SWINE FLU: Mexican President Felipe Calderon is urging people to stay at home
while the federal government suspends non-essential activities in an
effort to combat the spread of swine flu.
In a nationally televised address late Wednesday, Mr. Calderon said that home was the safest place for Mexicans at this time.
The Mexican government is suspending non-essential activities for five
days, starting Friday. Mexican Health Minister Jose Cordova said food,
medical and transportation sectors will not be affected. He also said
there are 99 confirmed cases of swine flu in Mexico, eight of them
PANDEMIC PRIMER: A "pandemic" is defined as an illness occurring over a wide geographic
area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.
The current swine flu outbreak has not been declared a pandemic.
The World Health Organization says an influenza pandemic occurs when a
new flu virus appears and results in epidemics worldwide with "enormous
numbers" of deaths and illness.
The organization says if a pandemic were to occur, current models
project it could result in two million to 7.4 million deaths worldwide.
OBAMA - 100 DAYS: U.S. President Barack Obama says his administration is off to a good
start after its first 100 days, but said more work remains to fix the
nation's struggling economy.
During a nationally televised White House news conference Wednesday
night, Mr. Obama said his young administration had begun taking steps
to "clear away the wreckage" of the worst economic crisis since the
Great Depression, including a $3.4 trillion budget blueprint passed
hours earlier by the U.S. Congress.
But the new president said these efforts are just the beginning, and
promised an "unrelenting, unyielding effort" to bolster the nation's
prosperity and security in the days and months ahead.
OBAMA FOREIGN POLICTY: On foreign policy, U.S. President Barack Obama said his
administration already has taken steps to change the direction of the
country's foreign policy.
At his televised news conference Wednesday, Mr. Obama listed as
examples moves to end the war in Iraq, the new strategy to target
al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and his pledge to close the U.S.
military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
On the issue of interrogation practices, Mr. Obama said the technique
of waterboarding employed by the former Bush administration was torture.
SOUTH KOREA - CORRUPTION: Prosecutors in South Korea have begun questioning former South Korean
President Roh Moo-hyun in connection with a multi-million dollar
Mr. Roh arrived at prosecutor's offices Thursday after traveling more
than five hours from his home in southeastern South Korea and being
followed by a convoy of reporters.
Prosecutors have already questioned Mr. Roh's family members, including
his wife and son, regarding allegations they accepted a total of $6
million from a businessman who has been arrested.
IRAQ: Iraqi officials say the death toll from Wednesday's car bombings in and around Baghdad has risen to at least 51.
The deadliest blasts Wednesday went off in the capital's Sadr City
district, killing 44 people. Medics had previously said the death toll
from those blasts was 41. An interior ministry official says about 70
others were wounded when at least two bombs exploded in marketplaces in
Bombings elsewhere in the capital left another seven people dead.
Also in Iraq Thursday, the British military honored its soldiers who died during more than six years of war in the country.
AZERBAIJAN - SHOOTING: Thirteen students are dead and another 10 wounded following a shooting
spree at Azerbaijan's State Oil Academy in Baku early Thursday.
There are also conflicting reports about the number of gunmen involved
in the attack. Some say there was one shooter, other reports say two
gunmen were involved.
Azeri police say the incident is now over but have released few details.
INDIA - ELECTIONS: Another round of India's national elections began Thursday, with voting
in key areas including Muslim-dominated areas of Kashmir and the main
commercial city, Mumbai.
Nearly 145 million people are eligible to vote in the third round of the country's five-round elections.
Separatists in Kashmir have called for a boycott of the vote to protest
New Delhi's rule in the disputed territory. Police tightened security
in the main city of Srinagar following violent clashes with
demonstrators earlier this week.
Voting is also underway in Mumbai, just months after an Islamist
terrorist attack on the city left 166 people dead, and increased
tensions with Pakistan.
Listen to our World News for details.