Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two confirmed cases of swine flu turn up in Virginia

Virginia officials say they have turned up two confirmed cases of swine flu.

On Thursday night, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine confirmed that two cases of the potentially deadly virus have been found in the state. He said an “adult male in the eastern part of Virginia and an adult female in the central part of Virginia,” who had traveled to Mexico, contracted the illness.

The two are not students. Kaine and Health Commissioner Karen Remley declined to be more specific about the patients, including their ages.

Remley narrowed down the location of the man to the Hampton Roads, Peninsula or Northern Neck regions of the state.

Both individuals had mild illnesses and are recovering well, according to a news release from the Virginia Department of Health. Neither required hospitalization.

Virginia joins a growing list of states where the influenza strain has been identified.

In North Carolina, the state's health director reported earlier Thursday there are two probable cases of swine flu there. Additionally, more than 100 new specimens arrived in the lab for testing.

Dr. Jeffrey Engel said the probable cases came from Onslow and Wake counties. Specimens have been sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which could have results within days.

Engel told reporters the patient in Onslow County had recently traveled to Texas. He did not have any information on the Wake County case except that the person was a traveler who did not live in North Carolina.

Although state labs can determine whether nasal swabs from patients indicate likely swine flu cases, only the CDC is able to confirm the virus. Engel said the materials needed to confirm swine flu in the state would arrive soon and investigators hoped to be able to conduct their own tests in Raleigh by the weekend.

Lab testers are working around the clock, Engel said, noting they've gotten 235 samples, 108 of them on Thursday. He said 100 cases have tested negative for swine flu.

Engel said North Carolina has received some of its federal allotment of antivirals and other supplies. He said residents should be reassured the state is prepared for this type of virus.

"It's been in our playbook for five years, but we've practiced many of these components with real-time exercises both at the state and the local level," Engel said. "We have a plan. We're activating that plan, and we're marching to it."

Authorities have confirmed nearly 100 cases of swine flu nationwide. The illness is suspected in 168 deaths in Mexico and the death of one child from Mexico who died in Texas.

This report contains information from The Associated Press.

BROKEN ARROWS

“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127

Americans had better start having babies and we better start having them fast. The “battle for the culture” is in danger of being lost for lack of ammunition. Apart from absolute Truth, the greatest weapon or asset any civilization will ever have is children. They are the guarantor of our American heritage.

But somewhere along the line, children became a commodity, a luxury if you will, similar to a plasma TV, or a hot tub. Instead of appreciating them as a gift from God, (the first purpose of our existence was to “be fruitful and multiply”) we have treated them as a burden. When President Obama referred to his potential future grandchildren as “punishment” he was merely reflecting the humanistic view that children were not really “an heritage of the Lord,” but rather a burden to be borne as a duty to marriage.

We have become so hedonistic in America…not so much in an intentionally sinful way…but in a selfish, humanistic way so prevalent in our society. We have become what Paul warned us about in II Timothy “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” Next to salvation, God’s greatest gift to us is the ability to procreate, to replicate the image of God through our children who will, in turn, “speak with the enemies in the gate.” Our children are the weapon God has given us to “replenish and subdue the earth.”

We love to blame all of America’s problems on the liberals, the Democrats, the homosexuals, or if that fails, the Devil. Blaming someone else makes us feel better. We learned that one from Adam, “The woman YOU gave me…” Let me help us all out here. For the most part our problems are self-generated, “those who oppose themselves” Paul called us. Our rejection of Truth has led to the multiplicity of moral issues we face today and the abandonment of our children by God.

Come on now, you can handle the Truth; we have turned marriage into the legal means by which adults can enjoy sex. God created marriage for the production of arrows. Remove the potential for conception and the marriage bed becomes nothing more than a playpen where fleshly urges can be satisfied. God created sex; He created it to be enjoyed in the marriage bed, but His obvious purpose was procreation, not pleasure. Biblically, marriage legalizes sex. Sex, without the possibility of conception, makes the act pleasure-driven and hedonistic. Pleasure is a wonderful gift of the sexual union but not the exclusive or sole purpose for it. I believe God made the sexual union pleasurable so that a couple would bond together, stay together, and produce many children.

Homosexuals cannot reproduce and neither can women on “the Pill.” If the purpose of marriage is to legitimize sex, then why shouldn’t “sodomite marriage” be legal? Sexual intercourse is about reproduction, not merely copulation. Neither homosexuals nor women on the Pill are capable of being fruitful and multiplying.

In the past couple of months I have had several discussions with our recently married daughter and son-in-law. I have been encouraging them to start a family. My advice flies in the face of all the conventional wisdom that these two wonderful, Christian, college graduates have been taught. What is the message that the ‘enlightened” world of education has been spreading?

Wait. Wait until you are financially secure. Wait until you own a home. Wait until you can afford them. Wait until you are sure the marriage will last. Wait until you know each other better. Wait until you have lived a little. Plan your family. Be responsible. Wait…

The Lord says multiply; the world says wait. The Lord says children are a blessing, the president says they are punishment, and the secular world says they are a burden on society and even to the earth! The Lord says a man is blessed when his quiver is full; the world says no more than two. The fruit of marriage should transform the world but worldly philosophies and vain deceit has destroyed the marriage fruit.

We have bought the lie that God will not provide for the blessings He bequeaths. We look accusingly at those with large families, laughing at their trading of material possessions for more kiddos. Because we have “rejected life” our culture is dying.

Please watch this video. It is seven minutes long. It shows the consequences of our spiritual barrenness and why we must begin to have children and have them now!

For those of you who will not take the time to view the video allow me to scare you with information included on it. I cannot verify the facts, but they are sobering, if true.

• It takes a fertility rate of 2.11 children per family to maintain a culture.
• No culture has ever reversed the decline once it reached 1.9.
• A rate of 1.3 is impossible to reverse.
• As population decreases so does the cultural influence.
Europe is on her last breath. As of 2007 the European fertility rate was 1.38. France has a rate of 1.8, England 1.6, Greece 1.3, Germany 1.3, Italy 1.2 and Spain 1.1. These numbers are IMPOSSIBLE to reverse. European culture is toast.

But Europe’s population is NOT decreasing, thanks to immigration. But consider this: 90% of all European immigration since 1990 is Islamic.

The Islamic fertility rate in France is 8.1. Thirty percent of those under age 20 are Islamic. In southern France there are now more mosques than churches. In 39 years France will be an Islamic Republic. Well, with that high Islamic population, I doubt it would continue as a Republic!

In the last 30 years the Muslim population of Great Britain has increased from 82,000 to 2.5 million! A thirty-fold increase! There are over 1,000 mosques in that nation.

In the Netherlands, 50% of all newborns are Muslim and in 15 years half of the population will be Islamic. Russia’s Muslim population is now 23 million. One in five Russians is a Muslim. In just a few years 40 % of the Russian army will be Muslim.

The Belgian government has estimated that by 2025 one third of all European families will be Muslim….a mere 17 years away. The German government estimates that there are currently 52 million Muslims in Europe and that the population will double to 104 million in 20 years.

Closer to home, Canada’s fertility rate is 1.6 (remember 2.11 is required). Between 2001-2006 Canada’s population increased by 1.6 million; 1.2 million of which was through immigration. Muslims are the fastest growing population in Canada.

In “Christian” America, the fertility rate is 1.6. Because of Latino immigration, our fertility rate rises to the breaking point of 2.11. In 1970 there were 100,000 Muslims in America. Today, there are 9 million! Islamic sources estimate that by 2040 there will be 50 million Muslims living in America.

As mathematicians love to say, the numbers don’t lie. A few weeks ago President Obama declared that America is not at war with Islam. If anyone gets the chance to speak with him, perhaps you could ask him this question for me: “Is Islam at war with America?”

It turns out that while Americans were laughing at the primitive culture that Islam produced, the joke was ultimately on us. While we drove Pontiacs and took birth control, the Muslims rode camels and had babies. Their “choice” preserved their culture. America’s “choice” has killed ours. We have aborted more than 50 million arrows.

Want to get booed out of your church? Start preaching against birth control. It flies in the face of the prosperity gospel. Children ARE prosperity. We have not valued the birth right. Our pulpits have been complicit in the de-population of Christianity.

Momar Kadafi is reported to have said, “There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest. We don’t need terrorists, we don’t need homicide bombers. The 50 million Muslims will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”

Our nation is under an invasion and there is no one standing at the gate with whom they must speak. We must encourage Christian couples to start having babies. The future of our nation depends on them. At some point, as the war intensifies, Christians will reach for arrows to shoot at the enemy. What will we do when we find our quiver is empty?

Maybe, we can throw a plasma TV at them.

Clinton-era appointee dead in apparent DC suicide

WASHINGTON (AP) - An attorney who served in the Clinton administration was found dead Thursday in an apparent suicide at his Washington law office.
Kilpatrick Stockton LLP, an Atlanta-based firm, confirmed in a statement that attorney Mark Levy had died.

"Mark Levy was well known and highly respected for his successful appearances before the Supreme Court of the United States," said Bill Dorris, the firm's co-managing partner.

Levy was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice between 1993 and 1995 and served five years in the Solicitor General's office.

D.C. Police spokeswoman Helen Andrews said officers were called to an office building where the firm is located to investigate a shooting Thursday morning. She said investigators believe it was a suicide.

Levy attended Yale University's law school with former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and more recently worked on fundraising for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, said Dennis Gingold, an attorney who was working with Levy on a case.

"I don't know anyone who isn't shocked by what just happened," Gingold said. "He was a good guy. He really was ... and professionally, he was first class."

