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World's oldest woman dies

THE world's oldest person has died a week before her 115th birthday. Kama Chinen, whose life touched three centuries, died on Sunday on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, according to spokeswoman Kaoru Shijima.

The oldest person is now said to be 114-year-old Eugenie Blanchard, a French woman born on February 16, 1896.

Biblical river could dry up

Christian pilgrims who flock to the Jordan River to immerse themselves in the water where Jesus was baptised may have nothing left to dunk in next year.

A team of Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian environmental scientists says large stretches of the biblical river could dry up by 2011. And much of what remains is nothing but a canal of sewage, they said in a report released yesterday.