Last month, we had the driest month ever in 10 years. Two days ago, we had a record high temperature of 35 degree celcius. Yesterday our air was heavy and hazy as a result of too many bush fires. Since the year started, we've had 288 cases, which is more than two-thirds the 426 cases recorded the whole of last year. I think we've just set another new record.
The deadly bush fires in Australia that claimed so many lives and wiped out entire towns as record temperatures turned the bush into a tinderbox were described as Australia's worst peacetime disaster.
Strangled by the collapse in gobal export demand, Japan's economy shrank at its fastest rate in 35 years in the fourth quarter last year. The first 3 months this year will be another horrifying quarter.
Our government is stockpiling 2.6m doses of bird flu vaccine. It's worrying to read about how lethal the bird flu pandemic can get. More than half of the 407 people who have been hit by bird flu so far have died of it. Infectious disease experts say it is a matter of time before another deadly influenza sweeps the world. I don't hope to see it happen in our lifetime.
All these 'records' were gleaned from today's headlines. Not very upbeat news stories to match my low energy morning. I woke up feeling very tired and drained today and my mouth hurts as the broken lips have turned into ulcers. It's too painful to talk. My colleague has arrived from London and my next few days are lined up with all-day meetings. I wonder how I am going to plough through my day...