CAMBODIA: Schools closed in virus scare
All kindergarten and primary schools in Cambodia are being closed two weeks before a regular vacation to try to stop the spread of a virus that has killed hundreds of young children around Asia. Deputy Education Minister Mak Van said 2,700 kindergartens and 7,000 primary schools were closed Wednesday to try to cope with the menacing form of hand, foot and mouth disease known as enterovirus 71 strain, or EV-71. The victims sometimes suffer high fever, brain swelling, paralysis and respiratory shutdown, though they may have been infected by people with few or no symptoms. The deaths of nearly 60 Cambodian children raised the alarm. Vietnam and China have also had outbreaks. In Thailand, three schools in Bangkok were closed over new cases in students.
OMAN: U.S. copter crashes, 5 aboard
A U.S. Navy helicopter crashed Thursday in this Gulf nation with five crew members aboard, Lt. Greg Raelson, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said. An Omani air force official said three of the crew had been found so far and were being treated in a hospital. No hostile activity was suspected. Raelson said the MH-53E Sea Dragon was involved in heavy lift operations when it crashed on land 58 miles southwest of Muscat.
YEMEN: Counterterrorism aid from U.S.
The United States is pouring new funding into Yemen for weapons and aircraft to help bolster the embattled country's counterterrorism forces amid growing concerns about Iranian spying and meddling. After freezing military aid to Yemen for the past year, as the country was wracked by internal chaos, the Defense Department has now agreed to deliver more than $112 million worth of equipment and military training this year. In documents delivered to Congress, the Pentagon said the latest funding will be used to buy two new twin-engine transport planes, inflatable boats, communications equipment and a variety of guns and ammunition, as well as counterterrorism improvements, including small unmanned drones, weapons, military construction and training.