Reader Selected News For The Week Of Oct 18 To Oct 24

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AP: Falling Oil Prices Are Hurting OPEC, Russia, Venezuela

From where else but the Associated Press:

Falling oil prices shake up global economies

By JONATHAN FAHEY | October 16, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — A sudden plunge in the price of oil is sending economic and political shockwaves around the world. Oil exporting countries are bracing for potentially crippling budget shortfalls and importing nations are benefiting from the lowest prices in four years…

"The problem is that countries get accustomed to a certain level of income, and then spend," says Edward Chow, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It seems like a windfall at first but when it lasts long enough you get used to it."

The global price of oil was relatively stable for nearly four years, averaging $110 per barrel.


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6 Months Later #BringBackOur Girls Campaign Forgotten

From Al Jazeera:

Abandonment of BringBackOurGirls campaigns

October 16, 2014

Abuja, Nigeria – Six months after the armed group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 Nigerian girls from a boarding school in the northeastern town of Chibok, 219 remain in captivity after 57 escaped.

That may come as a surprise to many because the April 14 mass abduction that drew global shock, condemnation, and media attention has since been largely forgotten – except in Chibok that is.

Every day at Unity Fountain in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, family members of the girls, community members, and citizens in solidarity gather to chant the message that was heard around the world last April: “Bring back our girls.”

None of the young women so far have been rescued, despite a global #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign that went viral and garnered support from such high-profile figures as the US president’s wife, Michelle Obama, and Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai.



Obama Picks Highly Partisan Ron Klain To Be Ebola Czar

From CNN:

Obama will name Ron Klain as Ebola Czar

By Jake Tapper | October 17, 2014

Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama will appoint Ron Klain his "Ebola czar," knowledgeable sources tell CNN…

Klain is highly regarded at the White House as a good manager with excellent relationships both in the administration and on Capitol Hill. His supervision of the allocation of funds in the stimulus act — at the time and incredible and complicated government undertaking — is respected in Washington. He does not have any extensive background in health care but the job is regarded as a managerial challenge.

Correction. He doesn’t have any background in health care.

A former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and also to then-Vice President Al Gore, Klain is currently President of Case Holdings and General Counsel of Revolution, an investment group.



$40 Million In NIH Funds That Could Have Gone To Ebola

From the Washington Free Beacon:

$39,643,352 Worth of NIH Funding That Could Have Gone to the Ebola Vaccine

By Elizabeth Harrington | October 16, 2014

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has spent more than $39 million on obese lesbians, origami condoms, texting drunks, and dozens of other projects that could have been scrapped in favor of developing an Ebola vaccine. [T]he Washington Free Beacon has uncovered $39,643,352 worth of NIH studies within the past several years that have gone to questionable research.

For instance, the agency has spent $2,873,440 trying to figure out why lesbians are obese, and $466,642 on why fat girls have a tough time getting dates. Another $2,075,611 was spent encouraging old people to join choirs.

Millions have gone to “text message interventions,” including a study where researchers sent texts to drunks at the bar to try to get them to stop drinking.


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AP Muddies The Water On The Ebola Budget Cuts Claims

From the Associated Press:

SPIN METER: Shaky claims on Ebola budgets

October 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — … Republicans claim credit for boosting the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year while charging President Barack Obama with trying to cut it now. Democrats counter that the GOP-controlled House is behind cuts to the National Institutes of Health, which researches drugs to fight Ebola and vaccines to prevent it.

First, some basics. The budgets for the CDC and health research have indeed been flat or have shrunk slightly in recent years as House Republicans forced cuts to domestic Cabinet budgets upon Obama.

The AP eventually admits that the sequester was Obama’s idea. But they fail to note that he refused to change any of the cuts.


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Obama Open To An ‘Ebola Czar,’ Still Opposes Flight Ban

From Reuters:

Obama open to appointing Ebola ‘czar,’ opposes travel ban

By Steve Holland and David Morgan | Fri Oct 17, 2014

Oct 16 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said he was considering appointing an Ebola "czar" to coordinate the fight against the virus in the United States, but he remained opposed to a ban on travel from West Africa…

"It may be appropriate for me to appoint an additional person" to oversee efforts to contain Ebola, Obama told reporters after meeting aides involved in the fight against the disease.

How about appointing Susan Rice? We know she has a great track record for leveling with the American public. Or, if Ms. Rice is too important to lose at the UN, why not Kathleen Sebelius?



Obama Retreats On Travel Ban; 25% Risk Or Ebola In US

From the Daily Caller:

Obama Retreats On Ebola Travel Ban

By Al Weaver | October 16, 2014

Could President Obama be backtracking on his opposition to a travel ban? Thursday night offered the first sign of a possible shift on the issue in the effort to combat Ebola. Obama told the press pool in the Oval Office… “I want to make sure that everybody’s clear about the issue. I don’t have a philosophical objection necessarily to a travel ban if that is the thing that is going to keep the American people safe,” said Obama.

Really? Isn’t political correctness a philosophy? Isn’t the desire to make America suffer as much as any third world country a philosophy?

“The problem is, in all the discussions I’ve had thus far with experts in the field, experts in infectious disease, is that a travel ban is less effective than the measures that we are currently instituting, that involve screening passengers who are coming from West Africa,” he said.


