Friday 24 November 2017

Train crash kills three

One commuter train slammed into another that had stopped between stations during the morning commute in suburban Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing three passengers and injuring more than 200 yesterday.

The state-run train agency yesterday dismissed possible brake failure as a cause and suggested that the conductor was at fault.

MANDELA 'IMPROVING'

Nelson Mandela's health is continuing to improve but he remains in a serious condition, South Africa's president said. Jacob Zuma paid a visit to the 94-year-old in a Pretoria hospital, where the former president has been treated for six days. "We continue to appeal to people to keep Madiba in their prayers," Mr Zuma said, referring to Mr Mandela by his clan name.

Mr Mandela is being treated for a recurring lung infection, and it is his fourth spell in hospital since December.

GENE PATENT RULED OUT

The US Supreme Court says companies cannot patent human genes, a decision that could profoundly affect the medical and biotechnology industries. In a unanimous decision, the court struck down patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Opponents said patent protection shouldn't be given to something that can be found inside the human body.

CHEMICAL BLAST DEATH

One person was killed and dozens of others were injured when a ground-shaking explosion at a chemical plant in Louisiana triggered a blaze, US officials said.

Louisiana's health department said 73 people were treated at hospitals for injuries. The blast happened at 8.37am local time at the plant in an industrial area of Geismar, a Mississippi River community about 20 miles (32km) south-east of Baton Rouge. The cause was not immediately known.

POPE GETS COMPLAINT

The UN goodwill ambassador for eliminating leprosy has written to Pope Francis complaining about his recent comment that careerism among Catholic Church officials was "a leprosy".

In a letter to Francis, Ambassador Yohei Sasakawa wrote that such remarks can reinforce discrimination against leprosy patients and their families. He said he feared the Argentine-born Pope's comments could have a big impact in South America, "where there are many Catholics and still quite a few people affected by leprosy".

Irish Independent

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