1.45m Chinese couples keen on a second child
BEIJING • About 1.45 million Chinese couples, or 13 per cent of those eligible, have submitted applications for a second child, as at the end of May, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday.
The number opting for a second child has seen "steady growth" since the end of 2013, when couples were permitted to have a second child if either parent is an only child, said Mr Yang Wenzhuang, an official from the commission. Each month, an average of 80,000 to 90,000 couples submitted applications, with the peak reaching 150,000 a month last July and August, Mr Yang said.
Philippines appoints new chief of staff
MANILA • Philippine President Benigno Aquino has named the incumbent army commander as the new chief of staff of the 140,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Outgoing chief Gregorio Catapang handed over the post to Lieutenant-General Hernando Iriberri, 55, yesterday in a ceremony at the forces' headquarters in Quezon City, Metro Manila.
Mers death toll in S. Korea reaches 36
SEOUL • South Korea yesterday reported its 36th Mers death, although it has had no confirmed new cases of the virus in the past five days.
The latest fatality, who had lung cancer, died while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Seoul, Yonhap news agency said, citing the Health Ministry.