BBC news 2009-05-02 加文本
The authorities in Hong Kong have isolated 300 guests and staff of a hotel after a Mexican visitor who arrived from Shanghai was confirmed as a carrier of swine flu. It's the first confirmed case of the virus in Asia, which the World Health Organization now calls H1N1. Urgent efforts are now being made to trace 200 people who were on the same flight to Shanghai. James Ronald reports.
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong government Donald Tsang told reporters the travelers had flown in from Mexico after a stopover in Shanghai. Reports from Hong Kong said the patient has been taken to an isolation ward in hospital, and is said to be in a stable condition. Guests of the hotel in which the patient had been staying have been asked not to leave. It's been particular attention on the response of Hong Kong and China to H1N1, because of the outbreak of the respiratory disease SARS in 2003. The World Health Organization has said that Hong Kong and mainland China are well prepared to deal with the effects of H1N1.
The Mexican Health Minister suggested that the swine flu virus may not be as aggressive as first feared. The Minister Jose Angel Cordova said while the virus was very contagious, patients responded well to antiviral medicine if treated quickly. He said the number of people being admitted to hospital had fallen.
"The reduction in admissions to hospital is a very encouraging sign. This allows us to think as the WHO has recognized that luckily the virus is not so aggressive, and yesterday there was another sign with figures from other hospitals. So it's not as lethal as bird flu, in which mortality is about 70%.”
Officials in Iraq have announced that 355 Iraqis were killed in April, making it the worst month of fatalities so far this year. Most of the deaths were as result of several large bomber attacks in which at least 150 people died. The overall figure for the month doesn't include at least 80 Iranian pilgrims who died in those attacks. April was also the deadliest month for US forces since September.
President Obama has confirmed that one of the nine judges in the United States Supreme Court, David Souter is to retire. The president said he hoped to appoint a replacement for the new court session begins in October. James Coomarasamy reports from Washington.
Justice Souter's decision to step down presents Barack Obama with an early chance to make one of the most consequential decisions that falls to a US president, a lifetime appointment to American's highest court. To underline its importance, Mr. Obama took the unusual step of breaking into his Press Secretary's daily briefing to officially announce the 69-year-old judge's retirement. David Souter was appointed by the first President Bush but he's generally taken liberal positions on the contentious issues that come before the court.
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The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai says the government is broken, can't meet union demands for higher wages. Addressing a May Day rally, Mr. Tsvangirai said everyone, including President Mugabe was being paid no more than $100 a month. Here's our southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles.
After a decade in decline, Zimbabwe's economy is in a sorry state. The priority of the new power;sharing government has been to stabilize the situation. The worthless Zimbabwean dollar has been replaced by the use of the American dollar, the South African Rand and other foreign currencies. But Morgan Tsvangirai says the government is broke. It can't afford to pay the country's 250, 000 civil servants more than a stipend of $100 a month. Mr. Tsvangirai who was once a trade union leader himself said he was pleading with the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions to give the government more time. (www.hXen.com)
The American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that China and Iran are making disturbing inroads into Latin America. She defended President Obama's overtures towards Presidents Chavez in Venezuela, saying that efforts to isolate anti-American leaders had only made them more receptive to other powers.
Brazilian police have entered a track to the Amazon rainforest to evict settlers in the combination of a 30-year dispute with native groups. The Supreme Court ruled in March that non-indigenous residents must leave the vast reservation known as Raposa Serra do Sol by the end of April. It was seen as a major victory for the rights of native people who've been struggling to protect their ancestral lands.
A senior Sri Lankan official has questioned the authenticity of satellite pictures released by the UN that appeared to show the extent of shelling and bombing within a government-designated safe zone. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the area had been fought over for many years, so it was hard to say when the damage might have occurred and who might be responsible.