Flu kills 116 elderly in Aussie state of Victoria
CANBERRA • A horror flu season has resulted in the deaths of 116 people in an Australian state's aged care system.
The government in Victoria yesterday pledged an additional US$89.9 million (S$121 million) for the state's health system to help it deal with the deadly influenza virus.
"We have had over 14,000 notifications of influenza this year in Victoria - that is more than double what we had last year," the state's Health Minister Jill Hennessy told reporters in Melbourne.
Palestinian PM pledges control of Gaza
BEIT HANUN (Palestinian Territories) • Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah arrived in Gaza yesterday for his first visit in two years, saying the Palestinian Authority would assume control of the strip after a decade of factional strife.
The Islamists have controlled Gaza since a 2007 split but recently agreed to hand over civilian power to a unity government.
He was welcomed by thousands of Gazans, with hopes that this reconciliation plan can avoid the problems that wrecked several previous attempts.
Challenger to Hungary's Orban quits party
BUDAPEST • Hungary's main leftist party was rocked yesterday when its challenger to Prime Minister Viktor Orban at upcoming elections quit over his failure to build a pact with other opposition parties.
"I have resigned as Socialist Party prime ministerial candidate," Mr Laszlo Botka said.
The 44-year-old had urged other centrist and leftist parties to form a broad anti-Orban front ahead of the next elections, due to be held by next April. But he admitted his effort had "failed" and blasted the other opposition parties for their reluctance to cooperate.