Voters want Howard clothed
More voters would like to see Labor opposition leader Kevin Rudd naked than Prime Minister John Howard, a poll showed on Sunday just two weeks out from a hard-fought general election. The question, published in Zoo magazine, found that 34 percent of respondents wanted to see Rudd, 50, with his gear off, more than double the 16 percent who said the same thing about Howard, 68. Even Howard's usually strong following among the over 50s slipped, with the poll showing just 16 percent wanted to see him naked compared with 27 percent for Rudd.
Students poisoned by milk
Police are examining samples of free milk distributed as a part of a local government health program after more than 100 students fell ill, a hospital spokesman said yesterday. The 123 students aged between eight and 11 years old were admitted to a hospital in Sukabumi district in West Java province on Monday after drinking the free milk, said Kustanto, the hospital spokesman. He said that 43 had to be rehydrated intravenously. "We diagnosed [the students] with milk poisoning since they became nauseous and vomited after consuming the milk," Kustanto said, adding that police took samples of the milk for further investigation. All have been discharged, he said.
■ NEW ZEALAND
Health authorities briefly quarantined 223 people in a Korean Airlines plane at Auckland Airport yesterday after a South Korean passenger displayed possible bird flu symptoms, officials said. The woman was later deemed to be "no risk" and suffering from suspected gastroenteritis, airport police Inspector Richard Middleton said. The woman, whose name was not released, was briefly treated at a hospital in Auckland, Middleton said. Crew on the flight, from South Korea via Australia, alerted airport authorities when the woman began vomiting and showing other possible bird flu symptoms, sparking a lockdown on the tarmac as the plane landed, said Norman Upjohn, an ambulance duty manager.
Groups slam radio closure
Media groups condemned yesterday the closure of a Somali radio station in the latest government crackdown on journalists during an Islamist-led insurgency that is rocking the nation. The government ordered independent local broadcaster Shabelle Radio off air on Monday and briefly detained two of its senior staff. The station has been periodically closed and frequently criticized by authorities throughout the year. Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders said Somali authorities' "contempt" for independent media had reached a new level with Shabelle's closure.
No reward for donors
Kidney donors should not be rewarded by having their health insurance fees waived for the rest of their life after donating their kidney, Legislator Pieter van Geel said yesterday. Van Geel, faction leader of the Christian Democrats in the Dutch parliament, was responding to a proposal by the Council for Public Health Care to grant kidney donors free health insurance. He said he objected to creating financial reasons for people to donate one of their organs. Health Minister Ab Klink, also of the Christian Democrats and who is preparing a plan to increase organ donation in the Netherlands, has not yet responded to the proposal.
Gunman e-mailed Cossey