Man survives 16 months at sea

Fish, birds, turtles – anything he could get hold of, he would kill with his bare hands. Jose told his rescuers he even drank turtle blood to stay alive during the 16 months he says he was adrift at sea. When his boat finally washed up at Ebon Atoll on Thursday, halfway between Hawaii and Australia, he was emaciated and barely able to walk. Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student who’s doing research in the Marshall Islands, said Jose’s fiberglass boat bore the signs of the harrowing 7,500-mile detour:

Ola Fjeldstad, anthropology student:We first found his boat, which was probably a 24-footer, engine broken, grown over with shells and other sea animals. And it had a live baby bird, a dead turtle, some turtle shells, fish leftovers and it was in pretty bad condition.

And there’s tragedy in this tale. There were two people on the boat when it set off from Mexico to El Salvador in September 2012, but Jose said his companion had died several months earlier. Little is known about the circumstances, as so far he’s had to draw pictures to communicate with people on the remote Pacific island because they can’t understand Spanish. Locals have been nursing the long-haired, bearded stranger back to health and Ola Fjeldstad says Jose’s doing much better:

Ola Fjeldstad, anthropology student:He’s gained a lot of strength. He’s been eating a lot of food, fish, rice, fruit and drinking coffee. He’s in a lot better shape now. He’s able to walk around by himself. He’s cracking jokes!

There are good reasons to be cheerful; had he missed the Marshall Islands, it could have been another 1,000 or so miles before Jose would have had any hope of hitting land again.

Paris smog

Seven hundred police will be monitoring traffic from early in the morning. If you’re caught in an even-numbered car, you’re liable to a small fine, and you’ll be told to turn back home. There are exceptions for electric and hybrid vehicles, and for cars carrying three or more passengers.

The measure’s been tried once before, in 1997, when it’s claimed it did have a noticeable impact on improving air quality. However for many people in Paris and the suburbs it’s going to mean a day of inconvenience, and delivery companies are already complaining of lost income.

Politically, the stakes are high, because it comes just a week before Parisians start electing their new mayor.

Children aid malaria vaccine hunt

In an area of Tanzania where malaria is rife, scientists have found a small group of children who are naturally resistant to the disease. Tests revealed that their immune system produces an antibody that attacks the malaria-causing parasite.

It traps the tiny organism in red blood cells, preventing it from bursting out and spreading throughout the body. The team found that injecting a form of this antibody into mice protected the animals from malaria.

The scientists say the results are encouraging but further trials in primates and humans are needed to fully assess the vaccine’s promise.