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China strengthens checks after H7N9 deaths

SHANGHAI: China’s commercial hub Shanghai is stepping up monitoring after a new strain of bird flu killed two people, state media said today, as Taiwan announced it would screen travellers from the mainland. The government’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said over the weekend that two men, aged 87 and 27, died in Shanghai in early March after being infected with H7N9 avian influenza. A 35-year-old woman in the eastern province of Anhui, near Shanghai, was in critical condition after developing the sub-type which had not previously been transmitted to humans, it s...
Published On: 2013-04-02

Police at fault in Myanmar riots: HRW

BANGKOK: Human Rights Watch (HRW) today urged Myanmar to investigate the failure of police to stop a recent wave of Buddhist-Muslim killing and arson attacks. The New York-based rights watchdog released satellite images where more than 800 buildings were totally destroyed in the central town of Meiktila, leaving several charred areas where homes and properties once stood. “The government should probe responsibility for the violence in Meiktila and the failure of the police to stop wanton killings and the burning of entire neighbourhoods,” said HRW Asia director Brad Adams. Last m...
Published On: 2013-04-02

Private dailies re-emerge in Yangon‚ challenges remain

YANGON: Four private dailies hit the newsstands for the first time in almost 50 years in Myanmar today, but many others failed to appear, hamstrung by poor financing, archaic equipment and a dearth of reporters. Sixteen dailies were granted licences by authorities, but only four were published. The government-affiliated Union Daily, one of three dailies available free of charge, used financial clout to beat out competitors like D-Wave, the paper of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), for which publication preparations are still underway. “All...
Published On: 2013-04-02

Seoul vows swift response to hostile neighbour

SEOUL: South Korea will strike back if the North stages any attack on its territory, the new president warned today, as tensions ratcheted higher on the Korean peninsula amid shrill rhetoric from Pyongyang and the US deployment of radar-evading fighters. North Korea says the region is the brink of a nuclear war in the wake of United Nations sanctions imposed for its February nuclear test and a series of joint US and South Korean military drills that have included a rare US show of aerial power. North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea in resp...
Published On: 2013-04-01

Few clues about NKorea's nuke test

WASHINGTON: North Korea likely took meticulous steps to conceal any residue from its February nuclear weapon test, fuelling suspicions that it is using a new bomb design with highly enriched uranium at its core, The Washington Post reported yesterday. Citing unnamed US officials and weapons experts, the newspaper said the effects of the February 12 explosion were remarkably well contained, with few radioactive traces escaping into the atmosphere. The US government anticipated the nuclear test, North Korea’s third, and monitored it closely for clues about the composition of the bomb, th...
Published On: 2013-04-01

Rebels‚ oppn form govt in Central Africa

BANGUOI: The Central African Republic’s prime minister has named mostly rebels and opposition figures to his new post-coup government, as reports emerged of child soldiers killed in the fight for the capital. Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye — who has been allowed to keep his post by new strongman Michel Djotodia, whose rebels seized the capital a week ago — named a 34-member cabinet yesterday that includes nine ministers from the Seleka rebel coalition. The new government also includes eight ministers from the former opposition and one close to ousted president Francois B...
Published On: 2013-04-01

Attention deficit on the rise in US

WASHINGTON: Nearly one in five American teenage boys is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, marking a dramatic rise in the past decade, the New York Times reported today. The condition, for which potent stimulant drugs like Adderal or Ritalin are often prescribed, has been previously estimated to affect three to seven per cent of children. The newspaper compiled the data from raw figures provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which took a phone survey of 76,000 parents from 2011 to 2012. The report said that 15 per cent of school-age boys in the United...
Published On: 2013-04-01

Mandela improving

JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela’s condition has improved further, the South African government said as the ailing anti-apartheid icon spent his fifth day in hospital on Monday receiving treatment for a recurrence of pneumonia. Doctors “have reported a further improvement in his condition,” President Jacob Zuma’s office said in a statement late on Sunday. The 94-year-old is continuing to receive treatment after doctors drained excess fluid that had built up on the lining of his lungs due to a lung infection. The procedure, described as the tapping of a pleural effusion, has...
Published On: 2013-04-01

11 killed in flash floods in Mauritius capital

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius: Officials say flash floods blamed on climate change killed at least 11 people in the capital of the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Officials said most drowned in rivers of water that rose swiftly Saturday in a pedestrian underpass and an underground car park. Torrential downpours slammed Port Louis. The meteorological office reported 152mm (6 inches) of rain fell in less than an hour. It warned there could be more storms. Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam declared Monday a day of mourning. On national radio Sunday he blamed climate change for the floods. He sa...
Published On: 2013-04-01

12 killed‚ 14 injured in road accident in Mexico

MEXICO CITY: At least 12 people died and 14 more were injured when a bus fell into a 100-meter deep ravine in Mexico's eastern state of Veracruz Saturday night, local authorities said Sunday in a statement. The government of Veracruz, a state located in Mexico's eastern coast, confirmed that so far 12 people have died and 14 more are injured. The cause of the accident is still under investigation. According to the statement, four women and eight men were killed. The bus had some 30 passengers when the accident occurred.The injured were taken to local hospitals in Jalapa. Authorities said amo...
Published On: 2013-04-01