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Doctors 'need to reconsider' paracetamol for back pain

Doctors "need to reconsider" the "universal recommendation" of paracetamol when treating patients with lower back pain, a science chief has said.

Dr Christopher Williams, of the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney, who led research into the effectiveness of paracetamol in the treatment of back pain said:

Simple analgesics such as paracetamol might not be of primary importance in the management of acute lower back pain.

The results suggest we need to reconsider the universal recommendation to provide paracetamol as a first-line treatment for low-back pain, although understanding why paracetamol works for other pain states but not low-back pain would help direct future treatments.

– Dr Christopher Williams

Death row inmate takes 2 hrs to die by lethal injection

A death row inmate "gasped and snorted" as he took two hours to die by lethal injection in the latest "botched" execution in America, Reuters reported.

Joseph Wood had sued the state demanding more information about the drugs that would be used to kill him.
Joseph Wood had sued the state demanding more information about the drugs that would be used to kill him. Credit: Reuters

Double killer Wood, 55, was given a lethal injection of drugs at 1.52pm local time but was not pronounced dead until 3.49pm, the Arizona attorney general's office said.

Prior to his execution Wood was one of six death row inmates who sued Arizona arguing secrecy surrounding the drugs used in other botched executions in Ohio and Oklahoma violated their human rights.

His death raises questions about the use of the death penalty in the US.

Read more: Texas inmates reveal what life is like on 'suffocating' death row

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Paracetamol 'no better than placebo' for back pain

Paracetamol is no faster at relieving back pain than a placebo, a study has found.

Read: Painkillers can cause headaches

Paracetamol
Patients who took part in the study also received "advice and reassurance" and follow-up assistance for three months. Credit: PA

Researchers in Australia found patients who were given over the counter paracetamol to treat back pain responded as quickly as those given a useless substitute.

The study, published in the Lancet, analysed 1,652 people with acute low-back pain at 235 care centres in Sydney, Australia.

They randomly received one of three treatments, up to four weeks of paracetamol in regular doses, paracetamol as they needed it or a placebo.

Scientists urged doctors to look at whether paracetamol should be the first port of call for back pain sufferers.

Read: Curved spine treatment uses remote-controlled rods

Cockpit recorder from MH17 is 'in good condition'

The cockpit voice recorder recovered from flight MH17 is in good condition, the UN civil aviation body said.

The Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is helping Ukrainian authorities probe the disaster, said in a statement the plane's digital flight data recorder was still being examined.

ICAO added it was consulting the airline industry and regional aviation bodies about how to assess the risks posed to airspace by armed conflict.

A minute's silence is held for MH17 victims at Games

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond asked the crowd to observe a minute's silence as the Commonwealth games opened as a mark of respect to the victims of the MH17 disaster.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond speaking at the opening of the Commonwealth Games.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond speaking at the opening of the Commonwealth Games. Credit: Reuters

Mr Salmond said: "In last week's disaster almost one third of the 298 victims were citizens of the Commonwealth, 193 came from our European neighbours in The Netherlands.

"Please rise now, please stand, as we observe a moment's silence to express our condolences and above all our solidarity with the loved ones of all of those of every nationality who lost their lives."

He then thanked the crowd for their show of respect.

All 298 people on board the Malaysian Airlines flight died when it was allegedly shot down over Ukraine last week.

Queen officially opens the 2014 Commonwealth Games

The Queen arriving at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
The Queen arriving at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

The Queen has revealed what the secret message says she put in the Games' baton, as she officially opened the Commonwealth Games.

The baton has travelled more than 100,000 miles around the world visiting 71 nations before arriving back in Glasgow.

Reading it out as she formally declared the Games open, she said: "The baton relay represents a calling together of people from every part of the Commonwealth and serves as a reminder of our shared ideals and ambitions as a diverse, resourceful and cohesive family."

Wishing her best wishes to the competing athletes, the Queen added: "Your accomplishments over the coming days will encourage us all to strengthen the bonds that unite us.

"You remind us that young people, those under 25 years of age, make up half of our Commonwealth citizens; and it is to you that we entrust our values and our future.

"It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 20th Commonwealth Games open."

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Huge cheers as Team Scotland enters Celtic Park

ITV News' Scotland correspondent Debi Edward reports from Glasgow during the opening ceremony:

Commonwealth Games in Scotland starts with a bang

Fireworks erupt over the Celtic Park in Glasgow as the Commonwealth Games get underway.
Fireworks erupt over the Celtic Park in Glasgow as the Commonwealth Games get underway. Credit: PA

The 2014 Commonwealth Games got underway with a bang as fireworks erupted over Celtic Park in Glasgow.

The view as the Games is officially opened.
The view as the Games is officially opened. Credit: Reuters

The sky turned red as the Games was officially opened just after 11.20pm yesterday.

More fireworks turn the sky red at the Games is officially opened.
More fireworks turn the sky red at the Games is officially opened. Credit: PA

Celebrating all things Scottish Shipbuilding, Tunnock's teacakes and the Loch Ness monster featured in the opening ceremony.

But the biggest cheer was for the Queen, who officially opened the Games.

The Queen officially declares the Games open.
The Queen officially declares the Games open. Credit: PA

ITV News' Sports Editor Steve Scott reports:

More: Commonwealth Games opening ceremony underway in Glasgow

Israeli shelling continues as further flights are cancelled

Clashes between Israel and Hamas continued in Gaza today, as international airlines cancelled more flights to Tel Aviv.

International airlines cancelled 80 flights, despite Israeli assurances that the Ben Gurion airport was safe.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the hope of brokering a ceasefire.

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports:

Read: The toddler who will have to bear the scars of the Middle East conflict

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