- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2006

THAILAND

Herbal drug for HIV ready for public sale

BANGKOK — Thailand and China are ready to offer a herbal drug they say can strengthen the immune systems of people with AIDS and help control the virus that causes the disease, Thai health authorities announced this week.

The drug, called SH Instant, combines three medicinal herbs from China and two from Thailand and is the result of a six-year, $2 million research project, said the Medical Science Department of Thailand’s Public Health Ministry.

The drug combines the Chinese herbs yingchen, huangqi and ganchao with pluak rak mon (part of the mulberry root) and dok kham foi (extracted from safflowers). Researchers based their findings on a study in which 40 patients taking the drug fared better in fighting the virus than the 20 who did not.

VIETNAM

U.S. delegation to bring baseball

HANOI — Baseball star Danny Graves will head a U.S. delegation to Vietnam next week to introduce the sport in the communist nation. The delegation includes an American veterans’ organization involved in de-mining.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund said it “will be turning battlefields into baseball fields.”

The delegation will visit the country from Tuesday to Jan. 25, trying to raise awareness about war-era mines and other unexploded ordnance in Vietnam. The fund cleared the site for a baseball field in central Quang Tri province and found one artillery shell, two mortars and 11 other types of unexploded ordnance.

Jan C. Scruggs, VVMF founder and president, will accompany Mr. Graves, 32, the first Major League Baseball player to be born in Vietnam.

INDONESIA

12 held in ‘02 killing of American teachers

JAKARTA — Police have arrested 12 persons in connection with the killing of two American teachers in remote Papua province more than three years ago, a top policeman said yesterday.

Ties between Indonesia and the United States were strained after the 2002 incident in which gunmen attacked a convoy carrying teachers from a school run by PT Freeport Indonesia, a unit of U.S.-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. In 2003, Congress blocked some military training aid to Indonesia.

But bilateral ties have since improved, and the arrests come after Washington restored military ties in November with the world’s most populous Muslim nation as a reward for its assistance in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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