During his career, Levy had argued 16 cases before the Supreme Court. At Kilpatrick Stockton, he served as counsel and chair of the firm's Supreme Court and appellate advocacy practice. Levy, who was married and has two children, lived in Bethesda, Md.

The firm had announced this week that 24 lawyers would be laid off, but it wasn't immediately clear whether Levy had been affected by staff cuts.

The death comes after the chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac killed himself last week. David Kellermann was found dead April 22 in the basement of his northern Virginia home. Colleagues had noticed he was under stress and had suggested he take time off.

California Marching Band Girl Beats Back Muggers With Baton

Don't mess with the marching band.

That's what California authorities are saying after a 17-year-old girl used her marching band baton to beat back two would-be muggers.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Michael Rust says the Quartz Hill girl was walking to school April 24 when two men approached her from behind, tried to grab her coat and demanded money.

Instead, one got a punch in the nose and the other a kick to the groin. Rust says the girl then beat both of them with her band baton before she ran away.

The men had not been caught. But Rust says there's a clear message to take from the encounter:

"The moral to this story is don't mess with the marching band girls, or you just might get what you deserve. Final score: marching band 2, thugs 0."

New York Girl, 17, Vanishes Without a Trace During Spring Break at Myrtle Beach, Mother Giving Up Hope

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The mother of a 17-year-old New York girl who disappeared after a weekend trip to Myrtle Beach said Thursday that it's getting harder to keep up hope that her daughter will be found unharmed.

The girl's mother and a friend said the girl may have been depressed because her mother and stepfather are getting divorced.

"It's a parent's worst nightmare," Dawn Drexel told The Associated Press about the search for her daughter, Brittanee. "There's a lot of things that don't add up, and I'm scared that there's the possibility that she's not alive."

Brittanee Drexel was reported missing Sunday, a day after police say she was last seen after leaving a group of friends who had traveled with her from Rochester, N.Y., to visit people at another hotel along a busy stretch of Myrtle Beach's Ocean Boulevard.

But Brittanee never returned, and a friend reported her missing the next day.

Dawn Drexel said she thought her daughter, a junior on spring break from Gates-Chili High School, was staying with friends only a few miles from home when she said on April 23 via text messages she was "at the beach." Brittanee had asked for permission to travel to Myrtle Beach, but Dawn Drexel said she told her daughter no.

"I just said no, you're not going," Drexel said. "But when she gets her mind set on something, she just wants to do it, and that's it. I'm pretty positive she had left Wednesday night."

Dawn Drexel said she communicated with her daughter through cell phone calls and text messages between Thursday and Saturday, exchanging messages over soccer equipment she was going to buy for Brittanee.

Those messages stopped at 8 p.m. Saturday. Capt. David Knipes, a Myrtle Beach Police Department spokesman, said the teen's hotel room was abandoned, her cell phone the only item missing. Investigators have fanned out across the area near the hotel but have found no concrete leads.

On Monday, Dawn Drexel and a handful of her daughter's friends posting dozens of flyers in Myrtle Beach bearing Brittanee's picture and description. The teen's father, who lives near Tampa, Fla., and is in Myrtle Beach with his wife and relatives, is helping in the search, Drexel said.

Brittanee's stepfather has been helping out from Rochester, fielding some media calls during the teen's disappearance. But Dawn Drexel said stress from her impending divorce to Brittanee's stepfather may have contributed to her daughter's depression — and possibly her decision to come to Myrtle Beach.

"She tries to watch out for her brother and sister. ... It was very stressful in the household," Drexel said.

Teams from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are also assisting in the search, Knipes said.

"We can't rule anything out," Knipes said. "Obviously it's a very concerning thing, when you have a 17-year-old with a history of depression who could do harm to herself or others."

Police in Rochester were helping out by interviewing Drexel's friends and others from the region who traveled to Myrtle Beach last week. Allanna Lippa, 19, said she was one of about 15 people in the group who stayed "in one big room" at the motel.

But Lippa returned to Rochester, where she is now worrying about her friend.

"There's a million things that could have possibly happened to her," Lippa. 19, said. "She was fun, a little ball of energy. But she was also depressed."

Lucifer's Revolution Hits Full Stride

Lucifer's Revolution Hits Full Stride
April 30, 2009

The Hate Coming from the State
by Henry Makow Ph.D.

Little by little, the Illuminati bankers are dropping their mask and revealing the true nature of current events. What is called "progressive" and "liberal" is in fact satanic evil. What is called "revolution" is aimed at overthrowing God --the natural and spiritual (moral) order-- and replacing Him with dictates of devil worshipers, the Rothschilds and their lackeys. When we read about "Hate Bills," sex education for five-year-olds, the promotion of homosexuality to heterosexuals, we must see it in spiritual context, as the Luciferian overthrow of all that is natural, healthy, true and good, turning the world upside down, i.e. revolution. When we hear about pig flu, let's keep our focus on the big picture. We are infected by a far more serious and widespread cancer, satanism, under the guises of communism, liberalism, socialism, zionism, fascism, feminism and globalism. Luciferianism permeates society in the form of materialism, naturalism, occultism, obscenity, sadism, violence, pornography and promiscuity.

No coincidence that Obama asks that Christian symbolism be covered when he speaks. Can you imagine him making the same request at a Jewish or homosexual venue? Obama's own symbolism is Illuminati, reminiscent of the Lucis (Lucifer)Trust. All our leaders covertly signal their true loyalty to Lucifer.

EXTREME
These claims are extreme. I wouldn't make them if they weren't literally true. Reread my account of the 1938 NKVD interrogation of Illuminati insider Chaim Rakover (a.k.a Christian Rakovsky.) This man was a founder of the Comintern and Soviet President of the Ukraine, and ambassador to Paris. He says the Illuminati bankers (i.e. Rothschild syndicate) have infinite wealth and now want absolute power. They created the Communist state as a "machine of total power" unprecedented in history. In the past, due to many factors, "there was always room for individual freedom. Do you understand that those who already partially rule over nations and worldly governments have pretensions to absolute domination? Understand that this is the only thing which they have not yet reached." The aim of the Revolution is no less than to redefine reality in terms of their interests and Cabalist beliefs. This involves the promotion of subjective truth over objective truth. If Lenin "feels something to be real" then it is real. "For him every reality, every truth was relative in the face of the sole and absolute one: the revolution." In other words, white is black and evil is good. Homosexuality which specialists agree is usually a developmental disorder is now something everyone should try. Teachers who protest are fired. Babies who survive abortions are left to die and thrown out with the trash. Obama approves.

People who protest the Zionist slaughter of Palestinian women and children lose their jobs. The Illuminati bankers financed intellectuals who recommended ways to weaken society to accept their tyranny. In a perceptive article, "The Frankfurt School: Conspiracy to Corrupt," Timothy Mathews lists their recommendations, made over 50 years ago. How many do you recognize?

1. The creation of racism offenses.
2. Continual change to create confusion
3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children
4. The undermining of schools' and teachers' authority
5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.
6. The promotion of excessive drinking
7. Emptying of churches
8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime
9. Dependency on the state or state benefits
10. Control and dumbing down of media
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family

One of the main ideas of the Frankfurt School was to exploit Freud's idea of 'pansexualism' - the search for pleasure, the exploitation of the differences between the sexes, the overthrowing of traditional relationships between men and women. To further their aims they would deny the specific roles of father and mother, and wrest away from families their rights as primary educators of their children. The School believed there were two types of revolution:

(a) political and
(b) cultural.

Cultural revolution demolishes from within. 'Modern forms of subjection are marked by mildness'. They saw it as a long-term project and kept their sights clearly focused on the family, education, media, sex and popular culture.

BRINGING IT HOME
Since the Illuminati bankers control the mass media, political parties and education, it is not an exaggeration to say society is under mortal attack by its putative leaders. This attack is felt every day. Let me extrapolate from a small example. The Student's Association at the local university has been dominated by homosexuals and feminists for years. They are holding a Prom on May 8. Except it is called an "Anti-Prom" and like homosexuality itself, it is a parody of heterosexuality. "Come as you aren't!" the poster exhorts us. "Dress-up, down, drag, hairy or famous. the stranger the better." An "Anti-King" and "Anti-Queen" will be chosen.

BELOW A PICTURE OF MARILYN MONROE, THERE IS A BARELY VISIBLE PICTURE OF A VICIOUS SNARLING GORILLA.

This University (of Winnipeg) doesn't have a normal Prom. There are few if any heterosexual dances. This is a small example of the toxic environment in which heterosexuals now live. Yet, exposed to this elite-sponsored, homosexual hatred and hostility, we are expected to exude benevolence and "tolerance" or face censure. Another example: I have been reliably informed that local high schools are no longer allowed to set deadlines for assignments. It is felt this does not test the students abilities. Hello? It teaches self-discipline, something our masters apparently don't want young people to have.

CONCLUSION
Since the so-called "Enlightenment," Western civilization has been based on a defiance of God, i.e. Truth,Love and Goodness, and an assertion of man's (i.e. the Illuminati banker's) divinity and right to define reality. Modernity is nothing but the neuroses, dysfunction and dissatisfaction created by this solipsistic delusion. Culture and true civilization are founded on using spiritual ideals (absolutes) to refine our baser instincts. This is what defines us as human, "gentle" men, civilized. Luciferianism aims to "liberate" us from self-restraint i.e. self-discipline. It glorifies the animal and rejects the human. Why? Because the Illuminati bankers see us as their cattle, born to serve them. We are under a relentless occult psychological barrage. Part of it is the implication we are bigoted and "hateful" if we uphold our rights and values. We have been subjugated by witting and unwitting servants of Satan, human demons, and we must resist in every way we know. ---

-Related- my "Liberals are Unwitting Shills for Communism & Satanism"

Nearly 300 Schools Close as Swine Flu Spreads Across U.S.





