More than 100 children die in India in encephalitis outbreak

Medical experts say India’s central and state governments remain unprepared for what is now an annual cycle of disease and death. (File/AFP)
Updated 18 June 2019

More than 100 children die in India in encephalitis outbreak

  • Authorities say 106 children have died and 437 others between the ages of 4 and 10 are being treated
  • Thousands of Indians suffer from encephalitis, malaria, typhoid and other mosquito-borne diseases each year during summer

PATNA, India: An encephalitis outbreak has killed more than 100 children in India’s eastern state of Bihar.
Authorities say 106 children have died and 437 others between the ages of 4 and 10 are being treated in hospitals in Muzaffarpur district, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Patna, the state capital.
Villagers crowded outside Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital in Muzaffarpur to protest that Bihar’s chief minister had only visited after the death toll passed 100. Left-wing political organizations also rallied in New Delhi.
Thousands of Indians suffer from encephalitis, malaria, typhoid and other mosquito-borne diseases each year during the summer monsoon season.
Medical experts say India’s central and state governments remain unprepared for what is now an annual cycle of disease and death.


Sweden discontinues Assange rape investigation

Updated 20 min 4 sec ago

Sweden discontinues Assange rape investigation

  • The case was being dropped because “the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”

STOCKHOLM: Sweden on Tuesday dropped its investigation into an alleged rape by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently in prison in Britain.
Assange, who is battling extradition to the United States which accuses him of publishing secret documents related to his WikiLeaks work, has been facing potential charges in Sweden since 2010. The 48-year-old has denied all allegations against him.
Prosecutor Eve-Marie Persson said the case was being dropped because “the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”
She said the alleged victim, who accused Assange of raping her in 2010, “submitted a credible and reliable version of events.”
“Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed,” Persson said. 
The decision follows a ruling in June by a Swedish court that Assange should not be detained. Two months earlier, Assange was evicted from the Ecuador Embassy in London where he had been holed up since 2012. He was immediately arrested and is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, said in a tweet that the focus should now move onto the “threat” that Assange has been “warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment.”
Assange has been battling potential charges in Sweden since August 2010, when an investigation began after two women accused Assange of sexual offenses during a visit to Stockholm. Sweden asked Britain to extradite Assange for questioning, and in June 2012 he sought refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid arrest. That was granted two months later.
After that, the investigation stalled. Swedish prosecutors dropped cases of alleged sexual misconduct when the statute of limitations ran out in 2015, leaving only the rape allegation.
While denying the sexual misconduct allegations in Sweden, he sought asylum for protection from possible extradition to the US on charges.
Ecuador withdrew Assange’s asylum status in April 2019. Assange was arrested by British police and sentenced in May to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012. He remains in prison after authorities ruled he was a flight risk and faces an extradition hearing next year to the US to face spying charges