Smuggled tiger undergoes emergency surgery in California

File photo provided by US Customs and Border Protection shows an agent holding a male tiger cub that was confiscated at the U.S. border crossing at Otay Mesa southeast of downtown San Diego. (AP)
Updated 09 March 2018
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Smuggled tiger undergoes emergency surgery in California

SAN DIEGO: A Bengal tiger cub that was being smuggled into California from Mexico has undergone emergency surgery to fix internal problems he probably had before being rescued.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park says the male cub, named Moka, had the operation Tuesday and appears to be recovering but he’ll remain under observation.
The park says Moka had abdominal adhesions and recently had shown signs of ill health.
Moka was 6 weeks old when he was found on the floor of a car last August at a San Diego border checkpoint. Tigers are endangered and it’s illegal to import them without a permit.
He was handed over to the park.
The driver, who’d claimed he bought the cub as a pet, was sentenced to six months in prison.


Stubbed out: Japan university stops hiring smoking professors

Updated 23 April 2019
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Stubbed out: Japan university stops hiring smoking professors

  • Nagasaki University the first state-run university to introduce such a condition of employment
  • Japan is steppiing up an anti-smoking campaign ahead of the 2020 Olympics

TOKYO: A Japanese university has stopped hiring professors and teachers who light up, officials said Tuesday, as the nation steps up an anti-smoking campaign ahead of the 2020 Olympics.
Nagasaki University spokesman Yusuke Takakura said they have “stopped hiring any teaching staff who smoke,” although applicants who promise to kick the habit before taking up their post could still be offered employment.
The university will also ban smoking entirely on campus from August, opening a clinic for those who cannot give up, said Takakura.
“We have reached a conclusion that smokers are not fit for the education sector,” the spokesman said, adding that the university had sought legal advice and does not believe the policy contravenes discrimination laws.
Local media said it was the first state-run university to introduce such a condition of employment and the move comes after Tokyo’s city government passed strict new anti-smoking rules last year ahead of the 2020 Summer Games.
Japan has long been an outlier in the developed world, considered a smoker’s paradise where lighting up is allowed in many restaurants and bars.
Tokyo’s new laws ban lighting up at restaurants in the capital, regardless of size. Restaurants can set up separate indoor smoking areas, but customers cannot eat or drink there.
Smoking is also banned entirely on school premises from kindergartens to high schools, although space can be set aside outside university and hospital buildings.
The World Health Organization has given Japan its lowest rating for efforts to prevent passive smoking, and it even scores poorly in the region compared with countries like China and South Korea.
Despite that, tobacco use in Japan has been falling in line with a broader global trend.