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April 29, 2009
Posted: 1803 GMT

– Current Swine Flu Alert level : 4.

The WHO raised its pandemic alert level to 4 from 3 on Monday. Today, there is talk that the organization is considering alert level 5. That phase would be reached if the organization finds the virus in at least two countries in the same region.

-Number of days Barack Obama has been in the White House: 100.

It's the big national and international report card. The president confronted with as many simultaneous problems as Franklin Roosevelt. Wars, a quasi economic depression, health care, education. Add to that 21st century worries like climate change. We'll break it down with our reporters around the world.

-Annual rate of economic slump: 6.1%.

For the first three months of the year, the U.S. economy took another nose dive. More than a 6% drop in annualized rate from January to March.

There are 2 ways to look at this. The first is to panic. The second is to hope that businesses and factories have slowed production of goods to get rid of excess inventory. Now that they've done that, they could be on the verge of producing again and hiring more workers.

-Number of years since an alleged torture video was shot in the United Arab Emirates: 4.

We will bring you a unique look at a story that has sent shockwaves through the Gulf region of the Middle East. The torture depicted on the tape happened 4 years ago, but it was only shown to the world a few days ago. We have an interview with the man who smuggled the tape out of the Emirates.

That, and the rest of the world's top news as always.

See you on TV,

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Currn   April 29th, 2009 6:36 pm ET

Hi Hala,
Nice switch from mode 3 to mode 4 coverage.
Kind Regards,
Pranay

jose   April 29th, 2009 8:26 pm ET

Wich countrys are infected with this new virus? Thank you.

Gordy   April 29th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

The UAE torture video is a shocker! Having lived in the UAE for many years, I often heard of such royal capabilities and feared them. Please keep up the good work, Hala!

JdMustaine   April 30th, 2009 6:32 am ET

Swine flu totally screwed my trip to China. This is my only vacation in this year. I want UN to score down the pandemic level. Or else I am in a huge loss.

Lee   April 30th, 2009 12:28 pm ET

Over 20 yrs ago, as written up then in the "New England Journal of Medicine" AND the British "Lancet", research was conducted to check out various "old wive's tales" re: folk remedies. As I recall, they scientifically tested (I am a scientist and understand the nature of testing methods and results) and found only one that worked: by putting a clothespin on the nose of someone with early flu or cold symptoms, the heat in the sinus and nasal passages (which would otherwise normally contain colder outside air) seemed to kill the virii. One company, maybe Swiss, came out with a heated anti-viral aerosol dispenser called the Viralizer, I believe, but other than that, the Pharma industry seems happy to ignore this simple and cheap cure (in addition to vitamin C, chicken soup w/ anti-viral agent, zinc, coffee, etc.). It is well known that virii do not like heat, and in fact are most successful when they induce us to turn our metabolic "dampers" down (the most birds getting Avian flu, for ex., are relatively inactive and cool, vs heated inefficient short flights). Over the years at the FIRST subtle sign, I have simply used my fingers to hold the nose tightly closed for 20 – 40 min. I think the pressure adds bloodflow as well as whatever electrical fields are associated with our living system (incl. brain/ nerves). Normally I am NOT getting whatever flu is going around, and every time I wake feeling funny in the middle of the night and do NOT do this, I do get sick. However, later application (hours, not days) significantly reduces sick-time! Everyone I have told of this has reported similar results. So this is slightly beyond "anecdotal".

Lost in London   April 30th, 2009 2:34 pm ET

Oh dear...torture in the UAE. I'm moving (permanently) from London to Dubai next month...should I be concerned?

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