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AP: African Countries Stemmed Ebola By Closing Borders

From a seemingly surprised Associated Press:

Africa stems Ebola via border closings, luck

By TOM ODULA and LYNSEY CHUTEL | October 16, 2014

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Health officials battling the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa have managed to limit its spread on the continent to five countries – and two of them appear to have snuffed out the disease…

Officials credit tighter border controls, good patient-tracking and other medical practices, and just plain luck with keeping Ebola confined mostly to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since the outbreak was first identified nearly seven months ago.

Yes, it’s mostly just plain luck for sure. How could closing borders or restricting flights help?

Senegal did so well in finding and isolating a man with Ebola who had slipped across the border from Guinea in August that the World Health Organization on Friday will declare the end of the disease in Senegal if no new cases surface.


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Officials Keep Ebola Hospital Workers Away From Public

From the Associated Press:

Officials move to keep Dallas health workers home

By JAMIE STENGLE | October 16, 2014

DALLAS (AP) — Texas officials moved for the first time Thursday to force health care workers who had contact with a dying Ebola patient to stay home, reversing course after a nurse later diagnosed with the disease flew across the Midwest and deepened anxiety about whether the virus would spread in the U.S.

Seventy-five Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas employees who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan were asked to sign legal documents in which they agreed not go to public places or use mass transit, according to Judge Clay Jenkins, top administrator for Dallas County.

In effect, these people are now under quarantine. And yet how many times have we been told that you can’t catch Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus?



Belize Refuses Entry To Ship Carrying TX Hospital Worker

From the Washington Post:

Belize refuses entry to Carnival cruise ship carrying Texas hospital worker who may have handled Ebola victim’s specimen

By Lindsey Bever and Fred Barbash | October 17, 2014

A Texas health-care worker who “may have” handled lab specimens from Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan has been isolated in a cabin on board a commercial cruise ship in the Caribbean, according to U.S. Department of State. And Belize Coast Guard won’t let the vessel or any of its thousands of passengers into port.

Are they racists or just Ebola-phobes, or both?

The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital employee and a partner boarded the ship Oct. 12 in Galveston, Tex., before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the requirement for active monitoring, the State Department said in a statement.


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Vinson’s Plane To Cleveland Made 26 Subsequent Flights

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Ebola patient’s Amber Joy Vinson’s plane to Cleveland made 26 flights after her initial trip

Mary Kilpatrick | October 16, 2014

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The plane that flew a nurse infected with Ebola from Dallas to Cleveland on Friday made 26 flights before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that Amber Joy Vinson may have been symptomatic on the flight. The plane traveled across the country and into Mexico, making stops in Denver, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati and Philadelphia…

The article then goes on to list the flight numbers and flight routes of the plane. All told, the plane carried another 800 passengers.

Meanwhile, we have this from the CBS Austin, Texas affiliate, KEYE:

Frontier Notifies More Passengers About Ebola

October 16, 2014

Frontier Airlines says it is notifying passengers on seven flights that they either flew with a nurse who later tested positive for Ebola or on a later flight using the same plane.



Amy Vinson May Have Had Symptoms During First Flight

From the Fox Ohio affiliate, WJW:

Officials looking for certain customers who stopped by bridal shop Vinson visited

By Kara Sutyak and Darcie Loreno | October 16, 2014 

AKRON, Ohio — New information received by the CDC Thursday indicates the latest Ebola patient– Amber Vinson– may have experienced symptoms as early as Friday, Oct. 10 — the day she flew into Cleveland. That’s according to the CDC’s Dr. Chris Braden, who spoke at a press conference in Summit County Thursday afternoon.

For those of you playing at home, Ms. Vinson flew to Cleveland on Frontier Flight 1142.

Health officials say a person is only contagious when showing Ebola symptoms.

But she wasn’t showing symptoms. She wasn’t even showing symptoms on the day she was diagnosed.


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People Think Demos ‘Get’ Them, But They’re Voting GOP

From the Washington Post:

People think Democrats ‘get’ them. But they are voting for Republicans.

By Aaron Blake October 16, 2014

Democrats are likely to lose the Senate in three weeks — at least according to just about everybody — and their brand hasn’t been worse in at least the last 30 years, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week.

And yet, through it all, they remain the party that Americans empathize with the most. It’s almost as if Democrats are the party people would like to vote for, but they just can’t right now.

What in the world does that mean, you might ask. Well, the Post-ABC poll asked people three empathy-related questions.

1) Which party better represents your own personal values?


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New York Giants Briefed On Ebola Before Trip To Dallas

From the New York Post:

New York Giants getting briefed on Ebola before trip to Dallas

October 15, 2014

The Giants are heading to Dallas this weekend and have taken steps to ensure their traveling party is briefed on the deadly Ebola virus that has been contracted by two female health care workers in the Dallas hospital where one man, Thomas Eric Duncan, died from the virus on Oct. 8.

The Giants face the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“On the Ebola issue, no, nothing out of the ordinary other than providing background and info on the disease,’’ Pat Hanlon, the Giants’ senior vice president of communications, told The Post Wednesday in an e-mail.

“Our athletic trainers and team physicians have been briefed on the scope of the Ebola virus disease.


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