World Ebola fears grow with Europe and Asia on alert
31 Jul 2014 | 1:18 am
Fears that the west African Ebola outbreak could spread to other continents grew with European and Asian countries on alert and a leading medical charity warning the epidemic was out of control. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the crisis gripping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would only get worse and warned there was no overarching strategy to handle the world's worst outbreak of the disease. US Christian charity Samaritan's Purse was temporarily withdrawing its non-essential staff from Liberia, it said, citing regional "instability and ongoing security issues". Hong Kong announced quarantine measures for suspected cases, although one woman arriving from Africa with possible symptoms tested negative, while the EU said it was ready to deal with the threat.
Drug-resistant malaria spreading fast in SE Asia
30 Jul 2014 | 5:22 pm
Drug-resistant malaria parasites are now firmly established in border regions in four Southeast Asian countries, imperilling global efforts to control the disease, experts warned on Wednesday. Blood samples taken from 1,241 malaria patients found that parasites which are resistant to the frontline drug artemisinin have spread to border areas in western and northern Cambodia, eastern Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, they said. There also signs of emerging resistance in central Myanmar, southern Laos and northeastern Cambodia, but none in three African states -- Kenya, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) -- that were included in the sampling. "It may still be possible to prevent the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites across Asia and then to Africa by eliminating them, but that window of opportunity is closing fast," said Nicholas White, a professor of tropical medicine at Oxford University, England.
Dubai, European airlines divert flights over Iraq
30 Jul 2014 | 12:41 pm
BAGHDAD (AP) — European airlines and a Dubai-based carrier are rerouting flights over Iraqi airspace as a security precaution amid fears that militants with the Islamic State group have weapons capable of shooting down planes, despite Iraq saying its skies are safe.
Qatar World Cup workers 'on 45p ($0.76) an hour'
30 Jul 2014 | 11:29 am
Workers constructing a stadium for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are being paid as little as 45p ($0.76, 0.57 euros) an hour, British newspaper The Guardian reported on Wednesday. Stadium workers also told The Guardian that their passports were being held by their manager, in an apparent contravention of the organisers' own welfare charter. A spokesperson for the Qatar World Cup's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy told The Guardian: "There are challenges with calculation of overtime pay and hours, and we are working with the contractor to rectify any non-compliance."
U.N. battles for more people-trafficking convictions
30 Jul 2014 | 11:11 am
Global efforts to stop the multi-billion-dollar business of trafficking in people are being hampered by perceptions that it is a soft crime unlikely to be punished, the head of the U.N. drugs and crime office told Reuters. Of the 159 countries who have ratified a 2000 U.N. protocol to prevent and combat such trafficking, 15 percent did not record a single conviction between 2010 and 2012, compared with 16 percent of countries between 2007 and 2010, he said. "That, of course, could not be considered as a success," said Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. "People should understand that people-trafficking is a serious crime." Another 25 percent of countries recorded 10 or fewer convictions in 2010-12, making conviction rates for trafficking as rare as those for homicides in Iceland or kidnappings in Norway, the United Nations says.
Iraqi Kurdish pipeline stopped; tanker in limbo off Texas
30 Jul 2014 | 10:21 am
By Humeyra Pamuk and David Sheppard ISTANBUL/LONDON (Reuters) - Iraqi Kurdistan's attempts to export oil independently of Baghdad hit another obstacle on Wednesday, as a Turkish energy official and industry sources said the autonomous region's pipeline to the Mediterranean has been shut for the past week. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has not launched any oil tankers from the Turkish port of Ceyhan in over a month as Baghdad has moved to block the vessels from unloading at foreign ports. The latest set-back comes as Iraqi Kurdistan's increasingly bitter legal and diplomatic struggle with Baghdad over oil sales threatens to spill over into the United States.
Thai junta sets plan for fast rail links to China
30 Jul 2014 | 9:28 am
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's military government approved a massive budget to upgrade the country's railways including high-speed rail that would eventually link with China as part of an eight-year plan to improve infrastructure, officials said Wednesday.
Europe shares drift ahead of US data; Asia gains
30 Jul 2014 | 7:32 am
Filipino hostages' release sparks hope for talks
30 Jul 2014 | 7:11 am
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The release of four police officers abducted by Filipino communist guerrillas has sparked hopes that stalled peace talks will resume, a government official said Wednesday, although major obstacle remains.
South Korea says North Korea fires 4 projectiles
30 Jul 2014 | 6:41 am
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