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Medical card wait to be cut

The waiting time for medical card applications is being slashed from 16 weeks to 15 days, Health Minister Mary Harney said today.

GPs have complained about some patients waiting several months to renew or receive a medical card since the system was centralised in January.

But Ms Harney insisted changes were speeding up the application process.

Oireachtas Health Committee chairman Sean O'Fearghail welcomed the improvements but said the situation would be monitored to make sure the changes were maintained.



'Dingo' mother seeks cert edit

The mother wrongly convicted of murdering her infant after the baby infamously disappeared in the Australian Outback 30 years ago pleaded today for her daughter's death certificate to state that a dingo was responsible.

On the anniversary of the incident, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton said: "Our family will always remember today as the day truth was dragged in the dirt and trampled upon."



Alaskans had 20 on 'hit list'

A rural Alaska couple accused of domestic terrorism compiled a hit list of 20 targets, including members of the military and media, and had moved to the operational phase of their plan, according to documents filed to the US federal court yesterday.

Paul and Nadia Rockwood have pleaded guilty to lying about the list and making false statements to the FBI in May.

Under a plea agreement, Paul Rockwood will serve eight years in prison and three years' probation while his pregnant wife will serve probation.



Meditation can 'rewire' brain

Meditation can help a person find peace by rewiring the brain, research in the US has shown.

Just 11 hours learning a new meditation technique called integrative body-mind training (IBMT) produced dramatic changes in the brains of volunteers.

Previous work by the same team has shown that meditation reduces levels of anxiety, depression, anger and fatigue. This new study involved 45 students at the University of Oregon.