AIDS patients lack drugs
Thousands of HIV-AIDS patients in military-ruled Myanmar lack access to anti-retroviral drugs because of a funding shortage, a UN representative was quoted as saying yesterday. Myanmar's health department can provide the drugs to only about 500 of the 25,000 victims infected with the AIDS virus who need them, the Flower News journal reported. The monthly cost of the drugs was 30,000 kyats (US$30) per patient.
Tigers to be `collared'
Authorities in India's biggest tiger reserve plan to put satellite-linked radio collars on big cats as part of new conservation methods to save the endangered animal, a forest official said yesterday. The new monitoring moves in the mangrove marshlands of the Sunderbans in the eastern state of West Bengal come amid growing alarm over the country's rapidly dwindling tiger population because of rampant poaching. The radio collars bought from the US will be fixed on four Bengal tigers in the nearly 10,000km2 forest.
Bus crashes kill seven
Seven people were killed and 39 others injured when two buses fell into ravines in separate accidents in the Philippines, police said yesterday. Five died when a passenger bus plunged into a cliff in Cabadbaran town, Agusan del Norte province, 810km south of Manila, late on Monday. Police said the ill-fated bus was negotiating a bend on the highway when the driver lost control of the vehicle, ramming it into the railings and then falling. Twenty-one other passengers were injured. In Batangas province, two students were killed when their school bus plunged into a ravine in Bauan town on Monday.
Rain dance in the buff
More than 100 women danced naked in a remote mountainous village in Nepal hoping that the gods would be pleased and give them rain, a news report said yesterday. The women gathered at a local school, smeared their faces with black powder and danced naked last week at Darbang village, about 280km west of the capital, Kathmandu. "People in this area believe the [Hindu god] Mahadev will be happy and provide rain once women perform such a nude dance," the Kathmandu Post quoted a local teacher as saying.
`Rape Club' closed down
A Web site which unwittingly hosted a chat group calling itself the "Rape Club" and in which members boasted of their crimes was yesterday working with police to find the culprits, it said. The "ninemsn" Web site shut down the group within an hour after being informed of its existence by a Sydney newspaper, it said. The Daily Telegraph said that the discussion group had 67 members and had been operating since February last year. The paper said one post, which was sent last month, read: "Anyone want to see some real pics of a girl that I've raped, just let me know cause I got some good ones."
Given away by flipping fish
A woman was found to be carrying 51 live tropical fish after customs officials were alerted by "flipping" noises coming from beneath her skirt as she arrived at Melbourne airport. On closer inspection, officers discovered the woman had strapped on an apron of plastic water-filled bags containing the fish, the Australian Customs Service said in a statement yesterday. The 43-year-old woman arrived in Melbourne on a flight from Singapore last Friday. Customs are still trying to determine what type of fish she brought into the country and have not yet charged her with an offense. She faces charges for breaking quarantine and customs laws for not making a declaration.