April 27, 2009

Featured TwitPic: Empty mall in Mexico City

"another scene from an empty Mexican mall #swineflu #mexico #influenza" (Posted by @olivcris, Mexico City, April 27, 2009, additional TwitPics from the mall posted here)


WHO raises pandemic flu alert level to 4

Per the Associated Press, the World Health Organization has raised the pandemic alert level to phase 4 on a six-point scale. WHO says level 4 means there is "sustained human to human transmission causing outbreaks in at least one country" and "significant increase in the risk of a global epidemic," according to AP.

Since the announcement, "pandemic" buzz is increasing on Twitter, but tweets suggest a wide variety of views. Here's some of them:

  1. Ashley
    ashleytastic (Tucson, Ariz.) I love the word "pandemic". It instantly strikes fear into the hearts of millions. Can't have "pandemic" without "panic". #swineflu
  2. Colleen Hart
    ColleenHart (Chicago, Ill.) "Most brides worry about rain on their wedding day. I'm worried about drug cartels and a global pandemic."
    Thoughts from Cancun Bride-to-Be
  3. Alexandra
    xxlea (New York City, N.Y.) Just when the "terror alert Color scale" had been buried & forgotten in the backs of our minds, we now have a Pandemic Alert Scale #swineflu
  4. bme
    _bme (Undisclosed) @22samurai i'm emphatically NOT worried. but i am amused by the idea of a flu pandemic.
  5. H4RB0URT
    H4RB0URT (Ohio) @Veronica Please be aware of the 1918 H1N1 pandemic. http://bit.ly/nRDFg It killed aprox. 25 million.
  6. Amy Domestico
    AmyBlogTalk (Connecticut) Nothing like a flu pandemic to get our minds off the economy :(
  7. Mathew Ingram
    mathewi (Toronto, Canada) "in a pandemic, having people wrap their fears in 140 characters and blurt them out might have dangerous consequences": http://bit.ly/B8GE9


South Africa celebrates Freedom Day

Per Voice of America, South Africans all over the world celebrate the 15th anniversary of the end of apartheid, as well as the conclusion of successful national elections.

Thousands of South Africans packed at sports stadium in Durban to celebrate Freedom Day, the day 15 years ago when they gave the African National Congress a sweeping victory in the country's first post-apartheid elections.

Citizens of South Africa and friends all over the world are twittering about the day:

  1. Raymond K.L
    Razerkoul (Johannesburg, South Africa) It's freedom day in South Africa and I'm not free coz I'm bored outta my skull
  2. Uyaphi.com
    Uyaphi (Cape Town, South Africa) Working on Freedom Day Here in South Africa - LOL or OUCH !!!!!
  3. towerofgrace
    towerofgrace (Pretoria, South Africa) Happy Freedom day to all in South Africa. 15yrs ago on this day we got freedom. Enjoy the day and remeber that true freedom comes from k ...
  4. Jaco
    jacovanonselen (Undisclosed) Had a great long weekend! Today is freedom day in South Africa!
  5. Paul D THER.I.P.Y.
    pauldtheripy (Atlanta, Ga.) This day in history:1994 South Africa began its 1st multiracial elections, which continued over three days. Today is known as 'Freedom Day'.
  6. Ruth Beverley
    RuthBev (Lincoln, U.K.) 2day is Freedom day in South Africa but are they really free when many still don't have access to basic resources? Another world is possible
  7. Anton
    Pietersen (Undisclosed) By the way it's freedom day in South Africa. Public holiday!
  8. Nicole Menolascino
    NicoleMeno (Chicago, Ill.) Today is freedom day in South Africa =]


Earthquake strikes near Acapulco, Mexico

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an earthquake measuring 6.0 in magnitude struck the city of Guerrero, Mexico, located about 43 miles northeast of Acapulco.

CNN reports there are no visible signs of damage and residents are generally in "high spirits."

Twitterers in Mexico and across the world expressed their concern.

