Morning Brief: Swine flu spreads
Top Story he dangerous swine flu virus continues to spread, with infections now confirmed in Israel and New Zealand.The World Health Organization has upgraded its pandemic alert level from 3 to 4 and the organization’s deputy director general says that “containment is not a feasible option” at this time. Seven countries now have confirmed cases, ...
he dangerous swine flu virus continues to spread, with infections now confirmed in Israel and New Zealand.The World Health Organization has upgraded its pandemic alert level from 3 to 4 and the organization’s deputy director general says that “containment is not a feasible option” at this time.
Seven countries now have confirmed cases, with suspected infections in 11 others. Around the world, countries are now tightening the borders to prevent infection from travelers. In Mexico, the epicenter of the virus, 153 people have now been killed.
While 50 cases have been confirmed in the United States, the most outside of Mexico, the infections have not been as severe. President Obama described the disease as cause for “alert” rather than “alarm.”
- Pakistan has promised military action if the Taliban does not retreat from the Buner district.
- The United Nations is pressing the Sri Lankan government for a ceasefire as commando operations continue against what they say is the last Tamil Tiger holdout.
- Afghan president Hamid Karzai has promised to change the internationally condemned law that would have legalized marital rape.
- 24 people have been killed in a wave of attacks by militants in Southern Thailand.
- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says he thinks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu come to accept Palestinian statehood.
- Iraqi officials are opposed to amending the U.S. withdrawal timetable to keep some troops in troubled Mosul.
- Palestinians are preparing for a visit from the Pope by building him a stage right next to an Israeli security barrier.
- After Peru granted asylum to one of President Hugo Chavez’s political opponents, Venezuela withdrew its ambassador.
- As it prepares for swine flu, Argentina is also facing a dengue fever outbreak that has infected more than 20,000.
- Speaking at the National Science Foundation, President Obama promised major new funding for scientific research.
- Suspected supporters of ousted president Marc Ravalomanana are being arrested in Madagascar.
- Kidnappers have freed two aid workers held in southern Somalia.
- A U.N. envoy to Sudan said that Darfur is now, numerically speaking, a “low-intensity conflict.”
- The Russian army is downsizing and will fire 35,000 officers in 2009.
- An EU court has backed the right of Greek Cypriots to reclaim Turkish-controlled land in Northern Cyprus.
- Defeated Sochi mayoral candidate Boris Nemtsov is claiming there was fraud in the election.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
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