Three more bird flu deaths in China

Beijing: China's Guangdong province reported three more deaths and four new human cases of H7N9 infection Friday.

Two patients from the city of Guangzhou and another from Heyuan City died after treatment failed, Xinhua quoted the provincial health and family planning committee as saying.

Four new cases, two women and two men aged between 37 and 79, are all in critical condition.

So far Guangdong has reported more than 102 human H7N9 cases this year, including at least 32 deaths. A total of 60 patients have been discharged from hospitals.


Helicopter crash kills four in Namibia

Windhoek: A military helicopter crashed Friday on the runway at an air base in central Namibia's Grootfontein, killing four people on board and injured others.

Namibian Defence Ministry confirmed the accident in a statement. It occcurred right after the helicopter had taken off. It then burst into flames on the runway, Xinhua reported.

The helicopter was on an official mission from Grootfontein to Windhoek. The injured passengers were evacuated to Windhoek for medical attention, according to the ministry.

The cause of the crash is yet to be investigated.


EU may provide energy assistance package to Ukraine

Kiev : The European Union (EU) is considering an assistance package to Ukraine in a bid to reduce Russian influence on the country's energy sector, Ukraine's Energy and Coal Minister Yuri Prodan said here Friday.

“The aid package provides for financial assistance, increased reverse gas supplies and European gas network operators' solidarity with Ukraine,” Xinhua quoted Prodan as telling parliament after his visit to Brussels.


Crimean parliament adopts new constitution

Kiev: The Crimean parliament Friday voted unanimously in favour of a new constitution that proclaims it a legal and democratic state within the Russian Federation.

Approved by 88 Crimean lawmakers, the constitution, consisting of 10 chapters and 95 articles, envisages that Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar languages would all be granted the status of official languages, Xinhua reported.

Two government branches were created by the new constitution, a legislative branch, represented by the State Council, and an executive branch, represented by the Ministers' Council.


Acknowledgement of wife may not damage Modi: NYT

Washington: Given India's tradition of renunciation of family life for public life, Narendra Modi's belated acknowledgment of his marriage may not damage Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, according to the New York Times.

"Though leaders of the Congress Party accused Modi of deceiving the public, it was unclear whether news of his marriage - which was apparently not consummated - would damage Modi," the respected US daily said reporting on Modi's "Wife, of Sorts."

437,000 murdered worldwide in 2012: UN agency

United Nations:Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said.

"Men made up almost eight out of every 10 homicide victims, while women accounted for the vast majority of domestic violence fatalities," Xinhua quoted UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric as saying at a daily news briefing here Thursday.


China ready to build economic corridor with Pakistan

Beijing: China is ready to work with Pakistan to complete a long-term plan by this year-end to build a bilateral economic corridor, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday .

In a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, Li said the two countries agreed to make building of the corridor the focus of bilateral practical cooperation, Xinhua reported.

And the consensus is conducive to forging a China-Pakistan "community of shared destiny", Li added.

UNSC authorises 11,800 UN peacekeepers for CAR

United Nations : The UN Security Council (UNSC) Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution to authorise a 11,800- strong UN peacekeeping force for the Central African Republic (CAR) to stop violence in the country.

Under the new resolution, the 15-nation council created the peacekeeping force of up to 10,000 military personnel, including 240 military observers and 200 staff officers, and 1,800 police to bring peace and stability to the country, where a violence between Christians and Muslims has led to fears of a possible genocide, Xinhua reported.


Indian housemaid arrested in Cyprus

Nicosia:An Indian housemaid has been arrested in Cyprus for allegedly abandoning a two-year-old baby she was caring for.

The woman, 22, whose name was not disclosed in the report, was charged Wednesday with abandoning the child alone, Cyprus Mail reported.

Police arrested the housemaid after the mother of the child returned from work at lunchtime and found the baby alone in the house in Limassol city.

The mother also claimed that the stove had been left on.

The Indian housemaid was employed with the family since the past ten months.

Delegation from 19 countries witness Delhi polls

New Delhi: A 30-member delegation from 19 countries, including many from Africa, Thursday visited some polling stations in the nation capital to observe the Indian democracy at work, said a senior poll panel official here.

The delegation included representatives from Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana and Lebanon.