Solarch writes: Late in the afternoon on Wednesday, the WHO raised the pandemic threat level for H1N1 "swine flu" to 5. Global media outlets(such as CNN, Fox News, and the BBC) preempted normal broadcast coverage and immediately published stories on their websites. To clarify, the WHO's elevation is mainly a sign to governments that the virus is spreading quickly and that steps should be taken on a governmental level to stage supplies and medicines to combat a possible pandemic. Unfortunately, broadcast coverage focused on phrases like "pandemic imminent" (CNN marquee).
In other news, patient zero, the medical term for the initial human vector of a disease, has been tentatively identified in Mexico.
igny writes: "L. Madoff Investment Securities has allegedly run a Ponzi scheme for decades. The recent economic downturn resulted in the collapse of the pyramid, which reportedly lost some $50bln. The SEC and a number of wealthy investors failed to detect a massive fraud involving one of icons of the financial world and pioneers of electronic exchanges. Which begs the question: how could someone trust one single person with billions of dollars?"
igny writes: University of Minnesota astronomers have found an enormous hole in the Universe, nearly a billion light-years across, empty of both normal matter such as stars, galaxies and gas, as well as the mysterious, unseen "dark matter." While earlier studies have shown holes, or voids, in the large-scale structure of the Universe, this new discovery dwarfs them all.