LATEST ARTICLES

Asia grapples with dengue, malaria threats

Asia grapples with dengue, malaria threats

The current outbreak of dengue fever in central Tokyo underscores recent World Health Organisation warnings that climate change is increasingly extending the range of potentially fatal tropical diseases like malaria and dengue. Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe, a World Health Organisation entomologist based in the Philippines, told the Nikkei Asian Review that global warming is continuing to …read more

Final Justice

Final Justice

Here in Bill Smith’s office there’s a very fat text, maybe 10 centimetres thick, bound in pale pink paper. It’s one of thousands of so-called “confessions”, extracted by torture at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison run by the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh. The text sits in a bookcase stacked with fat folders bulging with …read more

The northern front in the war on dengue

The northern front in the war on dengue

Far North Queensland’s wet season begins with a drumroll of heavy raindrops splattering on roofs and sidewalks and the inevitable arrival of hordes of newly hatched mosquitoes. Floating in and around houses and yards, these tiny blood-suckers are on a relentless search for unprotected human flesh.

The mosquito solution

The mosquito solution

Hungry mosquitos float out into the steamy air as soon as Sularto snaps open the container lid. Blowing the insects gently on their way, as gently as he might blow on a spoonful of hot soup, the stocky Indonesian waits for a minute before hitching his denim bag more securely onto his shoulder and setting …read more

Kindness of Strangers

Kindness of Strangers

Aung Lin Tin is a tiny, struggling scrap of humanity. Born six weeks prematurely, he weighed 1.08 kilograms when he arrived. He couldn’t suckle. He had a fever. He lost more weight in his first days of life. His mother, Tin Zar, is 24 years old and a Karen – one of the long-battling people …read more

Bad Air Days

Bad Air Days

Massive LED screens in Beijing’s famous Tiananmen Square glow red through the haze. Pedestrians, many wearing space-age face masks to filter the toxic air, rarely even glance at the screens’ bold instructions: “Implement the Clean Air Action Plan”, “Improve air quality, start from myself, start with the small things, start now” and “It is everyone’s …read more

Out of the Middle East

Out of the Middle East

An often fatal respiratory virus has made the leap from the Middle East to south-east Asia, spurring governments across the region to swing into action to contain the disease. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, has similar characteristics to the SARS virus that emerged in China a decade ago, killing 750 people and bringing …read more

Closing the net

Closing the net

The deadliest creature in the world can be squashed with a casual slap. Yet the tiny mosquito still manages to kill hundreds of thousands of people a year with the diseases it carries: malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. Now it seems science is getting closer to controlling some of the mosquito’s cargo of …read more

An Australian-Balinese princess

An Australian-Balinese princess

A princess clad in bright silks and an elaborate gold headdress or a young Sydney professional, poised and tailored, sipping a cocktail in an up-market city bar? Maya Kerthyasa is both Balinese princess and Australian professional. Now 22 years old and a staff writer employed by the glossy Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine, she skims from …read more

Battle for Yangon

Battle for Yangon

Squint just a little and they’re almost visible: the choleric soldiers in the uniform of Empire, shining boots and brass buttons; the twirling women in diaphanous flounces and frills; the Indian servants, and the sweating band in the corner, pumping out a waltz for the ruling expatriates in this tropical corner of the colonies, the …read more