Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 8th 2016 Contents A21
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RIO DE JANEIRO---Brazil-
ian health officials are dish-
ing out some unusual advice
these days: Don t get preg-
That s the message for
would-be parents, espe-
cially in the country s
northeast, after officials
linked a mosquito-borne
virus called Zika to a surge in
newborn microcephaly, a
neurological disorder that
can result in incomplete
"It s a very personal deci-
sion, but at this moment of
uncertainty, if families can
put off their pregnancy
plans, that s what we re rec-
ommending," Angela Rocha,
the pediatric infectologist at
Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in
Brazil s hardest-hit state,
More than 2,400 sus-
pected cases of micro-
cephaly have been reported
this year in 20 Brazilian
states, compared with 147
cases last year. Doctors are
investigating 29 related in-
Microcephaly results in
babies being born with ab-
normally small heads that
cause, often serious, devel-
opmental issues and some-
times early death. (CNN)
Venezuela's opposition has sworn in three of its
MPs suspended for alleged election fraud, in its first
full session in control of congress.
The move defies a supreme court ruling and gives
the opposition a two-thirds super-majority.
The supermajority gives the opposition extra
powers such as removing judges from the top court.
The new speaker, Henry Ramos Allup, has also
said that he would seek a government change
within six months. Following a landslide win, the
assembly is under the control of the opposition for
the first time in almost 17 years. He did not say
how the change would be brought about but
stressed it would be "constitutional."
Under Venezuela's constitution, the president can
be removed from office by means of a recall
referendum. In response, Maduro struck a defiant
note: "Let them (the opposition) call a recall
referendum and then the people will decide," he
said. It is still unclear if the investiture of the three
banned opposition MPs will be allowed to stand.
It goes against a supreme court ruling that they
and one pro-government MP should be temporarily
suspended while allegations of election
irregularities during last month's elections were
Children and skeletal old men drink-
ing soup made from leaves and grass.
A kilo of rice costing more than $100.
People said to be dying from starvation.
The accounts could be of a WWII death
camp---but they are not. This is Syria
The graphic images of death and star-
vation coming out of the besieged Syrian
town of Madaya have not been inde-
pendently confirmed by aid groups or
However the UN yesterday said it s
received "credible reports" of people
dying of starvation and that the Syrian
government had agreed to allow aid con-
voys into the besieged cities of Madaya,
Foah and Kefraya.
The UN s World Food Programme
(WFP) was preparing to deliver human-
itarian aid in the coming days, it added.
A convoy would have enough aid to sus-
tain 40,000 people for one month,
according to spokesperson Abeer Etefa.
Madaya, a town of 40,000 people
northwest of the capital Damascus has
been under siege since July 2015, cut off
by forces of both the Syrian government
and Hezbollah, its Lebanese ally.
Madaya is also peppered with land-
mines, thwarting aid efforts.
Many of those posting Twitter and
Facebook messages beg the world for
help, saying they have no access to food,
water or electricity for days at a time.
Children eat soup made from leaves
and water, one activist, Sham Abdullah,
He claims 41 people have died so far
from starvation; other activists and res-
idents have posted images of bodies on
Twitter. Food is available, resident Amjad
Almaleh tells CNN, but few can afford
it. A kilo of sugar costs about $200, he
says, while a similar amount of flour or
rice is $120. In another tweet, there are
claims milk costs $300 per litre.
"Who has that money to feed their
families?" Almaleh asks. Just as others
have claimed, he says parents feed stray
cats and dogs to their children to keep
them alive. When they can t find animals,
salt and water must suffice.
CNN contacted all groups involved in
the last delivery of aid, back in October
2015. All reiterate their concern for that
town and dozens of others in Syria under
Hawaii's last sugar plantation is getting out of the
sugar-growing business, signalling the end of an
industry that once powered the local economy and
lured thousands of immigrants to the islands.
Alexander & Baldwin Inc said yesterday that it
will phase out sugar by the end of 2016.
Its 36,000 acre-Maui plantation will be divided
into smaller farms to grow biofuels and food crops.
Some of the land will be irrigated to supply
pasture to local cattle ranchers.
The company says all 675 people who work for
its Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar subsidiary will be
laid off. About half will be retained through the end
of this year's sugar harvest. (AP)
GEORGETOWN---The Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) and the United States Home
Land Security will be working with security officials
as they investigate the matters surrounding the
weekly exportation of 15,000 ounces of illegal gold.
Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman
made the disclosure at a press conference on
Wednesday, stating that local law enforcement
officials and related agencies were working
constantly to tighten all the loopholes through
which the precious metal is being smuggled.
He said 50 to 60 per cent of local production is
lost to smuggling.
"Indicators are that the gold is going to Brazil. It is
going over the borders to Suriname, not to stay in
Suriname but to go to Europe. It is being landed at
Miami International Airport. It is being landed at
John F Kennedy and it is going to the Middle East,"
he told reporters. (CMC)
SEOUL---In response to North Korea s
latest nuclear test, South Korea yesterday
announced it would resume cross-border
propaganda broadcasts that Pyongyang
considers an act of war. Seoul also began
talks with Washington that could see the
arrival of nuclear-powered US submarines
and warplanes to the Korean Peninsula.
From Seoul to Washington, Beijing to the
United Nations, world powers are looking
at ways to punish Pyongyang for the test
of what it called a new and powerful hydro-
The loudspeaker broadcasts, which will
start today, believed to be the birthday of
young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,
are certain to infuriate authoritarian
Pyongyang because they are meant to raise
questions in North Korean minds about the
infallibility of the ruling Kim family.
South Korea stopped earlier broadcasts
after it agreed with Pyongyang in late August
on a package of measures aimed at easing
animosities that had the rivals threatening
Experts, meanwhile, are trying to uncover
more details about the detonation that drew
worldwide skepticism and condemnation.
It may take weeks or longer to confirm
or refute the North s claim that it successfully
tested a hydrogen bomb, which would mark
a major and unanticipated advance for its
still-limited nuclear arsenal. (AP)
S/Korea to resume anti-North propaganda broadcasts
SYRIANS STARVING TO DEATH
Venezuela congress swears
in barred opposition MPs
Many of those posting Twitter
and Facebook messages beg
the world for help, saying they
have no access to food, water
or electricity for days at a time.
Children eat soup made from
leaves and water, one activist,
Sham Abdullah, tells CNN.
Hawaii's last sugar
plantation shuts down
FBI, Guyana investigate
exportation of illegal gold
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