Nearly 300 schools from New York to California have closed down affecting tens of thousands of students as health and government officials raced to stop the spread of swine flu Thursday.

At least 130 cases have been confirmed in 20 states. Among the U.S. cases confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are 51 in New York, 16 in Texas and 14 in California, as well as scattered cases in Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Arizona, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, Maine and South Carolina.

On Thursday, state officials confirmed cases in Minnesota, Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, Utah, New Jersey and Colorado.

10 Ways to Prevent Swine Flu

Nebraska's chief medical officer says federal tests have confirmed the first case of swine flu in the state. It involves a California man in his 40s who's vacationing in the Omaha area. Health officials have said the infection ultimately will be reported as a California case because the CDC counts cases of infectious disease by residence.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle declared a public health emergency after two more probable cases of swine flu were identified in Wisconsin Thursday.

In a news release Thursday, Dr. Joann Schaefer also said two more probable cases in Nebraska have been detected.

Thirty-nine Marines were confined to their base in California after one came down with the disease. The WHO has raised the total number of confirmed cases worldwide to 236.

And a pediatrician in Washington state saw 22 patients with flu-like symptoms before she developed serious symptoms and went to the emergency room.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says it continues to find people who it considers to be probable swine flu cases. It is investigating three new possible cases.

Illinois health officials say the number of probable swine flu cases in the state has more than doubled to 41

A security aide helping with arrangements during President Barack Obama's recent trip to Mexico became sick with flu-like symptoms and three members of his family later contracted probable swine flu, the White House said Thursday.

The disclosure from press secretary Robert Gibbs comes days after the White House played down risks to the U.S. delegation on the two-day trip that started April 16. Gibbs remained steadfast that the president was never at risk of contracting the flu, which has quickly spread across the globe.

About 300 of the nation's 132,000 schools have closed, including schools on both coasts and in the nation's heartland. More are likely to shut their doors in coming days. Texas officials suspended all public high school sports — smack in the middle of baseball season.

Of particular concern is New York City's outbreak, with 51 confirmed cases and tests under way on three probable ones outside the city. City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said Wednesday that all those with confirmed cases are recovering, but two more city schools closed because of suspected cases — in addition to a Queens Catholic school with a large outbreak.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city plans to announce new cases Thursday.

It was also learned that a Mexican toddler who visited Texas with his family and died Monday night in Houston, spent a day with his family shopping at a huge Houston indoor mall the day before he began to show symptoms, said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos, who interviewed the boy's family.

Vice President Joe Biden is arguing that there would be no practical benefit in shutting down the country's border with Mexico.

The acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Richard Besser, agreed with the administration's sentiment Thursday, saying there could be "negative consequences" to this option for containing the spreading swine flu virus. In a news conference Thursday, Bresser said new cases of swine flu continue to occur in the U.S. with the latest case on April 26.

Slippery Rock University will hold a separate graduation for 22 students who recently returned from Mexico.

So far, the students are in good health, but school officials fear they could have been exposed to the swine flu. Commencement falls in the middle of an incubation period during which the students have been advised to limit contact with others.

The students were in Mexico completing their student-teacher requirements. The flu's spread prompted schools to close there and the students returned Tuesday, two days early. Saturday's ceremony for the students will be private. In all, the school is awarding more than 1,300 diplomas.

Dr. Manny Answers Your Questions on Swine Flu.

VIDEO: How you can prevent the spread of swine flu.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it plans to no longer call the deadly flu "swine flu" to avoid confusion over the risk from pigs and eating pork. Health officials have stressed repeatedly that the disease is being transmitted human to human and that there is no risk from eating pork.

WHO spokesman Dick Thompson says the name change comes after the agriculture industry and the U.N. food agency expressed concerns that the term "swine flu" was misleading consumers and needlessly causing countries to order the slaughter of pigs.

He told reporters in Geneva "we're going to stick with the technical scientific name H1N1 influenza A."

Several countries have put a ban a pork imports. Egypt went as far as to slaughter several thousand pigs, and hog futures fell for the sixth time in seven sessions on Thursday because of continued speculation that people will stop eating pork.

On Wednesday, the WHO boosted its alert level to one level below a full-fledged pandemic. The new Phase 5 alert, indicating a pandemic could be imminent as the virus spread further in Europe, prompted Mexico to announce the partial May 1-5 shutdown, Mexican Health Secretary Jose Cordova said late Wednesday.

Mexico's top health official said Thursday the number of new swine flu cases is stabilizing in the nation at the epicenter of the outbreak.

Health secretary Jose Angel Cordova told a news conference he hoped the trend will continue and that a vaccine would be available in six months. European health ministers said they would speed efforts to develop such a vaccine.

The World Health Organization's flu chief, reacting to similar comments from other Mexican officials, cautioned that case numbers often go up and down, and said the WHO had yet to see concrete evidence that swine flu, believed to have killed 168 people in Mexico, was leveling off.

"It's a mixed pattern out there," Fukuda said. "What's happening in one part of the country is not necessarily what's happening in another part of the country."

The virus, a mix of pig, bird and human genes to which people have limited natural immunity, has also spread to Canada, New Zealand, Britain, Germany, Spain, Israel and Austria.

"It really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic," WHO Director General Margaret Chan said in Geneva. "We do not have all the answers right now, but we will get them."

Ecuador joined Cuba and Argentina in banning travel to or from Mexico and Peru banned flights from Mexico. The Panama Canal Authority ordered pilots and other employees who board ships passing through the waterway to use surgical masks and gloves. An average of 36 ships per day use the canal, most from the United States, China, Chile and Japan.

The U.S., the European Union and other countries have discouraged nonessential travel to Mexico. Some countries have urged their citizens to avoid the United States and Canada as well. Health officials said such bans would do little to stop the virus.

Where Did Virus Originate?

Medical detectives have not pinpointed where the outbreak began. Scientists believe that somewhere in the world, months or even a year ago, a pig virus jumped to a human and mutated, and has been spreading between humans ever since.

China has gone on a rhetorical offensive to squash any suggestion it's the source of the swine flu after some Mexican officials were quoted in media reports in the past week saying the virus came from Asia and the governor of Mexico's Veracruz state was quoted as saying the virus specifically came from China.

One of the deaths in Mexico directly attributed to swine flu was that of a Bangladeshi immigrant, said Mexico's chief epidemiologist Miguel Angel Lezana.

Lezana said the unnamed Bangladeshi had lived in Mexico for six months and was recently visited by a brother who arrived from Bangladesh or Pakistan and was reportedly ill. The brother has left Mexico and his whereabouts are unknown, Lezana said. He suggested the brother could have brought the virus from Pakistan or Bangladesh.

By March 9, the first symptoms were showing up in the Mexican state of Veracruz, where pig farming is a key industry in mountain hamlets and where small clinics provide the only health care.

The earliest confirmed case was there: a 5-year-old boy who was one of hundreds of people in the town of La Gloria whose flu symptoms left them struggling to breathe.

Neighbors of the inspector, Maria Adela Gutierrez, said Wednesday that she fell ill after pairing up with a temporary worker from Veracruz who seemed to have a very bad cold. Other people from La Gloria kept going to jobs in Mexico City despite their illnesses, and could have infected people in the capital.



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Emergency Response

There is no vaccine to prevent infection but U.S. health officials aim to have a key ingredient for one ready in early May, the big step that vaccine manufacturers are awaiting. But even if the World Health Organization ordered up emergency vaccine supplies — and that decision hasn't been made yet — it would take at least two more months to produce the initial shots needed for human safety testing.

"We're working together at 100 miles an hour to get material that will be useful," Dr. Jesse Goodman, who oversees the Food and Drug Administration's swine flu work, told The Associated Press.

Obama asked Congress for $1.5 billion in emergency funds to help build more drug stockpiles and monitor future cases, as well as help international efforts to avoid a full-fledged pandemic.

Obama said his administration has made sure that needed medical supplies are on hand and he praised the Bush administration for stockpiling 50 million doses of antiviral medications



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Swine Flu vs. Seasonal Influenza

“The illness is consistent with seasonal influenza and has generally the same symptoms of seasonal influenza,” Fukuda said. “Our information to date shows that the infection can range from very mild, requiring no hospitalization and recovering after a few days, to fatal, which is also in keeping with seasonal influenza."

Fukuda said there is no evidence that the virus is spreading from pigs or that it is unsafe to eat pork.

Authorities sought to keep the crisis in context: Flu deaths are common around the world. In the U.S. alone, the CDC says about 36,000 people a year die of flu-related causes.

Children, especially those younger than age 5, are particularly vulnerable to flu and its complications, and every year children die from seasonal flu.

According to the CDC, more than 20,000 children younger than age 5 are hospitalized every year because of seasonal flu. In the 2007-08 flu season, the CDC received reports that 86 children nationwide died from flu complications.

As of April 11, CDC had received reports of 53 seasonal flu-related deaths in children during the current seasonal flu season.

Still, the CDC calls the new strain a combination of pig, bird and human viruses for which people may have limited natural immunity.

Hence the need for a vaccine. Using samples of the flu taken from people who fell ill in Mexico and the U.S., scientists are engineering a strain that could trigger the immune system without causing illness. The hope is to get that ingredient — called a "reference strain" in vaccine jargon — to manufacturers around the second week of May, so they can begin their own laborious production work, said CDC's Dr. Ruben Donis, who is leading that effort.

