Strawberry sabotage scare spreads
MELBOURNE • Needles have been found inside strawberries in two more Australian states, police said yesterday, broadening a health scare that has caused supermarkets to recall brands and farmers to dump fruit amid the peak growing season.
One man in Western Australia and a girl in South Australia reported finding needles in their strawberries in the past two days.
Seven brands of strawberries in Australia are now believed to be contaminated with needles and pins, according to police reports, prompting warnings from the authorities to slice the fruit before eating.
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart yesterday said it was unclear if the contamination was the work of a single person or several people acting independently and that tracing back through the complex supply chain was taking time.
Florence's fury continues
GRIFTON (North Carolina) • Catastrophic floods raised the threat of landslides and dam failures across the south-eastern US yesterday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left over a dozen people dead and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence crept over South and North Carolina, dumping heavy rains on already flood-swollen river basins that the authorities warned could bring more death and destruction.
28% of Japanese aged 65 or older
TOKYO • More than 28 per cent of Japan's population are now officially classified as elderly according to government data, the highest rate in the world as the first wave of postwar baby boomers enter old age.
Those aged 65 or older now make up a record 35.6 million, or 28.1 per cent of the total population, the government said on Sunday.
The proportion is the highest by far in the world, ahead of 23.3 per cent in Italy, 21.9 per cent in Portugal and 21.7 per cent in Germany, according to United Nations data.
The government also said those aged 70 or older accounted for 20.7 per cent of the population, surpassing 20 per cent for the first time.