In global news, how's about this recent spread of severe acute respitory syndrome (SARS)? As one of them science types, I actually find it really interesting to see how the disease (be it a pneumonia or an influenza or what have you - reports have thus far been sketchy and inconclusive) is spreading. Having always deep down wanted to be an epidemiologist, it's really fascinating.
I mean, it's a bit of a worry, given that it's only a matter of time before it spreads to Australia, but from an eccological point of view it's pretty cool. I mean, if it does get here we're going to have all sorts of major problems because our population will have less of a chance of having an immunity to the pathogen. Particularly if it's viral in nature (although I haven't seen anything conclusive about the actual nature of the bug).
If is is an influenza virus (as opposed to the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae), it's going to spread really easily. I remember that in the 1920s there was a really nasty outbreak of flu which originally came from chickens. That whole crossing the species barrier is a nice, though really insidious trick that some bugs have.
My advice to all of you is eat lots of green vegetables, and drink lots of orange juice. There's no harm in taking rudimentary precautions, particularly with the onset of winter.