Imported case 'probably re-infected' in India , infectious on return to S'pore: MOH
An imported case who arrived from India earlier this month was 'was probably re-infected' when he was in his home country and had been infectious when he came back here, said the Ministry of Health on Tuesday (21 April).
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18 hours agoSouth China Morning PostHong Kong couple sentenced to life in prison for murdering daughter, 5, in horrific child abuse caseA couple have been sentenced to life in prison for murdering their five-year-old daughter three years ago in what a Hong Kong judge described as one of the worst cases of child abuse and a crime marked by “extreme cruelty”. The husband and wife were also on Tuesday given concurrent jail terms for two counts of child cruelty, to which they had admitted, for the ill-treatment and neglect of the girl and her then eight-year-old brother. The children were both found with about 130 injuries after the girl died of septicaemia on January 6, 2018. The 29-year-old father, a transport worker, and the 30-year-old stepmother, a housewife, each received 9½ years for child cruelty, just shy of the maximum 10 years.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. The woman’s 56-year-old mother, an accounting clerk, was jailed for five years on two counts of the same cruelty charge, for neglecting the children while the five-month-long abuse was happening in her flat. The case is believed to be the first instance of fatal child abuse that resulted in a murder conviction with a life sentence in the city. Sentencing at the High Court, Mr Justice Albert Wong Sung-hau said the case was one of “extreme cruelty” involving both physical and psychological abuse inflicted upon the children for a prolonged period, with deliberate efforts made to conceal the “extensive and some very serious injuries” that he described as dreadful. Wong said the step-grandmother was also guilty of serious neglect, noting she had failed to take the children to the doctor and had acted selfishly in a way that amounted to “acquiescence or connivance to the conducts of the other two defendants” when she might have been the siblings’ “only hope”. “What [the parents] did on [the girl] ranks as one of the worst cases of its kind,” the judge said. “If [the grandparent] had not neglected the girl, her death could have been avoided.” Child abuse in Hong Kong escalating because of pandemic: expert Wong also quoted from the Bible as he addressed the stepmother, who had identified as Christian. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” he read from the Book of John. But the stepmother did not react. In the public gallery, a man shouted “savages”, while another cried out: “You should be ashamed of yourselves.” Dozens of people arrived at the court building hours ahead of the afternoon hearing to queue for seats. The judiciary had earlier arranged for a bigger courtroom and after it filled up, the rest of the crowd was sent into a lobby where the proceedings were shown via live telecast. Outside court, police displayed two pink slippers, a pair of scissors and a 47cm-long rattan stick that were used in assaulting the children. A single report can protect children from further harm Chief Inspector Ko Mei-yee, case investigator The senior police officer whose unit handled the investigation welcomed the sentences, which she believed would act as a deterrent. Chief Inspector Ko Mei-yee said corporal punishment was not an acceptable way to teach or punish children and parents should seek professional help if they found themselves in need. She also urged people to step forward if they knew of child abuse. “A single report can protect children from further harm,” Ko said. The trio were convicted by a High Court jury last week following a month-long trial filled with heartbreaking testimonies revealing how the siblings were punished, assaulted and deprived of basic life necessities such as food and access to professional medical treatment, even as their wounds festered and affected daily functions such as sitting and walking. Derek Lai Kim-wah, senior assistant director of public prosecutions, said the chronic abuse was a significant cause of the girl’s death because it weakened her immune system’s ability to fight the salmonella infection that eventually killed her. That was reflected by the experts’ finding of the change in the girl’s thymus – a vital organ responsible for the production of white blood cells that fight salmonella – which had been reduced to its smallest size, despite it generally being at its largest in children her age, in response to toxic stress. The court also heard how their schools had noticed some of the signs of abuse. Their handling of the case has renewed debate on how children could be better protected and prompted the government to revise measures and guidelines, as well as to provide more social workers for schools. The judge issued a gag order barring the identification of the family members and schools involved, to protect the siblings and their then seven-year-old stepsister, who was not abused. In mitigation, lawyers for the couple had argued the abuse was “not the worst of its kind” given that it had happened in the course of disciplining the children. They said the parents did not know how to seek outside support, while noting that there had also been “moments of