While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 21 edition

'Concerned' Kerry joins troubled Iran nuclear talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Vienna on Thursday to join troubled nuclear talks four days before a deadline, with Russia warning that getting a deal will be "very difficult".

Speaking in Paris earlier, Kerry said that together with British counterpart Philip Hammond - who Wednesday said he was "not optimistic" - he was "concerned about the gaps".

Hammond had also suggested that the best hope was making enough progress to extend the deadline for a second time after an earlier cut-off point of July 20 was missed. But Kerry, due to meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Thursday evening, said the parties "are not discussing an extension. We are negotiating to have an agreement."

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Nearly 30 per cent of world's population is overweight: Study

More than 2.1 billion people globally, or nearly 30 per cent of the world's population, are now overweight or obese, with the figure set to rise further by 2030, according to a study published Thursday.

Obesity is now blamed for around 5 per cent of all deaths worldwide and has a similar negative effect on the global economy to smoking and armed conflict, according to the report by consultants McKinsey Global Institute.

The study predicted that almost half of the world's adult population will be overweight or obese by 2030.

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Takata defends actions over faulty airbags

A senior Takata executive defended the embattled Japanese auto parts firm's actions Thursday before a US Senate panel investigating an airbag fault tied to several deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata's senior vice-president for global quality assurance, said his company took responsibility for three US deaths related to what he labelled "anomalies" in its airbags.

But he did not expand that acceptance of responsibility to a broader series of airbags installed for a decade in millions of cars from 10 major manufacturers.

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Ebola becomes latest stock scam, says US regulator

US regulators on Thursday suspended trading in four small over-the-counter stocks of companies that they said have been touting the development of products to prevent or treat the Ebola virus, and warned investors to beware of similar scams.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it had suspended trading in the shares of New York-based Bravo Enterprises, California-based Immunotech Laboratories, Canada-based Myriad Interactive Media and Wholehealth Products, which is also located in California.

The SEC also issued a warning that "con artists" may be soliciting investors and claiming to be developing treatments or medicine to prevent the deadly virus.

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Former senator Jim Webb first to announce US presidential bid

The dust has barely settled on midterm elections, but former senator Jim Webb has become the first candidate in America's upcoming presidential race - and an early potential challenger to fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"I have decided to launch an exploratory committee to examine whether I should run for president in 2016," Webb said in a YouTube video posted late Wednesday.

Creating such a panel permits a person to start legally raising funds, and traditionally signals the first official step in a presidential campaign process.

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