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Cancer is 'most costly' disease

Cancer is the world's top "economic killer" as well as its likely leading cause of death, the American Cancer Society says in a new report it will present at a global cancer conference in China this week.

Cancer costs more in productivity and lost life than Aids, malaria, the flu and other diseases that spread person-to-person, the report concludes.

Chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes account for more than 60pc of deaths worldwide but less than 3pc of public and private funding for global health, according to the study.

Fireworks blast in China kills 19

An explosion at a fireworks factory outside Harbin in northeastern China killed 19 people and injured 153.

Five people were still missing after the explosion early yesterday in Yichun city. The blast caused a shockwave felt up to 5km away and prompted the evacuation of more than 2,000 residents.

A downpour had flooded a warehouse at the site and the blast occurred when workers were moving fireworks out of the building.