S. African ministers call for President to quit
JOHANNESBURG • At least three South African ministers have called for President Jacob Zuma to resign, local media reported yesterday, in the most serious challenge to his leadership since he took power in 2009.
The News24 news agency, citing sources in the ruling ANC party, said that Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi had called on Mr Zuma to step down.
Turkmenistan- Afghanistan rail opens
IMAMNAZAR (Turkmenistan) • Asian neighbours Turkmenistan and Afghanistan yesterday opened the first section of a US$2 billion (S$2.8 billion) link connecting their two countries by rail for the first time and set to extend to Tajikistan.
A train pulling 46 freight cars completed the 3km journey from Turkmenistan's Imamnazar Customs-point to Akina in Afghanistan. This represents the tail-end of an 88km link that Turkmenistan began building in 2013.
Bird flu found in ducks in France
PARIS • A severe strain of H5N8 bird flu that has hit several countries in Europe - leading to the culling of thousands of poultry - was detected in 20 wild ducks in Northern France over the weekend, the farm ministry said yesterday.
Local authorities increased surveillance in the area, the ministry said in a statement, stressing that the virus had not been found in a domestic farm. The H5N8 bird flu virus has never been found in humans.
London approves tower for financial district
LONDON • The City of London has approved plans for what will be the tallest tower in the financial district. The 73- storey building will include a public viewing gallery and restaurant, and workspace for 10,000 people. The tower will be constructed by Aroland Holdings, a closely-held company based in Singapore.