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BBC news with Fiona McDonald.The World Health Organization has raised its alert level for a possible swine flu pandemic to the third highest, which means there is sustained human-to-human transmission. It now stands at Level 4 out of 6. A senior WHO official Keiji Fukuda said containing the outbreak was no longer possible but a global pandemic was not inevitable. This virus is too widespread to make containment a feasible consideration. And so what this means is that, um, focusing on mitigation is really an important focus of countries and this really means trying to protect individuals, trying to protect populations. Most of the swine flu cases are being in Mexico where around 150 people are believed to have died from the disease, the authorities say almost 1, 000 people are still in hospital with symptoms. From Mexico City, Stephen Gibbs reports.Mexico's Health Secretary says that almost 2, 000 people in the country are now known to have contracted the virus. Around half of them have since recovered. But the evidence is growing that the virus is present in many parts of this country well outside the capital. Acknowledging that, the government says all schools nationwide are being closed for the next 9 days. Meanwhile, the United States is now reported 40 cases, half of them in New York. Spain became the first European country to confirm a case affecting a man who recently returned from Mexico, while the British authorities have confirmed 2 cases. The United Nations top humanitarian envoy John Holmes says he has failed to secure an agreement from the Sri Lankan government on access to civilians trapped in fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels. Mr. Holmes who's in Sri Lanka was speaking after the government said it had instructed forces to stop using heavy weapons in the conflict zone and to concentrate on rescuing trapped civilians. Mr. Holmes said he hoped the plan would be generally respected which haven't been the case in the past. But he said he wasn't satisfied the government bombardment hadn’t stopped. We would like to see humanitarian pours and whatever the military concerns about that, it would be extremely good for the people themselves, the civilians who're on the ground to have a rest, a respite, chance to move on, chance to find food and so on. But I have to say, that I don't see much prospect to that at the moment." The British government says it has abandoned a plan to set up a central database containing records of all the emails, internet traffic and telephone calls made throughout the country. Instead, private phone companies and internet service providers will be ordered to store the material and allow access to it by the security forces on a case-by-case basis. The original plan caused uproar in Britain with CRItics complaining about invasion of privacy and data security as well as the cost of the government scheme. World news from the BBC. The American carmaker General Motors has announced plans to cut 23, 000 jobs by the end of next year as part of a new restructuring plan. The firm which has received more than 15 billion dollars in government bailouts also announced that it would be dropping one of its oldest brand names Pontiac, Kirkwood has the details. General Motors is accelerating job losses and plant closures in an effort to persuade the US government to lend it more money. It's cutting 23, 000 jobs by the end of next year and shutting down or idling 16 plants from a total of 47. Lenders who are owed 27 billion dollars by General Motors will exchange that debt for shares in the company. If the US government does not approve the plan, then General Motors will have to file for bankruptcy. The United States says talks plan with Russia on a treaty for reducing both countries' nuclear stockpiles will be held next month. The US ambassador to Moscow said the discussions between the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would take place in Washington and Brussels. The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has been to the Vatican during a visit to Italy seen as another step towards ending his international diplomatic isolation. It's Mr. Lukashenko's first official visit to Western Europe since 1995 when a travel ban was imposed over human rights abuses. A low-level flight over New York Harbor by one of the US presidential jets and an escorting fighter plane has caused temporary panic among hundreds of startled office workers. A number of office buildings were evacuated in the city still scarred by the 9/11 attacks. Pentagon officials said the flypast, a photographic exercise not involving President Obama had been co-coordinated with city and state authorities, but no general public notification was issued in advance. BBC.
来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20090430/2075.html
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