April 27th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

The Cosmopolitan Viruses

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from Dr. Nathan Wolfe and the spread of viruses on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Dr. Nathan Wolfe
Global Viral Forecasting Initiative

As someone who studies how pandemics are born and how we may be able to predict and prevent them, I’m, of course, fascinated with the outbreak of Swine Flu. I want to understand its biology. Where it comes from, how it initially took hold, and then managed to spread from person to person, landing in places as distant as Nova Scotia, Brazil, and New Zealand.

But I’m also fascinated at how the public, media and government have responded to it, and what our responses mean for the future of our species. Watching the response to the Swine Flu, it occurs to me that when new outbreaks occur, the media and the public can quickly forget history. SARS and H5N1 (the ‘Bird Flu’) and earlier disease spillovers from animals such as HIV fall quickly out of memory. Somehow Swine Flu seems unique: a frightening threat coming from out of the blue, and one that we need to scramble to address.

The Swine Flu is a threat. We know that flu pandemics have the potential to kill millions. But is it unique? Was it unpredictable? Must we repeat this cycle of complacency, dread, and panic that punctuates our increasingly frequent global outbreaks from SARS to H5N1 to Swine Flu…


April 27th, 2009
09:49 PM ET

Time to end the US/Saudi "long hibernation"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/03/10/mini.summit/art.king.afp.gi.jpg caption="Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah."]

Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

Today I attended an interesting conference about US-Saudi relations called "US-Saudi Relations in a World Without Equilibrium".

The event took place in an enormous ballroom at the Four Seasons, yet there was still standing room-only for a crowd of close to 500 oil executives, current and former diplomats, academics and journalists twittering away. Another 4,000 or so followed the conference on line by video stream. It was a real testament to just how important the relationship with Saudi Arabia is.

The New America Foundation's Steve Clemons, who organized the conference, assembled quite a line-up. The Saudi Ministers of Finance and Commerce were there, as well as Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi Ambassador to the US and intelligence minister. Undersecretary of State William Burns spoke to the group about the importance of the US-Saudi relationship.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Elise Labott • Global 360°
April 27th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/27/09

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Tonight, we have late breaking details on the swine flu threat. There are reports of possible new cases here in the U.S. We'll tell you where and give you all the details that you need to know. Plus, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be reporting live from Mexico City, where there are 172 suspected cases of swine flu.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on the health scare during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want more details on swine flu and what we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
April 27th, 2009
09:12 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Swine Flu's Reach

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on AC360°,  we'll have the latest on the Swine Flu outbreak.  Check out these numbers....

U.S. Cases .................... CDC Confirmed ...............  CDC Suspected

California                                      7                                                               1

Kansas                                         2                                                               0

New Jersey                                 0                                                                5

New York                                    28                                                              0

Ohio                                               1                                                               0

South Carolina                          0                                                                22

Texas                                             2                                                                 7

Total U.S. Confirmed: 40
Total U.S. Suspected: 35

All CONFIRMED cases or fatalities are sourced WHO or National Health Ministries

All SUSPECTED cases are sourced by National Health Ministries

Non-U.S ......... WHO ..............   Govt. .............   Govt. .................  WHO ......................... Govt.
Cases .............  Confirmed ....Confirmed ..... Suspected .....Confirmed Deaths ...  Suspected Deaths

Canada                   6                                   0

Israel                      0                                   2

Mexico                  26                              172                          7                                                               149

Spain                       1                                 19

U.K.                         2                                17

WHO Confirmed: 35
Govt. Confirmed: 210
Govt. Suspected: 7
WHO Confirmed Deaths: 0
Govt. Suspected Deaths: 149

Total Confirmed  Cases Worldwide:  75

Swine Flu in Pigs:

* Swine flu outbreaks in pigs mostly occur during the late fall and winter months.

* Swine flu is a constantly mutating virus. Pigs are susceptible to viruses from birds, humans and other swine. When these different influenza viruses strike pigs, the genes can mutate and new viruses can develop.

Swine Flu in Humans:

* Swine flu is not common in humans. Occasionally, human infections with swine flu occur in people who have been exposed to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry).

* Symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Other symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

* Drugs that treat swine flu in humans include: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir.


* 1930 – The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) is first isolated from a pig.

* 1976 – Swine flu (Hsw1N1) breaks out among soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. 13 soldiers are infected and one dies.

