There were at least 50 news article about the bottoming out of Sunspot Cycle #23 and the beginning of Sunspot Cycle #24. See: New sunspot marks start of latest solar cycle - Sunspot Activity Expected To Disrupt GPS, Cell Phones, Power Grid - Mega-sunspots threaten communications and, of course, Sunspot heralds end of the world, an amused commentary on "a rather hysterical press release from the US warns us that a sunspot heralds a new solar cycle that could 'bring down power grids, disrupt critical threaten astronauts with harmful radiation ... knock out commercial communications satellites and swamp Global Positioning System signals'. Run for the hills!
At the bottom of a cycle there may be only a few sunspots and solar flare in a year. At the top there can be hundreds. The top of the cycle is predicted for sometime in 2011-2012. According to the New Scientist, the debate is over whether it will be a big cycle with lots of spots that peaks earlier or a smaller one that peaks later. They know it's a new cycle because the spots come at the top of the sun, while the old cycle spots linger around the middle of the sun. See more facts about sunspots here.
Of course the BIG FACT that most scientists still refuse to admit is that these sunspots affect human behavior, increasing the tendency to riot, rebel and overthrow - or secede from - governments. For sunspots give off solar flares that increase negative ionization on earth--and increased negative ionization during sunspot maximum periods increases human exciteablity and activity.
As I write in my article "Sunspot Cycles and Activist Strategy": Activists since the 1960s like myself have lived through several sunspot heights - the 1968-71, 1979-82, 1989-1992, 2000-2003 periods. We can think back at our own experiences of several years of frenzied activity, with big meetings and big protests, when the least indignity might lead to riots, rebellions, revolutions, civil wars. And we can remember other periods of years when once vital organizations declined or died, meetings and protests were fewer and smaller, and lethargic peoples seem willing to endure repression. Then, just when the few remaining activists were in deep despair - a magical resurgence of activity! Check it out.