The first doses of a swine-flu vaccine could be available about 15 weeks after the World Health Organization decides what kind of vaccine it wants companies to produce, Sanofi-Aventis SA's chief executive said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Experts Warn Internet Is Running Out of Bandwidth

Print ShareThisInternet users face regular "brownouts" that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace, according to research to be published later this year.

Experts predict that consumer demand, already growing at 60 percent a year, will start to exceed supply as early as 2010 because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry Web sites such as YouTube and services such as the BBC's iPlayer.

It will initially lead to computers being disrupted and going offline for several minutes at a time. Beginning in 2012, however, PCs and laptops are likely to operate at a much reduced speed, rendering the Internet an "unreliable toy."

When Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British scientist, wrote the code that transformed a private computer network into the World Wide Web in 1991, the Internet appeared to be a limitless resource.

However, a report being compiled by Nemertes Research, a respected American think-tank, will warn that the Web has reached

Redstone says U.S. on brink of bull market

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif (Reuters) - Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of CBS Corp, said on Wednesday that he thinks the U.S. stock market is at the start of a bull market.

The octogenarian media mogul also said he has no plans to step down anytime soon or give up his controlling positions in CBS or Viacom .

"The one thing I would never do is lose control of CBS and Viacom," he said, adding, "I have no intention of retiring or dying. I could live and work forever," he said, attributing his robust health to antioxidants, exercise and a shot of vodka a day.

The U.S. economy shrank by a surprisingly steep 6.1 percent in the first quarter, hit by a record plunge in the business inventories and exports, but various investors also read signs of recovery in the report.

"I think we're in the beginning of a bull market. When a bull market begins, nine months later the economy turns around," said the media mogul at the Milken Institute, who said he felt like he had the vital statistics of 20 year old.

"It was always tough, but today we are in the throes of something we have never seen in our history. It's clear in recent times the market is looking for a bottom."

"The news was extremely bad on the GDP and the market went up. In a bull market, the market ignores bad news. Today, we ignored extremely bad news," Redstone said in a Q&A session with CNN's Larry King.

Redstone's National Amusements is the holding company for his controlling stakes in CBS and Viacom Inc.

He would not answer specific questions about CBS because the company is due to report earnings on Thursday, but waved off fears that CBS's popular "CSI" franchise would see a drop in ratings once General Electric Co's NBC puts popular talk show host Jay Leno in the same prime-time slot.

Redstone also swore off investment in the struggling newspaper industry, which has been pummeled by closures, layoffs and losses.

"The newspaper is dying. I'm not sure there will be newspapers and its one business I'd never be in," he said, taking a swipe at rival mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp bought the Wall Street Journal.

"Murdoch paid too much for the Wall Street Journal even when he didn't have any competition," he said.

"The reason we have not gone to newspapers is because its a slow growth industry and I think they are dying. I'm not sure there will be newspapers in 10 years. I read newspapers every day. I even read Murdoch's Wall Street Journal."

Egypt starts pig slaughter, some farmers resist





CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt started seizing and slaughtering herds of pigs on Thursday as a precaution against swine flu, officials and farmers said, despite resistance by farmers and criticism from the United Nations.

Egypt, already hit hard by bird flu, fears another flu virus could spread quickly in a country where most of the roughly 80 million population live in the densely packed Nile Valley, many in crowded slums around Cairo.

But the United Nations said the mass cull of up to 400,000 pigs was "a real mistake" because the new strain -- a mix of swine, avian and human viruses -- has not been found in pigs.

Farmers in the most populous Arab country said the state had begun confiscating animals. State news agency MENA said Egypt had also culled thousands of birds as a precaution.

"They have destroyed us. The pigs were our livelihood," said 21-year-old Hanan Ahmed, whose family runs a small farm with around 25 pigs in Cairo.

"They took them. They kidnapped them. And they beat them and us. They said they will take them to the slaughterhouse and kill them there," she added, saying she had received no compensation.

The H1N1 swine flu virus is spread by people, not pigs. But culling swine, largely viewed as unclean in Muslim Egypt, could help quell any public panic.

Pigs are mainly raised by the country's Christian minority.

Dozens of pigs were killed in the early phase of the cull. In the southern village of Deir Abu Hennes, workers suffocated 25 piglets in plastic sacks and killed dozens of adult pigs and gave the meat to their owners, a local official said.

Some farmers there took their pigs to a graveyard to try to hide them from authorities, but the animals were found and killed on the spot, the official and residents said.

Swine flu has killed up to 176 people in Mexico and one in the United States, and cases have also been reported in Peru, Canada, Europe, Israel and New Zealand. Egypt has not reported any cases, but has stepped up monitoring at airports.

SEEKING MILITARY HELP

Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza said authorities had already confiscated more than 1,000 pigs despite efforts by some farmers to hide the animals. He said the pigs would be slaughtered and their meat would be frozen.

Abaza said he was seeking the army's help with the slaughter, which Egyptian state media reported could take up to a month to complete.

In one slaughterhouse near Cairo, workers wearing masks used their boot-clad feet to hold down the snouts of pigs while they tested them for illness prior to slaughter.



"The issue of slaughtering more than 300,000 heads of pig is a difficult one, especially since private pig slaughterhouses are not enough. We will seek the help of armed forces slaughterhouses," Abaza told Reuters.

"The meat will be preserved in freezers after it is removed from the bones and will be offered for sale to consumers," he said.

Egyptian officials have stressed that while they believed there was a need for a cull, the meat was safe.

An official from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said on Wednesday his group had been trying unsuccessfully to reach Egyptian officials to correct any confusion about the virus.

The Paris-based Organization for Animal Health said states should focus efforts on "appropriate disease surveillance" and strengthening biosecurity measures at premises where pigs are handled and slaughtered, rather than culling them.

"The culling of pigs will not help to guard against public or animal health risks presented by this novel A/H1N1 influenza virus and such action is inappropriate," the organization said in a statement.

Egypt's state-run al-Ahram newspaper has said pig owners could receive 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($177) per animal in compensation, but an independent newspaper reported on Thursday no compensation would be paid.

3 more cases of swine flu confirmed in Maricopa County

by Ginger Rough - Apr. 30, 2009 01:23 PM
The Arizona Republic

The number of confirmed H1N1 flu cases in Arizona jumped to four Thursday, when state officials received word from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention that three more samples had tested positive for the so-called swine flu virus.

All new cases were found in school-aged children and required the closing of one Valley school. Maricopa County public health department officials aren't releasing the name of the school until the parents can be notified.

"There is nothing more important in public health than confidentiality," Dr. Bob England, medical director for Maricopa County's public health department said. He said there has been no clustering of flu cases.

Arizona confirmed its first case Wednesday in an 8-year-old boy in North Phoenix. His school, Moon Mountain Elementary, was shut down until May 7 as a precautionary measure, even though the child had already recovered from his illness.

The three new cases are also from Maricopa County, public health officials said, but more information about the patients has not yet been released. However, health officials have previously said that the cases did not appear to be related, and that the patients had only mild illness.

In addition, Arizona Department of Health Services spokeswoman Laura Oxley said Thursday that her agency has submitted 40 more un-typeable flu samples to the CDC, meaning that the number of confirmed cases in the state could jump significantly by week's end.

“I think the horse is out of the barn,” England said Wednesday during a press briefing on the issue.

State officials have said they will work aggressively to slow the virus' spread in the community. The latest example came Thursday morning, when Maricopa Medical Center, Arizona's only public hospital, announced that it is restricting visitors due to the ongoing flu outbreak.

Hospital officials said in a news release that children under the age of 12 will not be permitted to visit friends or family members in the hospital, and that patients would be allowed to receive “essential visitors” only, with a limit to two adults per patient.

Anyone ill with cough, fever, runny nose or sore throat is also being asked to stay away from the facility, which is located just north of downtown Phoenix.

The restrictions will remain in place throughout the outbreak, the hospital said. Patients who are suspected of having any kind of influenza will be required to wear surgical masks outside of patients rooms.

There are now more than 110 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States; people have fallen ill in 15 states.

“This strain is spreading and it is causing disease in more and more places,” acting CDC director Richard Besser said this morning.

More details about the new cases will be released during a 1 p.m. press conference, health officials said.

US swine flu total tops 100

pr. 30, 2009 08:42 AM
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of swine flu cases in the United States has topped 100, with confirmed infections in 11 states.

The CDC's count for the first time Thursday adds South Carolina, with 10 confirmed cases.

The CDC update said there have been 109 cases including 50 in New York, 26 in Texas and 14 in California.

Chrysler Files for Bankruptcy to Shed Debt, Seal Deal with Fiat

Chrysler Files for Bankruptcy to Shed Debt, Seal Fiat Accord
(mr market doesn't like it...)*trish*

By Mike Ramsey
April 30 (Bloomberg) -

- Chrysler LLC, the smallest of the Big Three U.S. automakers, filed today for bankruptcy protection in New York to streamline operations and shed debt in a reorganization that includes Italy’s Fiat SpA as a partner.

The iconic automaker, which survived a near-death experience in 1979, missed a U.S. government deadline to come up with a restructuring plan by today that was rigorous enough to avoid bankruptcy and qualify for more bailout aid. The carmaker tried to negotiate an alliance with Fiat, reduce $6.9 billion in secured loans and cut $10.6 billion owed to a pension fund. Some lenders refused to slash the debt to $2.25 billion.

