Swine Flu Count Rises to 154

April 30, 2009 by  
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Swine Flu Count Rises to 154 from 109 earlier today.

Member of president’s team suspected of having swine flu

April 30, 2009 by  
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Developing Story…..

Chrysler will file for bankruptcy

April 30, 2009 by  
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DETROIT (AP) – Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli says he will step down after the company emerges from bankruptcy protection.

President Barack Obama announced Thursday that the automaker would file for Chapter 11 after the government could not reach a debt-reduction agreement with creditors.

Nardelli says on the CNBC cable network that the Treasury Department did not ask him to resign. But he felt it would be an appropriate time to leave after bankruptcy.

Chrysler has signed a partnership deal with Fiat. Nardelli says the new company will be run by a nine-person board, with six picked by the government and three by Fiat. The board will pick a new CEO.

Nardelli became Chrysler’s CEO when Cerberus Capital Management bought the majority of the automaker in 2007.

President Obama says he supports Chrysler’s decision to seek bankruptcy protection.

Obama said he believes the bankruptcy filing will put the struggling company back on its feet and that the process for recovery will be relatively fast.

During an appearance at the White House, Obama said that “the necessary steps have been taken” to give the company “a new lease on life.”

Obama predicted that General Motors, as well as Chrysler, will “come back” and said he wants to see Chrysler recapture the place it had in society at a time when it was “a pillar of our industrial economy.”

Chrysler will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York on Thursday and will be eligible for up to $8 billion in federal aid to rebuild the ailing automaker, according to senior administration officials.

The officials say bankruptcy is necessary after talks with some of Chrysler’s holdout creditors over the company’s $6.9 billion in debt fell apart Wednesday night.

The nation’s third-largest automaker has already received $4 billion in government loans.

The officials say they expect the bankruptcy to last only 60 days.

Chrysler will continue to make cars and honor its warranties during that time.

20 suspected swine flue cases in Florida

April 30, 2009 by  
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MIAMI (AP) — At least 20 suspected swine flu cases have been identified in South Florida, but officials stress that more testing is needed for any confirmation.

Miami-Dade County health officials announced Wednesday that 20 samples were sent to a state lab for testing. Cases in Broward County were also sent to the lab, but health officials would not give a number of cases.

The case of an Orlando tourist who recently visited a Disney theme park is also being tested. There are no confirmed cases in Florida.

The World Health Organization has issued a Phase 5 alert suggesting a worldwide pandemic could be imminent.

Woman stabbed in Burger King parking lot

April 27, 2009 by  
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WEST PALM BEACH, FL — West Palm Beach police have arrested a woman who stabbed another woman outside of a Burger King Monday, according to PIO Chase Scott.

After 4pm, two women were involved in an altercation in the parking lot of 1741 Belvedere Road.

The woman, who was stabbed, was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center with stab wounds to the face and torso.

The wounds, according to a police spokesperson, are not life-threatening.

One woman was arrested and is being charged with aggravated assault.

Pandemic alert level rises

April 27, 2009 by  
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MEXICO CITY – The swine flu epidemic entered a dangerous new phase Monday as the death toll climbed in Mexico and the number of suspected cases there and in the United States nearly doubled. The World Health Organization raised its alert level but stopped short of declaring a global emergency.

Mexico Swine Flu

The United States advised Americans against most travel to Mexico and ordered stepped up border checks in neighboring states. The European Union health commissioner advised Europeans to avoid nonessential travel both to Mexico and parts of the United States.

The virus poses a potentially grave new threat to the U.S. economy, which was showing tentative early signs of a recovery. A widespread outbreak could batter tourism, food and transportation industries, deepening the recession in the U.S. and possibly worldwide.

The suspected number of deaths rose to 149 in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak with nearly 2,000 people believed to be infected.

The number of U.S. cases doubled to 42, the result of further testing at a New York City school, although none was fatal. Other U.S. cases have been reported in Ohio, Kansas, Texas and California. Worldwide there were 73 cases, including six in Canada, one in Spain and two in Scotland.

While the total cases were still measured in hundreds, not thousands, Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the epidemic was entering an extremely dangerous phase, with the number of people infected mushrooming even as authorities desperately ramped up defenses.

“We are in the most critical moment of the epidemic. The number of cases will keep rising, so we have to reinforce preventative measures,” Cordova said at a news conference.

The WHO raised the alert level to Phase 4, meaning there is sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus causing outbreaks in at least one country.

Its alert system was revised after bird flu in Asia began to spread in 2004, and Monday was the first time it was raised above Phase 3.

“At this time, containment is not a feasible option,” as the virus has already spread to several other countries, said WHO Assistant Director-General Keiji Fukuda.

Putting an alert at Phases 4 or 5 signals that the virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading among humans. That move could lead governments to set trade, travel and other restrictions aimed at limiting its spread.

Phase 6 is for a full-blown pandemic, characterized by outbreaks in at least two regions of the world.

It could take 4-6 months before the first batch of vaccines are available to fight the virus, WHO officials said.

Russia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said they would quarantine visitors showing symptoms of the virus amid global fears of a pandemic, an epidemic spread over a large area, either a region or worldwide.

President Barack Obama said the outbreak was reason for concern, but not yet “a cause for alarm.”

Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that so far the virus in the United States seems less severe than in Mexico. Only one person has been hospitalized in the U.S.

“I wouldn’t be overly reassured by that,” Besser told reporters at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, raising the possibility of more severe cases in the United States.

“We are taking it seriously and acting aggressively,” Besser said. “Until the outbreak has progressed, you really don’t know what it’s going to do.”

U.S. customs officials began checking people entering U.S. territory. Millions of doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile were on their way to states, with priority given to the five already affected and to border states. Federal agencies were conferring with state and international governments.

“We want to make sure that we have equipment where it needs to be, people where they need to be and, most important, information shared at all levels,” said Janet Napolitano, head of the Homeland Security Department.

“We are proceeding as if we are preparatory to a full pandemic,” Napolitano said.

She said travel warnings for trips to Mexico would remain in place as long as swine flu is detected.

Mexico canceled school at all levels nationwide until May 6, and the Mexico City government said it was considering a complete shutdown, including all public transportation, if the death toll keeps rising. Labor Secretary Javier Lozano Alarcon said employers should isolate anyone showing up for work with fever, cough, sore throat or other signs of the flu.

Amid the warnings, the Mexican government grappled with increasing criticism of its response. At least two weeks after the first swine flu case, the government has yet to say where and how the outbreak began or give details on the victims.

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