Russian breaks hot air balloon record
PERTH • Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov has broken the record for the fastest round-the-world flight in a hot air balloon, his crew said yesterday.
Flight coordinator John Wallington said Mr Konyukhov, who took off from Western Australia on July 12, had successfully flown the route by yesterday afternoon. He landed before dark. His journey, taking just over 11 days, is faster than the record set by the late American adventurer, Mr Steve Fossett, who became the first person in 2002 to fly solo around the world in a balloon in a feat which took 13 days.
China tracks sale of illegal vaccines
SHANGHAI • Chinese health authorities have started a nationwide inspection of vaccinations four months after a scandal broke involving nearly US$90 million (S$122 million) worth of illegal vaccines that were suspected of being sold in dozens of provinces. Authorities will track purchases as well as the distribution of vaccines and vaccination records to ensure they are legally traded and properly handled, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said.
Turkey orders private schools, bodies to close
ISTANBUL • President Tayyip Erdogan tightened his grip on Turkey yesterday, ordering the closure of private schools, charities and other bodies in his first decree since imposing a state of emergency after the failed military coup.
A restructuring of Turkey's once untouchable military also drew closer, with a planned meeting between Mr Erdogan and the already purged top brass brought forward.