The carmaker and the government plan to use the bankruptcy process to revitalize Chrysler by putting its best assets, such as its Jeep and Dodge Ram brands, in a new company that wouldn’t be burdened by current costs and debt. A slimmed-down version of Chrysler, armed with Fiat’s small-car technology, would emerge from such a process, giving the carmaker a “new lease on life,” U.S. President Barack Obama said today.

“Bankruptcy could do a lot of good for Chrysler” by allowing it to “shrink down to the size it needs” quickly, said Stephen Lubben, who teaches bankruptcy-law at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. “Fiat has shown that it knows how to turn around a troubled business.”

Bankruptcy can involve uncertainty and delay. Dissident creditors intend to object to the company’s reorganization plan, a person familiar with their thinking said. That might thwart President Barack Obama’s goal of a “surgical” bankruptcy that would put a viable carmaker quickly into the market.

Important to Nation
Having the government as a party to such a process, on the other hand, may work in Chrysler’s favor, lawyers said.

“If the Secretary of the Treasury suggests to the court that a particular result is important to him and to the nation, it may be hard for a judge to resist,” said Richard Hahn, co- chair of law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s bankruptcy group.

The government also has the power to change some of the traditional business rules by changing existing law, he said.

The filing made today may prove a template for rival General Motors Corp. GM was given a June 1 deadline by the government to cut costs and debt to qualify for its share of added bailout aid. To become a viable carmaker, GM plans to keep only its most profitable brands, such as Chevrolet and Cadillac.

Chrysler, controlled by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, received the $4 billion in January and was promised $6 billion more if costs and debt were cut enough. After the initial loan, U.S. auto sales plunged to a 27-year low in February and dropped 37 percent in March.

To contact the reporters on this story: Linda Sandler in New York at lsandler@bloomberg.net; Christopher Scinta in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York at cscinta@bloomberg.net; Mike Ramsey in Southfield, Michigan, at mramsey6@bloomberg.net. Last Updated: April 30, 2009 12:56 EDT

Swine-flu outbreak fuels more debate about securing border

by Daniel González and Yvonne Wingett - Apr. 30, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

The rapidly spreading swine flu is prompting calls for the U.S. to close its border with Mexico, where the outbreak originated, but some fear the disease is being exploited for political purposes by immigration foes.

A growing chorus of border-control advocates, including some members of Congress, is calling for the federal government to close U.S.-Mexican border crossings to prevent swine flu from further spreading into the U.S.

Civil-rights groups and immigrant advocates, however, say that fanning anti-immigrant sentiment could make immigrants reluctant to seek medical attention.

"The risk of demonizing and stigmatizing a group of people is you risk alienating them and making them afraid to seek health services and that can continue the outbreak," said Liany Arroyo, director of the Institute for Hispanic Health at the National Council of La Raza, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group.

Mexico has been the epicenter of the swine-flu outbreak. The only flu-related death in the U.S. is a 23-month-old Mexico City boy who died Monday after traveling to Texas.

U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, a Democrat from New York and House Homeland Security Committee member, wants "an immediate and complete closure" of the Mexican border until swine flu is contained.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the Department of Homeland Security should consider all options, "including closing the border if it would prevent further transmission of this deadly virus."

It was unclear whether McCain was responding to political pressure. Last week, Chris Simcox, founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, announced he will challenge McCain in the 2010 Republican primary.

Since the swine-flu outbreak, Simcox has intensified his call for the immediate deployment of National Guard troops.

President Barack Obama said Wednesday during a televised news conference that health officials see no reason to close the border.

"From their perspective it would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out because we already have cases here in the United States," he said.

Brian Levin, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said agents at border crossings are trained to watch for possible contagious diseases. He said they have increased surveillance since the swine-flu alert; inspectors in Arizona have not quarantined or detained a single traveler because of flulike symptoms.

Alfredo Gutierrez, who hosts a Spanish-language talk show, said exploiting fear about the swine flu and its prevalence in Mexico is counter-productive.

"The logic that if you can get rid of Mexicans, (swine flu) will all go away" is simplistic logic that will play well to people's fears, he said. "People are going to say it's the Mexicans' fault. The virus has no nationality."

Carlos Flores Vizcarra, the consul general of Mexico in Phoenix, said that while a few are trying to link the virus with illegal immigration, most realize that swine flu is a public-health issue, not an immigration one.

Republic reporters Dennis Wagner and Dan Nowicki contributed to this article.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Boy is first Ariz. swine flu case; school to close for 1 week


Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic

Students at Moon Mountain Elementary School board a bus after being let out of school Wednesday.


by Ginger Rough - Apr. 29, 2009 02:50 PM
The Arizona Republic

The state's first swine flu patient is an 8-year-old boy who attends Moon Mountain Elementary School in northwest Phoenix.

Gov. Jan Brewer disclosed the information during a morning event; health department officials said they are still interviewing the boy's family and have not determined how he contracted the disease.

In a memo to Moon Mountain staff, Susie Cook, the superintendent of the Washington Elementary School District, announced that the school will be closing for seven days.

Carol Donaldson, communications director for the Washington Elementary School District, which includes Moon Mountain Elementary, said the school has about 800 students.

"We've been working on getting information to families all morning," she said.

The Arizona Department of Health Services had sent four laboratory samples of possible swine-flu cases to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and results for one came back positive for the new strain of swine flu Wednesday morning. Health officials said at a press conference today that the one confirmed and three suspected cases are from Maricopa County, but none is related to each other in terms of family or organized groups. The cases are scattered around the county.

Health officials have said none of the patients with suspected swine flu was gravely ill or hospitalized. It is unknown if any of the four people had traveled to Mexico.

At Moon Mountain Elementary near 19th Avenue and Thunderbird Road Wednesday, students got out in the early afternoon as part of a previously scheduled early release day.

Buses waited in the parking lot of the red-and-tan brick building, and parents showed up in cars and on foot to pick up their kids.

The only sign that the school day was unusual were four Phoenix Police Department cars in the parking lot.

As he walked home, Justin, 10, said he was a little bit scared that one of the school's students had been diagnosed with the swine flu. Some students at school had cried because of the flu alert. Justin's friend, Madison, also 10, said she had a cough and chest pain.

"I'm scared because I have some of the symptoms," she said.

The Arizona Republic is withholding or did not ask for the children's last names because they are minors.

Charlene Begay of Phoenix showed up at the school to pick up her 6-year-old niece.

"Her dad usually picks her up," she said, "But she (her mom) just wanted her daughter out now," said Begay, who is worried about her own health because she is pregnant.

Another student, Carlos, 10, said he planned to go home and take a shower every hour. Not everyone is disappointed that school is closing, he said, because some students have missing homework right now.

Also Wednesday, during a morning tour of the Arizona State Laboratory with Democratic lawmakers, health department administrators confirmed that the state had received its first shipment of antivirals from the federal stockpile.

Two drugs, sold under the brand names of Tamiflu and Relenza, have been shown to lessen the severity and duration of swine flu, if administered shortly after the onset of symptoms.

The antivirals will be distributed to state hospitals and medical centers as needed. There is currently no vaccine for swine flu; CDC officials said in a morning briefing that it would likely be "this fall" before such a vaccine is available for humans.

As of this morning, there were 91 cases of the virulent influenza strain in the United States.

Richard Besser, acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said laboratory tests have confirmed influenza in 10 states.

They are Arizona, New York, California, Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio.

Staff writers Maria Polletta and Casey Newton contributed to this report.

WHO raises pandemic alert level as US confirms first swine flu death outside Mexico


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has today raised the swine flu pandemic alert to level five as global fears over the contagiousness of the virus gathered pace.

Margaret Chan, the WHO chief, told a news conference in Geneva tonight that as the level was being raised to five out of a possible six, "all countries should activate their pandemic preparedness plans, and remain on high alert."

Raising the alert to level five means the WHO believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent. WHO says the phase five alert means there is sustained human to human spread in at least two countries.

Today the swine flu outbreak claimed its first victim outside Mexico: a 23-month-old child in Texas. A health official in Houston, Texas, said the child, thought to be a boy, was Mexican and had travelled to Brownsville to visit his family in the same state when he became ill.

He was admitted to a local hospital on 13 April and was transferred to another hospital in Texas after he "became quite ill rather rapidly" .

In Europe, Spain has detected its first case of swine flu in a person who has not recently visited Mexico. It is believed to be the first evidence that the virus has been transmitted in a European country.

The case involves a Spanish man from Catalonia whose girlfriend brought the virus back with her from a holiday in Mexico.

Marina Geli, head of the health service in Catalonia, said the man and his girlfriend were two of six patients in the region to have tested positive for the virus, according to the Catalan government's TV3 television station. Contact between the two was described as "very close".

Spanish authorities have confirmed 10 cases of the disease and 53 other cases are under investigation. All had recently returned from Mexico.

Earlier today Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organisation assistant director general, had warned that the outbreak was approaching phase five, signifying that a flu pandemic is imminent.

He said the swine flu virus was behaving like a human flu virus and there was no evidence of people being infected from pigs or pork products.

He said it was "probably unlikely" that the virus would simply stop, although it was not clear whether more serious cases would develop.

He said eight swine flu deaths had been reported to the WHO: seven in Mexico and one in the US. To date, 114 confirmed cases of infection have been reported to the WHO. They are: Canada 13, US 64, Mexico 26, Israel two, Spain four, UK two and New Zealand three.

US health officials confirmed a total of 91 human cases. "We're reporting 91 confirmed cases in the United States," Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing.

Besser said this included 51 in New York, 16 in Texas, 14 in California, and others in Massachusetts, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio.

Five cases in total have been confirmed in the UK, the prime minister, Gordon Brown, told the House of Commons.

