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H1N1 flu has claimed at least 7,826 lives, WHO says

Geneva

H1N1 flu deaths put at 7,826 worldwide

At least 7,826 people worldwide have died from laboratory-confirmed cases of pandemic H1N1 influenza, an increase of more than 1,000 in the last week, but the actual number is probably much larger than that, the World Health Organization said Friday. Most countries have stopped counting every case, and the totals do not reflect all the deaths linked to the virus, so the actual number is probably substantially larger. In the United States, for example, a little more than 1,000 deaths have been linked firmly to the so-called swine flu virus, but officials estimate that about 4,000 people have actually died from the virus and its complications.

Philippines

Women mutilated in massacre

Most or all of the 22 women among the 57 people massacred Monday in the southern Philippines were sexually mutilated, authorities said Friday. "Even the private parts of the women were shot at," the justice secretary, Agnes Devanadera, said on national television. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said that it appeared that 30 journalists and their assistants had been killed. About a dozen of the victims were the relatives, lawyers or supporters of local politician Esmael Mangudadatu. On Friday, Mangudadatu said he would campaign to honor the victims' memory.

China

Environmentalist is sent to prison

Justin Franchi Solondz, an environmental activist from New Jersey who for years evaded charges of ecoterrorism in the United States, was convicted by a Chinese court on Friday of manufacturing drugs. After serving his three-year sentence, Solondz, 30, who is on the FBI's most-wanted list, will be deported to the United States, where he was allegedly involved in the environmental extremist organization Earth Liberation Front. He faces arson charges in three western states and was indicted in absentia in 2006.

Elsewhere

Russia: An express train carrying hundreds of passengers from Moscow to St. Petersburg derailed late Friday, killing at least 25 people and injuring dozens, emergency officials said.

Ukraine: Nationalists hurled red paint at a restored monument to Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin moments after it was unveiled Friday, sparking a street brawl and revealing the bitter divisions over the legacy of communism in Ukraine.

Costa Rica: The government promised to restore ties with Honduras after it elects a new president on Sunday, joining other nations in rejecting ousted President Manuel Zelaya's insistence that recognizing the vote would legitimize a June coup.

Israel: The Israeli military said its air force attacked a group of Palestinian militants in northern Gaza early Friday as they were about to fire rockets at Israel, killing one person.

Times wires

H1N1 flu has claimed at least 7,826 lives, WHO says 11/27/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 27, 2009 11:09pm]
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