Thu, Mar 08, 2018 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AUSTRALIA

Listeria claims fourth victim

A fourth person has died after consuming melon contaminated with listeria, authorities said yesterday, in an outbreak that has so far affected 17 people. The cases first came to the attention of health officials last month, with the source traced back to a farm in New South Wales (NSW). “There have been two deaths in NSW and two in Victoria,” NSW Health said in an update, adding that two new cases took the total affected nationally to 17. Vicky Sheppeard, director of communicable diseases at NSW Health, said all contaminated rockmelons were recalled from the market on Wednesday last week. “Typically, around one-third of people who fall ill with listeriosis die every year. Most of the cases are never related to an outbreak like this one we’re seeing with the rockmelon contamination,” she said.

SYRIA

Plane crash claims 39 lives

A Russian military cargo plane crashed on Tuesday as it was descending to land at an air base, killing all 39 people onboard, the Russian Ministry of Defense said. The military said an An-26, with 33 passengers and six crew members onboard, crashed 500m from the runway. The military blamed the crash on a technical error and insisted that the plane was not shot down. All of the people on board were Russian troops, the ministry said. Russia, a key ally of President Bashar al-Assad, leases the Hemeimeem military base near the Mediterranean coast. Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the families of those killed in the crash after receiving a briefing by Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, the Kremlin said.

UNITED STATES

Murder triggers sanctions

The government on Tuesday formally concluded that North Korea ordered the murder of a half-brother and potential rival to leader Kim Jong-un with the banned VX nerve agent. “This public display of contempt for universal norms against chemical weapons use further demonstrates the reckless nature of North Korea and underscores that we cannot afford to tolerate a North Korean WMD [weapons of mass destruction] program of any kind,” US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. The finding triggered another layer of US economic sanctions against Pyongyang, just as South Korea reported that the regime is ready for talks to end a nuclear standoff. Under the law, when a nation or leader violates the ban on chemical and biological weapons, an import ban is imposed on its products, but North Korea is already under severe US and UN sanctions and Tuesday’s decision would have little impact, but reviving the controversy over last year’s assassination of Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia could disrupt attempts to start talks.

UNITED STATES

Man pleads guilty to murder

A man charged with fatally shooting an Indian immigrant last year at a suburban Kansas City bar on Tuesday pleaded guilty to murder in the slaying that fanned fears of anti-immigrant violence. Witnesses said Adam Purinton, who is white, yelled: “Get out of my country” before firing at two men who had stopped for an after-work drink at Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas. Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed in the Feb. 22 attack. His friend, Alok Madasani, was wounded. The men, both 32, worked as engineers at Garmin. Another man, Ian Grillot, was wounded when he tried to intervene. Purinton faces life in prison when he is sentenced on May 4 for premeditated first-degree murder.

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