Front Page: Birdflu Outbreaks, Zimbabwe, Flying Cell Phones

  • India and South Korea are both struggling with fresh outbreaks of bird flu. In India, officials have ordered the elimination of about 20,000 birds. The outbreak is based around Bangladesh and has spread to more than half the country. Earlier this year, more than a million birds were slaughtered in the eastern state of West Bengal after an outbreak of bird flu there. In South Korea the second outbreak of the year, at a duck farm, requires the elimination of hundreds of thousands of birds. The H5N1 bird flu virus has killed more than 230 people in South East Asia since late 2003.

  • Nine days after the Zimbabwe presidential election, a court in Harare is due to rule on the opposition’s demand for an immediate release of the final tally. The governing party has insisted on a recount leading to further delays. A spokesman for the opposition says, “You can’t ask for the remarking of an exam whose result is not known by the student. It shows their mischief and shenanigans in trying to manipulate the poll.” The opposition has declared victory, though independent election monitors question whether he won the majority required to win outright. President Mugabe's party’s decision to push for a runoff and efforts to delay publication of the election outcome, however, makes voters fear that it is playing for time to mount a campaign of violent intimidation.
  • The European Commission said today they will allow cell phones to be used on planes. Under the new rules, travelers will be able to receive and make calls safely using their own mobile phones while flying all over Europe, according to the EU. The luxury will be to a very few travelers at first over fears of interfering with the aircraft's functioning. The service might cost travelers however, as the airplanes plan to carry the calls on their own network — at higher rates.
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