- - Tuesday, August 10, 2010


WHO declares end of swine flu pandemic

GENEVA | The World Health Organization acknowledged Tuesday that the swine flu pandemic is finally over, long after many national authorities started canceling vaccine orders and shutting down telephone hot lines as the disease ebbed from the headlines.

The official death toll — once predicted to be in the millions — reached 18,449 last week, and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said she agreed with experts that swine flu has “largely run its course.”

WHO received at least $170 million from member states to deal with the outbreak, some of which was invested in immunization programs long after the A (H1N1) strain was known to provoke only mild illness in most of those infected. Governments spent many times that amount buying vaccines and antiviral medicines that are now being junked.


Lawmakers demand al-Megrahi files

LONDON | Scottish lawmakers are demanding that their government publish full details of the medical advice that led to the release from prison of the Lockerbie bomber almost a year ago.

Opposition Labor Party legislators are calling for the prognosis given on Abdel Baset al-Megrahi’s health before he was freed on compassionate grounds.

The decision to release al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison has stirred anger in the United States and prompted U.S. senators to begin an investigation into the decision.

Al-Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted for the 1988 bombing of a jetliner above the small Scottish town of Lockerbie, which killed 259 people — mostly Americans — on the plane and 11 on the ground.


Landslide death toll tops 700

ZHOUQU | The death toll from landslides in northwestern China more than doubled to 702 on Tuesday, as rescue crews in three Asian countries struggled to reach survivors from flooding that has imperiled millions.

Rescuers digging by hand through mud found a 52-year-old man who had been trapped for more than 50 hours inside a leveled apartment building in the remote town of Zhouqu, where more than 1,000 other people were still listed as missing. Rescuers with sniffer dogs discovered the man, Liu Ma Shindan, who was weak but breathing normally.

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