Fri, Apr 10, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Quick Ebola test developed

A research team yesterday said it had developed a field test for Ebola that gives results in just over 11 minutes — down from the 90-minute test used now. The breakthrough by Nagasaki University’s Institute of Tropical Medicine will allow medics to move much more quickly in treating people with the hemorrhagic fever, professor Jiro Yasuda said. The trial was conducted in Guinea last month on 100 samples, of which 47 proved positive. The Guinean government has asked the institute and its collaboration partner, Toshiba, to supply equipment to roll out the test, he said.


Israeli girl dies in boat fire

A search team yesterday found the body of a 12-year-old Israeli girl, the only fatality from a tourist boat that caught fire in the Andaman Sea, officials said. The rest of about 110 passengers, mostly foreign tourists, and crew were rescued on Wednesday after the boat sank in flames off the coast of Krabi Province. The girl’s body was recovered by a team of up to 50 navy, marine police and national park officers, who were searching for her since the sinking, Krabi Deputy Governor Narong Woonchew said. The girl was vacationing with her parents and was believed to be in the restroom when the fire broke out, police said.


Banana disease spreads

A second case of a destructive disease affecting banana plants has been confirmed, dashing hopes that a recently confirmed outbreak would be isolated and threatening the country’s A$550 million (US$423 million) sector. The so-called Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama disease was found at a farm in Mareeba in the far north of Queensland, the local government said yesterday. It comes a month after the discovery of the first case in Queensland at a farm in Tully. State biosecurity officials quarantined that farm.


Prolific sex tourist arrested

A former school principal who allegedly paid for sex with 12,000 women while in the Philippines has been arrested in his home country, over claims at least one of them was as young as 13, media reported on Wednesday. Yuhei Takashima had meticulously catalogued nearly 150,000 photographs of his exploits over a 27-year period in about 400 separate albums because he wanted “to keep the memories,” Jiji Press and other media said. Takashima, 64, told police he started paying for sex when he was dispatched to a Japanese school in Manila in 1988, Jiji said. Thereafter, the former middle-school principal had been on three sex tours a year to the country, for a total of 65 visits, reports said. He had sex with more than 12,000 women aged 14 to 70, broadcaster NTV reported.


New poll body appointed

Lawmakers yesterday overwhelmingly approved a vote to remake the country’s electoral body, part of a political deal to help ensure fairness in the next national vote in 2018. Opposition leader Sam Rainsy praised the move, calling it a “historic milestone for Cambodia.” Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Party had accused the previous electoral commission of being biased and disputed results of the 2013 ballot, triggering a political crisis and mass demonstrations that eased amid negotiations with the government last year. The new commission will include four members from Rainsy’s party, four from Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party and one neutral slot that will go to the head of an independent electoral watchdog group.

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