Bird flu outbreak

LONDON: British authorities on Monday confirmed an outbreak at a farm of a strain of avian flu that is both highly contagious and potentially deadly for birds, but said risk to people was very low. ‘A case of H7N7 avian flu has now been confirmed in Lancashire’ in northwest England, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said. The strain involved is highly pathogenic and can infect people, but the government’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens, said there was little risk of that happening.

Windows 10 launch

NEW YORK: Microsoft will launch Windows 10 on July 29. The upgraded operating system will allow users to switch seamlessly between personal computers, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets. Windows 10 is intended to give apps a similar feel on all devices and comes with a new web browser integrated with Cortana, the firm’s voice-activated answer to Apple’s Siri. Microsoft Corp said Monday that Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for a limited time for anyone whose devices use Windows 8/8.1 or 7.

Thai rice exports

BANGKOK: Thailand’s rice export association lowered its annual target from 10 million to 9.5 million tonnes on Monday, due to a slowdown in global economy and fears that drought in Thailand could slash output for the year. Chukiat Opaswong, honorary president of Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Thailand would face a tougher export market due to a global slowdown in trade and fluctuating exchange rates. He added that concerns over drought on Thailand’s rice production have boosted export prices and could drive buyers to Thailand’s competitors. The monsoon season is under way, but Thailand is contending with drought conditions in six out of 67 provinces, and water rationing is taking place in almost a third of the country.

GM to recall cars

NEW DELHI: General Motors Co will recall 155,000 vehicles in India, its largest such exercise to date in the country, in order to fix wiring problems linked to a remote keyless entry accessory. The recall, also one of India’s biggest, follows a move in 2013 to recall 114,000 Tavera sports utility vehicles. That recall aimed to address issues relating to emission standards and other regulatory specifications. GM India said on Monday that it would recall Chevrolet Spark and Beat hatchbacks and Enjoy multi-purpose vehicles manufactured between 2007 and 2014 that are fitted with the accessory, a gadget which allows owners to open cars without a traditional, mechanical key.