bird flu deaths: The number of human deaths from bird flu is soaring in Asia. The recent deaths of a 35-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy in Vietnam took to nine the total number of human victims of the virus in the country since late December 2004. With this, at least 29 people have been killed by the virus since the end of 2003. The Vietnamese agriculture ministry says more than 410,000 poultry have been culled this year alone to fight the virus. In Thailand, the virus has claimed 12 human lives. Thai officials confirmed the outbreak on January 20, 2005, following which a high alert was declared across the country.
world's biggest: On January 18, 2005, Airbus revealed its A380 superjumbo, the largest civil aircraft ever built, at a special ceremony organised at the aeroplane's final assembly plant at Toulouse, France. Airlines have already committed almost US $40 billion for the double-decker jet in the hope to lower costs. Boeing's 747 jumbo is the only passenger double-decker in the world at present. French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero were present on the occasion.
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