Cameroon flood disaster

state-run Cameroon broadcasting reported yesterday that at least 14 are dead and over 22,000 others affected by floods.

Prolonged rainfall combined with the release of water by a hydroelectricity dam caused the Benoue to burst its banks into residential areas.

Faro, Mayo Louti, Mayo Rey and Benoue were most hard-hit, with at least 14 confirmed dead in the past two days.

Allied to famine worries, there are also fears that cholera and malaria could be spread by the flood waters.

Feminist pioneer dies

Shulamith Firestone, who published her influential The Dialectic of Sex in 1970 at 25 and then retreated into isolation and mental illness, has died at 67.

Firestone was found dead in her Manhattan apartment, said her sister Laya Firestone Seghi. The death was from natural causes.

Firestone argued that true liberation would come only when women were freed from child-bearing. In Firestone's utopian future, babies would be gestated outside the womb and raised by both sexes.

Spain to bail out Bankia

Spain's bank rescue fund says it is to inject government aid immediately into Bankia after the troubled lender announced losses of ¤4.4bn in the first six months of this year.

The fund for the orderly restructuring of banks said late yesterday it plans to inject capital into Banco Financiero y de Ahorros SA and Bankia SA, with immediate effect.

The fund did not specify how much money it would inject, but said it was part of Bankia's restructuring and was an advance prior to Spain receiving up to ¤100bn from the other eurozone countries.

Healthy old folk live longer

Living a healthy lifestyle into old age can extend your innings by up to six years, research has shown.

Until now it has not been clear whether factors such as being overweight, smoking and excessive drinking make a difference to people aged 75 or more.

The 18-year Swedish study of almost 2,000 older individuals indicates it does.