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Apes hold top box office spot

REBELLIOUS apes have held off southern maids for a narrow win at the weekend US cinema box office.

Studio estimates pegged Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes at $27.5m (¤19.2m), giving it a second top spot.

The Planet Of The Apes prequel came in just ahead of The Help, a drama about black maids in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era that debuted at number two with $25.5m (¤17.8m).

The Warner Bros horror sequel Final Destination 5, the latest in the franchise where death stalks victims who had been fated to die earlier, opened at number three with $18.4m (¤12.8m).

Scans help just one in three

EXAMINING patients and taking a medical history are more useful in diagnosing patients than high-tech scans, says a new study.

Tests such as CT scans and ultrasounds add to hospital bills, but doctors said that such tests only helped with diagnosis in roughly one of three cases, the Israeli study said.

To see whether such scans were really helpful, researchers followed 442 A&E patients .

"Basic clinical skills remain a powerful tool, sufficient for achieving an accurate diagnosis in most cases," the study found.

US aid to Gaza Strip restored

THE US has restored funding to aid groups in the Gaza Strip after a pause in funding, a move that would have stripped the poverty-stricken area of $100m in aid.

A US official said that a demand by Hamas to audit the books of international organisations would have violated US regulations banning contact with the group.

The row emerged last week when the Palestinian enclave's Hamas rulers demanded the books of US-linked International Medical Corps.