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Funeral procession begins for Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew

Thousands of Singaporean's are bidding a final farewell to the country's first ever Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as his funeral procession takes place in the city.

Thousands of Singaporean's are lining the funeral procession route for Lee Kuan Yew. Credit: APTN
Singaporeans are standing in the pouring rain to pay their final respects. Credit: APTN

Mr Lee's coffin has been taken from parliament, where it had been lying in state, to be carried past significant landmarks including Singapore’s Old Parliament House, Marina Barrage, and St Andrew’s Cathedral on a gun carriage.

More than 1.2 million Singaporeans have formally paid their respects to Mr Lee - nearly half a million queued to file past his body lying in state at parliament house, while more than 850,000 attended community tribute sites around the island.

Lee Kuan Yew's coffin has been lying in state at parliament house. Credit: APTN
Several former and current world leaders will attend the funeral service. Credit: APTN

Several former and current world leaders, including Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and Bill Clinton, will be among mourners at the funeral service at the National University of Singapore.

A minute's silence will be held in Mr Lee's honour this afternoon. A private cremation will then take place at the Mandai crematorium.

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Guinea introduces emergency measures to curb Ebola

Guinea has introduced new emergency measures to curb the spread of Ebola. Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

Guinea's President Alpha Conde has announced new emergency measures enabling authorities to restrict movements in the west of the country where Ebola transmission continues a year after the epidemic was declared.

More than 10,300 people have died from Ebola in West Africa and while cases are thought to have peaked, Guinea is struggling to stamp out the virus.

Following a dip in new cases in January, they have spiked again since early March in and around the capital, prompting officials to announce a new phase of the epidemic in Guinea.

Speaking on state television Conde said: "I declare in the districts of Forecariah, Coyah, Dubreka, Boffa and Kindia a reinforcement of emergency measures for a period of 45 days.

"Wherever the need may be, throughout this period, measures of restriction and confinement will be taken".

Food and medical supplies would be given to the affected communities, Conde added.

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Charities welcome deal over meningitis B vaccine

The vaccine will be added to the national childhood immunisation scheme. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Charities have welcomed the news that the government has reached an agreement with drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to provide all babies in the UK with a potentially life-saving vaccine against meningitis B.

Sue Davie, chief executive of Meningitis Now, said: "To know that babies will be protected against MenB is fantastic and another great step forward in our fight against meningitis.

"Families for whom this comes too late, and for whom we will always be here to support, have campaigned tirelessly and selflessly with us to make sure no other families suffer as they have."

Chris Head, chief executive of Meningitis Research Foundation, said: "When this vaccine is introduced it will save lives and spare countless families the trauma of seeing a loved one die or become seriously disabled because of MenB."

GSK said the deal represented "fair value" for the health service.

Nikki Yates, general manager of GSK in the UK said: "As a British company, we are delighted to have concluded an agreement with the Government just three weeks after we acquired the vaccine, which offers fair value to the NHS and at the same time is sustainable for GSK."

Government reaches deal on meningitis B vaccine

All babies in the UK will soon have a potentially life-saving vaccine against meningitis B. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

The government has reached a deal with drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to provide all babies in the UK with a potentially life-saving vaccine against meningitis B, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.

Mr Hunt said Britain would now become the first country in the world with a nationwide meningitis B vaccination programme.

The deal follows recent controversy over the Bexsero MenB vaccine after it emerged it was still not available to children despite being recommended by health advisers a year ago.

The drug will now be added to the national childhood immunisation scheme, meaning babies will receive the first vaccine at two months old, followed by two further doses.

Mr Hunt said: "I am very proud that we will be the first country in the world to have a nationwide MenB vaccination programme, helping to protect our children from a devastating disease.

"MenB can be severely disabling or fatal, especially in babies and young children. Losing a child is every parent's worst nightmare so I am delighted that we have reached an agreement with GSK to supply the vaccine."

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