Thousands Take to Streets in SA
Thousands of South Africans have taken part in demonstrations against a new road toll introduced by the government. The marches, organised by the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu), took place in 32 towns and across cities. Cosatu says the proposed system will place a burden on the poor and has threatened nationwide rallies if it is not removed. The government has responded by saying the impact of the road toll on the poor has been exaggerated.The electronic tolling planned for roads between Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, comes after government upgraded roads in and around Johannesburg for the 2010 World Cup.
Yemen to Launch Anti-Measles Campaign
The Yemeni government is planning to roll out the first phase of anti-measles vaccinations in response to an outbreak. Vaccinations will begin on 10 March in seven of the worst affected areas, namely: Abyan, Aden, Lahj, Shabwa, Dahmar, Al Bayda, and Sa’dah.
The vaccination campaign follows a rise in the number of children afflicted and killed by the disease. A report from the country’s health ministry at the end of February confirmed 126 children had died from measles since the middle of 2011, and there were more than 3,000 confirmed measles cases. Seventy percent of these cases, and all of the deaths, were among children under the age of five.
UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Health, WHO, and the US Agency for International Development, will launch the first vaccination outreach. The second phase of the campaign will broaden vaccination across the country, but is dependent on additional funding.Dev Countries Achieve Safe Water Goal
The UN said on Tuesday developing countries have already achieved their 2015 goal of halving the number of people without regular access to improved drinking water, though much of the credit lies with India and China. However, the report noted some regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, are lagging behind. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in the report. "Many rural dwellers and the poor often miss out on improvements to drinking water and sanitation."
Overall in the developing world, 86 percent have regular access to safer water. But in the poorest countries - those labeled as "least developed" - only 63 percent have better water. That means that the drinking water target has not been met for more than 780 million people, the report said.Cuba Unveils New AIDS Vaccine
Cuba has revealed a new AIDS vaccine which has successfully been tested on mice, and is now ready to be tested on humans. The Teravac-HIV-1 vaccine designed to fight AIDS is the result of cutting edge genetic engineering techniques and has been presented to scientists from 38 countries at the International Biotech Congress in Cuba. The vaccine will initially be tested on a small group of AIDS patients in the primary stages of the disease. About 15,400 registered AIDS patients live in Cuba currently, making it one of the countries with the lowest rate of infection worldwide.First Int'l Airline Returns to Somalia after 20-year Break
The first major commercial airline flight into Somalia’s capital in more than 20 years has touched down safely. Turkish Airlines' maiden flight to Mogadishu was the first from outside east Africa since the country descended into anarchy and war.
Bekir Bozdag, the Turkish deputy prime minister, was among a high-profile delegation on board the flight from Istanbul's Atatürk airport. He was welcomed by Somalia's president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and other high-ranking government officials. Bozdag said: "After 20 years of a lack of international flights to Europe, Asia and America, the Turkish government has facilitated for the Somalis to travel by Turkish Airlines to the world again."
Somalia has been engulfed in chaos and conflict for more than 20 years. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that fighting, famine and disease have killed up to a million people since the last government collapsed in 1991.