* 1976 – The U.S. begins a nationwide vaccination program against a type of swine flu known as Influenza A/New Jersey/76. However, the program is suspended after people die within hours of receiving the vaccination. More than 500 people develop Guillian-Barre syndrome after the vaccination and 32 people die.

* September 1988 – A woman dies of the H1N1 flu virus days after visiting a county fair pig exhibition where there was widespread influenza-like illness among the swine.

* December 2005 – February 2009 – The CDC reports 12 cases of swine flu among humans.

* April 24, 2009 – The CDC issues an outbreak notice warning travelers of an increased health risk of swine flu in Central Mexico and Mexico City.

* April 26, 2009 – The U.S. declares a public health emergency as cases of swine flu in the U.S. increase.

* April 27, 2009 – The World Health Organization raises the influenza pandemic alert to a level 4.

That's the background.  The number of cases keeps changing.  We'll have the latest figures for you on the program and get even more details.   Should you and your family be worried?  What can you do to protect yourself?   We're covering all the angles.

Share your thoughts on the outbreak below.

And, join us at 10pm ET for all the late breaking details.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 27th, 2009
06:12 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/27/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

National Economic Council director Larry Summers uses his BlackBerry prior to a speech by US President Barack Obama at the National Academy of Sciences annual meeting in Washington, DC, April 27, 2009. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!

Beat 360° Challenge But wait!… There’s more! When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
April 27th, 2009
05:22 PM ET

Suzy Welch interviews Suze Orman

Program Note: To watch the full interview tune in Friday, May 1, at 11 p.m. ET for the Time 100/Anderson Cooper 360° Special

Susan Chun
AC360° Producer

When I heard I was producing this segment with Suzy Welch, business journalist, interviewing Suze Orman, personal finance expert, I knew two things right off the bat. First I knew I would be meeting two smart, powerful women with strong personalities. And because of this, I knew second that I would be witnessing a fascinating conversation. I wasn’t wrong. We did the interview at the New York Stock Exchange, overlooking the trading floor.

We managed to squeeze four cameras, a multitude of lights, two director's chairs, and a small army of CNN staffers on to the 2nd floor balcony right above the floor. The setting was appropriate for both women since both had come out with books in the past year giving advice to people during these tough economic times. Suze Orman had also rung the opening bell at the NYSE a few weeks ago. That day, her manager and partner was quick to point out, was one of the rare days the market closed up.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Suze Orman
April 27th, 2009
05:05 PM ET

Springsteen Rocks

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David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

The first time I heard "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen, I was driving my dad's old Pontiac station wagon down New Jersey's Route 561. It was the most amazing song I had ever heard–the perfect blend of message and raw rock 'n' roll.

The crackling AM signal pounded out the beat through the single mono speaker. I was so moved that I had to pull over. I didn't want to miss a single word.

I didn't know much about 'The Boss' before that moment. But in a three minute record he managed to tell a story of hope, passion and triumph that I would never forget. His music connected with me in a way no other artist's has been able to since.

For three glorious hours last night I became that awe-inspired teenager again. My wife (a Jersey Girl) and I danced until our feet hurt and sang until our voices gave out. Springsteen and his E-Street Band rocked a full house in Atlanta. I came away with my heart pounding, my ears ringing and my mind renewing a vow I made to my wife and myself years ago..."No retreat baby, no surrender."


April 27th, 2009
04:23 PM ET

Video: Swine flu source

As cases of Swine Flu spark global concern, Dr. Gupta travels to Mexico City, the epicenter of this outbreak. Tune in to AC360° at 10 p.m. ET tonight for more on the Swine Flu outbreak.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Public Health
April 27th, 2009
03:44 PM ET

Pakistan isn’t falling

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/27/pakistan.taliban.talks/art.pakistan.afp.gi.jpg caption="Peter Bergen says with all of its problems, Pakistan isn't in danger of being taken over by religious militants."]

Peter Bergen
CNN National Security Analyst

In the past few weeks as the Pakistani Taliban have marched ever closer to the capital, Islamabad, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sounded the alarm about the threat posed by the militants, who she said in congressional testimony pose "a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world."

Some media commentators have even warned that the populous, nuclear-armed state might fall into the hands of the religious zealots.

This is hyperventilation. Pakistan has myriad problems - its economy is tanking; its political leadership is feckless; its military is not trained or equipped to fight a domestic insurgency; and the Taliban now can control the lives of millions of Pakistanis. But none of this means that Pakistan is in danger of becoming a failed state or that the religious militants are about to take over the country.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Pakistan • Peter Bergen
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