  1. Jonathan Cooper
    jcooper5 (Mexico) Just experienced his first earthquake. Acapulco Mexico. Ay ya ya
  2. Omar Ramirez
    Omar_Ramirez (Guadalajara, Mexico) earthquake in Mexico... and swineflu... maybe the Mexican apocalypses is coming! o_O
  3. Victoria Nito
  4. sdp
    sdphost (Mexico City, Mexico) Stolen iphone, stolen car, Swine Flu and now Earthquake. Thanks for letting me feel welcome Mexico City.
  5. Construction
    SimpleJack (Pasadena, Calif.) Great... My Dad was in Mexico City but left because of the Bird/Swine flu and now Gets a 6.2 Earthquake in Acapulco (45 miles west)...
  6. Kwabena Poku
    smoagyemang (Accra, Ghana) an earthquake just hit near acapulco Mexico reports CNN. first it was the SWINE FLU now an EARTHQUAKE..makes me wonder how prepared is GHANA
  7. Keith Blanchard
    KeithBlanchard (New Jersey) Poor Mexico! First the swine flu, and now an earthquake in Acapulco. (http://tinyurl.com/mexicoquake). Then the swine flu again

The following account was sent to Breaking Tweets via email from Connie O'Kane:

"My son, his wife and baby were in Acapulco on vacation this week. On the 27th, they were in a hotel on the 14th floor. They were shaken badly and really scared. Across the street there was a parking garage which collapsed and killed a family of 4 in their car. Really sad for them what with the flu going on also."


Protest underway at Indian Embassy in London

Per multiple Twitterers, an apparent protest is underway at the Indian Embassy (India House) in Aldwych, London. At the time of this post, it was unclear why the protest was taking place.

Here are some initial tweets from Twitterers near the scene:

  1. .
    soniamcp First day back and i'm late. Caught the protest at indian embassy though. Wonder what that's about?
  2. Nicholas Thompson
    nick_thompson there are loads of police outside the Indian embassy in London chanting + smashed windows... Wow. Wonder why....
  3. Adam Wheewall
    awheewall It's all kicking off at the Indian Embassy on the Strand. Windows smashed and an angry mob outside. http://yfrog.com/089j2j
  4. Nadia Elghamry
    EGNadiaElghamry http://twitpic.com/43c25 - Police outside india house on aldwych
  5. Lewis Bryan
    lewisbryan Windows smashed at India House on Aldwych in protest this morning. Traffic on Aldwych very slow. They're still protesting, loads of police.
  6. Vanessa Gamet
    vanigami just saw protesters at indian embassy in aldwych. the protesters were winning.

BBC editor @smartin has posted links to pictures of the event in his profile. He calls it a "disturbance."

If you have information on this event and why it might be taking place, please contact us on Twitter @breakingtweets or leave a comment.


AOL launches new Web site covering politics

Per TechCrunch, AOL today launched PoliticsDaily, a "news magazine" focusing on politics. The site will provide in-depth political commentary as opposed to breaking news. Contributors include Walter Shapiro and Jill Lawrence, formerly of the USA Today; Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times; and Patricia Murphy, founder of Citizen Jane Politics.

Initial reviews from Twitterers praised the site:

  1. John Rydzeski Jr
    johnr831 (Clinton, N.Y.) This new site looks great!
  2. Helin
    helinjung (Undisclosed) shiny and new http://politicsdaily.com/ -- can't speak for the commentary, but it looks pretty
  3. :Dave Blankenship
    davorado (Murrieta, Calif.) A good move in these times RT @BuzzEdition RT @the_tech_update: AOL Launches Online “News Magazine” PoliticsDaily http://bit.ly/qYjml

One contributor of the site tweeted shortly after the launch.

  1. Tony Romm
    TonyRomm (Washington, D.C.) AOL debuts Politics Daily, an awesome new Web site. With it, my work gets a new home: http://www.politicsdaily.com/bloggers/tony-romm

Some Twitterers poked fun at the company behind the endeavor.

  1. JoePeicott
    JoePeicott (Los Angeles, Calif.) Breaking! Breaking! AOL launches interesting product! Only took 'em 12 years. PoliticsDaily http://bit.ly/Gwwhk
  2. Mike Lovell
    08lovell (Washington, D.C.) They keep on trying to come back from the dead don't they RT @TechCrunch AOL Launches Online "News Magazine" PoliticsDaily http://tcrn.ch/l2