Bird flu kills 11-year-old boy
An 11-year-old boy has died of the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu, raising the national death toll from the disease to 53, the director of the hospital where he was being treated said yesterday. The boy, who wasn't named by officials, was admitted to hospital on Thursday and died on Saturday night, Dr Santoso Suroso said. The boy was believed to have become infected by dead chickens near his home in Jakarta, Suroso said.
Beijing acts on sign gaffes
Beijing will try to stamp out embarrassingly bad English on bilingual signs as part of the city's image make-over in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, state media said yesterday. The municipal government will issue translation guidelines for signs in hotels, shopping malls, public transport and tourist attractions by the end of the year, Xinhua news agency reported. Translation gaffes in the capital have long drawn giggles. The Park of Ethnic Minorities is identified as "Racist Park," while emergency exits at Beijing's international airport read, "No entry on peacetime."
Ex-PM can return but not yet
Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra can return home if he wants, but must wait until political tension eases following last month's military coup, the country's new leader said. Thaksin has not returned to his homeland since the coup removed him from power, opting to stay in London. Interim Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said late on Saturday that authorities would have to see when would be the right time for Thaksin to return. "If he wants to come back, that's his right, but I have to talk to other sides involved," Surayud said.
Bacteria sickens hundreds
The number of students and teachers suffering from food poisoning in a school in Guangzhou has risen by 37 to 237, the official Xinhua news agency said. About 10 students were still hospitalized after the incident last week at the school attached to Zhongshan University. Two teachers and 50 students aged 6 to 12 suffered from vomiting and abdominal pain on Wednesday after consuming soybean milk and red bean cakes served as a snack. More people fell ill later. A preliminary analysis by disease-control authorities indicated they suffered from a bacterial infection.
Bus swerves off mountain
A bus packed with school children and teachers swerved off a steep mountain road and plunged into a gorge in northern Uttaranchal state, killing at least 10 people, including six children, police said yesterday. The bus was returning from a science exhibition when the accident took place on Saturday night near Bageshwar. Villagers and local police used ropes to reach the bus and help pull out survivors. At least 20 students and teachers were injured in the crash. They were taken to nearby hospitals where the condition of four was serious.
Mom delivers grandchild
A woman in her 50s gave birth to a child she had carried for her daughter, who was unable to conceive as she had her womb removed due to a cancer, an obstetrician said yesterday. Yahiro Netsu, the head of a maternity clinic in the central prefecture of Nagano, said at a news conference that the woman gave birth in the first half of last year using an egg from her daughter and sperm from the daughter's husband, both in their 30s. Kyodo news agency said it was the first time in Japan that a woman has acted as a surrogate mother for the child of her daughter -- effectively delivering her grandchild.