Sunday, March 23, 2003
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 The U.S. has to stop insulting the Europeans the French in particular and Europe has to prove to herself, to the Americans and to the rest of the world that she can be relevant. 
Dominique Moisi, deputy director of the French Institute of International Relations, and the author of "Crisis and War of 21st Century," commenting on Europe's role in postwar Iraq. (Kyodo)
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Killer pneumonia spreads in Singapore

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SINGAPORE A mysterious and deadly form of pneumonia now raging in Asia has infected 44 people in Singapore, the Health Ministry said in its latest update on Saturday.

The ministry said another five people have contracted "severe acute respiratory syndrome" (SARS) since the last update on Friday when 39 people were reported to have caught the virus.

So far the illness has not spread beyond hospital staff and friends and relatives of those infected earlier.

Only three patients have been discharged from hospital and eight are seriously ill.

The ministry has stepped up precautionary measures to cut off secondary transmission especially among hospital staff and reduce the risk of any community spread by isolating and treating all SARS cases in two hospitals.

The ministry has also taken precautionary measures for school children by requiring the children of people who have any links to infected patients to stay away from school for another week.

In addition, it is requiring stepped up vigilance in schools, preschools and child care centers, with children who have a fever to be asked to seek medical attention and to return to school only when they are well.

The government appealed to citizens to remain calm.

"We also advise you to stay calm and continue with your daily routine. Though SARS is infectious, there is no need for alarm as your risk of catching SARS is low," the ministry said.

The ministry said recently that it believes it has identified the virus as paramyxovirus, which is known to be related to diseases such as mumps, measles and Japanese encephalitis.

The breakout erupted in Singapore about a week ago when three women came down with pneumonia after returning from Hong Kong. (Kyodo News)

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