Iraq reports bird flu outbreak on poultry farm

Baghdad : Iraq has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, on a farm southeast of Baghdad, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Friday. The outbreak last month at the poultry farm in the province of Wasit killed 24,060 birds out of a flock of 158,000, the Paris-based OIE said, citing a report from its Iraqi delegate. Meanwhile, the ruins of a 3,400-year-old lost city — complete with a palace and a sprawling fort — have been unearthed in Iraq after extreme drought severely depleted water levels in the country’s largest reservoir, archaeologists announced. The Bronze Age settlement, long engulfed by the Tigris River, emerged earlier this year in the Mosul Dam, and researchers raced to excavate the ancient city before the dam was refilled. The discovery is just the latest example of how drought conditions fueled by climate change are yielding unexpected finds: last month, in Nevada, falling water levels in Lake Mead  turned up a pair of decades-old skeletal remains.