More than 150 people are suspected to have died of the virus in Mexico and the illness has spread around the globe. News of the first death outside the country where it originated will increase fears that a pandemic could develop.

Barack Obama said the US government was monitoring the situation and it was time to take "utmost precautions". He said he would do whatever was necessary to control swine flu and urged people to ensure good personal hygiene.

US schools with confirmed or suspected swine flu cases should "strongly consider" closing, Obama said.

The boy who died in Texas was "treated very aggressively" before he succumbed to the virus, a health official said. "All family members are healthy and well and have not had any symptoms," the official said.

Dr Richard Besser, the acting director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said more deaths in the US were likely. "Flu is a very serious infection and each virus is unique so it is hard to know what we are going to be seeing," he said. "But given what we've seen in Mexico, we have expected that we would see more severe infections and we would see deaths."

World Health Organisation experts are to hold a third emergency meeting to discuss the level of the alert.

Dick Thompson, a WHO spokesman, said the agency's director general, Margaret Chan, "has seen a jump in cases and she wants to have that evaluated by the outside experts".

He said it did not automatically mean a change in the pandemic alert level.

Confirmation that infected people in two countries are spreading the new disease to their families or contacts in a sustained way would meet the WHO criteria for declaring a phase five alert on its scale. The highest is six. It raised the level from three to four on Monday as the virus moved to Europe.

Separately, flu experts around the world were holding a telephone conference in an emergency review of the outbreak organised by the WHO to collect information on what is known about how the disease spreads, how it affects human health and how it can be treated. A report will be published shortly after the meeting ends.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, has declared a state of emergency, while fears were growing in New York that the virus was showing signs of transmission to others from children who had visited Mexico.

Egypt ordered the culling of all its 300,000 pigs as a precaution against swine flu, the country's health minister said on Wednesday. "It is decided to slaughter all swine herds present in Egypt, starting from today," Hatem el-Gabali said in a statement published by state news agency Mena.

France said it would seek an EU ban on flights to Mexico. Argentina and Cuba have already banned them.

The EU, the US and Canada have advised against non-essential travel to the country. The EU foreign relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said the bloc was considering halting all travel to Mexico and disinfecting all airports.

In Mexico, officials are carrying out a second round of stricter tests, which have so far confirmed that seven people have died of swine flu. Results have yet to be announced on a further 13 people previously said to have been killed by the illness. The virus is suspected in another 159 deaths and 2,498 cases of illness there.

The health secretary, José Angel Córdova, said last night that the death toll was "more or less stable", even as hospitals were swamped with people who thought they had swine flu. Only 1,311 of those suspected of being infected remained in hospital, suggesting treatment works if medical care is sought quickly.

In New York, officials said 18 children from two schools were being tested for swine flu after showing symptoms, and the city's health commissioner said "many hundreds" more children who had fallen sick may be infected with the virus.

At least 10 countries around the world, including China and Russia, have introduced bans on the import of pork products, despite the WHO's insistence that the virus cannot be transmitted by eating pork.

Bavaria's health ministry confirmed Germany's first three cases of swine flu. The Robert Koch Institute said they were a 22-year-old woman being treated for flu-like symptoms in a Hamburg hospital after returning from Mexico, a man in his 30s being treated at a university in the southern city of Regensburg, and a 37-year-old woman from another southern town who recently travelled to Mexico.

New Zealand is awaiting test results on 44 possible cases, on top of 14 already confirmed.

While the latest confirmations were in developed nations, Dr Keiji Fukuda, the WHO assistant director general for health security, warned that the greatest threat was to the poorest countries.

"We know from history … that the poorer countries are the ones who really get hit the hardest, they are really hit disproportionately hard, and they also have the least resources to deal with these kind of situations," he said.

Suspected infections are being investigated in Brazil, Guatemala and Peru, all countries that would struggle to cope with a big swine flu outbreak.

9-year-old boy is first Arizona swine flu case

by Ginger Rough - Apr. 29, 2009 12:31 PM
The Arizona Republic

The state's first swine flu patient is a 9-year-old boy who attends Moon Mountain Elementary School in northwest Phoenix. Gov. Jan Brewer disclosed the information during a morning event; health department officials have yet to release details about the child or how he contracted the disease.

But Brewer said the little boy was already back in school.

Carol Donaldson, communications director for the Washington Elementary School District, which includes Moon Mountain Elementary, said district officials were aware of the situation. Moon Mountain Elementary has 800 students.

"We've been working on getting information to families all morning," she said.

Donaldson deferred other questions about the situation until 1:30 p.m., when the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Public Health Department planned to hold a press conference.

"One of our representatives will be there," she said.

State health officials on Wednesday have been tight-lipped about the patient and where he lives, saying they wanted to notify his family, and presumably the school, first.

"This is all happening so fast," said Will Humble, acting director of the Arizona Department of Health Services said this morning.

The health department had sent four laboratory samples of possible swine-flu cases to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and results for one came back positive for the new strain of swine flu Wednesday morning.

The department expects results for the other three later today.

Health officials have said none of the patients with suspected swine flu was gravely ill or hospitalized.

Jeanene Fowler, spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Public Health Department, also said the four cases do not appear to be related to each other in terms of family or organized groups. It is unknown if any of the four people had traveled to Mexico.

State and Maricopa County health officials are planning a press conference at 1:30 p.m. today to talk more about the case and about swine flu in Arizona. During a morning tour of the Arizona State Laboratory with Democratic lawmakers, health department administrators also confirmed that the state had received its first shipment of antivirals from the federal stockpile.

Two drugs, sold under the brand names of Tamiflu and Relenza, have been shown to lessen the severity and duration of swine flu, if administered shortly after the onset of symptoms.

The antivirals will be distributed to state hospitals and medical centers as needed. There is currently no vaccine for swine flu; CDC officials said in a morning briefing that it would likely be "this fall" before such a vaccine is available for humans.

As of this morning, there were 91 cases of the virulent influenza strain in the United States.

Richard Besser, acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said laboratory tests have confirmed influenza in 10 states.

They are Arizona, New York, California, Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio.

Staff writer Casey Newton contributed to this report.

CDC head: 1 confirmed case of swine flu in Arizona

by Ginger Rough - Apr. 29, 2009 09:15 AM
The Arizona Republic

Federal officials on Wednesday confirmed the first swine flu case in Arizona: an unidentified person in Maricopa County.

No details about the age of the patient or where he or she lives were immediately available, partly because state health officials have yet to notify the person or his or her family.

"This is all happening so fast," said Will Humble, acting director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The department had sent four laboratory samples of possible swine-flu cases to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and results for one came back positive for the new strain of swine flu. The department expects results for the other three later today.

Health officials have said none of the patients with suspected swine flu was gravely ill or hospitalized. Jeanine Fowler, spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Public Health Department, also said the four cases do not appear to be related to each other.

State and Maricopa County health officials are planning a press conference later today to talk more about the case and about swine flu in Arizona.

The OLC "torture memos": thoughts from a dissenter

Tue, 04/21/2009 - 9:17am

By Philip Zelikow

I first gained access to the OLC memos and learned details about CIA's program for high-value detainees shortly after the set of opinions were issued in May 2005. I did so as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's policy representative to the NSC Deputies Committee on these and other intelligence/terrorism issues. In the State Department, Secretary Rice and her Legal Adviser, John Bellinger, were then the only other individuals briefed on these details. In compliance with the security agreements I have signed, I have never discussed or disclosed any substantive details about the program until the classified information has been released.

Having been the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, I'm aware of what some of these captives did. The Commission wondered how captives were questioned (for details on that, see this previously disclosed report), and the matter is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation by special prosecutor John Durham. Nonetheless, the evidence against most -- if not all -- of the high-value detainees remains damning. But the issue is not about who or what they are. It is about who or what we are.

Based on what had earlier been released, I have offered some general views on "Legal Policy for a Twilight War." With the release of these OLC memos, I can add three more sets of comments, each of which could be developed at much greater length.

1. The focus on water-boarding misses the main point of the program.

Which is that it was a program. Unlike the image of using intense physical coercion as a quick, desperate expedient, the program developed "interrogation plans" to disorient, abuse, dehumanize, and torment individuals over time.

The plan employed the combined, cumulative use of many techniques of medically-monitored physical coercion. Before getting to water-boarding, the captive had already been stripped naked, shackled to ceiling chains keeping him standing so he cannot fall asleep for extended periods, hosed periodically with cold water, slapped around, jammed into boxes, etc. etc. Sleep deprivation is most important.

2. Measuring the value of such methods should be done professionally and morally before turning to lawyers.

A professional analysis would not simply ask: Did they tell us important information? Congress is apparently now preparing to parse the various claims on this score -- and that would be quite valuable.

But the argument that they gave us vital information, which readers can see deployed in the memos just as they were deployed to reassure an uneasy president, is based on a fallacy. The real question is: What is the unique value of these methods?

For this analysis, the administration had the benefit of past U.S. government treatment of high-value detainees in its own history (especially World War II and Vietnam) and substantial, painful lessons from sympathetic foreign governments. By 2005, the Bush administration also had the benefit of what amounted to a double-blind study it had inadvertently conducted, comparing methods that had evolved in Iraq (different Geneva-based rules, different kinds of teams) and the methods the CIA had developed, with both sets being used to against hardened killers.

Opponents should not overstate their side either. Had a serious analysis been conducted beforehand (it apparently was not), my rough guess is that it might have found that physical coercion can break people faster, with some tradeoff in degraded and less reliable results.

