China confirms bird flu, goat plague cases

February 19, 2014 - 8:58:23 am
Beijing: The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday confirmed outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu in poultry in the Guizhou Province in southwest and goat plague in northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Last week a farm in a village of Xixiu district in Anshun City of Guizhou reported 3,629 chickens had shown symptoms of suspected avian flu and 976 had died, Xinhua reported. The National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory confirmed the epidemic was H5N1 after testing collected samples. Authorities have sealed off and sterilised infected areas, where infected chickens and goats have been culled. 

S Korea, Japan resume talks

Seoul:  South Korea and Japan have resumed working-level talks after dialogue stopped last year following Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. South Korean Ambassador Lee Byung-kee met Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki at Japan’s Foreign Ministry on Monday.  In the meeting requested by Lee, both sides discussed normalising relations and “Takeshima Day.” Japan’s Shimane Prefecture designated the day in 2005 to promote Tokyo’s claims over Korea’s easternmost Dokdo islets. 

Firms launch factory checks

DHAKA:  Safety experts hired by Western retailers such as H&M and Benetton will begin a mass inspection today of clothing factories in Bangladesh, nearly a year after 1,135 garment workers died in a building collapse. Dozens of fire officers and structural engineers will begin inspecting more than 1,500 plants and recommend safety improvements in an exercise expected until September. Agencies