The company's 7,600 pharmacies will remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from their shelves by Oct. 1. The decision should "help people on their path to better health," says CVS CEO Larry Merlo.
Usually when we talk about technology in war, we're talking about technology designed, essentially, to destroy life. But today we're focusing a new technology designed to protect it.
John Steinbaugh is a former special forces medic for the U.S. army. Now he works at a startup in Oregon called RevMedx . It's made up of scientists and veterans trying to solve an evolving set of problems on the battlefield.
"The battlefield is fluid," Steinbaugh says, "Every rotation you go there it's like a new war. So medics are constantly coming back, updating other medics on what has changed on the battlefield, and one of the standard compaints was wound packing."
Specifically, wound packing to try and stop bleeding after someone has been hit with a bullet. Or shrapnel. These kinds of wounds are deep and narrow. So Steinbaugh and others designed a new piece of tech to help. The XSTAT looks kind of like a syringe filled with little Sweet Tart candies. But they're not candies.
"Picture a sponge that you would buy at the store that, when you run it under water, it grows about 15 times its size," says Steinbaugh, "This idea came from taking the same compressed sponge technology and punching them into a bunch of pellets. Throw them all into one syringe, and when they make contact with fluid or blood, they all expand at the same time, creating a tremendous amount of pressure."
That pressure seals wounds in 15 seconds. And the inventors say it's enough to keep someone alive until they reach a hospital. The XSTAT is also designed to be light and be attached easily to body armor. RevMedx has recieved a $5 million grant from the U.S. Army to develop a finished prototype, and they won a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a version to be used to stop postpartum bleeding.
Spanish government figures out this week show that about 113-thousand Spaniards lost their jobs in January. Spain’s unemployment rate of 26 percent is higher than that of any European Union country except Greece. But the government says the economy is improving and the jobs picture will improve this year. The BBC’s Tom Burridge reports from Madrid that one advantage the country enjoys is a skilled and affordable workforce.
Antonio Molina is the CEO of a company called Advanced Medical Projects which tries to cure some of the rare and fatal genetic diseases that affect children. He set it up in 2009 at the height of Spain’s economic crisis. Back then, it wasn’t easy to get funding for a start-up and he had to apply to 69 banks before he got the necessary funds. Molina believes things are getting better and investor confidence is returning. He just secured 21 million Euros – about 28 million dollars – from a French-Swiss venture capital firm. Molina says start-ups based in Spain have an advantage because the scientists are highly-trained and they cost less than in the US or Germany where competition is greater.
Tech company boss Juan Cartagena agrees. He says the current difficult jobs market means that talent is available at a discount rate and there’s not as much competing demand as there would be in countries like the US, where the tech sector is much bigger than Spain’s. Cartagena says many bright people want to work for his firm Traity – a website that collates and analyzes social media activity - because it’s a challenge.
The Spanish government, meanwhile, has challenges of its own. It must make Spain more competitive and cement the economic recovery it says is in place. Professor Xavier Vives, a prominent Spanish economist from the SA Business School, says more investment is needed in innovation, in research and development and in education. He believes Spain can only be successful once it embraces radical structural reforms.
But European elections are taking place in May and few believe there will be reforms before then – or any significant improvement in Spain’s depressing jobs situation.
In the US, there's a persistent criticism is that no high-level Wall Street executives went to jail for their role in the 2008 financial collapse. That may not, in the end, be the case in Ireland.
The former chairman and CEO of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean FitzPatrick, and two deputies go on trial today in Dublin for allegedly trying to pump up the bank's share price. The trial is described as one of the most complex in Ireland's history. There's intense public interest because the Irish government's fateful decision to bail out banks like Anglo Irish five years ago essentially bankrupted the country.
The BBC's Diamaid Fleming joined us from Dublin to give some perspective. Click play above to hear the interview.