World Briefs: Nigeria govt studying Boko Haram video

Nigeria govt studying Boko Haram video

KANO (Nigeria) • Nigeria's government yesterday said it was studying a "proof of life" video showing 15 of the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, as parents and their supporters marked the second anniversary of the kidnapping.

The footage, shown on CNN, is the first time any of the missing girls have been seen since a previous Boko Haram video in May 2014, when about 100 were seen in Islamic dress reciting the Quran. The latest video was said to have been shot on Dec 25.

A total of 276 girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, in north-east Nigeria.


Germany tightens rules on pilot checks

BERLIN• A year after the Germanwings plane crash, Germany's Lower House of Parliament has passed a package of measures to tighten reporting of pilot medical assessments and requiring tougher alcohol and drug checks on pilots.

Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz killed 150 passengers and crew when he locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately steered his jet into the French Alps on March 24 last year.

Investigations showed that he had a history of mental illness and had concealed this from his employer in the months leading up to the crash. 


US links Zika infection to birth defects

CHICAGO • US health officials concluded that infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy causes the birth defect microcephaly, a finding that experts hope will refocus attention on efforts to stop infections and prompt US lawmakers to fund emergency prevention efforts.

US and world health officials have been saying for weeks that mounting scientific evidence points to the mosquito-borne virus as the likely cause of the alarming rise in microcephaly in Zika-hit areas of Brazil. It had not been declared as the definitive cause until now.

In Brazil, officials have confirmed more than 1,100 cases of microcephaly, and consider most of them to be related to Zika infections in the mothers.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs: Nigeria govt studying Boko Haram video '. Subscribe