Reuters Select: Are these drugs too cheap?

April 1, 2016

Reuters photo of the day: These socks run Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s colorful socks are seen during a question and answer session after his speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Are these drugs too cheap?

It’s a provocative question for anyone who has complained about the high cost of health care. It’s also one that the World Health Organization thinks is worth asking. Shortages of some essential drugs happen because few suppliers have a business case to make for manufacturing them. The WHO suggests that minimum prices could change the scenario. Reuters’ Ben Hirschler examines the implications.

Exclusive: Egypt can’t spy on Free Basics, so out it goes

Egypt blocked Facebook’s Free Basics Internet service last year after the company refused to let the government use it to spy on customers, sources told Reuters.

Cow bells in the DMZ: A Swiss-Swedish co-production

Reuters’ James Pearson visits the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, set up after the Korean War to uphold the armistice between the two countries. It used to house 200 people at the border, but now is staffed by 10 Swedish and Swiss officers. North Korea doesn’t recognize the group, so every time the team leaves minutes of its meetings in a wooden mailbox for the north to look at, they go unread. “Since 1995, they’ve never emptied that pigeon hole,” said one Swiss officer. The NNSC does those honors every few months to keep the mailbox from overflowing.

Belarus upgrades its software

In a country better known for its Soviet-era collectivized farming and run by President Alexander Lukashenko, seen by some as “Europe’s last dictator”, the software industry is thriving thanks to highly-educated and low-cost engineers. Belarus hopes that the technology industry will help overhaul its economy, attract more foreign workers and expat Belarusians.

Zika digs in on Puerto Rico

The United States faces its first real challenge with the Zika virus on the island territory of Puerto Rico, a part of the nation that is perhaps least prepared to cope with what is expected to be its worst outbreak. Reuter’s Julie Steenhuysen reports from San Juan.

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