Millions of students in Mexico returned to class Thursday as the country reopened universities and high schools after a two-week closure aimed at containing the H1N1 flu virus.
Museums also reopened across the country, and in Mexico City patrons were once again filling restaurants, bars and other public venues.
The number of confirmed dead in Mexico rose by two to 44, according to Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova. A total of 1,204 people have been infected, including the dead and the survivors, he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general of the World Health Organization, said at a Geneva news conference that an H1N1 pandemic, should one occur, could infect 2 billion people, one-third of the world’s population. He said that was not a prediction but an estimate based on experience with influenza viruses.
Volcanic activity near city rises
Scientists found evidence of intense volcanic activity – including tremors, pools of lava and plumes of smoke – at two volcanoes near a major city in eastern Congo.
The volcanoes in the central African nation could be about to erupt, threatening Goma, which has a population of more than half a million people, scientists said Thursday. They made their observations on visits to the two volcanic peaks of Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira.
“The eruption could be tomorrow, or the day after – or at any other time,” said Dieudonne Wafula, the head of Goma’s Volcanological Observatory.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Terror suspect captured again
A top Islamic terror suspect accused in a plot to crash a hijacked plane into Singapore has been arrested in neighboring Malaysia after escaping a high-security Singaporean jail last year, news reports said today.
Mas Selamat Kastari, suspected commander of the Singapore arm of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, escaped from the jail on Feb. 27, 2008, by wriggling out a bathroom window in a surprising security breach that sparked a massive manhunt.
Mas Selamathe was arrested in Malaysia more than a month ago in a joint operation involving security agencies of the two countries, Channel News Asia television said on its Web site.
From wire reports