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Wide Range of Global Challenges, G-7 Ministers Hope to Seal Commitments

Italy has also irked EU and U.S. allies by becoming the first G-7 member to sign up to a contentious Chinese plan to build a Silk Road-style global trade network, the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

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G-7 Countries
Participants of a G-7 ministerial meeting walk to have a group photo taken on the second day of their talks, in Dinard, France, April 6, 2019. VOA

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven advanced economies were wrapping up a two-day meeting in the French seaside resort of Dinard on Saturday where they hope to seal joint commitments on a range of global challenges and lay the groundwork for August’s G-7 summit in Biarritz.

Diplomats from G-7 countries, which include the U.S., France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy and the U.K., walked side-by-side against the rocky Atlantic coast backdrop and in the fresh Brittany air to project a united front before a working lunch. They hope to agree on a joint statement on the fight against trafficking drugs, arms and migrants in Africa’s troubled Sahel region, fighting cybercrime and stopping sexual violence against women in conflict zones, especially in Africa.

U.S.
Washington seems to be at odds with Italy over its stance on the crisis-hit South American country, being the sole G-7 member state to not back Guaido. VOA

But U.S. officials said that points of discord will also be discussed at the talks led by the host, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan said that Washington will use the G-7 forum to galvanize support for Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaido, who the U.S. has backed to lead the country into a “democratic transformation from the failed regime” of President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido has embarked on an international campaign to topple the socialist administration of Venezuela’s president amid deepening unrest in the country, which has been plagued by nearly a month of power outages.

Washington seems to be at odds with Italy over its stance on the crisis-hit South American country, being the sole G-7 member state to not back Guaido.

crime
They hope to agree on a joint statement on the fight against trafficking drugs, arms and migrants in Africa’s troubled Sahel region, fighting cybercrime and stopping sexual violence against women in conflict zones, especially in Africa. Pixabay

The U.S. and Canada have pursued a pro-active stance on widening support for Guaido, according to French officials. But there has already been widespread alarm after Guaido was stripped of immunity by Maduro loyalists earlier this week.

“With Juan Guaido being stripped of his immunity … we don’t want the situation to escalate,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in Dinard on Saturday.

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“We are still of the opinion that free elections should take place during which Venezuelans can decide themselves who will lead the country,” he added.

Italy has also irked EU and U.S. allies by becoming the first G-7 member to sign up to a contentious Chinese plan to build a Silk Road-style global trade network, the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative. (VOA)

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Donepezil, A Drug Used For Alzheimer Disease, Doubles Hospitalisation Risk

Researchers have found that a drug, donepezil commonly used to manage symptoms of Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia, is associated with a two-fold higher risk of hospitalisation

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Drugs, Alzheimer, Dementia, Hospitalisation, Risk
Dementia is a growing problem, with almost 10 million newly diagnosed cases every year around the world. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a drug, donepezil commonly used to manage symptoms of Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia, is associated with a two-fold higher risk of hospitalisation.

According to the study published in the journal Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), using donepezil increases the risk of hospital admission for rhabdomyolysis, a painful condition of muscle breakdown, compared with several other cholinesterase inhibitors.

Dementia is a growing problem, with almost 10 million newly diagnosed cases every year around the world, said the researchers.

Drugs, Alzheimer, Dementia, Hospitalisation, Risk
Dr. William Burke goes over a PET brain scan, Aug. 14, 2018 at Banner Alzheimers Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. VOA

“The findings of this population-based cohort study support regulatory agency warnings about the risk of donepezil-induced rhabdomyolysis,” said study researcher Jamie Fleet from McMaster University in Canada.

The study, led by researchers at Western University, looked at ICES data from 2002 to 2017 on 2,20,353 patients aged 66 years or older in Ontario, Canada, with a new prescription for donepezil, rivastigmine or galantamine, three cholinesterase inhibitors used to manage dementia and Alzheimer disease.

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The researchers found that donepezil was associated with a two-fold higher risk of hospitalisation for rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition that can result in kidney disease.

According to the findings, the relative risk was small but statistically significant. (IANS)