joy” in the family. Hong Kong child murder case began with romance, ended in nightmare But the judge countered on Tuesday: “Such episodes were just a few glimpses of consolation in the miserable period of life of the two children.” Charity Save the Children Hong Kong said it was deeply concerned about the “horrific” case and noted the sentencing served as a reminder that child abuse would not be tolerated. “We must do whatever we can as a community to ensure children’s safety and prevent future cases from occurring,” chief executive officer Carol Szeto said. She urged all parties to offer long-term, holistic care and support to the boy to help him recover from the traumatic experience. The group also called on the government to establish a mandatory reporting system for professionals who interact with children, outlaw corporal punishment and provide educational programmes on positive parenting.More from South China Morning Post:Did Hong Kong’s schools and system fail girl, 5, murdered by parents in horrific child abuse case?Girl’s murder exposes the failings of system in Hong KongFive months of ‘hell’: Hong Kong child murder case began with a romance, ended in a nightmareThis article Hong Kong couple sentenced to life in prison for murdering daughter, 5, in horrific child abuse case first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
9 hours agoChina deploys long-range rocket launcher ‘as deterrent to India’The People’s Liberation Army has deployed an advanced long-range rocket launcher to the Himalayas, in a move aimed at reinforcing China’s border defence and acting as a deterrent to India, according to a military mouthpiece and analysts. It is the first time that the PLA has confirmed the deployment of long-range rocket systems to the border with India, after the neighbours last week failed to reach agreement in their latest round of corps commander-level talks over full disengagement along the disputed frontier. An artillery brigade stationed 5,200 metres (17,000 feet) above sea level in Xinjiang military district has intensified its drills using a rocket system during full-wing combat-ready training, a report on the front page of PLA Daily said on Monday.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. The report did not give the type or firing range of the weapon, but said it was a system with a long-range rocket with precision strike capability, and had entered service in 2019. Last July, reports from Indian media outlets said China had deployed advanced weapons systems to border areas in the high-altitude desert in its northwest, and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in its southwest, including the Type PHL-03 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), which has a firing range of 70 to 130km, and PCL-181 vehicle-mounted howitzers. But experts said the PHL-03 and PCL-181 were not new advanced weapons, with their ranges being too short to pose a threat. “The new weapon system should be a long-range rocket launcher that can carry multiple 300mm [12-inch] or even bigger rockets with more than 100km of firing range,” said military commentator Song Zhongping, a former instructor in the PLA’s Artillery Corps, the predecessor of Rocket Force. “Only a long-range MLRS is powerful enough to act as a deterrent to India, as the Indian troops are also stepping up military deployment along the borders.” The China-India border dispute: its origins and impact Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Tong said the long-range MLRS mentioned by PLA Daily was likely to be the most advanced PHL-16, or the Type PCL-191. “The 42-tonne PHL-03 is too bulky for the high altitude … while earlier reports implied that the new PCL-191 would become the military’s main battle rocket system,” he said. The mysterious Type PCL-191 was debuted in the National Day Parade in 2019, but with its name concealed. The name was disclosed a few months later by Chinese military magazine Modern Ships. The modular rocket system of the PCL-191 is able to carry eight 370mm rockets, each with a range of 350km (220 miles), or two 750mm Fire Dragon 480 tactical ballistic missiles, each capable of flying up to 500km, according to Modern Ships. It is not known how many PCL-191 units China has built, but according to a military source an artillery brigade equipped with the cutting-edge weapon system was in December 2019 deployed to Zhejiang province under the Eastern Theatre Command, which oversees the Taiwan Strait. “All new advanced weapon systems need to be tested and deployed to different areas to make sure functions still work under extreme weather,” Song said.More from South China Morning Post:India and China hold fresh round of border talks after ‘smooth completion’ of pullback from Pangong TsoChina tests drones, new rocket launcher near disputed India border areaWhy did the US conduct a freedom of navigation operation against India, and what will the fallout be?This article China deploys long-range rocket launcher ‘as deterrent to India’ first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021. headtopics.comRead more: Yahoo Singapore »
Triad Trails: Former secret society members lead tour on Chinatown’s seedy past
SINGAPORE — Pointing to a row of shophouses along Pagoda Street leading up to Chinatown MRT Station, a heavily-tattooed man tells the group behind him that the shops used to be opium dens in the 19th century.