China takes more steps to contain the new strain of potentially deadly Bird Flu; Hundreds of thousands demand more, not less, repression; And DNA catches a macabre killer years after the crime.
China has identified two more cases of H7N9 Bird Flu. Here are the numbers: 18 confirmed cases, with six people dead, and eight patients in serious condition. That doesn’t sound like a lot in a nation of more than a billion people, but it’s troubling because it’s the first time H7N9 has spread to humans. China is expanding the ban on poultry trading to Nanjing in addition to Shanghai.
Western powers say recent talks to convince Iran to give up its nuclear program have gone nowhere. Iran and the P5+1 group (comprising the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Russia, China, the UK and France - plus Germany) remain far apart and no new talks are scheduled.
It appears no foreign embassies are closing down in Pyongyang, despite North Korea’s warning for diplomatic personnel to clear out in case of war. Earlier reports of Germany packing up its people have changed; the Germans say they’ll stay for now. China held discussions with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, they’re urging everyone return to the Six Party Talks to cool-down the Korean peninsula.
Nelson Mandela is out of the hospital. The 94-year-old political prisoner-turned-President of South Africa was discharged after being treated for a lung ailment. SA’s current President Jacob Zuma thanked the medical team and hospital staff that looked after Mandela.
Prosecutors in Brazil have initiated a corruption investigation against the popular former President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva. Lula denies any involvement in a scheme to skim public money for political purposes. 25 people have already been convicted in the scheme including a close associate of Lula, and Lula’s chief of staff.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters in Bangladesh are demanding the government adopt anti-blasphemy laws, including the death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam. The capital Dhaka has been cut off since secularists put off blockades to try and stop the religious protest. At least one person is dead.
The deputy governor of a state in central Nigeria was not home when terrorists with guns and machetes attacked, killing 11 other people. The Islamist group Boko Haram is active in the area. The group is responsible for numerous killings and kidnappings and is associated with al Qaida.
A suicide bomb and hand grenade attacker killed 22 people at a political rally in Baquba, Iraq. 11 standing candidates have been killed in recent weeks as elections loom closer.
Police say it is likely that at least some little kids witnessed a murder-suicide in a daycare center in Canada. It happened in Gatineau City, across the river from the capital Ottawa. The gunman killed an employee at Racines De Vie Montessori, went to another building, and killed himself. All 53 kids were evacuated safely.
A woman who left her newborn baby daughter to die on a frozen country road in Illinois 100 kilometers west of Chicago way back in 2004 has finally been sentenced to 50 years in prison. Police finally caught 32-year old Katie Stockton by comparing DNA collected from a discarded cigarette butt to evidence from the crime scene. Even worse, they found her old car in an impound lot, with the skeleton remains of two more infants in the spare tire compartment. No charges in those cases, yet.