Sun, Oct 26, 2008 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Tainted products identified

Authorities have discovered the toxic chemical melamine in 20 more products from China and Malaysia, taking its total to 33, authorities said. Three Chinese products and 17 kinds of biscuits from Malaysia were found to contain melamine. The affected items include popular products such as Lotte Koala biscuits and Julie’s crackers, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. It was the first time the country had found melamine in non-Chinese products, the Straits Times said. In China, four children have died after drinking formula tainted with melamine, which is used in plastics. Authorities in China said 53,000 children fell ill from the tainted formula.


Hospitals offer halal food

Halal meals, prepared according to strict Islamic guidelines, are being served to Muslims in some public hospitals for the first time, a media report said yesterday. “Noting their [the Muslims] difference in dietary culture, we decided to introduce a halal meal set,” Vivian Wong, coordinator for the Hospital Authority in New Territories West, was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post. The initiative was launched at four hospitals and could be added at other hospitals. The recipes, cooking process and kitchen were approved and certified by a governing body of local Islamic affairs. Halal food is cooked using separate utensils to ensure it is not contaminated by forbidden ingredients, while the meat used comes from animals slaughtered according to religious rules. Unison Hong Kong, an advocacy group for minority rights, welcomed the policy. “They should add menus and food whose appearance are user-friendly for the minorities,” campaign director Fermi Wong said.


Legendary general dies

One of the first Communist generals and a veteran of the Long March has died at the age of 102, state media said yesterday. General Xiao Ke (蕭克), a former vice defense minister, died in Beijing on Friday, Xinhua news agency said. Xiao, also a writer, was “an excellent member of the Communist Party of China, a time-tested, faithful Communist fighter and a proletarian revolutionary and militarist”, Xinhua quoted an official press release as saying. Xiao was a hero of the 1934 to 1935 Long March, the tactical retreat of the Communist Party forces from Nationalist troops, which led to the rise of Mao Zedong (毛澤東) and the birth of Communist China in 1949. In 1955, Xiao became a general when the People’s Republic of China introduced military rankings for the first time. Only one other general from that time is still alive. Criticized for opposing Mao’s chaotic 1966 to 1976 Cultural Revolution, he later became a deputy defense minister and head of the Military Academy.


Authorities burn milk powder

Authorities have burnt 32,200 tonnes of melamine-tainted dairy products in a bid to end a health scandal in which tens of thousands of infants fell ill from kidney stones. State television showed boxes and packets of milk powder and baby formula being shoveled into giant furnaces in Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, where the scandal broke last month. The goods were being burnt in four cement factories and two iron and steel factories.


Officials kill 11,500 dogs

Officials in a rural county of Yunnan Province ordered the culling of more than 11,000 dogs after rabies killed six people, state media said. Of the more than 90,000 dogs in Yunnan’s Mi-le county, some 84,000 had been vaccinated against rabies and another 11,500 unprotected dogs were culled, the Beijing News quoted local media as saying. The county government threatened to fine people who failed to hand over their dogs but some locals protested that the policy of culling all unprotected dogs was heavy handed, arguing that people in remote areas relied on guard dogs, the newspaper said. Local government officials said the culling was essential to prevent the spread of the rabies virus, it said.

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