Iraqi security forces storm Mosul airport, military base
BAGHDAD U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces closing in on the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul stormed the city's airport and a nearby military base on Thursday, state television said.
BEIJING A man in China's eastern province of Shandong has become at least the fourth person to die this winter from H7N9 bird flu, state media said on Thursday, while officials in southern Guangdong confirmed 14 cases of the virus in December.
Regional fears of a major bird flu outbreak have been sparked by a record outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in South Korea, as well as infections in birds in Japan.
The 77-year-old man diagnosed in Shandong's Rizhao city on Tuesday died later the same day, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Guangdong authorities said the December bird flu cases were scattered around the province, according to the state-run China News Service. Dozens of human cases have been confirmed around China this winter.
Bird flu is most likely to strike in winter and spring. IN recent years, farmers have stepped up cleaning regimes, animal detention techniques, and built roofs to cover hen pens, in their efforts to prevent the disease.
Widespread infection can lead to severe risks and huge financial losses for farmers. China's last major outbreak in China killed 36 people and caused more than $6 billion in losses for the agricultural sector.
The H7N9 strain does not seem to transmit easily among people, and sustained human-to-human infection has not been reported, the World Health Organization says.
The danger is that any such virus mutates and acquires genetic changes that could boost its pandemic potential.
Normal seasonal flu, while not serious for most people, still costs hundreds of thousands of lives every year.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday revoked landmark guidance to public schools letting transgender students use the bathrooms of their choice, reversing a signature initiative of former Democratic President Barack Obama.
PARIS French far right leader Marine Le Pen has increased her lead in the first round of France's presidential election, though she is still seen being beaten by a wide margin in the runoff, a BVA-Salesforce poll published on Thursday showed.