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Japan orders chicken cull after bird flu outbreak in south TOKYO: Japan has ordered the slaughter of some 112,000 chickens after officials confirmed Sunday bird flu infections at a poultry farm in the south.DNA tests confirmed the H5 strain of the virus at a farm in Kumamoto prefecture that kept 56,000 birds, after its owner reported Saturday a lot of sudden deaths among his poultry, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.Officials also ordered the culling of another 56,000 birds at a separate farm run by the same owner after treating it as a location of possible infections, the ministry said.It was the first confirmed outbreak of bird flu in Japan in three years.The ministry has however been warning farmers about infection risks, citing the continued spread of the disease in Asia, including neighbouring South Korea.Local authorities on Saturday banned movement of chickens from the two affected farms as well as other farms in their vicinities.Authorities were sanitising areas around ...

Indonesia poll outcome dims economic reform hopes: analysts JAKARTA: Prospects for much-needed reforms in Southeast Asia's top economy are in doubt after a worse-than-expected election performance by the main opposition left Indonesia staring at an unwieldy coalition government, analysts warn.The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) won around 19 percent of the vote at Wednesday's elections, according to initial results, putting it in first place but with less than the 25-30 percent expected.The party had been buoyed by the popularity of its presidential ...
China investigates two more allies of former security chief BEIJING: Two officials with ties to China's powerful former domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang have been placed under investigation, Chinese media and officials said, amid ramped-up speculation that Zhou himself is being targeted.Zhao Miao, a standing committee member of the Communist Party committee in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern Sichuan province, is being investigated for alleged "serious violations" of discipline, according to the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).No further details were given by ...
Japan minister visits controversial war shrine: reports TOKYO: A Japanese cabinet minister visited a controversial war shrine in Tokyo on Saturday, in a move likely to cause anger in China and South Korea, which see it as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.Yoshitaka Shindo, minister for internal affairs and communications, paid homage Saturday morning at the Yasukuni shrine, Jiji Press and the Yomiuri Shimbun said.China and South Korea see it as a brutal reminder of Tokyo's imperialist past and wartime aggression, and ...
China ships in disputed waters: Japan coastguard TOKYO: Three Chinese coastguard ships sailed through disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea Saturday, the Japanese coastguard said, the latest such incident in a bitter territorial row between the Asian giants.The state-owned Chinese vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters off one of the Senkakus, which China claims and calls the Diaoyus, at around 9:00am (0000 GMT) and left about two hours later, it said.Chinese vessels and aircraft have regularly approached the ...
Powerful 7.3 quake hits off Papua New Guinea: USGS SYDNEY: A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea on Friday, US officials said, but no Pacific-wide tsunami warning was sounded.The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at a depth of 54 kilometres (34 miles) at around the same distance from the town of Panguna on Bougainville island.Geoscience Australia measured the quake at 7.4 magnitude and said the tremor, which hit close to the neighbouring Solomon Islands, was estimated to be in the ...
William and Kate voice sorrow at Solomons floods AUCKLAND: Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine expressed their sorrow Friday at deadly flooding in the Solomon Islands, where the royal couple took an idyllic tropical break in 2012.More that 20 people were killed when flash flooding tore through the Pacific nation's capital Honiara last week, sweeping away entire communities and leaving thousands homeless.The royal couple, who are currently on a tour of New Zealand, offered their sympathies to the Solomons, where William's grandmother ...

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