skip to main |
skip to sidebar
New drug-resistant strains of the parasite that
causes malaria have been identified in western Cambodia. There have been reports of drug resistance
in the region since 2008, and the problem has now spread to other parts of South-east
investigating the new organism say that all the
most effective drugs developed in the last few decades ‘have been one by one
rendered useless by the remarkable ability of this parasite to mutate and
develop resistance.’ They do not know
why this part of Cambodia should be such a hotbed of resistance.
In 2010, there were more than 200
million cases of malaria and 600,000 deaths – 90 per cent of them in
Africa. The World Health Organisation
has made preventing the spread of resistant strains a major objective.
See also my blogs of 11 April, 30
May, and 24 Sept, 2009; 21 Oct, 2010; 23 Sept, 2011 and 23 May, 2012.
*I’ve just started to post a series of
videos on Britain’s 20 Worst Military Disasters. This is the first - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Bgf-xHHGE
The owner of the factory building that collapsed last Wednesday in Bangladesh’s capital,
Dhaka, killing hundreds of people, has been arrested by soldiers from the
country’s Rapid Action Battalion at the border with India.
Five other people have also been detained - 3 owners of clothes factories
that were housed in the Rana Plaza and 2 engineers. Two more survivors have been pulled from the
rubble today, but altogether about 360 people are known to have died.
Police said officials had ordered an evacuation of the block on Tuesday
after cracks appeared, but that the factories ignored them, while municipal engineers
are reported to have declared the building safe the day before it collapsed.
Bangladesh has one of the biggest clothing industries in the world,
providing cheap products for well-know Western retailers, but it has been
widely criticised for low pay and dangerous conditions.
* Now available in paperback – Disaster!
A History of Earthquakes, Floods, Plagues and Other Catastrophes. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/disaster-john-withington/1111579925?ean=9781620871812
We’ve been here
before. The world is once again anxious
about a strain of bird flu spreading through China. This one is called H7N9. It has
infected 60 people and caused 13 deaths.
The World Health Organisation says it is being spread by direct
contact with infected birds, and that there is no evidence of direct
human-to-human transmission. Nor it
seems are there yet any cases outside China.
Another strain of bird flu, H5N1, (viruses pictured above) has caused
the deaths of more than 320 people in China and four other countries since
2003. In 2009, the WHO declared a pandemic alert over
H1N1 swine flu, which killed more than 18,000 people.
flu’ caused one of the worst epidemics in history at the end of the First World
War, carrying off up to 70 million people.
(See also my blogs of 5 Feb; 14, 30 April; 13 May; 6, 11, July; 24 Oct, 13
Nine people have
been arrested in India in connection with the collapse of a high-rise block of
flats in Mumbai last week. 74 people
The nine, who
include builders, police officers and local officials, are alleged to have paid
bribes to police and municipal officials so they could put up the building
without official sanction. They may
face charges of culpable homicide and causing death by negligence.
Even though work
is said to have started on the block just six weeks ago, seven floors had
already been completed, and people had been moved into some apartments. Most of the dead were poorly paid
construction workers and their families.
suffered a number of deadly building collapses in recent years. In November 2010, a 15 year old block of
flats in New Delhi came down as an additional storey was being added. At least 67 people, mostly poor migrants, died.
*I am posting a series of videos on Britain’s
20 Worst Military Disasters. This is the
In the UK, we
have just had the coldest March in more than 50 years. In Argentina, they are
mourning their dead after the heaviest rainstorm in a century hit Buenos Aires
and La Plata.
At least 48
people were killed by flooding in La Plata, where the provincial governor said
the city had ‘never seen anything like it’, and half a dozen more in the
capital. More bodies are still being
people have had to be moved from their homes, including the mother of the
president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner,
while many others are sheltering on roofs or in trees. In some places, people blocked roads to demand
more help from the authorities.
probably the worst floods in Argentina since the city of Santa Fe was inundated
in 2003 after heavy rain made river levels rise by six feet in just three
hours. More than 150 people died, and
100,000 had to be evacuated.
workers have now recovered 66 bodies from the Tibet miners’ camp that was buried by a huge
landslide last Friday. Another 17 workers
are still missing from the camp 45 miles east of the capital, Lhasa and 15,000 feet up,
were employed by a gold mine owned by a subsidiary of the state-owned China
National Gold Group, the country's biggest gold producer. Most were ethnic Han Chinese, with only two
reported to be Tibetan.
Rescue teams have had to battle freezing weather
and altitude sickness, and efforts had to be suspended for a day because of the
fear of further landslides.
years, China has discovered extensive mineral resources in Tibet, including copper,
lead, zinc, and iron ore, but the country is prone to landslides, and this
danger could be exacerbated by mining.