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  • Egypt seeks tougher penalties for female circumcision

    Female genital mutilation can cause lifelong pain, including extreme discomfort during sexual intercourse, serious complications during childbirth and psychological traumaEgypt's government said on Sunday it will ask parliament to approve a draft law that would increase jail terms for those who perform female circumcision. Female circumcision, or female genital mutilation (FGM), was banned in Egypt in 2008. In Egypt, the procedure is practised by both Muslims and Christians.


  • Singapore confirms 41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus

    Contractor fogs a condominium garden in Singapore in an effort to kill mosquitoesBy Marius Zaharia SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore has confirmed 41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus, mostly among foreign construction workers, and said it expected more cases to be identified. All but seven of those infected have fully recovered, the health ministry and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement on Sunday. On Saturday, authorities had confirmed a 47-year-old Malaysian woman living in southeastern Singapore as the city-state's first case of a local transmission of the virus - which in Brazil has been linked to a rare birth defect.


  • Singapore reports 41 locally transmitted Zika cases

    Workers are seen fogging a housing estate in Singapore on August 28, 2016 after authorities reported more than 40 locally transmitted cases of the Zika virusSingapore on Sunday confirmed 41 locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus, which can cause deformities in unborn babies, and said more infections are likely. A day after announcing its first locally transmitted case, that of a 47-year-old Malaysian woman resident, the government reported 40 more -- mostly foreign workers at a construction site. All 41 are residents or workers in a particular suburban residential and industrial district, the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency said in a joint statement.


  • Locally transmitted Zika virus infects 41 in Singapore

    A traveller walks past a travel advisory on the Zika virus infection in Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. According to local reports, Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency informed a Malaysian woman living in Singapore became the first patient to be infected by locally-transmitted Zika virus. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)SINGAPORE (AP) — More than 40 people have been infected locally by the Zika virus in Singapore, but most have fully recovered, officials said Sunday.


  • California legal setback fails to discourage tenure opponents

    Weingarten, president of the AFT, addresses the audience of public school teachers during a convention in DetroitA nationwide drive to weaken job guarantees for U.S. public school teachers shows no sign of fading away even though an extended legal battle to stop the practice of granting tenure in California went down in defeat last week. The California challenge, which would have made it easier for school districts to fire teachers deemed to be underachievers, reached the end of the line when the California Supreme Court declined to take up the case. The decision was a setback for advocates of sweeping changes in education that unionized teachers generally oppose, including a repeal of tenure and more funding for charter schools.


  • Togo slaughters 11,500 chickens after H5N1 bird flu outbreak

    A Togolese woman sales chickens at a market in the capital LomeTogolese authorities said on Saturday they had slaughtered 11,500 chickens in response to an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu at two farms in the capital Lome and the town of Adetikope, about 25 km north of Lome. "We are in the presence of the H5N1 virus," Agriculture Minister Ouro-Koura Agadazi said on public radio, after the strain was confirmed by laboratory tests in Italy. Highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu has spread across a number of West African countries in the past two years, hitting poultry farms in Niger and Cameroon.


  • Volunteers give kiss of life as Laos road tolls mount

    Vientiane Rescue volunteers help an injured motorcycle driver following a drink-driving accident in LaosVientiane (AFP) - "Look at me, stay with us," the paramedics shout as a barely conscious motorcyclist is bundled into a volunteer ambulance in the Laotian capital Vientiane, where rampant drink driving brings nightly carnage to the roads. Founded in 2010 by a group of foreigners, "Vientiane Rescue" is a lifeline for those in need of urgent medical care. Poorly maintained roads, dilapidated vehicles, an increase in motorcycle use and the widespread prevalence of drink driving makes Vientiane one of Asia's most precarious capitals for road deaths.


  • Timeline: Zika's origin and global spread

    The following timeline charts the origin and spread of the Zika virus from its discovery nearly 70 years ago: 1947: Scientists researching yellow fever in Uganda's Zika Forest identify the virus in a rhesus monkey 1948: Virus recovered from Aedes africanus mosquito in Zika Forest 1952: First human cases detected in Uganda and Tanzania 1954: Virus found in Nigeria 1960s-80s: Zika detected in mosquitoes and monkeys across equatorial Africa 1969–83: Zika found in equatorial Asia, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan 2007: Zika spreads from Africa and Asia, first large outbreak on ...

  • Factbox: Why the Zika virus is causing alarm

    Global health officials are racing to better understand the Zika virus behind a major outbreak that began in Brazil last year and has spread to many countries in the Americas. Zika is transmitted to people through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, primarily the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same type that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Aedes mosquitoes are found in all countries in the Americas except Canada and continental Chile, and the virus will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.

  • Singapore confirms first case of locally transmitted Zika virus

    By Marius Zaharia SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore has confirmed its first case of a locally-transmitted Zika virus, which has been linked to microcephaly, a rare birth defect, in Brazil, the health ministry said. A 47-year-old Malaysian woman working in the city-state was confirmed with the virus, but was "well and recovering." As she had not traveled to Zika-affected areas recently, she was likely to have been infected in Singapore, the ministry said in a statement. Zika was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas.