News in Brief

New York City, New York, USA

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, died in his Manhattan apartment on Feb. 2.According to CNN, Hoffman’s friend and playwright David Katz found Hoffman lying on the bathroom floor with a syringe in his left arm. In the aftermath of his death, investigators discovered several used syringes, prescription drugs and nearly 50 envelopes of what is likely to be heroin. Police believe that heroin overdose played a role — if not the primary role — in Hoffman’s death and are currently searching for others linked to the drugs that killed the actor.

Beijing, China

A nation of 1.35 billion, China is understandably the world’s largest consumer of cigarettes and tobacco products. “Smokers can be spotted everywhere, even in schools and hospitals,” the Huffington Post reports. Hospitals? Quite possibly. Schools? Not anymore. On Jan. 29, the Chinese government’s Ministry of Education imposed a nationwide ban on smoking in public schools.The ban is the latest step in China’s anti-smoking initiative, motivated in part by the country’s growing public health burden.

Baghdad, Iraq

The U.S. military is no longer on the front lines in Iraq. But 24 Apache attack helicopters and 500 Hellfire missiles, part of a $6 billion military equipment package, will be. Hundreds of contractors currently working for U.S. defense companies will take on the task of training the Iraqi military in the use of these weapons.The U.S. believes that the new weapons will aid Iraq in its battle against Islamic insurgents,The Wall Street Journal reports.

Lyon, France

“New cancer cases will rise from an estimated 14 million annually in 2012 to 22 million within two decades,” according to a report released on World Cancer Day by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.Headquartered in Lyon, France, the IARC is the World Health Organization’s specialized cancer agency. Its director, ChristopherWild,told CNN that in the future, a greater focus on preventive care would be essential to countering the rising incidence of cancer. As it is, the financial cost of treating cancer worldwide is an estimated $1.16 trillion annually.