Daily Archives: April 26, 2009

Swine Flu Threat Update

The most significant thing that has happened over the last 24 hours or so is that the CDC has confirmed a handful of Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu cases in new locations. Previously, cases were only identified in Texas and California. Now, there are cases in Ohio (1 case), New York (8 cases), and Kansas (2 cases). In at least some cases, there is a Mexico connection. I think it is reasonable to assume that new cases will start showing up in other locations over the next day or two.

WHO has some updated information on the situation in Mexico:

…as of 26 April, the Government of Mexico has reported 18 laboratory confirmed cases of swine influenza A/H1N1. Investigation is continuing to clarify the spread and severity of the disease in Mexico. Suspect clinical cases have been reported in 19 of the country’s 32 states.

This is not a lot of new information from 24 hours earlier. Reuters has reported that a teacher visiting Mexico from New Zealand has returned with a flu. Of course, a zillion people have the flu every day, so this may not mean anything….

At the moment no travel or trade restrictions are being recommended by WHO.

One question I have that I have not seen any information on is this: We see cases showing up in the US with an apparent Mexico connection, suggesting that this flu may have an origin in Mexico. What about Central America and other points south? Is there any movement in that direction? (And could that explain the family of people I know of who returned form Panama with the “flu” a few weeks ago???) I wonder how good reporting is in countries south of Mexico …

The CDC web site is here.

The WHO web site is here.

Possible Cleopatra Tomb?

A tomb in Egypt, on the sea coast, is being investigated by Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who claims it is the final resting place of Cleopatra and her main squeeze, Mark Antony. One of the pieces of evidence used to make this claim is a mask with a cleft chin, just like Richard Burton’s.

It seems that most non-Egyptian archaeologists are claiming that this is incredibly unlikely. Most of the actual relevant evidence that would address the likelihood has not been examined by anyone, so I won’t take this disbelief any more seriously that I’m taking the claim.

Details can be found here in what is actually a pretty funny news report.

Minnesotans Want Coleman To Give Up in Senate Recount

Only 28 percent of Minnesotans think Coleman’s current appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court is appropriate. Sixty four percent think he should give up now. Seventy three percent feel that he should not go beyond the State Supreme Court if he loses there. The will of the people has been heard in both the voting booth and the polls.

This will not affect former Senator Norm Coleman’s strategies, because the will of the people is of no concern to him. Coleman will continue with the State Supreme Court appeal, and when he loses there (and he will) he will continue on to the US supreme court. Coleman’s strategy is to delay the seating of Franken for as long as possible. Why? Because Coleman is under various Federal and Senate investigations and owes a huge pile of money for the legal costs of this recount. He needs the Republican party to help pay off some of these debts (to the extent that they can … they may not be able to help much give their overall loss of support) and to yield their political clout to blunt the effects of some of these investigations (which of course, they can’t really do but Norm has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer and probably does not know this).

It is now time for Republicans whose careers are not over to stop openly releasing statements supporting Coleman. Personally, I don’t care whether they do this or not. What I’m saying is that you will stop seeing the support Pawlenty and others have been mouthing over the last few months. Furthermore, this latest poll is likely to prompt Pawlenty to issue an election certificate once appeals have been exhausted at the state level, possibly in July.

The state Supreme Court proceedings being in June.

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