Despite an increase in the number of people at risk for malaria, mortality rates have dropped dramatically since 2000 through the use of a handful of tools that global health advocates hope to supplement with a vaccine that will put the world further on the road to eradicating the deadly disease.
Malaria mortality rates have dropped by 45 percent globally and by 49 percent in Africa over the past 13 years, exceeding expectations. Most of the 3.3 million people saved have been children, according to the World Malaria Report 2013 that was released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday.
Nearly 70 percent of those lives saved were in the 10 countries with the highest malaria burden – most of them in Africa, said Dr. Robert Newman, director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. …
A team in Luleå is in the process of putting together a long-running musical event to be performed on instruments made out of ice in what has been touted as the biggest ice concert in an igloo that Sweden has ever seen.
The wheels are in motion in Luleå, northern Sweden, to build an igloo big enough for 160 spectators and to construct enough instruments made of ice to last for three months of frosty music.
Due to a slow start to the winter, ice from the local hockey arena has been collected and transported to a nature park just a few minutes walk from the town centre. The transplanted ice will be added to a supply of snow from last year that was buried beneath plastic and bark and saved in anticipation for use to pull off the planned ice concert
And the conditions inside the igloo have to be perfect for the show to work. …
Iranian authorities released the two remaining Slovak paragliders detained in May for alleged espionage and carrying illegal devices.
The pair was handed over to Slovak officials on December 11, the Iranian Mehr newswire reported, as quoted by the TASR newswire, without giving more details on the release. Beginning in September, Iran freed six of the eight Slovak travellers, but two others, Pavol Šeliga and Marek Stolarčík, were to stay in the country until the suspicions surrounding them were fully investigated. …
French President François Hollande returned from key trade talks in Brazil this week heralding an important breakthrough. As well as a promise to double trade between the two countrie,s France and Brazil negotiated and end to Brasilia’s three year ban on Roquefort cheese.
French President François Hollande struck a blow for the French cheese industry this week. The president backed by France’s agriculture minister has managed to persuade authorities in Brazil to allow the famous ‘Made in France’ Roquefort cheese to return to Brazilian dinner tables.
The blue cheese made from sheep’s milk had been banned in Brazil since 2010, but a three-year long battle to have the embargo lifted, was finally resolved this week. …
The Maldives has been awarded the title of “World’s Leading Island Destination” at the 2013 World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Finale hosted at the La Cigale Hotel in Doha, Qatar last week.
This is the third time the Maldives has won the prestigious travel award. The WTA is hailed as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry.”
The Maldives competed against Bali in Indonesia, Barbados, Cook Islands, Crete in Greece, Jamaica, the Madeira Islands, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sicily in Italy, St. Lucia, and Zanzibar in Tanzania this year.
Maldivian resorts also scooped a number of awards in various categories with Hulhule Island Hotel winning the World’s Leading Airport Resort 2013, and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island winning the World’s Leading Water Villa Resort 2013. …
A man obsessed with cats burgled dozens of homes to buy food for his feline “friends,” all 120 of them.
“It was the happiest moment when I rubbed my cheek against a cat,” police quoted Mamoru Demizu as saying after his arrest in September in a burglary case. Police said he admitted his guilt.
Demizu, who is 48 and jobless, is suspected of breaking into 32 homes to steal cash and valuables worth 19.2 million yen ($187,000), sources said, adding that his crime spree began in September 2012. …
The Asahi Shimbun
A man in Spain has been fined €90 ($122) for looking at a painting that had been left on the street.
The man was slapped with the €90.15 fine after looking at a painting which had been left next to a rubbish container in Barcelona in 2011, Spain’s 20 minutos newspaper reported.The city’s town hall said the man had broken municipal by-laws by rummaging through rubbish on a public street.
But Barcelona’s public defender Maria Assumpció Vilàs said police had made no effort whatsoever to find out what had really happened.
She said the man involved had simply been observing the abandoned picture. According to the man’s version of events, four policemen surrounded him while he was examining the picture, and then fined him. …