Singapores health department has confirmed 40 new cases of Zika virus one day after revealing a 47-year-old woman had become the first person known to have contracted the disease locally. Thirty-six of the cases are believed to be migrants living in the high-rise areas of Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive, said the Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency (NEA) in a joint statement.The migrants are mostly construction workers believed to be from South Asia. A total of 124 people had been tested by authorities. [The Ministry of Health] cannot rule out further community transmission in Singapore since some of those tested positive also live or work in other parts of Singapore, the statement said. We expect to identify more positive cases.The statement went on: All the cases are residents or workers in the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive area. They are not known to have travelled to Zika-affected areas recently and are thus likely to have been infected in Singapore. This confirms that local transmission of Zika virus infection has taken place, reports Reuters.NEA teams went to the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive area on Sunday, 28 August, cleaning drains, handing out repellent and leaflets and talking to residents. Local resident Janice, 31, told Reuters she was glad to see action being taken. Im very scared of mosquitoes because they always seem to bite me, they never bite my husband, she said. This [outbreak] concerns me because maybe in a couple of years I want to have another [child].Zika has been blamed for the spread of microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with small heads and brains. Most cases have been in Brazil but 2,500 people in the US have been infected, most of them after travelling abroad. The virus has also been found in southern Europe. Singapores first confirmed Zika case was in May 2016 in a 48-year-old man who had travelled to Brazil, according to the Daily Mail.
Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaHPD Chief Art Acevedo (third from right) discusses crime statistics pertaining to 2018. X Share 00:00 /00:45 Listen Total crime in Houston dropped by 4.4 percent from 2017 to 2018, and violent crime went down by 10.4 percent, according to data released by the Houston Police Department Monday.However, there were 279 more homicides last year, 10 more than in 2017 – a 3.7 percent increase.That makes Houston one of only a few major U.S. cities where the number of homicides went up in 2018, according to a December analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.Washington, D.C., is one other notable exception, whereas murders in high-crime cities like Chicago and Baltimore went down.But Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said the longer-term trend is a better indicator, and murders went down in 2016 and 2017.“I promise you long term we’re trending in the right direction, including homicides,” he said. “We’re trending in the right direction in everything our community should care about.”This, he said, despite limited resources. The chief has long said the police department is understaffed.Acevedo said 37 percent of homicides were either gang-related or family violence.And, he said, the number of family murders in particular went up by 38 percent compared to 2017. The Houston Police Department has started some programs to tackle domestic violence and is working on more, the chief said.The 279 Houston murders did not come close to the Brennan Center for Justice’s projection in December, which predicted a 24.7 percent increase in homicides for the year.Robberies were down for the fourth straight year, nearly 1,000 fewer last year than in 2017.Acevedo said robberies really tell the story of what is happening in a city, because it is usually a stranger-on-stranger crime.“Think about that for a minute,” Acevedo said. “A thousand people that didn’t have a gun placed at their head or in their face, or a knife or a bat or some other form of force to rob them.”Among non-violent crime, only auto theft went up slightly in 2018, by 2.3 percent, while burglaries have gone down every year since at least 2014.You can read a chart with HPD data that contains information about crime from the year 2014 to 2018 here: To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
Darjeeling: In a sudden development, Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri president Jan Andolan Party (JAP) on Wednesday announced that his party will stay out of the Lok Sabha polls thereby causing a major setback to coalition that was being forged.”For more than a month we have been trying to forge an alliance and field a consensus candidate. There is the GNLF, JAP and the CPR. However, this has not been possible. The other two parties have already decided on their candidates,” stated Chettri. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe JAP president stated that his party does not adhere to the politics of winning seats. “We do not want to win the MP elections. We wanted to forge an alliance with the regional parties and come out with a consensus candidate for the greater good. “However, as this has not been possible we have decided to stay out of the fray,” added Chettri. Interestingly, while talks were on in Siliguri between the three parties along with the Congress and CPI(M) on March 10, though the CPRM had sent representatives to the meeting, in Darjeeling they unilaterally had announced RB Rai as their candidate. Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) is a breakaway faction of the CPI(M). The CPRM, however, stated that if a agreeable consensus candidate is decided upon Rai will withdraw from the fray. Rai is the president of the CPRM and a former MP.