Health officials have recalled about one million doses of an antibiotic that is suspected of killing at least two people and sickening at least 48 others, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The victims were injected with clindamycin phosphate glucose produced by a pharmaceutical plant in Anhui Province, Xinhua said. Experts linked the drug to the deaths last month of a six-year-old girl and a 48-year-old woman. The girl died on July 27 in Harbin, three days after she was given the antibiotic to treat a common cold. The woman died on Wednesday at a hospital in Yidu city, where she was admitted on July 23, the agency quoted local health officials as saying.
Gas leak kills 18 miners
An underground gas leak in a coal mine killed 18 miners in northwestern China, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. The leak occurred on Friday in the Dahuiyao Coal Mine in Xinzhou, Shanxi Province, Xinhua said. It said the gas poured into the mine when a wall collapsed and exposed a gas-filled chamber. China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, with an annual fatality rate of more than 5,000 due to gas leaks, explosions and floods.
Bird flu kills second victim
A 27-year-old man has died of bird flu, becoming the second person this year to be killed by the disease in the country, a health ministry official said yesterday. Thawat Suntrajarn, chief of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, said that the man came from Uthai Thani Province in the north. Another ministry official, who demanded anonymity, said that the man died on Thursday and had come in contact with sick chickens.
Snakes won't move out
James Kinniburgh discovered two Amethystine pythons, one 6m long, living in the roof of his Cairns house a fortnight ago, Australia's AAP news agency reported yesterday. "I sat there shitting myself," Kinniburgh said. "I'm from Sydney, I've only been here three years, and I've never seen anything like this before." Worse news was to come. Wildlife officers told him that, with no manhole to the roof, he might as well resign himself to his massive housemates because there was no way of getting in to get them out. Wildlife officers have tried to assure him that he has nothing to fear. The non-venomous pythons are petrified of humans and are likely to keep out of his way.
Thefts in PM's plane probed
Air India (AI) has begun investigations into charges of theft of gifts from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's special aircraft, it was reported yesterday. India's Civil Aviation Ministry has directed AI to probe the graft involving the disappearance of gifts worth US$24,000, which were meant for distribution among the entourage on board Singh's flight, the Times of India reported. Security agencies said the thefts occurred during Singh's visit to Germany when he was flying to Berlin after attending the Hanover Business Fair on April 24. The gifts included premium pens, luggage items, assorted colognes, CD players, iPods, sunglasses and electronic goods and other items.
Cross-dressing thief jailed
A cross-dressing bandit on skates who robbed a bank across the street from his home was sentenced to prison on Friday. Nino Leo Lanu, 32, was wearing a skirt, wig, makeup and fake breasts as he brandished a replica gun while robbing a National Australia Bank branch in Melbourne in February, a prosecutor told the County Court of Victoria state. Lanu, a regular branch customer, rolled away on inline skates with A$24,000 (US$18,260) in cash. Lanu pleaded guilty to armed robbery, a firearm offense and growing cannabis.