Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 16th 2014 Contents A23
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Indian emergency workers yesterday
battled to prevent waterborne diseases
like cholera from spreading as fetid water
swilled around the Kashmir valley more
than a week after the worst flooding in
more than a century.
More than 75,000 people were still in
partly submerged homes in Srinagar,
Kashmir's main city of more than a million
people, where roads have been
transformed into stagnant canals strewn
with wreckage, trash and dead animals.
"Floating carcasses have become a big
source of worry with most houses still
waterlogged. We are struggling to get in
touch with government health officials,"
said Abul Syed Rahman, who owns three
hotels in Kashmir.
Altaf Hussein, a paediatrician who was
treating flood victims in improvised
camps, complained of shortages of life-
saving drugs, intravenous fluids and
"We need aerial fumigation...as these
waters can cause waterborne diseases,
including cholera," said Hussein.
Another doctor, Nisar Bhat, said he had
treated more than 30 patients suffering
from gastroenteritis in the last 24 hours.
Disease threatens as Kashmir flood waters turn fetid
Thirty countries have
pledged to help Iraq
fight Islamic State (IS)
militants "by all means
A joint statement by
foreign ministers taking
part in a major confer-
ence in Paris talks said
support would include
The talks had been
called to agree a strategy
to combat the group,
which controls large parts
of Iraq and Syria.
The conference fol-
lowed a whirlwind tour
of the Middle East by US
Secretary of State John
Kerry, who attended
the summit, has been
drumming up support for
a plan of action unveiled
by President Barack
Obama last week.
The murder of British
aid worker David Haines
by IS militants, shown in
a video released by the
group on Saturday, has
Opening the summit,
French President Francois
Hollande said the threat
posed by IS militants
needed a global response.
The CIA estimates that
Islamic State has between
20,000 and 31,000 fight-
ers in Iraq and Syria.
Iraqi President Fuad
Masum, who co-hosted
the conference with Hol-
lande, said the interna-
tional community must
pursue the jihadists
"If this intervention
and support to Iraq is
late, that means that
Islamic State could occu-
py more territory and the
threat it poses will be
even bigger," he said.
About 500 migrants are feared dead after their
ship was rammed by another boat near Malta last
week, a migration body said.
Two Palestinian survivors told the International
Organisation for Migration (IOM) that the boat had
been intentionally sunk by traffickers.
They said the boat had left Damietta in Egypt in
The IOM says that more than 2,500 people are
now believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean
News of the sinking near Malta emerged as another
vessel carrying 250 people sank off the coast of Libya.
Over 200 people are feared to have drowned in
IOM spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume said
that the two survivors from the Malta sinking were
rescued on Thursday, the day after their boat sank.
They said traffickers rammed the boat after a "vio-
lent confrontation" on board. The IOM said there
were nine known survivors in total.
The boat had been carrying Syrians, Palestinians,
Egyptians and Sudanese, the survivors said.
The passengers, who included women and children,
were reportedly told to move to a smaller, less safe
boat. When they refused, the traffickers sank the
larger vessel, the eyewitnesses said.
The Maltese authorities have not yet commented
on the incident.
The UN says more than 130,000 migrants have
arrived in Europe by sea this year, compared with
80,000 this year. Italy has received more than 118,000
migrants, the UN said.
Many attempt to cross from North Africa and the
Middle East in unsafe and overcrowded vessels. (BBC)
500 dead after
...another 200 drown
FREETOWN---Sierra Leone is accusing the World
Health Organization (WHO) of being "sluggish" in
facilitating an evacuation of a doctor who died from
Ebola before she could be sent out of the country
for medical care.
Dr Olivet Buck died Saturday, hours after the UN
health agency said it could not help evacuate her.
At a news conference Monday, a government official
read a statement saying that the Buck is the second
Sierra Leonean doctor to die because negotiations
on evacuation had dragged on. Dr Sheik Humarr
Khan was being considered for evacuation when he
died of the disease in July.
The WHO responded yesterday that it can only
evacuate its own staff and that, given the number
of health workers becoming infected, the solution is
not to evacuate everyone. (AP)
Sierra Leone: WHO
too slow to help
doc with Ebola
LONDON---Queen Elizabeth II
has made her first comments
about this week s Scottish inde-
pendence vote, urging Scots to
"think very carefully about the
But the popular British
monarch didn t indicate a pref-
erence on how Scots should vote,
carefully maintaining the neu-
trality that is her constitutional
Still, some may interpret her
comments as a suggestion that
Scots looking to embrace inde-
pendence should be cautious
about severing Scotland s long
ties to the United Kingdom, which
date back more than 300 years.
The queen spoke after a Sunday
church service near her Balmoral
estate in Scotland. She made the
comment to a well-wisher in the
Buckingham Palace recently
issued a statement indicating her
plans to remain neutral before
Thursday s vote.
She was seen as resisting calls
from some Conservative Party
lawmakers that she should make
her views known before the his-
toric vote because it could possibly
lead to a breakup of the United
She is well known to have a
deep affection for Scotland and
to spend much of her free time
every summer at her extensive
Balmoral estate, where she can
be seen walking in the woods or
Weekend polls have suggested
the race is too close to call with
both sides planning a frenetic final
few days of campaigning.
The "Better Together" cam-
paign has been emphasising the
economic uncertainties that
would face an independent Scot-
land, while pro-independence
forces have been predicting a rosy
future for an oil-rich Scotland
free of the United Kingdom. (AP)
dinner table talk is getting heated
as families fight over how to vote
in Scotland s independence ref-
erendum. A generation gap has
opened up, with younger voters
more inclined to back independ-
ence and their elders tending to
say they want to remain in the
Support for the status quo is
strongest among the over-60s,
who are worried about the con-
sequences breaking free would
have on pensions, healthcare and
savings; the pro-independence
movement is largely being driven
by under-40s. Neck-and-neck
in the polls, the rival campaigns
have called on core supporters to
make a last ditch attempt to swing
the vote by making the debate a
The young are being urged to
visit parents and grandparents to
explain why they should support
separation. The No camp has
launched a counteroffensive by
asking seniors to win young hearts
and minds with their wisdom.
Interest in the referendum is
sky high. A total of 4,285,323 peo-
ple, representing 97 per cent of
the population, have registered
to vote in the referendum. That s
an increase of 300,000 on those
registered in Scotland in 2012.
The turnout for Thursday s bal-
lot could exceed 85 per cent. (AP)
Generation gap: Young
Scots favour independence
Queen Elizabeth II
should 'think very
carefully' before vote
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