Morning Brief: Mexico shuts down
Top Story The Mexican government has ordered a shutdown of all nonessential government services and businesses through Tuesday in an effort to contain the H1N1 swine flu virus. Around 2,500 Mexicans have now been infected with 170 deaths suspected. The number of confirmed infections continues to rise but the number of deaths does seem to ...
The Mexican government has ordered a shutdown of all nonessential government services and businesses through Tuesday in an effort to contain the H1N1 swine flu virus. Around 2,500 Mexicans have now been infected with 170 deaths suspected. The number of confirmed infections continues to rise but the number of deaths does seem to be tapering off with the new measures.
The World Health Organization has raised the global pandemic threat level to 5 with at least 13 countries around the world now affected. So far, the only confirmed death from the flu outside of Mexico was a 23-month old child in Houston. The WHO has urged countries not to close their borders or restrict travel, saying that containment is no longer feasible and governments should focus on mitigation efforts.
Despite this, U.S. Homeland Security Secretay Janet Napolitano faced calls at a congressional hearing to close the U.S. border with Mexico. President Obama yesterday likened this to “closing the barn door after the horse is out.”
- Six car bombings in Baghdad yesterday targeting the city’s Shia community killed nearly 50 people.
- After they were cleared by a U.N. tribunal, Lebanon released the four generals suspected in assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
- Turkish warplanes attacked Kurdish rebel targets in Northern Iraq last night.
- Sri Lanka’s president rejected international calls for a ceasefire while the Tamil Tiger rebels vowed never to surrender.
- After ethnic clashes killed 24 people in Karachi, paramilitaries have been assigned to patrol the city.
- Japan had its first good economic news in months as industrial output rose in March. However, the Bank of Japan has still downgraded its forecast for GDP growth.
- Britain has ended its combat operations in Iraq. It will be adding 700 additional troops to its force in Afghanistan.
- Russia signed an agreement with the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, giving them the right to guard their border with Georgia.
- NATO has expelled two Russian diplomats who are accused of working undercover as intelligence operatives.
- In a primetime press conference, President Barack Obama expressed grave concern over the instability in Pakistan and urged Americans to take precautions to stop the spread of flu.
- Mexico captured the leader of the brutal Zeta drug trafficking cartel.
- Chrysler is rushing to secure a rescue deal from Fiat before a midnight deadline tonight.
- Soldiers in the Central African Republic killed over 30 civilians in February to deter rebels, the BBC reports.
- An aide to Madagascar’s ousted president was taken into custody by the military.
- Two foreign aid workers who were kidnapped in Darfur have been freed.
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Joshua Keating is a former associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
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