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Swine flu in decline: Mexico

AFP
Published: Sunday May 3, 2009

Mexico said its swine flu epidemic had peaked and was now in decline Sunday as a diplomatic storm brewed over China’s decision to quarantine dozens of Mexicans who have shown no signs of infection.

US health authorities said swine flu was now present in more than half of its states while Colombia became the 19th country to verify a case on its soil.

But although the latest tranche of figures worldwide underpinned fears of a spread of the disease, Mexico, at the epicentre of the outbreak, expressed confidence that the worst was now over.

The epidemic “is in its phase of decline. The national peak was between April 23 and 28,” Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova told reporters.

The number of confirmed deaths from the virus was unchanged from late Saturday at 19, while the number of confirmed infected cases had risen by 33 to 487, he added.

Containment measures, including the public’s wearing of face masks and regular hand-washing, had been effective in limiting the flu’s spread, said Cordova.

But it was important “not to lower one’s guard,” he said.

Health authorities in the US, the only other country where a patient has died of the virus, said that swine flu was now present in 30 states with 226 confirmed infections in 30 states.

But Secretary for Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius saw grounds to be “cautiously optimistic”, saying the “situation seems to be lessening.”

In Spain, the number of confirmed swine flu cases rose to 40, double the previous number, Madrid’s health ministry announced, but added that only six victims were still being treated in hospital.

The number of swine flu sufferers in Britain meanwhile rose to 18 as a man who had returned from the United States and two schoolchildren tested positive, health authorities said.

In China, Mexico’s ambassador complained that Mexicans were being treated unfairly after learning that about 50 were being held in isolation across the country.

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Arizona AG: Marijuana legalization a possible way of curbing border violence

Raw Story-David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Published: Friday February 27, 2009

When President Bush vowed to “smoke ’em out” in the chase for Osama bin Laden — who his administration claimed to be America’s greatest enemy — he meant it in the Wild West sense, not the California sense.

Who’d have thought that by the time his predecessor took office, otherwise conservative officials would be considering another way of smoking out a new and growing threat to American’s safety: Mexican drug cartels, whose profits are largely derived from the illegal smuggling and sale of marijuana.

On Friday, Democrat Terry Goddard, Arizona’s Attorney General, said that while he’s not in favor or legalizing marijuana, he thinks it should be debated as a way of curbing violence in the increasingly deadly clashes between Mexico’s gangs.

Speaking to CNN’s Kiran Chetry about the firearms trade between the US and Mexico, he noted that almost all the guns seized in Mexico’s drug war came from the US.

“This is the source,” he said. “This is the gun store for a great deal of the world.”

“What’s the answer?” asked Chetry.

“There’d have to be a variety of answers,” he said. “But one of ’em would be to enforce our laws more aggressively.”

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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