Which underscores the importance of moral analysis. There is an elementary distinction, too often lost, between the moral (and policy) question -- "What should we do?" -- and the legal question: "What can we do?" We live in a policy world too inclined to turn lawyers into surrogate priests granting a form of absolution. "The lawyers say it's OK." Well, not really. They say it might be legal. They don't know about OK.

3. The legal opinions have grave weaknesses.

Weakest of all is the May 30 opinion, just because it had to get over the lowest standard -- "cruel, inhuman, or degrading" in Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture. That standard was also being codified in the bill Senator John McCain was fighting to pass. It is also found in Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, a standard that the Supreme Court ruled in 2006 does apply to these prisoners. Violation of Common Article 3 is a war crime under federal law (18 U.S.C. section 2441), a felony punishable by up to life imprisonment. (The OLC opinions do not discuss this law because in 2005 the administration also denied the applicability of Common Article 3.)

The OLC holds, rightly, that the United States complies with the international standard if it complies with the comparable body of constitutional prohibitions in U.S. law (the 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments). Many years earlier, I had worked in that area of the law. I believed that the OLC opinions (especially the May 30 one) presented the U.S. government with a distorted rendering of relevant U.S. law.

At the time, in 2005, I circulated an opposing view of the legal reasoning. My bureaucratic position, as counselor to the secretary of state, didn't entitle me to offer a legal opinion. But I felt obliged to put an alternative view in front of my colleagues at other agencies, warning them that other lawyers (and judges) might find the OLC views unsustainable. My colleagues were entitled to ignore my views. They did more than that: The White House attempted to collect and destroy all copies of my memo. I expect that one or two are still at least in the State Department's archives.

Stated in a shorthand way, mainly for the benefit of other specialists who work these issues, my main concerns were:

* the case law on the "shocks the conscience" standard for interrogations would proscribe the CIA's methods;

* the OLC memo basically ignored standard 8th Amendment "conditions of confinement" analysis (long incorporated into the 5th amendment as a matter of substantive due process and thus applicable to detentions like these). That case law would regard the conditions of confinement in the CIA facilities as unlawful.

* the use of a balancing test to measure constitutional validity (national security gain vs. harm to individuals) is lawful for some techniques, but other kinds of cruel treatment should be barred categorically under U.S. law -- whatever the alleged gain.

The underlying absurdity of the administration's position can be summarized this way. Once you get to a substantive compliance analysis for "cruel, inhuman, and degrading" you get the position that the substantive standard is the same as it is in analogous U.S. constitutional law. So the OLC must argue, in effect, that the methods and the conditions of confinement in the CIA program could constitutionally be inflicted on American citizens in a county jail.

In other words, Americans in any town of this country could constitutionally be hung from the ceiling naked, sleep deprived, water-boarded, and all the rest -- if the alleged national security justification was compelling. I did not believe our federal courts could reasonably be expected to agree with such a reading of the Constitution.

U.S. confirmed swine flu total rises to 91 -CDC

WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) - U.S. health officials confirmed a total of 91 human cases of H1N1 swine flu across the country on Tuesday.

"We're reporting 91 confirmed cases in the United States," Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing.

Besser said the current confirmed caseload included 51 cases in New York, 16 in Texas, 14 in California, and cases in Massachusetts, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio.

He said the U.S. outbreak of swine flu -- which has killed a toddler in Texas but which in almost all other cases has resulted in only mild symptoms -- continues to develop. "These numbers are almost out of date by the time I say them," Besser said. (Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Maggie Fox)

Vials of swine flu virus explode on train

Vials of innocuous swine flu virus have exploded on an intercity train, prompting police to stop passengers before they arrived in Lausanne.
A laboratory technician from a Geneva hospital had been transporting the vials on Monday evening from a veterinary institute in Zurich. The Federal Health Office had called for the development of a diagnostic test for the illness that has killed as many as 150 people worldwide.

Near Fribourg the technician heard a muffled pop. Built-up gas from dry ice surrounding the vials had caused the package to explode.

The carriage in which the technician was travelling held 61 passengers at the time. The Federal Railways did not learn of the incident until 40 minutes later after the train had already passed through Fribourg. Police then stopped the train near Lausanne, inspected passengers and wrote down their names as a precaution.

"This virus is not dangerous to humans," said Laurent Kaiser, head of the Geneva lab. "It is the same stock as the H1N1 virus but it has nothing in common with the strain spreading around the world."

The technician and one passenger suffered slight wounds, the only injuries, but some travellers were angry that they had not been informed of the incident sooner.

"Why did they leave us enclosed in a contaminated car for an hour?" asked one passenger. "There was a pregnant woman who panicked. They only informed us sparingly. And why didn't they stop the train in Fribourg?"

Viruses and other infectious specimens are often transported by train or even post. Kaiser said this particular shipment had been packaged according to regulations.

Russia widens U.S. meat ban due to swine flu

MOSCOW, April 28 (Reuters) - Russia has extended its ban on raw meat imports caused by the outbreak of swine flu to the U.S. states of New York and Ohio, the country's animal and plant health body Rosselkhoznadzor said on Tuesday.

The ban will also apply to all raw and cooked meat products which could be carried in the personal luggage of passengers and crew, as well as to food served on board of airplanes and ships which had stopped in the two states, it said in a statement.

Russia's top veterinarian said on Monday that the country, which had banned meat imports from some countries hit by the virus, including from top poultry meat supplier, the United States, could introduce new bans depending on the disease spread. [ID:nLR547374]

From last Sunday, the ban applied to all types of meat from Mexico and the states of Texas, California and Kansas, and to raw pork from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Florida, countries of Central America and the Caribbean.

Confirmed outbreaks of swine flu in Mexico, where it has killed 149 people, the United States, Canada and Europe have prompted health authorities to put customs officers on alert. [ID:nN27484099]

Cases of the flu, which has components of classic avian, human and swine flu viruses but has not actually been seen in pigs, were also suspected in France, Italy and Israel. (Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

Egypt orders slaughter of all pigs over swine flu

CAIRO (AP) - Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu even though no cases have been reported here yet, the Health Ministry said.
The move immediately provoked resistance from pig farmers. At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, farmers refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who came to slaughter the animals and the workers left without carrying out the government order.

"It has been decided to immediately start slaughtering all the pigs in Egypt using the full capacity of the country's slaughterhouses," Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly told reporters after a Cabinet meeting with President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's overwhelmingly Muslim population does not eat pork due to religious restrictions. But the animals are raised and consumed by the Christian minority, which some estimates put at 10 percent of the population.

Health Ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman estimated there were between 300,000-350,000 pigs in Egypt.

Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza told reporters that farmers would be allowed to sell the pork meat so there would be no need for compensation.

In 2008, following fears over diseases spread by animals, Mubarak ordered all pig and chicken farms moved out of population areas. But the order was never implemented.

Pigs can be found in many places around Muslim world, often raised by religious minorities who can eat pork. But they are banned entirely in some Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Libya.

In Jordan, the government decided Wednesday to shut down the country's five pig farms, involving 800 animals, for violating public health safety regulations.

FLYING PIGS, TAMIFLU & FACTORY FARMS

Flying Pigs, Tamiflu and Factory Farms
By F. William Engdahl

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13408
Global Research, April 29, 2009

If we are to believe what our trusted international media report, the world is on the brink of a global pandemic outbreak of a new deadly strain of flu, H1N1 as it has been labelled, or more popularly, Swine Flu. As the story goes, the outbreak of the deadly flu was first discovered in Mexico. According to press reports, after several days, headlines reported as many as perhaps 150 deaths in Mexico were believed caused by this virulent people-killing pig virus that has spread to humans and now is allegedly being further spread from human to human. Cases were being reported hourly from Canada to Spain and beyond. The only thing wrong with this story is that it is largely based on lies, hype and coverup of possible real causes of Mexican deaths. One website, revealingly named Swine Flu Vaccine, reports the alarming news, ‘One out of every five residents of Mexico's most populous city wore masks to protect themselves against the virus as Mexico City seems to be the epicenter of the outbreak. As many as 103 deaths have been attributed to the swine flu so far with many more feared to be on the horizon. The health department of Mexico said an additional 1,614 reported cases have been documented.' We are told that the H1N1 ‘shares genetic material from human, avian and swine influenza viruses.'1

Airports around the world have installed passenger temperature scans to identify anyone with above normal body temperature as possible suspect for swine flu. Travel to Mexico has collapsed. Sales of flu vaccines, above all Tamiflu from Roche Inc., have exploded in days. People have stopped buying pork fearing certain death. The World Health Organization has declared a ‘a public health emergency of international concern,' defined by them as ‘an occurrence or imminent threat of illness or health conditions caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or highly fatal infectious agents or toxins that pose serious risk to a significant number of people.'2

What are the symptoms of this purported Swine Flu?

That's not at all clear according to virologists and public health experts. They say Swine Flu symptoms are relatively general and nonspecific. ‘So many different things can cause these symptoms. it is a dilemma,' says one doctor interviewed by CNN. ‘There is not a perfect test right now to let a doctor know that a person has the Swine Flu.'

It has been noted that most individuals with Swine Flu had an early on set of fever. Also it was common to see dizziness, body aches and vomiting in addition to the common sneezing, headache and other cold symptoms. These are symptoms so general as to say nothing. The US Government's Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta states on its official website, ‘Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.'

Nonetheless they add, ‘CDC has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.'3

How many media that have grabbed on the headline ‘suspected case of Swine Flu' in recent days bother to double check with the local health authorities to ask some basic questions? For example, the number of confirmed cases of H1N1 and their location? The number of deaths confirmed to have resulted from H1N1? Dates of both? Number of suspected cases and of suspected deaths related to the Swine Flu disease?

