NAVAPUR, Feb 24 (AP): Veterinary workers disinfected farms and cleaned up chicken coops Friday in a small town hit by bird flu in western India, a day after all the birds in the sprawling poultry farming region were culled.
Workers, wearing goggles, masks and protective suits, used fire-guns to scorch feathers caught in the wire netting of the coops and removed tonnes of chicken droppings and feed from under them as part of a massive clean-up drive launched in Navapur, in Maharashtra state.
The debris cleared from the poultry farms was buried in freshly dug pits which were sprayed with lime powder and other chemicals to prevent any new outbreak of the disease that killed more than 30,000 chickens before it was identified last week as the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
So far, there have been no reports of the disease infecting humans in India. Tests on people in western India suspected of having bird flu have shown no sign of the H5N1 strain.
Pakistan bans poultry imports from India, Iran
ISLAMABAD (IANS): Pakistan has imposed a ban on imports of poultry products and live birds from India, Iran and France due to the bird flu scare in those countries, Online news agency reported.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a training workshop on tuberculosis organised here, Health Minister Naseer Ahmad Khan on Tuesday said no case of bird flu had been reported in the country so far.
He said the import of poultry products and live birds from Iran and India had been banned after the detection of the bird flu virus there.
191 nominees for 2006 Nobel Peace Prize
OSLO (AFP): A total of 191 candidates have been nominated this year for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Institute said Friday, with former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari seen as the early favourite.
"We are increasingly receiving nominations from all parts of the world," the head of the institute, Geir Lundestad, told AFP.
"This year, nominations have been submitted from countries that have never nominated before, in particular in Asia," he said.
Among the nominees, the former Finnish president Martti Ahtissari, who has mediated in a number of peace processes, is currently the experts' favourite.
India, Iran pledge to continue gas pipeline project
NEW DELHI (Xinhua): India and Iran will continue working on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, said Navtej Sarna, spokesman of the Indian External Affairs Ministry, here Thursday.
Sarna made the remark after visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari met top Indian officials, including Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, here Thursday.
They reaffirmed their commitment to the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and an early ratification of the LNG deal already signed between the two countries, he said.
This is the first high profile bilateral talks since India voted at a International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting early this month for the resolution to report Iran to the UN Security Council for its alleged violations of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).