From Reuters.com

Pandemic alerts, by the numbers

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The World Health Organization could raise its pandemic alert level to phase 4 or 5 as a deadly swine flu outbreak shows no signs of slowing.

What does this mean?

The WHO designates six phases of pandemic alert for informing the world of the seriousness of the threat and the need to launch more intense preparations and measures.

We’re currently at phase 3. A full-blown pandemic, level 6, denotes sustained, human-to-human spread over many countries of a new and serious virus.

Here are details of the six phases, along with the possible impact on financial markets:

Questions (and few answers) after Freddie CFO suicide

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David Kellermann, acting chief financial officer of troubled U.S. mortgage giant Freddie Mac, was found dead in his suburban Virginia home after apparently committing suicide.

Kellermann, 41, was named Freddie Mac’s acting CFO last September after the Treasury Department seized the company, and its sibling mortgage agency Fannie Mae, as the agencies faced deep losses on a crashing U.S. housing market that was rapidly engulfing other financial institutions.

Loans rebound in 2009, but outlook remains uncertain

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–Reuters LPC is a global provider of loan market news, data and analytics to the credit markets worldwide. For real-time news and analytics from LPC’s LoanConnector, sign up here.

By Colm Doherty

After a difficult 2008 during which loan returns hit never before seen lows, the market has regained some lost ground. Year to date through April 15, loans have returned 15.5%, according to the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index. While not enough to make up for last year’s fall, it has helped investors to recoup some of the losses suffered last year. Alternatively, it’s a nice return for those who may have timed the market well and bought in the secondary earlier this year.

Graphic: Somalia Piracy

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Detailed map of the horn of Africa region showing recent hijackings and pirate attacks by Somali pirates preceding Wednesday’s attempted hijacking of the American ship Maersk Alabama.

Graphic: General Motors timeline

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A look at General Motors stock price and news since Mar 16, 2005.

Graphic: U.S. toxic assets plan

Click the tabs below for details on the plan.

Reuters scoops up awards at SABEW, Best of Photojournalism

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The Reuters trophy case got a little more crowded on Tuesday, with a raft of awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the Best of Photojournalism Awards from the National Press Photographers Association.

And the winners are:

SABEW Award for real-time news organizations

David Baily, correspondent; Kevin Krolicki, Detroit bureau chief; Jui Chakravorty, correspondent; Poornima Gupta, correspondent; Kim Soyoung, correspondent; and Nick Carey, correspondent: “GM/Chrysler deal hopes rise, then shattered

Graphic: Global job cuts

Global Job Cuts Below are details of announced job cuts of 2,000 or more, by region, since the beginning of September last year. Click on highlighted areas to get a detailed breakdown of job losses by company.


Reuters.com changes to better service you, our audience

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The global economic crisis is the biggest story in modern times and a record audience is turning to Reuters for information you can trust. I share with you some changes we’ve brought to Reuters.com and Reuters.co.uk to help you understand the financial turmoil and benefit from the expertise of our 2,550 journalists around the globe. You’ll notice more headlines from our financial correspondents and more video interviews with business newsmakers. We’ve added a new Economy section, increased our coverage of regulation and will soon relaunch our small business and environment pages.

Our Great Debate section has added more financial commentary from our growing team of Reuters columnists, with technology expert Eric Auchard among the writers joining James Saft, John Kemp and Bernd Debusmann. We also offer more graphics for better insight into the financial markets. And we continue to add specialist blogs, with Hedge Hub providing a place for readers to discuss the hedge fund industry with journalists such as Laurence Fletcher.

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