World Briefs: Pollution, poor hygiene kill 1.7m kids a year: WHO

Pollution, poor hygiene kill 1.7m kids a year: WHO

LONDON • A quarter of all global deaths of children under five are due to unhealthy or polluted environments, including dirty water and air, and a lack of adequate hygiene, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday.

Such unsanitary and polluted environments can lead to fatal cases of diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia, the WHO said in a report, and kill 1.7 million children a year.

Indoor and outdoor air pollution, as well as second-hand smoke increases the childhood risk of pneumonia and a lifelong risk of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, heart disease, stroke and cancer, the report said.


8 killed in stampede over food aid in Zambia

LUSAKA • At least eight people were killed and 28 injured in a stampede in Zambia's capital Lusaka yesterday as thousands of poor people struggled to claim food handouts.

The deadly crush followed attempts by 35,000 people to enter a sports complex where the United States-based Church of Christ was giving out food parcels.

The food parcels included a 10kg mealie meal bag, sugar, soya pieces, cooking oil and one head of cabbage per person, said the Lusaka Times.

Sixty per cent of people in Zambia live below the poverty line and 42 per cent are considered to be extremely poor, the World Bank says.


Half of new cars in Norway electric or hybrid

OSLO • Norway, which already boasts the world's highest number of electric cars per capita, said yesterday that electric or hybrid cars represented half of new registrations in the country so far this year.

Somewhat paradoxically, Norway, the biggest oil producer in western Europe, has a generous policy to encourage the purchase of cleaner vehicles.

While cars with combustion engines are heavily taxed, electric vehicles are exempt from almost all taxes, with extra benefits such as free access to toll roads, ferries and parking at public carparks, as well as the possibility of driving in bus lanes.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2017, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe