Published: Friday 30 September 2005

Singapore has witnessed 8,308 dengue fever cases in 2005, including seven deaths. This is nearly double the number of infections in the same period in 2004, when the number of cases reached a 10-year high. The surge is continuing despite the government's efforts to clean up mosquito breeding grounds. In the week ending August 28, 2005, 493 new cases were reported. This was a considerable rise from the previous week's record high of 414, according to the weekly bulletin on infectious diseases released by Singapore's health ministry.

Environmental groups are criticising the Bush administration's recently released plan to overhaul fuel economy regulations for sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans. It is the first broad change of fuel regulations for these vehicles. But critics say it is too moderate and would do little to curb oil consumption. The plan aims to save 10 billion gallons of gasoline over nearly two decades. This amounts to merely 25 days' gasoline supply under present consumption trends.

The Cameroon government, on August 25, 2005, banned the use of all pesticides containing lindane and also ordered the withdrawal of another pesticide, Almthio 20/25. The decision was based on studies indicating that lindane was very toxic and did not disappear from the environment easily. The study said the effects of lindane on the health of human beings and animals were not only negative, but also


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