Thu, Sep 06, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

THAILAND

Swine fever meeting starts

An emergency meeting to head off an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) across Asia opened in Bangkok yesterday, after a mass pig cull in China sparked fears of a potential pandemic. The three-day meeting led by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization brings together specialists in animal diseases, as well as agricultural policy from nine nations neighboring China. “It’s critical that this region be ready for the very real possibility that ASF could jump the border into other countries,” the organization’s Wantanee Kalpravidh said in a statement. “That’s why this emergency meeting has been convened — to assess where we are now and to determine how we can work together in a coordinated, regional response.” Participants were from Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

PHILIPPINES

Mayor on drug list killed

A mayor on President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of allegedly narcotics-linked officials was shot dead in his own office yesterday, police said. Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco is the latest in a spate of officials to be slain in recent months, some with and some without alleged links to the illegal drug trade. Blanco, 59, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen after midnight in his office, the local police chief said. “Witnesses said four armed persons alighted from a white van and entered the municipal hall... The mayor was there as he was sleeping in his office,” Senior Inspector Jayr Palcon said. Blanco’s killing comes nearly a year after the National Police Commission stripped him of control over the local police for allegedly being “engaged in illegal drug trade activities,” the agency said.

JAPAN

First dead from Fukushima

The nation has acknowledged for the first time that a worker at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami more than seven years ago, died from radiation exposure. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Friday last week ruled that compensation should be paid to the family of the man in his 50s who died from lung cancer, an official said by telephone. The worker had spent his career working at nuclear plants around Japan and worked at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant at least twice after the meltdowns. He was diagnosed with cancer in February 2016, the official said. The ministry had previously ruled that radiation exposure caused the illnesses of four workers at Fukushima Dai-ichi, the official said.

QATAR

Exit permit rule removed

Doha on Tuesday amended its residency laws to allow most foreign workers to leave the country without exit permits from their employers, a provision that labor rights groups have long said should be abolished. Doha is keen to show it is tackling allegations of worker exploitation as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, which it has presented as a showcase of its progress and development. Employers would still be allowed to require up to 5 percent of their workforce to request permission to leave, after submitting their names to the government “with justifications based on the nature of the work,” Qatar said in a statement quoting Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Issa al-Nuaimi. Qatar’s system still requires the nation’s 1.6 million mainly Asian foreign workers to obtain their employers’ consent before changing jobs, which the groups say leaves workers open to abuse.

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