IN BRIEF

Philippines reports first

Zika pregnancy case

MANILA — The Philippines yesterday reported its first known case of a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus that threatens unborn babies, as authorities warned people to avoid mosquitos. Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said 12 cases of Zika had been detected across the Philippines this month, including a 22-year-old woman from the central island of Cebu who is 19 weeks’ pregnant with her first child. “Initial ultrasound did not detect any foetal abnormalities. She will be monitored regularly during the entire period of the pregnancy,” the health department said. Of the country’s 12 Zika cases, eight were female and ranged in age from nine to 55, the department said. None of those infected had travelled a month before testing positive and all had since recovered, it said. — AFP

Dutchman who pulled

plug on sermon held

YANGON — A Dutch tourist has been detained in Myanmar for insulting religion after being accused of pulling the plug on a speaker relaying a late-night Buddhist sermon in Mandalay. Klass Haytema, 30, has been held since Friday night when he allegedly disconnected the cable linking an amplifier and a speaker at a hall playing the sermon after he complained that it was disturbing him. “The religious hall is not far from the hotel where he was staying … he said he did it because it was too noisy for him,” Kyi Soe, police chief at Maha Aung Myay township, said. An angry crowd followed the man back to his hotel, where he was taken into custody by police and later transferred to a Mandalay prison.”We detained him for insulting religion,” he said, adding it was under section 295 of Myanmar’s penal code. He is yet to be charged but the law carries up to a two-year jail term and fine. — AFP

Water park blast
victims demand justice

TAIPEI — Victims of a water park explosion that killed 15 and left hundreds with horrific burns rallied in Taiwan yesterday as anger mounts that only one person has been jailed over the tragedy. It is more than a year since the blast at Formosa Fun Coast near the capital Taipei, where clouds of multi-coloured corn starch sprayed on revellers at a poolside “colour party” ignited due to heat from stage lights. Despite a probe being launched into nine suspects, the only one to be prosecuted was party organiser Lu Chung-chi, who was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison in April for negligence causing death. The others who were initially under investigation, including the chairman and president of the park, have not so far been brought to court over the disaster in June 2015. — AFP

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