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World Briefs

- - Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Drug-resistant TB spreading fast in Europe

LONDON — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday released a new plan to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis across Europe by diagnosing 85 percent of all patients and treating at least 75 percent of them by the end of 2015.

Only about 32 percent of patients with drug-resistant TB in Western Europe are properly treated; many stop taking their medicines before the treatment course is complete, allowing the bug to develop resistance.

According to WHO, the nine countries with the world's highest rates of drug resistance in new tuberculosis patients are in Europe, including Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

The agency's plan will cost $5 billion and is intended to save about 120,000 lives and $12 billion worth of diagnosis and treatment expenses by 2015.


Rain compounding misery for flood victims

BADIN — Stranded by floodwaters, army soldier Mohammed Hameed was unable to get to the graveyard to bury his 5-year-old daughter when she succumbed to diarrhea.

He laid her to rest in his courtyard - one of the latest victims of floods that have returned to Pakistan this year, leaving some 200,000 homeless and triggering another international aid effort.

The scale of the disaster and the aid response is much less than last year, but the misery for those affected is just as real. The floods began early last month, but heavy rains have compounded them recently and hampered relief efforts.

On Tuesday, thousands of men, women and children lined the main road in Badin, the worst-hit district about 124 miles from Karachi, the country's largest city. Some were sitting under plastic sheets held up by the branches of trees.


Bus-train crash kills 7, injures 162

BUENOS AIRES — A train slammed into a bus trying to beat it across the railroad tracks during rush hour in the Argentine capital Tuesday, ramming the vehicle into a platform and then striking another locomotive head-on.

At least seven people were killed and more than 162 injured, authorities said.

The bus driver was among those killed, Argentine Transportation Secretary J.P. Schiavi said.

The force of the arriving train reduced the bus to a fraction of its width as it became wedged against the station platform in the densely populated Flores neighborhood.

The front of the train then slammed into another train that was preparing to leave in the opposite direction. Video of the crash shows the bus driving around a partially lowered barrier despite flashing lights that warned of the oncoming train.


Suspected sect members charged in bombings

ABUJA | Eight suspected members of a radical Muslim sect were charged Tuesday with taking part in bombings and attacks around Nigeria's capital that killed at least 25 people, including 16 in an explosion at an election office.

Prosecutors allege the eight suspects belong to the sect known locally as Boko Haram, which campaigns for the strict implementation of Shariah law in the oil-rich nation.

The group claimed responsibility for the Aug. 26 car bombing at the U.N. headquarters in the country that killed at least 23 people and wounded 81.


Census: Nearly 43,000 kids under 14 are married

RIO DE JANEIRO — Census figures from 2010 show that nearly 43,000 children under 14 years of age are living with a partner in Brazil in defiance of laws forbidding such unions.

Brazil's penal code prohibits marriage with children under 14 and defines sex with them as statutory rape.

The president of the Brazilian Association of Judges, Prosecutors and Public Defenders in Juvenile Court was quoted by the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper Tuesday as saying that it's not uncommon for families to ask the court for permission to marry off a daughter younger than 14. Many are unaware that it is against the law.

The states in which these unions are most common have the country's lowest per-capita income.