Some known facts
According to Biosurveillance, itself part of Veratect, a US Pentagon and Government-linked epidemic reporting center, on April 6, 2009 local health officials declared a health alert due to a respiratory disease outbreak in La Gloria, Perote Municipality, Veracruz State, Mexico. They reported, ‘Sources characterized the event as a ‘strange' outbreak of acute respiratory infection, which led to bronchial pneumonia in some pediatric cases. According to a local resident, symptoms included fever, severe cough, and large amounts of phlegm.

Health officials recorded 400 cases that sought medical treatment in the last week in La Gloria, which has a population of 3,000; officials indicated that 60% of the town's population (approximately 1,800 cases) has been affected. No precise timeframe was provided, but sources reported that a local official had been seeking health assistance for the town since February.'
What they later say is ‘strange' is not the form of the illness but the time of year as most flu cases occur in Mexico in the period October to February.

The report went on to note, ‘Residents claimed that three pediatric cases, all under two years of age, died from the outbreak. However, health officials stated that there was no direct link between the pediatric deaths and the outbreak; they stated the three fatal cases were "isolated" and "not related" to each other.'

Then, most revealingly, the aspect of the story which has been largely ignored by major media, they reported, ‘Residents believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak.

According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to "flu." However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms.'4

Since the dawn of American ‘agribusiness,' a project initiated with funding by the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1950's to turn farming into a pure profit maximization business, US pig or hog production has been transformed into a highly efficient, mass production industrialized enterprise from birth to slaughter. Pigs are caged in what are called Factory Farms, industrial concentrations which are run with the efficiency of a Dachau or Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They are all conceived by artificial insemination and once born, are regularly injected with antibiotics, not because of illnesses which abound in the hyper-crowded growing pens, but in order to make them grow and add weight faster. Turn around time to slaughter is a profit factor of highest priority. The entire operation is vertically integrated from conception to slaughter to transport distribution to supermarket. Granjas Carroll de Mexico (GCM) happens to be such a Factory Farm concentration facility for hogs. In 2008 they produced almost one million factory hogs, 950,000 according to their own statistics. GCM is a joint venture operation owned 50% by the world's largest pig producing industrial company, Smithfield Foods of Virginia.5

The pigs are grown in a tiny rural area of Mexico, a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and primarily trucked across the border to supermarkets in the USA, under the Smithfields' family of labels. Most American consumers have no idea where the meat was raised. Now the story becomes interesting.

Manure Lagoons and other playing fields
The Times of London interviewed the mother of 4-year-old Edgar Hernandez of La Gloria in Veracruz, the location of the giant Smithfield Foods hog production facility. Their local reporter notes, ‘Edgar Hernández plays among the dogs and goats that roam through the streets, seemingly unaware that the swine flu he contracted a few weeks ago — the first known case — has almost brought his country to a standstill and put the rest of the world on alert. ‘I feel great,' the five-year-old boy said. ‘But I had a headache and a sore throat and a fever for a while. I had to lay down in bed.'' The reporters add, ‘It was confirmed on Monday (April 27 2009-w.e.) that Edgar was the first known sufferer of swine flu, a revelation that has put La Gloria and its surrounding factory pig farms and ‘manure lagoons' at the centre of a global race to find how this new and deadly strain of swine flu emerged.' 6

That's quite interesting. They speak of ‘La Gloria and its surrounding factory pig farms and ‘manure lagoons.'' Presumably the manure lagoons around the LaGloria factory pig farm of Smithfield Foods are the waste dumping place for the feces and urine waste from at least 950,000 pigs a year that pass through the facility. The Smithfield's Mexico joint venture, Norson, states that alone they slaughter 2,300 pigs daily. That's a lot. It gives an idea of the volumes of pig waste involved in the concentration facility at La Gloria.Significantly, according to the Times reporters, ‘residents of La Gloria have been complaining since March that the odour from Granjas Carroll's pig waste was causing severe respiratory infections. They held a demonstration this month at which they carried signs of pigs crossed with an X and marked with the word peligro (danger).'7

There have been calls to exhume the bodies of the children who died of pneumonia so that they could be tested. The state legislature of Veracruz has demanded that Smithfield's Granjas Carroll release documents about its waste-handling practices. Smithfield Foods reportedly declined to comment on the request, saying that it would ‘not respond to rumours.'8

A research compilation by Ed Harris reported, ‘According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to ‘flu.'

However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms.'9

That would imply that the entire Swine Flu scare might have originated from the PR spin doctors of the world's largest industrial pig factory farm operation, Smithfield Foods.The Vera Cruz-based newspaper La Marcha blames Smithfield's Granjos Carroll for the outbreak, highlighting inadequate treatment of massive quantities of animal waste from hog production.10

Understandably the company is perhaps more than a bit uncomfortable with the sudden attention. The company, which supplies the McDonald's and Subway fast-food chains, was fined $12.3 million in the United States 1997 for violating the Clean Water Act. Perhaps they are in a remote tiny Mexican rural area enjoying a relatively lax regulatory climate where they need not worry about being cited for violations of any Clean Water Act.


Pig Factory Farm Industrial Production is a classic breeder of disease and toxins but little attention is being paid to this source

Factory Farms as toxic concentrations
At the very least the driving force for giant industrial agribusiness outsourcing of facilities to third world sites such as Veracruz, Mexico has more to do with further cost reduction and lack of health and safety scrutiny than it does with improving the health and safety quality of the food end product. It has been widely documented and subject of US Congressional reports that large-scale indoor animal production facilities such as that of Granjos Carroll are notorious breeding grounds for toxic pathogens.

A recent report by the US Pew Foundation in cooperation with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health notes, ‘the method of producing food animals in the United States has changed from the extensive system of small and medium-sized farms owned by a single family to a system of large, intensive operations where the animals are housed in large numbers in enclosed structures that resemble industrial buildings more than they do a traditional barn. That change has happened primarily out of view of consumers but has come at a cost to the environment and a negative impact on public health, rural communities, and the health and well-being of the animals themselves. 11

The Pew study notes, ‘The diversified, independent, family-owned farms of 40 years ago that produced a variety of crops and a few animals are disappearing as an economic entity, replaced by much larger, and often highly leveraged, farm factories. The animals that many of these farms produce are owned by the meat packing companies from the time they are born or hatched right through their arrival at the processing plant and from there to market.' 12

The study emphasizes that application of ‘untreated animal waste on cropland can contribute to excessive nutrient loading, contaminate surface waters, and stimulate bacteria and algalgrowth and subsequent reductions in dissolved oxygen concentrations in surface waters.'13

That is where the real investigation ought to begin, with the health and sanitary dangers of the industrial factory pig farms like the one at Perote in Veracruz. The media spread of panic-mongering reports of every person in the world who happens to contract ‘symptoms' which vaguely resemble flu or even Swine Flu and the statements to date of authorities such as WHO or CDC are far from conducive to a rational scientific investigation..

Tamiflu and Rummy
In October 2005 the Pentagon ordered vaccination of all US military personnel worldwide against what it called Avian Flu, H5N1. Scare stories filled world media. Then, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced he had budgeted more than $1 billion to stockpile the vaccine, Oseltamivir sold under the name, Tamiflu. President Bush called on Congress to appropriate another $2 billion for Tamiflu stocks. What Rumsfeld neglected to report at the time was a colossal conflict of interest. Prior to coming to Washington in January 2001, Rumsfeld had been chairman of a California pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences. Gilead Sciences held exclusive world patent rights to Tamiflu, a drug it had developed and whose world marketing rights were sold to the Swiss pharma giant, Roche. Rumsfeld was reportedly the largest stock holder in Gilead which got 10% of every Tamiflu dose Roche sold. 14

When it leaked out, the Pentagon issued a curt statement to the effect that Secretary Rumsfeld had decided not to sell but to retain his stock in Gilead, claiming that to sell would have indicated something to hide.'

That agonizing decision won him reported added millions as the Gilead share price soared more than 700% in weeks. Tamiflu is no mild candy to be taken lightly. It has heavy side effects. It contains matter that could have potentially deadly consequences for a person's breathing and often reportedly leads to nausea, dizziness and other flu-like symptoms. Since the outbreak of Swine Flu Panic (not Swine Flu but Swine Flu Panic) sales of Tamiflu as well as any and every possible drug marketed as flu related have exploded. Wall Street firms have rushed to issue ‘buy' recommendations for the company.

‘Gimme me a shot Doc, I don't care what it is...I don' wanna die...' Panic and fear of death was used by the Bush Administration skilfully to promote the Avian Flu fraud. With ominous echoes of the current Swine Flu scare, Avian Flu was traced back to huge chicken factory farms in Thailand and other parts of Asia whose products were shipped across the world. Instead of a serious investigation into the sanitary conditions of those chicken factory farms, the Bush Administration and WHO blamed ‘free-roaming chickens' on small family farms, a move that had devastating economic consequences to the farmers whose chickens were being raised in the most sanitary natural conditions. Tyson Foods of Arkansas and CG Group of Thailand reportedly smiled all the way to the bank. Now it remains to be seen if the Obama Administration will use the scare around so-called Swine Flu to repeat the same scenario, this time with ‘flying pigs' instead of flying birds.

Already Mexican authorities have reported that the number of deaths confirmed from so-called Swine Flu is 7 not the 150 or more bandied in the media and that most other suspected cases were ordinary flu or influenza. (To be continued)

F. William Engdahl is author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (Global Rersearch, 2007, see below) and A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press). His new book, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order (Third Millennium Press) is due out end of May. He may be contacted through his website: www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.