Sun, Jan 15, 2017 - Page 4 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Henan man dies of bird flu

A man in Henan Province has become the latest person reported to have died this winter from influenza A virus subtype H7N9, Xinhua news agency said yesterday, citing local health authorities. The 36-year-old roast duck salesman developed a fever and a cough on about Dec. 25 in Zhejiang Province and returned to Henan earlier this month, Xinhua said. He was diagnosed with H7N9 on Tuesday and died the next day. Bird flu is most likely to strike in winter and spring. In recent years, farmers have stepped up cleaning regimes, animal detention techniques and built roofs to cover hen pens in attempts to prevent the disease. The country’s last major outbreak killed 36 people and caused more than US$6 billion in losses for the agricultural sector. The H7N9 strain does not seem to transmit easily among people, and sustained human-to-human infection has not been reported, the WHO said, adding that the danger is that any such virus mutates and acquires genetic changes that could boost its pandemic potential.

PAKISTAN

Watchdog demands probe

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has asked the government to investigate the fatal shooting of a local journalist in the southwest. In a statement, the media watchdog yesterday demanded action against those responsible for the killing of 37-year-old Muhammad Jan, who was returning home late on Thursday night when he was targeted by unidentified assailants. The journalist had worked for the Urdu-language daily Qudrat and was teaching at a school. No group claimed responsibility for the killing. According to the watchdog, 59 journalists have been killed in the country from 1992 to last year.

THAILAND

Crash kills pilot at air show

An air force pilot died when his fighter jet crashed at an air show marking Children’s Day. Amateur video footage shows the Saab JAS 39 Gripen jet maneuvering over the Hat Yai air base in the south when it suddenly lost altitude and crashed in a ball of fire away from spectators. The Ministry of Defense is investigating the cause of the crash. Deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipakerachon said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha expressed condolences to the pilot’s family.

UNITED STATES

Firm recalls ‘swastika’ boots

A California-based company that sells footwear has recalled a model of military-style boots after a customer pointed out that the soles leave swastika imprints. Conal International Trading pulled the Polar Fox boots this week and issued an apology after a Reddit user on Monday posted an image of the imprint that went viral. “We would like to issue our sincerest apologies to our customers and to anyone who was offended by the swastika imprint that the boots left behind,” the firm said in a statement. “The design was not intentional and was a mistake made by our manufacturers in China.” The photograph, viewed more than 3 million times, prompted a flurry of snarky comments. “Very comfortable. Nein out of ten,” one person wrote. “I love them too, they really put me in mein kampfort zone,” another wrote. The boots were sold on Amazon.com, which removed the listing on Thursday. Many have pointed out another apparently unintended association with Nazi Germany: The boots share a name with a World War II military operation — Polarfuchs, or polar fox — in which German and Finnish soldiers captured the Salla area of central Finland from the Soviets.

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