Ms. Henkin comes to the job from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) where she recently served as the Deputy Executive Director for Management, overseeing a range of operations, including in the areas of emergency response and staff safety. In her new capacity, she will be responsible for coordinating the pandemic influenza planning and preparedness activities of all New York-based United Nations organizations. Ms. Henkin will work closely with the main UN point man on the bird flu threat, Dr. David Nabarro, the UN System Influenza Coordinator.Although there have been scores of millions of deaths among birds worldwide, there have so far just over 200 human cases of bird flu, a little more than half of them fatal, since the current outbreak started in South East Asia in December, 2003, ascribed to contact with infected birds. But experts fear the H5N1 virus could mutate, gaining the ability to pass from person to person and in a worst case scenario unleashing a deadly human pandemic.
EACH DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you should know with your morning cup of coffee.1. #TURKEY: There has been no let-up of the unrest seen in Turkey over the past four days. One of the country’s main trade union confederations has joined anti-government protests today, calling on its 240,000 members to join a two-day strike.Two people have died since the demonstrations began last week.2. #EXAMS: As Leaving Cert and Junior Cert students are advised to eat and sleep well over the next three weeks, RTÉ has learned that there has been a significant increase in the number of exam fees waived due to financial hardship.3. #PISTORIUS: Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius appeared at a South African court this morning for a brief pre-trial hearing over the shooting of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The case was adjourned until 19 August to allow “time for further investigations” by defence and prosecution teams.4. #PRISON: Murder suspect John Dundon received treatment in hospital yesterday after he collapsed in prison as a result of a week-long hunger strike. The 29-year-old is due to begin his trial over the killing of Shane Geoghegan today, according to the Irish Daily Star.5. #DIRTY: Donegal County Council says it needs €7.8 million in national funding to fix the dirty water problem in the Lifford area. Residents have been subjected to rusty water for more than six years due to “the nature of the [local] pipeline”.6. #FLOODS: Rivers continued to rise to dangerous levels in the Czech Republic overnight with authorities forced to open several dams and declare a state of emergency, says BBC News. The death toll from the severe floods has risen to seven in recent days. Two deaths were also reported in neighbouring Austria.7. #NORTHERN IRELAND: The Northern Ireland Assembly has passed a new law that prevents anybody with a serious conviction from becoming a special political advisor at Stormont. The move comes after Sinn Féin appointed former IRA prisoner Mary McArdle.8. #PLONK: The Department of Foreign Affairs is planning a clear-out sale of its wine cellar, the Irish Independent reports. Almost one third of the 2,343 bottle collection is “tradeable” and will be put on the market.9. #LEAVING CERT WEATHER: Today could be the hottest day of the year, according to weather reports. Met Éireann predicts “unbroken sunshine” for parts of the country with temperatures reaching as high as 24 C. That is hotter than Corfu, notes the Irish Daily Mirror. Over on DailyEdge.ie: Still reeling from THAT Linda Martin performance? Us too! Plus: Kim and Kanye are having a girl, and The Edge at Forbidden Fruit. It’s The Dredge