World Briefs: Migrant kids given psychotropic drugs

Migrant kids given psychotropic drugs

WASHINGTON • A federal judge has found that United States government officials have been giving psychotropic medication to migrant children at a Texas facility without first seeking the consent of their parents or guardians, in violation of state child welfare laws.

US District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles on Monday ordered the Trump administration to obtain consent or a court order before administering any psychotropic medications to migrant children, except in cases of dire emergencies.

Staff at the Shiloh Residential Treatment Centre in Texas admitted to signing off on medications in lieu of a parent, relative or legal guardian, according to the ruling.

Government officials defended this practice, saying they provided these drugs only on "an emergency basis" when a child's "extreme psychiatric symptoms" became dangerous.


Sweden's wildfires dying down

STOCKHOLM • Wildfires that have been raging across Sweden are abating, the Swedish authorities have said, as French, Italian and German firefighters who came to assist gradually leave the country.

Swedish emergency services SOS Alarm said there were 10 fires all under control yesterday, half the number registered last week and far below the 45 to 70 fires reported early last month.

Drought and high temperatures - Sweden registered the hottest July in two centuries, with temperatures hovering around 30 deg C - led to wildfires across the country from mid-July, from the south up to the Arctic Circle.


Largest king penguin colony shrinks 90%

PARIS • The planet's largest colony of king penguins has declined by nearly 90 per cent in three decades, researchers have said.

The last time scientists set foot on France's remote Ile aux Cochons - roughly halfway between the tip of Africa and Antarctica - the island was blanketed by two million of the flightless birds, which stand about a metre tall.

But recent satellite images and photos taken from helicopters show the population has collapsed, with barely 200,000 remaining, according to a study published in Antarctic Science on Monday.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2018, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe