 states over allegations the company deceptively marketed its pelvic mesh products by concealing risks.

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Follow Linda A. Johnson at https://twitter.com/LindaJ—onPharma

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Johnson & Johnson Is Recalling Baby Powder Bottles After One Tested Positive For Asbestos

Johnson & Johnson announced a recall of some 33,000 bottles of its Johnson’s Baby Powder on Friday, after FDA tests detected asbestos in a single bottle of the product bought online.

People who own a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder from Lot #22318RB should stop using it, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI) said in a release announcing the recall and refunds.

“The FDA stands by the quality of its testing and results and is not aware of any adverse events relating to exposure to the lot of affected products,” agency spokesperson Gloria Sánchez-Contreras said in a statement emailed to BuzzFeed News.

The company is facing lawsuits from thousands of women, many of whom have claimed that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum products contributed to their cancers. In one historic decision last year, a jury awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women and their families. The women had claimed that their ovarian cancer was linked to asbestos contamination in the company’s powder and talc products.

Soft, powdered talc absorbs moisture and is used in a range of cosmetics, from eye shadow to baby powder. Talc can be contaminated with asbestos because deposits of both of the naturally occurring minerals can occur close to each other underground.

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer considers all forms of asbestos carcinogenic to humans and has said the mineral causes cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries, as well as mesotheliomas, which are cancers that develop in the inner lining of tissue surrounding some organs. Because of this risk, the FDA recommends frequent testing of talc products, as well as inspecting talc mining sites to avoid contamination.

Johnson & Johnson has argued that they take thorough steps to screen for talc that’s tainted with asbestos. “JJCI has a rigorous testing standard in place to ensure its cosmetic talc is safe and years of testing, including the FDA’s own testing on prior occasions–and as recently as last month–found no asbestos,” the company said in its Friday release.

But the New York Times reported last year that Johnson & Johnson executives had for years discussed possible asbestos contamination in its powder and talc products in internal company memos. Company chiefs were worried that the Johnson’s Baby Powder brand would be tarnished, and were concerned about a government ban on talc, the report said. Over decades spanning the 1970s to 2000s, the company’s raw talc and products sometimes tested positive for asbestos, Reuters reported in December, citing company documents produced in litigation.

The link between asbestos-free talc and ovarian cancer is less clear, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Findings from many studies in women have been mixed, “with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and some reporting no increase,” the ACS states.

Johnson & Johnson in the past has denied that its products contain asbestos and dismissed the claims of a cancer link as “junk science.”

“JJCI has immediately initiated a rigorous, thorough investigation into this matter, and is working with the FDA to determine the integrity of the tested sample, and the validity of the test results,” the company said Friday.

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