News in Brief 2024-06-11

Tuesday, 11 June 2024

Air pollution linked to 135m
premature deaths worldwide
SINGAPORE, June 10: Pollution from man-made emissions and other sources like wildfires have been linked to around 135 million premature deaths worldwide between 1980 and 2020, a Singapore university said Monday. Weather phenomena like El Nino and the Indian Ocean Dipole worsened the effects of these pollutants by intensifying their concentration in the air, Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) said, unveiling the results of a study led by its researchers. The tiny particles called particulate matter 2.5, or "PM 2.5", are harmful to human health when inhaled because they are small enough to enter the bloodstream. — AFP
Armed conflicts in 2023 highest since
end of WWII, study reveals
OSLO, June 10: More armed conflicts took place worldwide in 2023 than any other year since the end of the Second World War, according to a Norwegian study published Monday. Last year saw 59 conflicts of which 28 were in Africa, the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) showed. But the number of countries which experienced conflicts declined from 39 in 2022 to 34. The number of deaths in combat also halved to around 122,000 over the previous year, according to data collected by Sweden's Uppsala University from NGOs and international organisations. — AFP
Sudan fighting shuts Darfur last hospital
PORT SUDAN, June 10: The last operating hospital in western Sudan's El-Fasher has been closed after an attack by paramilitaries trying to seize the key Darfur city, medical charity Doctors Without Borders has said. War has raged for more than a year between the regular military under army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces led by his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. El-Fasher in North Darfur is the only state capital in the vast western region not under RSF control, and is a key humanitarian hub for a region on the brink of famine. — AFP
China Premier to visit NZ this week
WELLINGTON, June 10: Chinese Premier Li Qiang will visit New Zealand this week, Prime Minister Chris Luxon said Monday. Li will be the first Chinese premier to visit New Zealand since 2017, embarking on a diplomatic trip that is widely expected to also take him to Australia. "I look forward to warmly welcoming Premier Li in New Zealand," Luxon said in a statement. "The premier's visit is a valuable opportunity for exchanges on areas of cooperation between New Zealand and China." — AFP