China confirms first human H7N4 case
HONG KONG • China has confirmed the first human case of H7N4 bird flu, prompting Hong Kong to issue a health warning for those travelling to the mainland during the busy Chinese New Year holiday.
The strain was identified in a 68-year-old woman from the eastern province of Jiangsu who was admitted to hospital after falling ill on Dec 25 but has since recovered, according to China's National Health and Family Planning Commission.
Nepal gets new Communist PM
KATHMANDU • The leader of Nepal's largest Communist party was named prime minister yesterday, two months after leading his party to a thumping victory in landmark elections billed as a turning point for the impoverished Himalayan nation.
Mr K.P. Sharma Oli will head the first government elected under a new national Constitution that cements Nepal's transformation from Hindu monarchy to a federal republic.
India hikes import duties in U-turn
NEW DELHI • Less than a month after he declared to the World Economic Forum that India was open for business, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised import duties to their highest in three decades, setting the stage for a protracted trade war with allies like the US and Germany, and rivals like China.
As he prepares to seek re-election next year, Mr Modi has been ensnared by a global wave of protectionism that could threaten the foreign direct investments India needs to achieve double-digit growth.